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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.
Excited for winter sports
Wednesday, November 09, 2016 4:00 AM
What a week it was in the world of sports the Cubbies are the World Series champions.
But that’s not what I’m going to talk about this week. Sports writer / columnist Scott Smith had a great column about his experience up in Wrigleyville for the clincher and one of the owners of our company, Jeff Birk, talks about his experience on today’s front page. Those guys are both great reads and die-hard Cubs fans.
Happy to catch up with everyone
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 4:00 AM
Goodness, it feels good to scribe those words again. Yes, the cats out of the bag and I am back in Montgomery County and back to my post as Editor of The Paper. I had a wonderful experience during my time in Washington, D.C., but it just turned out that this is the place for me.
To make the deal even sweeter, my better half (and FINALLY fiancé – she said yes!) Abbey, got a pretty sweet spot downtown for her studio. So in my moment of self-promotion, please stop in and say hello to this beautiful individual at her new studio at 105 E. Main St. in beautiful downtown Crawfordsville.
Start of spring season brings . . . rain
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 6:24 PM
Spring sports have arrived and what does that mean?
Showers Monday combined with chilly temps and the prospect of rain last night meant the kickoff was postponed for just about everything in the area. Southmont softball was able to get their game in at Danville, but that was it.
We should be able to get action started tonight with a track meet and baseball scrimmage at Southmont and a softball showdown at Crawfordsville.
The Montgomery County softball scene should be interesting this year. We're into the After McKenzi Jordan era. The Southmont hurler dominated the county for the last four years. There's a bunch of good talent, but no one has risen to that level just yet.
Southmont has to be the favorite in the county for the simple fact that the Mounties bring back a wealth of talent from their Class 2A state runner-up finish last season.
Senior Morgan Laws will be the go-to slinger for the Mounties. Sluggers like sophomore Sydney Casteel and senior Maddie Mills and Brooke England should power the offense.
Neil Burk: I need your help
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 7:11 PM
I hear you. The winter sports seasons are all wrapped up and we are well past the home stretch. Heck. Spring sports are already under way with some indoor track last night.
This week I want to do something out of the ordinary and focus on a personal project a little bit more and ask for help from each and every one of you.
As some of you know, I've been participating in The Challenge. It's a weight loss competition, but more importantly, it's a fundraiser for the Montgomery County United Fund for You (MUFFY).
So far we have raised more than $9,200 for MUFFY, but there's so much more help needed.
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