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BURK: Baseball takes front and center
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 4:00 AM
Boy did we get into the Sagamore Athletic Conference and Montgomery County baseball season with a bang. A pair of one-run wins for North Montgomery and Crawfordsville over Southmont and Tri-West made for a thrilling Tuesday night of baseball.
Yesterday was probably the nicest day of the spring season so far, and we can only hope the weather gods continue to lose their tempers. Saturday is looking like a pretty good day and it’ll be a busy one. The county golf teams will see their first action of the year with the annual trip to Danville for the Warriors’ invitational. Local golfers will see some of the bigger Indianapolis-area schools and face some of the best competition they’ll see all year.
BURK: Rain, rain go away!
Wednesday, April 05, 2017 4:00 AM
Spring sports are here and what’s that mean? Rain!
The flowers love it, athletic directors and coaches (and parents and athletes and grandparents and everyone else) hate it! It’s hard to even get a real read on teams this early on because how a team holds up in the cold wind, muddy mess and light drizzle don’t really tell how they’ll perform when the shine of the postseason is here and summer approaches.
One team that certainly made a statement early on is the Crawfordsville baseball team. I talked last week how I missed basically two years of spring sports with my journey east, so a lot of the faces are new to me. I recall Athenians Trent Johnson and Caden Jones as very good sophomores with a lot of potential. Nowadays they’re the heart of the team and leading a very good bunch of diamondmen who’ve climbed to No. 2 in the Class 3A state baseball rankings. The Athenians are on a much deserved break from action until Saturday. They had a grueling start, with six games in eight day. They came away with wins if five of those contests – a pretty nice start.
Burk: Baseball’s back baby
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 4:00 AM
Despite a few showers here and there, springs sports are officially outdoors.
Spring always kicks off with the indoor track and field season, but being trapped indoors with hundreds of people doesn’t exactly scream spring. What does represent spring in full force is opening day for the Crawfordsville baseball team. That took place Monday and the boys notched the first W of the season. Tony Bean and the younger guys put in a ton of work to get the field ready despite the rainy conditions. Things were pushed back about a half hour but got going and the field held up nicely. The junior varsity was even able to get some action in Tuesday.
BURK: What a weekend for MoCo
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 4:00 AM
What a weekend for Montgomery County. We had three wrestlers take to the mats Friday night with their eyes set on a state championship. Tanner Webster, Boone Welliever and Seth Johnson all got through Friday night to ensure a top-8 spot in the state.
The wrestlers returned Saturday and continued to show well. Johnson hit the mat first and advanced followed by the same from Welliever and Webster. Johnson, just a sophomore, went on to wrestle his way to fourth place and Welliever finished his career with a win, taking third. The placement matches that of his dad, Jamie Welliever, as the best in Southmont history.
BURK: Heavyweights and hardwood
Wednesday, February 15, 2017 4:00 AM
It’s been an up and down season for Montgomery County wrestlers. Forty-two young men started the sectional at Crawfordsville with hopes of standing on a podium at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse this weekend. Just three still have that opportunity. North Montgomery senior Tanner Webster, North Montgomery sophomore Seth Johnson and Southmont senior Boone Welliever have one last chance at making their mark on history.
The wrestling state tournament is an interesting structure. For three straight Saturdays the kids hit the mats early in the morning and compete for most of the day at the sectional, regional and semi state level. Sixteen grapplers from each weight class make it to state where they wrestler one match on Friday night. If you win Friday, you get to come back Saturday and get a medal. If you lose Friday night, you just go home and you’ll need a ticket to watch Saturday’s action.
BURK: Time to show for wrestlers
Wednesday, February 08, 2017 4:00 AM
The rubber meets the road Saturday at the New Castle wrestling semi state. Eight local wrestlers have made it out of the North Montgomery regional and are two wins away from a trip to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse as one of the state’s 16 best. The North Montgomery regional is one of the top two in the state. Ask folks around here and they’ll say it’s the best. Ask folks a little further south and they’ll tell you Mooresville is tougher. Six here, half-a-dozen there.
Point is, the kids who came out of our hometown regional are legit and they all have the opportunity to compete their way to state. Strangely, Montgomery County only came away with one regional champion out of a crowded field. That one champion was Southmont senior Boone Welliever. He joins his dad, Jamie, as the school’s only 3-time regional champions.
BURK: A Saturday in a historic place
Wednesday, February 01, 2017 4:00 AM
Saturday was a very interesting day for the Montgomery County boys’ basketball teams. They traveled to Knightstown to spend an afternoon at the Hoosier Gym. The location is notable as the location that the movie Hoosiers was filmed. In the movie, it was the home gym for the Hickory Huskies. Each Montgomery County team had the opportunity to dress in the home locker room and show up as Hickory on the score board.
Scott Smith and I hopped in a car Saturday morning and headed over to cover the games and take in the environment. As we arrived, we searched for a parking spot on the street in the neighborhood where the gym is. When we finally found a spot, we walked the short distance to the gym and packed into the foyer / concession stand / ticket booth / merchandise room as we waited for the first game of the day to end so that North Montgomery vs. Attica could get started. We checked in just as the final horn sounded and got great seats along press row with a great view.
BURK: Round 2 - Fight!
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 4:00 AM
Book your Saturday right now. The only place you should be on Saturday evening is the Crawfordsville High School Gym for the C’ville-Southmont game. If the first go-round was any indication, the county title won’t be won easily. The Athenians and Mounties battled in an overtime thriller in the championship game of the Sugar Creek Classic less than two weeks ago . . . you might have read a column or two about it. Point is, believe the hype.
I have a memory of game just like this a couple years back. In 2013 Southmont went into Crawfordsville with a 9-2 record and countered Crawfordsville’s best game of the year to win 82-69. Crawfordsville came out firing that game and really did play its best game of the year. Southmont did the same. Southmont seniors Cody Thomas and Drake Cooksey tossed in 29 and 20 points, respectively, and junior Devon Burton matched Thomas’ total. On the other side, Seth Lewis racked up 17 points to lead a brigade of four Athenians in double figures. That wasn’t enough on a night that Southmont hit 16 3-pointers.
BURK: What an unreal game
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 4:00 AM
What a Saturday! Going into the Sugar Creek Classic, I knew that Saturday could be a fun night. If the cards fell the way they should have Friday, which they did, we would have matchups between North against WeBo and South against C’ville. I knew those two games would be a blast but little did I know just what we would see.
Let’s start with the grand finale of the Classic. Crawfordsville had control of the championship game against Southmont for most of the duration. The Athenians were never able to establish firm dominance, but at the same time Southmont just couldn’t get on the right side of the scoreboard. The Mounties found some magic late and knotted things up with about a minute left.
BURK: Sports back in full force
Wednesday, January 04, 2017 4:00 AM
Sports are back in full force and it’s a beautiful thing. Swimmers hit the water Monday for a fantastic county meet on Monday at the Crawfordsville Aquatics Center. The meet came down to one one-hundredths of a second for the girls. Megan Merica put together a special effort to touch the wall and put the Chargers in second place in the 400-yard freestyle relay. That was enough to propel them into first place as a team and claim their third straight county championship.
BURK: Not much respect going around
Wednesday, December 21, 2016 4:00 AM
First and foremost, Merry Christmas! It’s slow around the sports world, but it gives athletes (and us local media folk) a chance to enjoy some rest and time with family.
Some athletes do have some work to put in over the holidays. North Montgomery’s wrestling team is headed up to Fort Wayne on Friday for the IHSWCA Team State Duals. Surprisingly, the Chargers were assigned to No. 4 seed in the Class 2A Bracket. The ranking reflects the rankings put out by IndianaMat.com on Dec. 12. Yorktown, Bellmont and Jimtown are ahead of the Chargers in ranking and seeding but I think the Chargers might perform much better than that.
They’ll start the day with duals against fifth-seeded Edgewood and unseeded Northwood. I imagine they’ll cruise through those duals. If they do, they should find top-seeded Yorktown in the semifinal. In my eyes, the winner of that dual goes on to win the tournament. The Chargers might not be getting the respect from the state rankings but they have a chance to put a lot of folks on notice this weekend.
BURK: Early jockeying in Sagamore this weekend
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 4:00 AM
Friday is arguably the first big weekend for movement in the boys’ basketball Sagamore Athletic Conference race. There are three conference clashes. Frankfort is in non-conference play and Tri-West is off until Dec. 21.
The Bruins currently sit atop the league with a 2-0 record in Sagamore play. Danville and Crawfordsville are each 1-0 in the SAC and Southmont and Lebanon are next at 1-1. Tri-West’s wins are over Western Boone and Frankfort, cellar dwellers with one combined win this year against 10 losses. The Stars are 0-2 in league play while the Hot Dogs are 0-1.
BURK: Starting to get answers
Wednesday, December 07, 2016 4:00 AM
Last week I started to delve into just how good the boys’ basketball teams could be this season and we’re starting to get some answers.
To put it simply, I think they can all be really, really good.
Southmont showed some serious firepower and a staunch defense in wins over North Montgomery and Cloverdale last weekend. Mountie head coach Jon Sparks has a great group this year that looks like they trust one another on both ends of the court. Junior Cam Chadd and senior Kaleb Swick are elite scorers and have rounded out their games nicely the last couple of years. Both can hit the glass and defend pretty much every position. The Mounties also have a handful of sharpshooters – which never hurts.
Just how good are the boys teams?
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 4:00 AM
So we’re just about a week into the boys’ basketball season and there are some questions emerging. The most pressing of these is how good are these clubs really going to be? As of today, Southmont is 2-0, North Montgomery is 1-1 and Crawfordsville is 2-0.
Now, these wins have come against some OK opponents and for the most part, the wins have been impressive. North’s loss came to Class 4A Harrison, so that doesn’t reveal too much about the Chargers. They do have a win over Speedway for the second year in a row, which is something. New coach Eric Danforth has the boys up north running and gunning with an up-tempo offense that is a change of pace from what Charger fans have grown used to in the last few years.
Winter sports, an odd break
Thursday, November 24, 2016 4:00 AM
We’ve hit the winter sports season and I have the empty Dayquil packets and half-gone Vitamin C bottle to prove it. The winter is such a unique time when it comes to sports. The fall is nice and cozy. Football every Friday, volleyball throughout the week, big golf, tennis and cross country tournaments on the weekends. Spring is a different sort of chaos in its own thanks to rain, but it still isn’t as odd as winter.
Two of the winter sports stop for a couple weeks mid-way through their seasons. Girls and boys basketball both have long breaks over the holidays. All sports have some break around Christmas, but basketball is by far the most extreme. Let’s look at some actual dates.
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The Challenge 2016
Closings and Delays