Category Archives: Sports

GC Athletic department gives insight to daily activities in sports

by Tyler Young/Staff Writer

The athletic director’s of the school do a lot more in a school day than someone may think. This story is to show people a common day as described by them.

Starting with the head athletic director, Mr. Jared Manning has been the head athletic director at Greenfield-Central since 2014 and he has revealed more about what he does at that position. Manning discussed how the sports schedules are made, since that is an important behind-the-scenes decision. Manning said, “We have a system event line that helps us manage events if we have an opening in the schedule. The IHSAA limits contests per sport. For example, for baseball we have 28 games at max with 14 conference games and 14 non-conference games so we just call and email different schools and post about needing games. We also send a contract to the schools. Spring this year is a 1 year contract deal though it usually is longer. If a school cancels they have to pay a fee that is in the contract.” 

 How often does Mr. Manning go to the games? “It’s a hit or miss,” he said.  “There are sports that want us there more often and sometimes we don’t go to certain sports because there are often officials that don’t need to be paid or taken care of. We are nearly at 95% of home events. We go to major events that are away games if at all possible.” 

Manning also talked about a common school day for him. “A typical school day we come in and we check email and make sure we have workers and officials for a game and our facilities are running and ready to be used. We have things thrown at us that we weren’t expecting. Our sound system went down in the gym and the scoreboard wasn’t working. We have big items like fall, winter, spring schedules getting made. (There’s a) newsletter and transportation made bus schedules and handled many issues. And we talk to coaches about previous and current events.” He also mentioned his main job as an athletic director. “My primary responsibility is to oversee the sports programs as a whole managing coaches scheduling events, managing events making sure student athletes are academically eligible and the uniforms for sports.”

Manning was asked about the sports he goes to and the programs he is more involved in. “There are three sports that we are most involved in that involve the biggest crowds like football with the special events and basketball boys and girls are another of the most involved because of the number of people that are here for the games.” 

Another question was if he played sports in high school and college himself. “I moved here before high school. I played soccer, basketball, and baseball. I went on to play soccer for 2 years at Franklin College. I decided to quit after I realized I wasn’t going pro so I focused on my degree. I’ve always played sports and been involved with them. I transfered to Purdue for sports management. I managed training officials. I’ve never been out of sports.” 

Another question was the care for athletes. “We have two full-time athletic trainers,” he said. “They get here at 2:00 and are here at practices and games to meet the needs of athletes. They are awesome.” Manning also talked about the sectional brackets. “Most of the sectional alignments are handled by the IHSAA. They do selections; they’re the ones that assign hosts sites. It’s crazy hosting, especially basketball. We have a meeting about how we manage the officials and the workers and the practices and the management of the game. It’s a lot to make it happen.” The last question was about talking with coaches and what they talk about, “We talk quite a bit, we talk as much as possible, they usually swing in and talk about the game before the game next and how the team is doing and what they need for us.”

Ms. Elizabeth Mercer is an assistant athletic director here at GCHS. The first question was about how many sporting events she attends regularly. “I would say 5 out of 7 days a week I attend sporting events after school. Mr. Manning and myself both attend all of the home events and split the responsibilities involved with events.” 

Regarding what a school day is like for her, she said, “Every school day is different! Some days we are working on our computers all day – answering emails, signing game contracts with other schools, working on schedules, game day information, social media, our website, and more. Other days we are out at different facilities working on things or getting them ready for games. Every day seems to bring something new to the table.” 

Mercer also talked about what sports she is more involved with.“I would say that I am more involved in volleyball and basketball due to having coached those sports before coming to GCHS,” she said. “However, I am at most of our teams’ home events. There are multiple sports that have bigger crowds at events, so it takes more people to ensure things run smoothly for those sports.” 

She also talked about what sports she played in high school and college. “I played volleyball and basketball in high school at Western Boone and played basketball in college at IUPUI.” 

The final question was about how often she talked with the coaches of various sports, “We talk with our coaches every day. They stop in our office all the time just to catch up and see how things are going. We also talk to them about their schedules, their games that might be happening that night, their facilities, and also about their athletes specifically.”

Lastly, Mrs. Fowler was the final interview. Ms. Brayana Fowler is an athletic trainer at GC. The first question was about how many games she goes to. “I go to all home sporting events. I am only required to travel with football. However, if everything is covered at home I will travel to sectionals, regionals, and state.” Regarding a typical school day for her, “On a typical school day I get here around 2:30pm, our athletic training room opens at 3 and if there are no games I am out of the building around 730pm. On game days I arrive a little earlier to set things up and leave depending on when the game is over, usually 9/10PM, later for football.” She also talked about the sports she is more involved in, “I am more involved with football. It is the top covered sport at GC as it has the highest rate for injury. I travel everywhere with football as well as covering home events.”

The next question for Fowler was about the sports she played in high school and college, “I played basketball and ran track in high school. I played basketball in college as well.” Fowler also mentioned if she had a job as a trainer before GC, “I am a Certified Athletic Trainer. I have both my bachelors and masters in athletic training. I was employed part time at Marion High School before transitioning full time to GC after having my daughter.” 

The last question for Fowler was about how often she talked with the coaches, “I conversate with coaches daily. It is extremely important to build good relationships with coaches for the best interest of the players.”

Sounds like the athletic department keeps themselves quite busy. Hopefully this article will show how much the athletic department and the people within it really do for athletes and the school.

‘The DNP league’: examining underwhelming end to nba regular season

by Drew C. Smith/Staff Writer

DNP is an abbreviation used in the National Basketball Association to indicate that the player it is listed with did not play in the game.

Photo Caption: Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo cheers from the bench. Antetokounmpo sat out Sunday’s game, along with the rest of Milwaukee’s starters, against the Cleveland Cavaliers, with the Bucks losing 133-115. DAVID DERMER/AP PHOTO

It was an anti-climatic final day in the National Basketball Association this past Sunday, despite the fifteen-game slate that took up the entire afternoon, including interesting match-ups between key playoff teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers, the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies, and the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves. But, the main story of the night ended up being the fact that most of these teams sat their best players and sold on the game. It relates to a much larger debate that surrounds the NBA about load-management (load-management, to clarify, is a recently coined term that essentially means “planned rest” that players often use to avoid back-to-backs and to keep them play-off ready) and star players missing games and “ruining the product.” To be fair to those who argue that, a night like Sunday is a perfect example of how load-management and sitting star players can ruin what would otherwise be an incredible end to the season; the Celtics and Grizzlies game was run on TNT, with the Grizzlies sitting their entire starting five (with exception to Ja Morant who is still recovering from an injury). 

This does not exactly represent the league in the best light to the casual viewer. But, to be fair to the teams and players who make the decision to sit out, the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs game that same Sunday night explains exactly why they choose to sit. In a meaningless game that would not affect seeding or play-in tournament contention, Luke Doncic (the Dallas Mavericks’ only all-star and an MVP candidate this year) played in the game and suffered a calf-strain that could likely put him out of the first round of the playoffs. Had he sat out, he likely would have avoided the injury and been well-rested and prepared for the Mavs’ first round matchup against the Utah Jazz. There has been much debate about whether to shorten the regular season or not for some time, with some suggesting shortening the season by ten or twelve games. 

Some have suggested much more radical changes to not only the regular season, but the playoffs. Daryl Morey, President of Basketball Operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, suggests shortening the regular season to fifty-eight games. “I like fifty-eight,” explained Morey on the Colin Cowherd Podcast, further dictating, “Every team plays every other team two times.” Morey has an even grander vision for the playoffs, stating, “Shorter is better. I would have it one-and-done. There’s a reason everyone tunes into every game at huge ratings in the NFL. It is literally one-and-done.” Compared to the current playoff system, that is quite a shift, and in my opinion, a shift in the wrong direction. Part of the appeal of the NBA playoffs is the seven-game series, which sees coaches and players making shifts over the course of the series and adapting to each other in a sort of chess match between the teams. 

I’m not sure shortening the season is a move in the right direction either, especially when it’s only by ten or twelve games. There are still going to be back-to-backs, there is still going to be load management, and there are still going to be nationally televised games where the all-stars are on the bench. It just happens. Teams value their superstars in the long-term much more than they value the ratings of a couple TNT or ESPN games, and I do not think they are wrong for doing so. It’s like a nice pair of all-white shoes: you only wear them occasionally, you don’t wear them when it’s muddy out, you don’t slip them on to go take out the trash, you constantly check if they have marks or stains, and you’re constantly worrying about them while you’re wearing them. Yes, it would be awesome if you could wear them all the time, but are they going to last that long if you do? Probably not.

It’s funny to think about. People look back at the careers of Penny Hardaway and Tracy McGrady and remark how tragic it was that their careers ended so quickly, and then turn around and call the players of today soft for sitting out of games or taking a long time to recover from injury. Hardaway played nearly every game of his career, playoffs included, before his knee blew out in the 1996-97 season. Maybe his career could have been lengthened had load management been a part of the league back then and had the Orlando Magic front office and medical staff been as protective over him as teams are over their superstars nowadays. Maybe it would have been the same, we don’t know. The point is the NBA has some of the most advanced and intelligent medical minds in the world, working constantly to maximize the league’s premier stars’ longevity, athleticism, and health. So, when they sit out a bunch of the starters on a nationally televised game, sometimes it’s just like those all-white shoes: it’s better to keep them in the box for mundane days so that you can wear them to special occasions for a long time. 

Profile: Meredith Leads Boys Basketball to Success

By: Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Head coach Luke Meredith and the boys basketball team cheer during the sectional semi-finals at Richmond HS on March 5, 2021 against Mt. Vernon. Photo Credit: John Kennedy

Under head coach Luke Meredith, the boys basketball team ended the 2020-2021 basketball season 14-10, which is the second highest win total since 2004. Meredith, who has been the  boys basketball head coach at GC for 3 years, talked about what makes coaching worth it. He said, “It is very stressful, but this is what I prayed for. This is what I always wanted to do with my life. It’s worth it when you see the growth/development of our players through the season, years, (and) journey of playing high school basketball. It’s never easy, but ALWAYS worth it. Everything you want is always on the other side of hard.”

Adam Lester, 12, co-captain of the team, discussed the positive aspects of being on a team for Coach Meredith. He said, “My favorite thing about playing for Coach Meredith is his passion for our team, and we can really see how bad he wants to win.”

As a head coach, building relationships is very important. Meredith said, “My favorite thing about being the boys basketball coach at GCHS is the relationship I have formed with my coaching staff (Johnson, Mullins, Bolden, Loudenburg) and more specifically the current/former players in the program. We spend a lot of time together and I feel a special bond with all current and former players through this journey of basketball. I care for them, we trust each other, and they play hard for our program, community, and school!”

 Owen Anderson, 11, has seen Meredith’s enthusiasm and spirit for the game on a daily basis. He said, “I love Coach’s energy and how badly he wants us to succeed day in and day out.” 

For his part, Meredith said what his most eventful moments in his coaching experience are. He said, “My most memorable moment in my coaching experience happens to be 3 favorite items: 1) Receiving the ‘call’ from athletic director Jared Manning when I was offered the job to come here from Avon HS to be the next MBB HC at GCHS. It was a career goal of mine to be a (head coach) in the state of Indiana and to achieve that goal was a great moment for me and my family, 2) When we defeated Mt. Vernon in January 2020 here at GC. The faces of our kids in the locker room is something that I’ll always remember. We worked so hard that year, were big underdogs, and they deserved that moment. Pure elation in the locker room,  & 3) Pre-game of New Palestine game at Richmond last year 2021- seeing the fans finally back in the stands and the GC Rage student BLACK OUT gave me chills.”

Both Lester and Anderson described this moment in the locker room as one of their most unforgettable moments in their basketball career as well.

Lester talked about what Coach Meredith does to make the sport enjoyable. He said, “He really likes to joke with us and have a good time, but when it’s time to play he’s the most well prepared and organized coach there is who instills full trust in his players.” Meredith discussed how he keeps the boys engaged and having fun. He said, “I keep the team engaged and bringing the juice by pre-practice talks, music during practice, competitions in most drills, and guest speakers. We always have fun, but work hard as well!!!” Anderson mentioned what Coach Meredith does to keep things light. He said, “Coach Meredith makes basketball fun just by telling jokes and making us laugh.”

Meredith has to carefully balance his home and coaching life. His family is invested in the sport as well, which helps. He said, “I balance home and coaching because our family loves basketball. Having my boys and wife in the stands on Friday nights watching us play is something we enjoy as a family. Both my boys love the game of basketball, play for our youth GC JUICE feeder system, and always pick their ‘favorite’ players every year to cheer for from the stands. My wife does an awesome job of being supportive of me and my dreams/goals to coach basketball. We all do it together; we moved to Greenfield 3 years ago and fell in love with the community, schools, and our TEAM.”

Anderson talked about some benefits of playing basketball. He said, “Some advantages of playing basketball are being able to be with a family every single day.” As for Lester’s thoughts, he said, “The experience and memories that come with it.”

Along with the highs, there can be obstacles along the way. Lester discussed some of those challenges. He said, “The biggest challenge of basketball is fitting in my school work into my schedule as well.” Anderson added, “The biggest challenge is definitely trying to be good enough to benefit your team all the time.”

Meredith mentioned what drills and strategies he plans on using to train the boys for this year’s season. He said, “The team loves one drill: MICHIGAN MONDAY.” MICHIGAN MONDAY is a 10:00 full court competition drill that they do on Mondays in practice. Meredith talked about how he prepares the boys physically and mentally when they are facing a challenging opponent. He said, “Doesn’t matter the opponent- we will do 3 things: JUICE (energy and effort); COMPETE (refuse to lose); STANDARD (play hard ALL the time-standard is the standard). Your practices ALWAYS snitch on you in games.  REPRESENT GREENFIELD.” He also talked about what he wants the boys to learn in basketball and what his number one goal is. He said, “The #1 GOAL: Represent our school, city, and basketball program the right way. Be the best person they can be, best student they can be, best basketball player they can be!!! (In that order)” 

Meredith’s inspiration for a lot of his beliefs and principles comes from someone very close to him. “My mom- Brenda Meredith- is the most influential person in my life because she is the toughest woman I know and (she) raised my sister and I with high expectations to respect teachers/school, work hard, and always try your best,” he said. 

About how he encourages confidence and team-building among the team, Meredith said, “Confidence comes from preparation. If you prepared for the moment, there is no need to become nervous. Prior planning prevents poor performance. You put in the work in the dark when no one else is watching, so you can shine when the lights are on and the popcorn is popping.” 

There is little doubt that the players have been inspired by that light. As for what he will remember from his time with Meredith, Anderson said, “I’m gonna remember that fire he brought to practice and to games everyday which is why we have been so successful. He pushes us to work harder every day.” 

Lester will graduate this year, which makes the memories bittersweet. He said, “I’ll remember most the fun he brought to every practice and workout and how his motivation only inspired me to work even harder.” 

As for Meredith, what he wants his players to take away with them is this: “I want my players to remember that I do care for them more than just on the basketball court- its more than 4 quarters. I’ve been to players’ weddings, graduations, (and) college basketball games, and will be able to continue our player/coach relationship well after their 4 years at GCHS. Once your coach, ALWAYS your coach- that’s what it’s all about.”

GC Wrestlers ready for season

By: Tyler Young/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Senior wrestler Dakota Herald takes down his opponent.

Ready… set… wrestle! The GC Cougars Wrestling team is on their way to the start of another season looking to repeat last year’s success. We look in on the Cougars road to success.

Last year Coach Josh Holden was named HHC Wrestling Coach of the Year and hoping to maintain that title. Here’s what Coach Holden had to say about his first impression of the team this year. “There are a lot of them. We have 63 wrestlers on our team. They are workers. When you watch us practice it is awesome to see how hard everyone goes; they are young. 46 of them are freshman and sophomores. They are fun. This team loves wrestling and loves being together. It’s pretty awesome to see.” 

Coach Holden also disclosed his team’s goal for the season. “Our goal this season is the same as it is every season, to get better at everything we do every day.  Whether it’s wrestling, or school, or life, we want to practice doing the things that successful people do.” 

Coach Holden also had thoughts on the impact of COVID for the season. “We hope none. We thought last year we did about everything we could do to prevent being affected by COVID, but we were shut down anyway. All you can do is the best you can and hope it is enough.”

Coach Holden commented on the team’s first couple of practices. “Practices have been great.  Our team works really hard and they enjoy being coached.  You can see us get better every day.” He also discussed how the absences of seniors last year will affect the team. “We had a great group of seniors last year.  It’s always hard to replace wrestlers who have been in the program for 4 or more years and know how to do things the way we expect them to be done.”

 Holden commented on the new class of wrestlers on the team. “However, graduation opens the doors for young wrestlers to come in and start becoming the next group of leaders.  Right now we have 4 freshmen and 4 sophomores in our varsity lineup.  That is a great opportunity for them to show what they can do.” He also had some words about the freshmen. “Our freshmen are tough.  Very tough.  As I said, 4 of them made the varsity team.  That says a lot about how good they are and how great they could be.”

Holden commented on improvement from last season. “Dedication!  We have always had dedicated kids who wrestle and work out year-round.  However, this offseason there was a noticeable increase in the number of wrestlers doing more.  We wrestled a ton of offseason tournaments all over the country.  We had wrestlers going to Avon 5 days a week to get special training.  We just always have wrestlers doing extra on top of what we have always done.” 

He discussed the flaws to improve on this season after last year’s success in the HHC win and regionals appearance. “We have to learn to do things the best we can and do them that way all the time.  We want to see this team improve academically.  We want to see this team improve their behavior outside of the wrestling room.  We want to see this team strive to make other peoples’ lives’ better.”

Coach also had a good point on what the team has mastered. “We don’t feel we’ve mastered anything.  I’ve been involved in this sport for 33 years now, and I still learn every day.  There is always work to be done.” Lastly he shared his dedication for the season. “We believe that no matter what you do you do it the best you can and you do it that way all the time.  You should be dedicated to all you do, or why are you doing it.” Sounds like coach Holden is really amped for this season.

Senior wrestler Dakota Herald commented on building from last season’s success on his part. “I want to perform better from last year and go to state.” Herald discussed how prepared the team is. “We’ve got a great team this year, we’ve got all of our weights set, and we’re ready for this season.” 

Herald also talked about how far he’ll go this season. “I want to, and can make it to state.” Herald discussed the team’s previous flaws from season ago and what he’s done to improve, he said. “Freshman year I didn’t win a single match. So what I did was I built muscle, technique, and weight.” He commented on how hard the team has been working. “The team is going crazy. Coming into practice with tons of energy.”

Lastly, sophomore wrestler Braeden Ayres:  Ayres discussed what he has learned from last season’s disappointing and abrupt end. “I’ve learned some new moves. Petersons, sweepsingle, and hi c.” Ayres was asked about improvements. He said, “I’m really better on takedowns than I was last season.” Ayres commented on his confidence in the team this year. He said, “My confidence is 20/10, this team is capable for a lot of good things.” Ayres said how far he can make it this year, “As a team we will be county champs, and as a solo I can win conference.” 

Ayres also commented on flaws from last season. He said, “Taking dumb shots and not too terribly smart moves on opponents.” Ayres was also asked about how hard the team is working in practices. He said, “We’ve been working really hard this season and we will continue throughout the whole season.”

Sounds like this team is really confident in their capability. Who wouldn’t? This Cougar’s team is ready for the season.

Girls Volleyball focuses on team bond, strengths

by Andrew Elsbury/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Senior Morgan Hornaday goes to serve in a home volleyball game.

Even though the GC High School volleyball team season record is not what they planned, the girls on the team have high hopes for the future in general, as well as each other.

The players themselves have a positive outlook on how they’ve been playing, stated junior Emma Berty. Berty stated on the fact of improving, “We have improved a lot over the past few months so far, and we are going to improve over the offseason to be better next year.”

She also commented on the closeness of the team, saying, “Everyone on our team gets along really well. I would say that we are all friends.”

Another GCHS volleyball player, Harper Holden, freshman, also had this to say on the friendly nature of their team. “We are all so loving of each other and have developed relationships outside of the sport and school. I am always excited for our next match. It gives us all another opportunity to prove ourselves to each other and to ourselves.”

The mindsets that the volleyball team has towards each other, along with the sport, helps them be striking and courageous on the court. They can go out there and play there all, along with supporting our school, because of each other.

The volleyball team has been faced with many challenges this year, with some changes in coaching. Because of this, Ms. Elizabeth Mercer, Mrs. Joni Hornaday, and Mr. Phil Leswing have stepped up to do the job. Berty had this to say on how the replacement coaches have done thus far.

“They create a really great environment and we love having them as our temporary coaches!”

Although this season might not have gone as expected, both for the players themselves and for fans, the GCHS Volleyball Cougars are going to work hard during the offseason and will only improve and get closer.

Boys cross country discuss successes of season

by Tyler Young/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Griff Wheeler runs during the sectionals match where the team placed third. Wheeler went on to place top 10 in Regionals.

Photo Caption: Griff Wheeler runs during the sectionals match where the team placed third. Wheeler went on to place top 10 in Regionals.

On average this year the XC team finished top 5 in almost all of their competitions. They had occasional first, second, and third place victories. Some team members for XC were interviewed about their performances this year.

Starting off with Griffen Wheeler, Wheeler was asked about his favorite part of the season. His response was, “Definitely just waking up every Saturday and being able to run with my teammates.” Wheeler said he prepared for sectionals with “my pre-race beef jerky, a lot of ice baths, and some easy runs.” He also commented about the teams overall performance, “We had a really good team performance late in the season from our team, even though we were missing our #2 runner Chris Ross.” 

Chris Ross, sophomore, talked about team goals and individual goals, and how they worked out. “My goal for this season was to be under 17:00 in the 5K, and our team goal was to make it to Semi-State,” he said.  “I completed my goal by running 16:24 at Columbus North, and our team made it to Semi-State. I was very excited to fulfill my goal. Our team was expected to make it to Semi-State but we were still happy to advance to it. Even though we had a high chance of making it, it was not guaranteed.”

Ross said the effort put in by the team made a difference during the length of the season. “One thing you should know about our team is that we are one of the most hardworking teams you will ever see,” Ross said. “We have practice 6 days a week for the entire season and no break until the season is over. Having to run 11 miles in one practice is definitely difficult, but pays off in the end.

Ross discussed what keeps him going while he is running. “The thing that encourages me the most while running is improvement in races,” he said. “You may not think that you are getting much better during training, but you usually see huge improvements when the season starts. Beating your 5K time from the previous season by almost a full minute can be very rewarding.”

The team is able to bond because not only do they work hard together but they also relax together and spend time getting to know each other. Ross said, “Every Friday we have a spaghetti dinner. A member of the team hosts it, and we talk about our cross country season and general life. The team has gotten to know each other very well this way.”

Griffen commented on his performance at sectionals, “I think I performed really well. It wasn’t my fastest race but it was a good time on a bad course and a good place in a stackfield.” He also replied to what he did well in cross country. “I hope I was a good leader and teammate to my team. And most importantly pushed my team to be their best day after day, and helped hold everyone accountable when someone was slacking off possibly.”

Mason Kojima, a senior runner, commented on what his favorite part of the season was. He replied, “Going back to normal and having regular meets like in 2019.” Mason commented on what he would have improved on when running this year. He said, “I personally could’ve worked harder throughout the year.” He was also asked about what he did well this year. He said, “I took Devin Evanoff under my wing to make him a better runner.”

The Greenfield Central Cougars’ cross country team looked good this year and it sounds like they are out and ready for more next year as they strive to be a more complete and competitive team moving forward.

Boys’ soccer team reflects on season

by Devin Evanoff/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Michael Runions, 11, Bryce Kinnaman, 11, and Logan Stoeffler, 12, practice during the Fall 2021 season.

 The boys’ soccer team finished as conference co-champions.They also gave great effort at sectionals, losing after 14 minutes of overtime during penalty kicks. 

Holden stated of the work put in during the season, “We have a great coaching staff and practices are well coached. I feel we have hard working players who show up for practice and do what is asked of them.”  Coach Holden is confident in his players and is very dedicated in making them the best possible players they can be. 

Holden also discussed how the offense can improve next year. Holden stated, “We are in need of more goal scorers. The team will continue to work on finishing and being aggressive when trying to score.” 

In terms of defense, Holden stated, “Our defense has been great this year. We will be looking for players to step up into the missing roles going into next year. Practicing defensive skills during the off season would be a great step to getting better for next year.” 

 Holden commented on the team captains and the leadership on the team. He stated, “We have two senior captains, John Halvorsen and Logan Stoeffler, and one junior captain, Bryce Kinnaman. They did a good job leading the team. We will be looking for someone to come in and show great leadership with BK for the next year.”

Holden said in terms of goals this year, “I think we struggled at times to stay focused on some of the main goals but we did well to win conference and play hard in the postseason tournament.” The soccer team performed very well this year, winning conference, which was one of ther goals but fell just short of one of their main goals in the post-season.

 As far as room for improvement goes, Holden said, “I always review the season and think of things I could have done better. Without naming specifics, of course I can always improve on the previous season and I will continue to try and do that.” Looking forward, Holden also talked about how new kids come out every year and join the team, stating, “I’m always happy when we find new players who want to join our soccer family. We have had more and more kids come out for the team over the last 6 years and it’s great to see the program growing and kids wanting to join.” 

Tyler Kerkhof, 11, discussed team chemistry. “Our chemistry is very good. We hang out a lot on and off the field which brings closer combinations that are important. The culture is one of the best I’ve seen. It speaks for itself with the amount of time we spend with each other on the field.” 

As far as improvements go, Kerhof said the team could improve on “(f)irst touch, paying attention to details, and taking time outside of practice to get better on your own.” 

Kerkof some questions about his goals for the team next year. He stated, “Obviously win a sectional title and win conference.” 

In the offseason for preparation, Kerkhof said he would “work in the offseason and getting together and playing together with the team in the summer to keep our skill.” Kerkhof described his accomplishments this season as, “I did good and better as the season continued, and you can always improve on getting in better shape and IQ of the game.” 

Michael Runions, 11, discussed the role he wants to have on the team next season. He stated, “I want to be a role model to the younger players and also to be a motivator to the whole team.”  As far as goals for next season, Runions said, “I want to be a regional champ and I want us to be undefeated.”

Of improvements for next year, Runions stated, “The team needs to condition more and watch film and stay mentally prepared and get our bodies to our best.” He also stated, “We can go undefeated and we can all get good grades and I think we can push ourselves to be the best team we can be.” 

The final thing Runions discussed was one thing he was proud of the season that he accomplished. He stated, “I kept the shutout in the Newcastle game as a goalie.” Runions has never played goalie in high school so when he went in he truly didn’t know what it was going to be like and played even better than he expected.

Cougars start season in full force

by Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Senior Larry Bellows, #60, runs on to the field with the Cougars.

The Cougars Football team is off to a solid start this season at 2-2 for both varsity and junior varsity.

Jackson Maciejewski-Haston, 9, who plays quarterback on offense and safety on defense, talked about what his goals,  personally and as a team, are for this season. He said, “My personal and team goals are the same — get better each week. We never want to dwell on the past or look too far ahead. We are focused on going 1-0 each week, and for me, I’m just trying to improve each week as a football player.” 

Isaiah Sitton, 9, who plays left Guard and D Guard, had a very specific focus.He said, “My goal for this season is to beat New Palestine as a team.”

 Joey Roland, 12, has been versatile with different positions, other than the offensive line. This year he will be playing running back and defensive end. He said, “The main goal is always to get better day by day and to obviously achieve a county championship trophy and a sectional championship trophy. A personal goal is to make the teammates around me a better person and a better football player. Playing football isn’t always about winning but more of becoming a better person and getting ready for your future.” 

Travis Nolting, head coach, who has been coaching football for a total of 17 years (10 years as a head coach and 7 years as an assistant coach) talked about growing skills in the players that they can use in their own lives. He said, “My goal is always to try and develop a team that can handle adversity on and off the field and teach our players to be successful men of character.”

Nolting talked about who has stepped in to take the place of the seniors who graduated last year on the team. He said, “Since having seniors graduate last year, lots of players have stepped up to take their place on the team. High school football is all about stepping up and getting the job done. We have had a great group of hard-working guys step up and work hard this year.”

Sitton talked about what he thinks the strengths of the team are. He said, “We keep each other up.” Nolting added: “Strengths of the team would be our experience. We returned a lot of seasoned players and we will always work on trying to get better and better every day. The strength of our coaching staff is also experience. We have a great group of coaches with a wealth of experience. Some guys on our staff have been head coaches before and others could be. That makes my job a lot easier when I can delegate work to guys who I can trust.” 

Roland also discussed the stability of the team. He said, “The biggest strength would most definitely be the defense. We have 9 starting seniors and all who have been a part of the program every year, and we all have 2-3+ years of varsity experience.” Maciejewski-Haston commented as well, saying, “I feel we have really strong senior leadership. Guys have worked really hard and are committed to moving GC in the right direction. We have a system that’s tough to defend and guys have really bought into it.” 

Roland also talked about changes from last year that need to be enhanced. He said, “The weaknesses (of the team) would most likely be the offense. We lost almost all our starting O-Line from last year and the starting QB, so we have some guys playing in some new varsity spots this year.” Maciejewski-Haston said, “I wouldn’t consider us to have weaknesses, just areas of improvement. Our coaches do a great job of focusing our time on things we need to get better at. It’s early in the season so we just need to improve our timing on certain plays or recognize things on defense quicker. I’m confident we’ll get better at these things every week.”

Nolting talked about how they prepare the boys physically and mentally when they are facing a challenging opponent. He said, “The same way you prepare for every game. We prepare the same each week. Consistency is something we feel helps our guys grow and develop.” Maciejewski-Haston commented about what he does when he’s heading into a very competitive game. He said, “We try to approach every game the same because they’re all important. Personally, I just try to focus on my assignments for my position. If I know my job, then it allows me to go out and play fast and have fun.” 

Roland’s take on the topic was, “Personally, you need to just focus and lock in, not hours or minutes before the game but almost days before the game. I start focusing on the big game mainly on that Monday of the game week. I have to be focused in practice mainly and I still have to be focused in the classroom.” Sitton said, “When I’m heading into a very competitive game, I pop in earbuds and think of the plays we run.”

Roland talked about how they build team-building skills among the team. He said, “Obviously, we have teammates in classes and we are always chatting and getting along, but for the seniors we have team dinners at a seniors’ house every Thursday and that is a main way we build team-building skills.” Nolting discussed how the coaches instill determination and tenacity among the team. He said, “We spend a lot of time teaching our system and schemes to encourage confidence and team-building among the team. We have found that when players know exactly what to do and how to do it, they play faster and harder.” 

Sitton said, “We build team-building skills among the team by trying our hardest during drills and build skill when we all work together.” Maciejewski-Haston said, “I think that a way we build as a team is picking each other up when we are struggling and are in a situation that might be bad. We also build as a team when we are hyped up and are ready to play together as a team. 

Nolting concluded with a final comment about coaching this group of boys this season. He said, “The experience we return makes it really fun this year. Our players understand the basic system which allows us to be more diverse on both sides of the ball.”

Girls soccer surges forward with two consecutive wins

by Devin Evanoff/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Callie Means, 10, makes a free kick after a foul. Photo: Submitted

The girls soccer team was off to somewhat of a rocky start this year, but they still focused on their goals, and are moving forward with two wins in a row. Centerback Callie Means, sophomore, stated, “We talk about goals often on the team. We always focus on one thing at a time, so normally we prepare for the certain team we are playing for the week. As far as a major goal, we all would love to go far in sectionals.” 

She also commented on how her second year on the team is going, stating “It’s been great so far. The team is more connected and closer with each other this year.” 

Means discussed the differences from last year to this year, saying “We play more as a passing team rather than be physically focused.” 

Means described what her position does for the team. She stated, “Our continuous job is to be the last line of defense and most physical people on the field. We also have to communicate well and constantly with our teammates.” 

As far as preparation for the games, Means said, “We all like to listen to rap music for a better performance and have a pregame huddle right before kickoff. Myself, Carly (Means), and (Claire Davidson, freshman) all write “AO1” on our legs or wrist to remind us that we only play for an audience of 1 and it centers our focus.” 

With all the pressure expectations can bring, standing out from the pack can be challenging. Means discussed what she does to stand out from everyone else, saying,  “I have been told that I can be physical but know where to find the good passes. I sometimes play in the midfield. My focus, game-play and role has to completely switch.” 

Callie’s sister Carly Means, freshman, also discussed her thoughts about the season. She stated, “I’m really excited for the high school season. I think if we stay healthy we can be successful this year.” 

Performing well as a player is a priority for Carly. “I plan to go out every game and give 100%,” Carly said.  “I will do my best to do what my team needs whenever they need it.” 

As far as her role on the team, she stated, “I’m hoping I can be impactul for the offense. I’d bring a lot of speed to the team and make a lot of outside runs.” Means also spoke about how the transition was from junior high to high school. “The transition was good because I was super excited to play with my sister again. Our coach was also my club coach a couple of years ago,” she said. 

COVID did affect the season, unfortunately. Davidson stated, “There have been players taken out and there has been at least one girl who  is missing most of the season. Also, there was no student section at first but in the past few games there have been more people.” She also spoke about how travel is different. She stated, “We still get to ride a team bus but we don’t get to pick where we sit and we have to wear masks on the bus.”

The girls team may have started off with a rocky start but there are still plenty of games left to have a good comeback season. The girls seem ready and know what they have to do to reach their goals.

Cougars hope to bounce back from Conference, end season strong

by Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Matt Kaser, 12, tees off at a home match.

The Greenfield-Central boys golf team has had some good moments this year, but are yet to have everyone clicking at the same time. At the conference tournament, it was another instance where the Cougars fell short of having it all come together. However, after a seventh place finish, the Cougars are more motivated than ever, and practicing hard in hopes to rebound from their struggles going into the final stretch of the season. 

Trying to pinpoint the reasons as to why the team struggled the way they did at conference, Tyler Young, 9, says it felt like the team was just overwhelmed throughout tournament. “I think everyone was just overwhelmed during the entire length of the tournament.” Young said. “I think one of the biggest things for us moving forward is just learning to play our game no matter what the circumstances are.”

One thing that the Cougars can use for hope is knowing that they’re not too far off from performing at a level that will ensure success. Matt Kaser, 12, said, “To play our best golf we just need to keep practicing. It seems like every match we get two or three great scores and then we have a couple underwhelming ones to go with them that hold us back from being the team we can be. We have a lot of potential and we need to be ready to have it all come out.” 

Something else that the Cougars are using for motivation is remembering the feeling of almost getting last at conference, and never wanting to feel it again. “We can bounce back from our bad performance at conference by just remembering how it felt nearly getting dead last, while also knowing we were one score off from being a top four finalis,” Kaser said. “That tournament has really hit us that we have to play our best if we want to keep this season going past sectionals.”

Of course, while the struggles at conference are disappointing, something that a lot of people seem to forget is just how young a lot of this Greenfield-Central team is. Not a single member of the Cougars squad had played in the conference tournament beforehand. On the topic of how young the Cougars are, Young, said, “I think considering that this is my first year of school golf, along with a lot of my teammates, we have almost done as much as we can do. If we can come together, though, we can definitely improve our scores.” The young guys have played a big part in the success that the Cougars have had, and it’s been great for multiple reasons for the entirety of the team. “We have a lot of guys who have never played varsity golf, So for our younger guys to step up and play like they have been, it’s special, and it adds motivation for the older guys to keep fighting for our spots,” Kaser said.

Now, with the conference tournament in the rearview mirror, the Cougars have their sights set on finishing the regular season strong before heading into sectionals. With the hard work they’ve been putting in, and the recent struggles adding fuel to the fire, the Cougars believe they have all the tools necessary for a late season surge.