Regionals kick off this week
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
The Litchfield-Gillespie High School soccer team is the new South Central Conference champion.
The Purple Panthers went undefeated against SCC opponents in 2023 to claim the outright title, which was previously owned by their long-time nemesis Hillsboro.
Litchfield officially completed its goal Oct. 3 with an 8-1 statement victory at Southwestern. The win was the Purple Panthers’ 15th overall in 19 matches.
Litchfield split two non-conference duels to end the regular season last week. The Purple Panthers pounded East Alton-Wood River, 7-0, Oct. 5 and lost 2-1 against Lincolnwood at home Oct. 6.
Because Litchfield and Gillespie co-op, the Purple Panthers have been promoted to the Illinois High School Association 2A class in this year’s postseason. All of the other county teams are 1A.
Litchfield (Freeburg sub-sectional)
Litchfield, a No. 7 seed in the Freeburg sub-sectional, will host No. 9 Jerseyville in quarterfinal action Sat., Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. A victory pairs the Purple Panthers with No. 2 Belleville Althoff Catholic next Wednesday at the Bethalto regional.
Carlinville, Staunton and Southwestern have been assigned to the 1A Williamsville bracket.
Carlinville, North Mac and Staunton
Carlinville, which closed the conference season by grinding out a 4-3 win over Staunton Oct. 3, went 10-7-2 overall and 5-3 in the SCC. Hoping to showcase similar resiliency that was shown en route to a 1-1 draw against Pleasant Plains, the fourth-seeded Cavaliers battle No. 6 Argenta on familiar turf in Virden at noon Sat., Oct. 14.
No. 9 North Mac, which entered the postseason with just four triumphs in 23 matches, needed a road play-in victory at No. 8 Decatur St. Teresa Oct. 10 to guarantee another home game as a regional host. A former rival potentially awaits the Panthers in the next round with state-ranked Williamsville having secured an automatic bye. The play-in victor takes on the top-ranked Bullets in Virden at 10 a.m. Sat., Oct. 14. The regional championship is Wed., Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.
Staunton (9-11; 4-4 SCC), a No. 6 seed, is bound for the Greenville regional. The Bulldogs will look to avenge a 2-1 regular season conference loss as they rematch the fourth-seeded Comets in Bond County Fri., Oct. 13 at 6 p.m.
Southwestern (Murphysboro sub-sectional)
No. 9 Southwestern met No. 8 EAWR for a chance to face No. 2 Marquette in the Alton regional of the Murphysboro quadrant. Pending a positive result, the Birds suit up Fri., Oct. 13 at 4:30 p.m.