Category Archives: Sports

Meredith, Players Excited for New Season

by Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Gavin Robertson, 11, attempts a 3-point shot against Guerin Catholic on November 24th, 2020.

With the 2020-21 season now here, all eyes are on second year Greenfield-Central head coach Luke Meredith and the Cougars as another new chapter in GC basketball is among us. After a 12-12 campaign in Meredith’s first year at the helm, Greenfield-Central is losing five seniors who played an integral role in the success of the Cougars a year ago. Due to these losses, returning players stepping up and filling the leadership roles left behind will be a major factor in the success of this year’s Greenfield-Central team, along with staying completely invested in the culture that Meredith established in his first year as head coach.

The players on this year’s squad recognize the importance of staying bought in, and by hearing them speak about it, you quickly realize just how strong of a culture it is that Meredith has instilled in this program in the short time he’s been with the Cougars. Adam Lester, 11, said, “In the short time he’s been here, he’s already changed the culture and brought a new swag to Greenfield. He led us to a very good season last year, and even more are going to be surprised this year.” Guard Gavin Robertson, 11, also had high praise for the job Meredith has done. “Coach Meredith has done a phenomenal job to say the least, and he is one of the hungriest people I’ve ever met. His will and drive to win games as a coach was such a big factor in the success that we had last year, and it will continue to be, especially this year in particular with a young team.” With how highly the players speak of him, the impact of the job Meredith has done since taking over the program is no secret.

When it comes to the 2020-21 season, players and staff are excited, and are looking forward to the opportunity of proving any doubters wrong. Head Coach Luke Meredith said this about what the team needs to do to succeed this season. “The keys to our success hinges on players continuing to improve and relishing their new roles. We are going to play a lot of guys that quite frankly are not ready to play in varsity games, but will be called upon to play and will be given an opportunity. Many guys are in new roles and we are a young team looking to prove ourselves. Continuing to build the program, get the kids to believe we can compete, and show everyone we belong in our conference and sectional. I am excited to coach this group and hope we continue to play hard even if adversity hits us in the win/loss column. The goal is to be better in March than you are in November, and I believe we will be one of those teams.”

Coach Meredith also outlined his main goals for the team this season, saying, “The goals for our team is to uphold our standard of play. Whoever comes to watch us play needs to see that we are playing hard and competing every play. If we have “Bring the Juice” on our shooting shirts, it can’t just be a slogan; it must be a way of play. Uphold that standard and bring energy and enthusiasm on the court to represent our basketball program and continue that standard set by last year’s team. This is who we are and this is who we must continue to be to compete in our sectional and conference.” 

The belief in this team isn’t just present in Meredith and the staff’s mind; the players share the same belief as well.  Robertson, the second leading returning scorer on this year’s GC team, said, “I think this team is capable of competing in every single game on our schedule. The goal is to get better each and every day, and with how much improvement we’ve made as a team during the offseason, the results will come.” Lester shared a similar belief, saying, “We’re all used to playing with each other, and the chemistry on and off the court has only grown throughout the offseason. I think we’re capable of shocking lots of people.” 

Profile: Robertson’s competitive spirit evidenced as cougars head into basketball season

by Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Gavin Robertson, 11, (in center of photo) is the Cougar’s second-leading scorer returning to play this season and is expected to fill a leadership role several graduating seniors left.

After a 4-20 season in 2018-19, the Greenfield-Central Cougars boys basketball team showed major improvements last season under first year Greenfield-Central head coach Luke Meredith, finishing the 2019-20 season with an overall record of 12-12. The Cougars will lose five seniors from last year’s roster, who contributed greatly to the Cougars’ success. One individual who is expected to step up in place of some of those seniors and have a big role on this year’s Cougars team is Gavin Robertson, 11. 

Robertson missed a chunk of last season due to an injury, playing just 14 of the team’s 24 games, but while he was available, he made an impact. In a 53-40 win over Yorktown last season, Robertson scored a season- and career-high 16 points on 5 of 9 shooting, and 4 of 6 from three. Robertson would match that with another 16-point performance later on in the season against Lebanon. With the Cougars losing so much scoring and experience, Robertson will be required to have those types of performances more often, as he’s the second leading returning scorer for this year’s team. 

Although the Cougars lost five key seniors from last year’s roster, Robertson is optimistic about this upcoming season. “I think this team is capable of achieving more than what others think. We lost five seniors, most of our scoring, and lots of size, but we still have guys that have heart, play hard, and want to win. I think we can shock some people this year. Everyone has been buying into the process.” The process Robertson speaks of is the culture that head coach Luke Meredith is building within the program. “A positive culture in this program is what Coach Meredith harped on from day one and tried to install, and I would say the effects of the culture he’s built has paid off.” 

Robertson has many goals for the upcoming season, individually, and for the team. “Personally, some of my goals are just to improve this year as a team from start to finish and to simply just win. A conference or sectional title is always the main goal, and I am just ready to try and prove people wrong.” He also added how he’s been preparing for the season, saying, “To get ready for this upcoming season, I have been focusing on my mindset and skill sets, training daily to try and take that next step necessary this year.”

When you hear some of his Cougars teammates speak about him, you realize the respect they have for him, and it’s easy to get a feel for the importance he will have on this team. Adam Lester, 11, who has played with Gavin since second grade, said, “Gavin is the most competitive person I’ve met on the court, and he never fails to leave his print on the game. He’ll always push you to your limit and hold you accountable, and brings the best out of you while playing with him.” 

Leading returning scorer for the Cougars, Dylan Moles, 10, said, “What impresses me most about Gavin on the court is his ability to knock down shots consistently with a hand in his face. I’ve seen Gavin’s game grow a ton over the years. He’s become a much better ball handler, defender, and also gets his shot off way quicker. He’s a great teammate, and is always holding guys accountable and being a leader.” These comments reflect the positive view his teammates have of him, and the impact he has in the locker room.

The Cougars will need quite a few individuals to step up and position themselves as go-to guys in the upcoming season. As one of the leading returning scorers, featuring the hard work he’s put in during the off-season, and the desire he has to get better, Robertson definitely is expected to be one of those go-to guys that the Cougars can lean on. Greenfield-Central’s season begins Nov. 19 at home against Morristown.

Soccer Team hustles into new season

By: Alex Smith/Staff Writer  

Photo Caption: Hunter Stine, #17,  tries to stop #19 on the Pendleton Heights boys varsity soccer team from scoring a goal during a game last season. Photo by John Kennedy

    The boys varsity soccer team, four-peat sectional champs, have gotten off to a bit of a slower start this season with two wins, four losses and two ties so far. This season they are facing tougher teams such as the Lawrence North Bobcats, and the team did not get to have the club soccer experience in the off-season like they usually do due to the pandemic.

    Despite a few struggles, they are seeing some success in leadership and growth. Assistant Coach Micah Gerike said, “The biggest thing that has led to the soccer team’s success is that the players have bought into the program. They listen to the coaching staff and believe in the information that they are being coached.” Gerike said, “We have had several players step up to fill roles of last year’s seniors. Many of these players have not had much experience at the varsity level, but they are able to still have the support from the other players.”

    John Halvorsen, 11, number 15 on the team who plays center midfielder on the team, had several things that he enjoys about the soccer season. He said, “I would say the bond between my teammates that I have is my favorite thing. It brings a certain level of security knowing that I have brothers next to me at all times.” Soccer is often like a family for the coaches and players. Gerike said, “I think that the biggest strength is the “family” mentality. Everyone on the team and in our program is treated as a family member. Family members don’t always get along with each other, but they will always be there for each other when needed. A needed improvement in my opinion is that they need to make this season their own and not try to compare it to previous seasons.” 

 Hunter Stine, 10,  number 17 on the team who plays center back on the team, said there are many benefits to being on the soccer team. Soccer also has a main benefit. Halvorsen said, “The main advantage of playing soccer is just being in shape. It’s really good for your physical health and I think that is a big role in feeling good about yourself.” 

Coaching has some advantages to it. Gerike said, “Networking. Because of coaching soccer: I got my teaching job, I have met friends, I have traveled the country and I have met professional athletes.” 

    Playing soccer also has many challenges at times. Halvorsen said, “I would say the biggest challenge is playing through adversity, meaning a team could be better than us or the refs just are not the best refs out there. You have to have a strong mindset to be able to do so.” Playing soccer has another challenge to it. Stine said, “Being in shape is one of the many challenges in soccer. In high school varsity matches, we play 40 minute halves. You are running up and down the field the entire time, so you have to be in very good shape. Another challenge is being able to keep your head up. Sometimes you could be getting beat 4-0, and you just have got to keep your head up and keep playing, no matter the score.” 

Coaching soccer can also have obstacles to it. Gerike said, “One challenge I have as a coach/teacher is being able to draw the line between being in the classroom and being on the field. Another challenge that I think most coaches face is being able to keep a positive and energetic attitude at practice after a long day at work.”

    Gerike said, “My favorite thing about coaching soccer is being able to share my knowledge and passion for soccer with others.” Stine’s least favorite thing about playing soccer is the constant risk of injury. But it doesn’t slow him down. Halvorsen said, “I focus on getting my mind set on the game and the game only. I listen to music and get pumped up to play. I make sure I am fully stretched out and loose so I know I’m ready to go.”

    Stine said, “I usually focus my mind and listen to some music, and just think of game-like situations in my head to prepare. I also try to keep myself calm because if I’m nervous I make mistakes.” 

Gerike and the other coaches let the players set individual and team goals they would like to achieve. His goal for this season is to have players step up and take vacant roles on their own. 

    Gerike said, “I enjoy watching players develop over time and seeing how their thought  process evolves with their style of play. I also miss playing soccer and for me coaching is the next best way to stay involved.” Gerike said, “My least favorite thing about coaching soccer is handling the paperwork and the more organizational tasks that are required.” 

Stine summed up what makes all the challenges and ups and downs worth it.  “When I play, I forget about all my problems and hardships of the day. It’s my stress reliever.”

Cougars Adjust to Football in a Different World

by Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Lance McKee, 12, looks for an open man in the Homecoming game against Pendleton Heights. Photo by Kye Jocham

Throughout the United States, and the rest of the planet, high school football teams all over have had to adjust to the different world people are living in with the coronavirus pandemic; this is no different for the Greenfield-Central Cougars. The pandemic has brought many challenges and obstacles for the Cougars team, but Coach Nolting and staff are working to prepare the Cougars for success in the upcoming season.

Speaking with some of the players from the team, they discussed how well Nolting and the Cougars staff have done handling the situation. Running back Brayden Herrell, 10, said, “Coach Nolting and all of the staff have handled the pandemic situation better than we all thought it could be handled. Before school started, most people thought we had no chance of playing, but the coaches want to play, and are keeping us safe at the same time. They try their best to keep us all socially distanced on the sidelines and when we are not in drills. Our safety is their number one priority right now.” It’s not just Herrell who feels the Cougars staff has done a wonderful job dealing with the pandemic. Chris O’Connor, 12, said, “The coaches have done everything they possibly can to ensure that we play football. They have done a great job throughout the whole situation.”

When it comes to being on the field, Cougars players are optimistic in the progress they have made throughout the off-season, and their potential in the season ahead. Quarterback Lance McKee, 12, commented on the improvements made throughout the off-season, “The biggest improvements I have seen from our team this off-season is how much bigger, faster, and stronger we are now compared to last season. We have had multiple guys gain as much as 30 pounds of muscle.” Hearing the players talk about the off-season, and the areas in which they have made the biggest efforts in, you quickly get an understanding of just how much progress they feel the team has made from last year to this year.

With the strides they have made during the off-season, and the job the Cougars coaching staff has done to prepare them for the season, optimism among the players for potential success in the upcoming season is high. Brayden Herrell, 10, was among those with optimism going into the new year. “I think this team we have could shock a lot of people. Losing around only 5 seniors last year, we have only gotten bigger, faster, and stronger. Last year we were young and in a first-year offense, which really does make a big difference. We definitely have the potential; we just need to go out there and ball.” Hearing these comments, and other optimistic feedback, the Cougars seem to be in a good place mentally, and on the field going into the 2020-21 season.

It’s not just the players who trust the process the Cougars have gone through during these times. Head Coach Travis Nolting recapped some of the biggest challenges the team has faced due to the pandemic, and stated that he feels he and his staff have done a nice job of handling it. “We lost all of the spring session and most of the summer. Once back in school we were hit with a 14 day quarantine and missed practices as well. We have also had to add lifting into the practice times due to the hybrid schedule. Most players are only in my class 1 day per week on site, which we have had to address by lifting on Thursdays after school to fulfill that need. We have had to be ready and adapt to changes as they come. I think our staff has done a good job overall in handling the new challenges.” Along with this, Nolting is also happy with how his players have progressed over the off-season, saying he was proud of the commitment the players have shown, and that they get better every day.

Profile: Anderson U. baseball players hope for spring season

Photo Caption: Clayton White, a senior at Anderson University, waits to throw a pitch against his opponent on April 21.

Corinne White/Staff Writer

Anderson University’s athletes have taken a harsh downfall for this season. The coronavirus has taken away lots of opportunities for players on the team. Most recently, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, of which Anderson is part,  postponed any conference-related contests and championships scheduled for the fall 2020 season. Clayton White, a senior who has played baseball all of his life, has been very doubtful about this coming season. “As a senior it’s really hard to let all of my hard work go to waste. Knowing I most likely won’t get my last season is truly heartbreaking,” White stated. 

The Anderson Ravens baseball season was cut short last season, and seniors from last year did decide to come back for this season. “I’m glad most of the guys are coming back this season. If our season gets canceled this year, I’m not sure I will continue my baseball career,” White explained. 

White, a graduate from Eastern Hancock, has played baseball since he was 5 years old. His drive is obvious,  as he set many records at Eastern Hancock and pitched the second perfect game in Eastern Hancock history as a sophomore. White then committed to Anderson University to further his baseball career. He has had lots of opportunities and has MLB scouts looking out for him. 

White explained that at first he didn’t think the coronavirus was such a big deal. “I didn’t know anyone that had it at first. I didn’t think it was possible for me to get it.” The Anderson baseball team has been restricted from practicing because 25% of the players tested positive, including White and his roommates. 

“I was the first one in the house to have it. I went to a party and a few days later I got sick, tested positive of course,” Tyler Burton, a Ravens baseball player stated. Soon after that all of the boys tested positive.

Burton graduated from Knightstown with a very good academic standing. Burton is one of the best hitters on the Ravens baseball team. As a freshman he was able to achieve his goal of 10 home runs in one season. “I felt extremely guilty when I tested positive for Covid. Not only to my roommates but for my whole team,” Burton explained. He knows that he will have at least one more season. Nonetheless he is still very upset and feels sorry for the seniors. 

When the coaches announced that practice and fall ball was pushed back the boys were devastated. Zach Lane, a senior baseball player, tried to uplifted the boys and be a leader.  His goal for this team is to not only be successful by winning, but also be a family. The boys on the team call Lane the “dad” of the team, because he is always taking care of people and being a leader. “I went to a very small high school and my team was not very good. There’s where I learned my leadership skills,” Lane said proudly.

He has also tested positive for coronavirus. “I think everything happens for a reason. God has a plan even if we don’t like it sometimes. Something good will eventually come out of this. We just have to wait and see,” Lane explained with a big smile on his face.”

The Anderson Ravens hope to have their season in the spring. White hopes to do something big for the end of his baseball career, maybe continuing into the minor league baseball league. The team has been looking forward to their season so they can give their seniors an experience to remember. 

Coach Wiley helps girls golf team in another successful year

By: Tyler Young/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Coach Wiley is focused at his desk while doing virtual teaching. Photo by: Tyler Young

Head coach of the varsity girls and boys golf team Russ Wiley is looking for more outstanding seasons to add to his belt of previous successes. Coach Wiley is not only a teacher and golf coach, but also a family man. He lives with his wife and three daughters.

Coach Wiley is from the south side of Indianapolis and graduated in 2001 from Roncalli High School. Coach Wiley attended Indiana University of Bloomington where he had a major in Secondary Education and returned to Ball State in 2011 for his M.A. in Political Science. In his fourteenth year of teaching World History, Wiley has been the head coach of girls’ varsity golf for 11 years now, and in his seventh year of coaching boys’ golf. Coach Wiley has been the head coach of Greenfield Central’s girls’ varsity for 11 years now and in his 7th year for the varsity boys’ golf.

Coach Wiley has had past success and showed coaching skill with both golf teams, including a 16-1 season last year with the girls and a regional appearance with the boys golf team. “The girls have been working really hard and showed me their potential, talents, and love for the game of golf. They  have no doubt that all that hard work is put into practice and off time.” That was Coach Wiley on the topic of the girls’ hard work and hopes for the coming season.

Caroline Gibson, 12, had positive comments to say about Coach Wiley. “Coach Wiley is a wonderful coach; he has put a lot of confidence into my talents and that is what makes him a great coach and person,” Gibson  said.

Coach Wiley said, “This pandemic is new to all of us. The girls are doing their utmost best to get some practice and playing time even if we don’t finish this season.”  The work that this team has put in has shown as Gibson is leading her team in a promising way this fall. They are 13-3 as they head into Sectionals on Monday, Sept. 21.

 Boys’ golf team member Josh Alley, grade 10,  also had positive words to say about Coach Wiley’s leadership. He stated, “Coach Wiley is an amazing person and coach. He has been calm and patient through the pandemic and cancellation of our season last year. He had a really good team and is hoping to go for the state title this year.”

Girls track and field train for upcoming season

by Meilyn Howe/Staff Writer

The girls’ track and field team has been preparing vigorously for the upcoming spring season. Last season was successful for many runners, such as returning runners Crystal Peterson and Audrey Brinkruff, who advanced to regionals last year.

Addison Hill, 11, is excited to run track this year alongside her friends she has made running track. She has important goals for the season. Hill said, “I would like to qualify for regionals as a part of the 4×4 and place there.” 

Hill’s goal this season is to focus on attaining her goal, even when times can be challenging. She said, “It’s important to always focus on the end goal and the big meets at the end of the season; especially when the workouts are tough.” 

Olivia Moss, grade 12, is also very excited to be running track. She is going to finish the season off strong as she is going to run at her future college. Moss said, “This season is my last one as a high school athlete. Considering this, it sets a tone for my future of running at Anderson University.” 

Moss is going to maintain her focus this season by constantly reminding herself that you can’t expect to get better if you don’t put in the work. Moss said, “This season I will maintain my focus by reminding myself that pain is part of reaching your goals.   You can’t expect to get stronger and faster if your mind isn’t in the right place to experience physical pain and soreness.”     

This season Hill says that their team has been doing a lot of conditioning as early as December and their official practices started in February. Moss added that her team usually bonds over conditioning. She said, “It’s when the workouts are the most difficult and if you don’t cheer each other through it, each set can feel like things are never ending. So my team will bond through pushing each other to get stronger.” 

Zuleny Calderon, grade 11, said that running track helps her in her other sport she plays too. Calderon said, “I’m excited to run because it means I get myself in better condition for soccer season, and I get to spend time with my friends at practice and meets.” 

She says that conditioning for track has helped her get better at her running and stamina. Calderon said, “What keeps me focused is when I play a game for travel soccer and I notice that I’m quicker and I’m not completely dying at the end of a sprint.” 

Reuben McCracken, the girls track and field head coach, had a couple of things to say about this season. He said he wants everybody to be working on getting themselves better. McCracken stated, “No matter where they start, as long as they have done all that they can to make themselves better, then I’m happy.” 

McCracken said that as a teacher, he wants to influence kids’ lives and that coaching track does that for him. McCracken said that his coaching philosophy is still something he is trying to nail down exactly, but here is some of it. McCracken said, “So my philosophy is based on being a coach they know they can rely on and guide them in a direction that improves their athletic ability, but can also guide them in some way to be a better person now and later in their lives.”

 

Dalton and Jahrsdoerfer dive their way up the podium

Diver Kien Dalton, 10, went to compete in state this past weekend. Dalton described how he felt about going: “Last year I was one place off from making it to state. I was just excited to be even close to going, but to actually be able to go to definitely more exciting. It’s an exhilarating feeling. It’s nice to know that my hard work is paying off.” Only two years into his diving career, Dalton placed 17th overall in state. 

During this particular season, Dalton has learned from his mistakes and has gathered what he needs to succeed further on and place better. “I’ll take more moral value of what I need to focus on next year and just how I need to operate within diving meets so I make sure that I am on top of my game.” Even with the success of making it to state, Dalton says he still strives for more. 

The diving coach, Duan Knecht, is just as excited as Dalton. “In my twenty years of coaching, Kien will be my 15th diver going to state. It’s rewarding to see how many I can get there (state).” 

His fellow swim mate, Alex Jahrsdoerfer, 9, on the other hand has been diving for the past seven years. He currently holds the middle school record of four dives with a total of 125 points, which he has beaten twice. However, the hardest challenge for Jahrsdoerfer was the difference between diving in middle and high school. Divers only have to do three or four dives in middle, but in high school, they have to do a total of eleven dives at each meet. 

“That’s an accomplishment in itself, ” commented Coach Duane. He explained that learning all the new dives and techniques needed is a major challenge Jahrsdoerfer faced. “That’s a big step coming from junior to high school.” 

From this experience Coach Duane wants them to learn where true hard work can get you. “If you can put the effort in, then you can learn a lot. It shows what hard work really does.” Both Dalton and Jahrsdoerfer can take what they learn about hard work from diving into real life situations.

Wrestlers finish season at regionals, several advance

By Ashton Gillam/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Dylan Dorman, 11, defeats his Roncalli opponent during the regular season. Dorman and Cooper Noehre, 12, placed first in regionals.

Wrestling is definitely made for strong people. Although the actual match between two wrestlers only takes a few minutes, the wrestling team spends months and months training for their season.

Having to keep track of how much you eat, what you eat, and how much you weigh-in as, is an important key to wrestling.  A special diet ensures the wrestlers of healthy bodies which results in peak performances. Maintaining the proper body weight is crucial to this sport and determines your weight class you will be put in. According to wrestler, Cohen Hager, 9, weighing 113 lbs,  “Definitely having to cut weight and lowering my food intake by a lot” has been a challenge. Knowing the right foods to eat, such as protein, calories, and hydration are important for these athletes. Some of the things the team commented on that are challenging were losing body weight, eating healthier, and just learning how to do different types of moves and putting them into their match.

 Jonah Fletcher, 10, has been wrestling for two years now and only plans on getting better and better.  Winning only one of his matches last year, he stepped his game up by winning 11 matches this year.  After asking what his favorite thing about being part of the wrestling team was, he said, “My favorite part is that the team is a family.” 

Hager with roughly nine years of wrestling and Sylvester Blevens, 9, with three years of wrestling, both seem to agree that the team is more than just a team. Blevens stated, “My favorite part of wrestling is the brotherhood, whenever I need something or am going through something, they always have my back.”

The team has been working harder than ever to keep improving.  Hager said that he pushes his teammates and encourages them to keep a positive mental and physical state. On January 21, Hager won three out of his three matches in helping GC get second place at the New Palestine Triple Dual.  On December 29 at the Connersville 32 Holiday Invite, Hager got 6th place individually helping GC to get second place overall. With many other successful wins with him lately he is surely headed for success in his career.

With all sports, there comes challenges and obstacles. Blevens, weighing 182 pounds,  stated “My biggest obstacle has been learning shots and using them correctly.” Knowing the right kind of moves and shots to take is beneficial in the sport of wrestling. With all challenges, there comes a moment of success and all the hard work put in, pays off. Even though Blevens stated his obstacle he found a way to comeback from 14 points down to pinning his opponent. That has been his favorite memory of the past three years of wrestling.

Girls swim team dominates at sectionals

by Meilyn Howe/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Megan Coffin smiles with her parents at Senior Night. 

The girls swimming and diving team won first place in  sectional finals last weekend. The 200 Medley relay team set a new sectional and school record, and Megan Coffin, 12, broke a sectional record in the 100 fly.

The team has also won the HHC for the second year in a row. The team’s biggest competition so far this season was Pendleton. Johnson said, “Our biggest competitor this year was Pendleton Heights. They beat us in a dual meet, but at the Hoosier Heritage Conference, we came out victorious.” This season, the girls were wanting to win sectionals and hopefully place at state. 

Anne Marie DeKeyser, 12, is one of the team’s strongest swimmers as a senior. Heading into sectionals, she said she will focus on her swimming by thinking of her goals as motivation. DeKeyser said, “I will maintain my focus and stamina by thinking of my goals for the season and using them to work hard every day.” 

DeKeyser has acquired a lot of knowledge from swimming, but most importantly, she has learned that effort will pay off in the long run. DeKeyser said, “The most important thing that I will take from this season is that hard work pays off later.” 

Ashley Swango, also grade 12, said her goal for this season was to bond really well with the team and be victorious in some important events. Swango said, “My goal is to have a stronger bond than ever before, as well as come out on top in both sectionals and conference.” 

The seniors have definitely made an impact on Mary Ellen Stratman, 9. She said they have taught her a lot of things this season. Stratman said, “If you put your mind to it you can do anything, I’ve learned that a lot from the seniors this year.” She said that this year, her goal was to get some PRs, personal records, and just have fun. 

Norah Johnson, also grade 9, said she has been looking forward to being on the team since she was young. Johnson said, “I am very excited to be swimming this season. It has been something I have been looking forward to since I was in the fifth grade.” She said that even though having practice before and after school does not leave a lot of time to do homework, she has learned how to effectively use class time to manage her school work. 

Kayleigh Hite, 11, is happy to be back in the pool as well. Hite said, “I am very excited to be swimming this season. I always enjoy being back in the pool with my second family.” She said the most important thing for me to take away from this season is that you have to block out the negativity and to work hard and stay focused to accomplish your goals. 

The team’s biggest competitition so far this season was Pendleton. It was a tough conference win, but the girls were able to come out on top. Johnson said, “Our biggest competitor this year was Pendleton Heights. They beat us in a dual meet, but at the Hoosier Heritage Conference, we came out victorious.” This season, the girls are wanting to win sectionals and hopefully place at state. 

The team bonded very well this season. Johnson said, “Our team has bonded during practices, but outside of practice we have team movie nights, dinners, and lock-ins. It is important to get along as a team and encourage each other to do our best.”