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Wednesday, May 04, 2016
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your game day update
Start of spring season brings . . . rain
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
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.
Wrestling season culminates
Can you believe that the state wrestling finals are here? Unreal.
It was Nov. 3 that the county grapplers had their first official practice. Three months later, there are only three wrestlers left in the county and their future all comes down to one match.
Southmont's Zach Worm and Connor Moore and North Montgomery's Jesse Archer will make the trip to Banker's Life Fieldhouse Friday night looking for one more win and a guaranteed top-8 spot in the state finals. If they win Friday, they place. If they lose, they are state qualifiers.
That's nothing to shake a stick at. These boys have worked hard to earn the title of state qualifier. Many others worked hard and won't get to make the trip this weekend. They have plenty to be proud of, but I can guarantee you that none of them are satisfied at this point. They're still grinding in the room every day to try to pull off that Friday-night win so they can start the Saturday path to wrestling under the lights.
Postseasons bring a ton of excitement
It doesn't get much better than the postseason, does it?
Wrestlers are headed to the semistate at New Castle. The lady swimmers just wrapped up the sectional and regional diving was completed last night. The girls' basketball sectionals also got under way last night with Southmont traveling to Fountain Central and losing a heartbreaker to Riverton Parke.
Crawfordsville and North Montgomery will get going with sectional basketball action Friday at Lebanon.
In semistate wrestling Montgomery County will be represented by 15 wrestlers at New Castle. When the action on the mats start, anyone has a shot of making it to state. They will need to win their first two rounds to advance.
Spotlight shines on Lacey Garrett
Well, she did it.
Lacey Garrett joined Mandi Johnson, Cari Fruits and Alex Gasaway in the female 1,000 career point club at Crawfordsville High School.
Garrett needed 26 points Tuesday night against a very good Hamilton Heights team to hit the milestone and she finished the night with a career-high 29. She also solidified her spot as the all-time assists leader, adding six assists to bring that total to 369. She's also the all-time steals leader at CHS.
Garrett is very deserving of all the recognition she gets for her effort on the court. She works as hard as anyone in practice and is a Valedictorian of her senior class at Crawfordsville. She's a leader on and off the court.
Garrett is also an excellent volleyball player, but it's clear that basketball is her passion.
Sectional's here! Are you ready?
Are you ready? Are you ready for hundreds of screaming fans, buzzers sounding, whistles blowing and a whole lot of tension in the air?
Well, if so, you're ready for the wrestling sectional at Crawfordsville on Saturday. Action starts at 10 a.m. Once again, Montgomery County looks to be the class of the field.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, North Montgomery and Southmont will once again be battling head-to-head for the sectional. So far this year, Southmont has been the favorite on paper, but North Montgomery has all the championships.
Thank you for another great SCC
Did you make it out to the Sugar Creek Classic? The annual tournament is brought to you by The Paper of Montgomery County, Franciscan Physician Network and Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health Crawfordsville.
We sponsor the event, but it wouldn't be possible without the help of so many others. In fear of forgetting someone, I would like to thank several people. So here goes, in no particular order.
Going to be quite the Challenge
Hope you all are finding some way to stay warm as January once again welcomes us with a frigid blast of air.
I spent part of my chilly Tuesday participating in The Challenge.
The Challenge is another idea from your friends at The Paper of Montgomery County! This time, The Paper, Athena Sport & Fitness, Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health and Franciscan Physician Network are partnering to raise money for Montgomery United Fund For You, or what it's commonly known by, MUFFY. Here's the way it works.
There are 12 of us brave souls who have volunteered to take on The Challenge. We will take part in a 10-week program through Athena Sport & Fitness with the goal of losing weight and getting more fit. We are all also trying to get sponsorships from people and groups so that the more weight we lose, the more MUFFY makes!
More mascot madness
On Saturday we talked about some former high schools and their mascots. The good, the bad and mostly the ugly.
All of those schools are now gone, most of them consolidated into modern-day schools. But that doesn't mean the strange mascots have gone away completely.
Now not all unique mascots are strange or bad. As I referenced before, we have three pretty unique mascots right here in Montgomery County. There are only six Chargers in the state and no other Athenians or Mounties. And I would rank all of those as pretty neat monikers for a school.
Another pretty cool nickname might have become familiar to some Sagamore Athletic Conference football fans recently. The Andrean Fighting 59ers lost in the Class 3A state championship football game this year to Sagamore representative Tri-West. The name Fighting 59ers comes from the address of the school, 5959 Broadway and the year of its founding, 1959. The Adam Central Flying Jets, who play basketball in a gym built like a hangar, is another neat one that is tied to real things at the school.
The Sagamore has a few more unique mascots with their modern schools. The Western Boone Stars share their mascot with just one other school in the state, the Bedford North Lawrence Stars. The South Adams Starfires are close, but not the same.
What's in a (mascot) name
It's a special installment this week (and you thought all Santa brought you was a lump of coal).
I want to have some fun with my column around the holidays and talk some about mascots. We have some great local mascots at our three Montgomery County Schools.
Our county features the only two occurrences of the use of Mounties and Athenians as mascots in Indiana. There are five other schools that use the Charger moniker.
There were some interesting and unique mascots pre-consolidation as well. In the northern part of the county there were the more tradition Darlington Indians, Linden Bulldogs and New Richmond Cardinals. There were also the Spartans of Wingate and the Gladiators of Waynetown that went to battle. Other less common mascots included the Bowers Blackshirts and the Coal Creek Central Bearcats.
Down south, traditional nicknames included the Alamo Warriors and the New Ross Blue Jays. The Ladoga Canners, New Market Purple Flyers, and Waveland Hornets were less typically names.
Hoops action around county this weekend
The basketball season is in full force!
There are four huge games on Friday night right here in Montgomery County, including a battle for the county crown.
Up at North Montgomery, the Chargers will play host to the Crawfordsville Athenians for a girls / boys double header.
The girls' game is a rematch of the opening game of The Sugar Creek Classic. Crawfordsville took that early-season battle, 50-19. The game was closer than the score indicates. The teams were knotted at 21-21 at halftime and the Chargers kept it close to start the third quarter. The leadership of Crawfordsville senior Lacey Garrett and junior Paige Schueren propelled them to the win.
It's easy to see that both of these teams have improved since that point in the season. Erika Brooks has developed a hot hand of late for the Athenians to go with Garrett and Schueren. They've also gotten solid minutes from senior Emily Seybold and freshman Zoe Walbert.
The Chargers are led by Conner Norman, who is a senior. Cheyenne Warren and Becca Adams provide a bulk of the offense while Lauren McClaskey, Carli Cahill and others work hard on defense and on the boards.
In boys action, Crawfordsville is coming off of its first win of the season last Saturday against North Putnam. The Athenians seem to get better every time they take the floor. Trent Johnson has emerged as one of the leaders of a young squad that is still getting used to the speed of the varsity game.
Big weekend in wrestling
It's a wild week of wrestling in Montgomery County!
Last night the Mounties knocked off Lebanon in a dual meet at home and North Montgomery traveled to Tri-West and dominated. On Thursday, the best team in the land (at least in 2A), Yorktown, comes to North Montgomery for a dual meet. Crawfordsville will play host to Seeger that night as well.
When the weekend rolls around, the Mounties will be off to the Chris Traicoff Invitational at Calumet. It's one of the best wrestling tournaments in the state and they will see some outstanding competition. The Chargers head up to Frankfort where they will go against the likes of Hamilton Southeastern, Lebanon, McCutcheon and Kokomo.
The week has started off well for the county with two wins and if it continues it will give the teams huge momentum going into the Montgomery County meet on Dec. 20.
There's no doubt that the county meet will be a blast and the Sagamore Athletic Conference meet might be even better. Add Frankfort, Western Boone and Danville as top-notch teams into the mix with our county schools and Lebanon. Ought to be a barn-burner.
From Wabash to basketball
I've been thinking lately. What would it take to be a Division 1 football coach?
Well, we found out this week that you just have to beat Wabash. It was announced earlier this week that Lance Leipold, the coach at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, would be taking the job at Buffalo, a Division 1 FCS program. The announcement came just days after the Warhawks eliminated the Little Giants from the Division 3 Playoffs.
Now for those that think I've completely lost my marbles, I am just kidding. I know that Leipold has five national championships under his belt and the timing of the announcement was a coincidence. I still found it humorous.
I didn't do much laughing on Saturday. I spent the afternoon watching the web-feed of the Whitewater vs. Wabash game (luckily without distraction from Mr. Hammer . . . Sounds like he found Mr. Timmons during operating hours for once).
My first playoff experience
How about some special Saturday action from the sports editor with the best beard in Montgomery County? There's plenty to talk about, so why not?!
First things first, I hope you are reading this late Saturday night or Sunday morning. If so, that means you might have gotten up before the sun today and went up to Wisconsin to see Wabash College battle the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater.
Going to a playoff game is something special. Whether it's a high school playoff game, a college game or even the pros. I've been to games at each of those levels and can tell you that the atmosphere is just different.
A lot of fans got a look at the atmosphere last week when Wabash beat Franklin 33-14 to open the Division 3 Playoffs. My first playoff experience was in December of 2008. We went up to Cleveland for the Wabash game against Case Western Reserve.
The snow was piled outside of the endzones and it was an awful day for football. And it was an awful day to have driven so far as a Wabash fan, for most of the game. Wabash trailed 17-13 late in the fourth quarter.
Boys' hoops are under way
Alas, the boys basketball season has arrived!
Southmont got in some early action last night at home against Turkey Run and all three Montgomery County boys' basketball teams will be in action tonight.
North Montgomery kicks off their season with a trip to Speedway and Crawfordsville opens at home against Greencastle. The Mounties get back to it with a short trip to North Putnam.
Obviously basketball is a hot topic, not only around The Paper, but around the county. Talking to a lot of people, no one seems very sure about what we should see this season.
Some things have been agreed upon. Crawfordsville is young, Grant Gayler should have an amazing senior season at North Montgomery and Southmont is a big team.
Let's start with Crawfordsville. The Athenians have a whole new team this year, but they have some great athletes. Trent Johnson and senior Nick Corbin have varsity experience in other sports, so the speed of the game won't intimidate them. They are going to be important guards for the Athenians. Down low, Ryan Barr and Konner Smith looked sharp in the scrimmage and both have good size to be able to bang bodies inside. Who else is going to emerge for Crawfordsville is the big question! Last season several kids stepped up and led them to county, Sugar Creek Classic and sectional championships. Who's it going to be this year?
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media
101 W. Main Street, Suite 300
P.O. Box 272
Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933
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The Challenge 2016
Closings and Delays