Category Archives: Sports

Girls basketball is ready for season

by Kynleigh Martin/Staff Writer

Girls Basketball at GCHS is about to start their season on October 27, scrimmaging against Anderson. Coach Bradley Key is hoping for a fun and successful season. He is very proud of the fun and upbeat atmosphere the team has created. A lot of girls on the team have spoken about the family-like bond. Addi Herron is a Sophomore returning to the team this year and she mentioned one of her favorite parts of being on the team is the family dinners they do. “We have a lot of fun and we’re all really close,” Addi Heron said. 

Kaycie Moles is a freshman who will be playing basketball this year. She is eager to learn more about the game and really likes the girls. Moles said, “I’m really excited to progress my skills and get better as a player and a person.” Coach Key mentioned how he is looking forward to really working with the freshmen and developing their skills. Coach Key thinks this is the year they can really turn the team around and he is excited to win more games. 

Madi Moss is a freshman who is playing basketball this year. Coach Megan Dawson has really had an impact on Moss. “I am excited to learn from Dawson and Key and have a great season,” said Moss.  A lot of the freshmen playing this year are excited to take the jump from middle school and start playing more competitively. Coach Key is ready to work with hard-workers and competitors players: “If you put in the work and are competitive, I can do something with you,” he said.

The season officially starts on Nov. 3 when the girls will travel to Greenwood. 

Profile: Bolden helps students with finances, sports

by Andrew Love/Staff Writer

        Business and Finance teacher Mr. Will Bolden is a very well known teacher, coach, and father. Mr. Bolden has been teaching at GC for just a few years now. Many students enjoy his  “laid back” class as former GC student Tyler Evans puts it. So who is this “relaxed” teacher and how has he made an impact as a teacher? 

Attending IU South Bend for a degree in Social Science, Bolden already knew he wanted to go into coaching but his teaching career was unexpected. At South Bend Mr. Bolden played college basketball on an athletic scholarship, and also coached college basketball for a year after his playing time was over. He has now coached for four years as the JV head coach and all of his players have high regards and high respect for what he has done for  GC Basketball. His early adulthood years were mostly focused on basketball so how did he become the teacher that many love at GC?

Getting out of coaching basketball during college, Mr. Bolden didn’t know what he was going to do with his basketball skills and degree in science. He decided to take an unorthodox approach and switch to a teaching program and started getting interested in finance. John Stuckey, 10, said, “Whether you were interested in sports money or even science, Mr. Bolden could help you out with anything you could ask.” Mr. Bolden helps all students, whether former, current, or incoming students who are fans of sports or academics.

Students enjoy his Business and Personal finance classes because Bolden adds  “his own spin to the textbook work and it makes his classes feel less serious and stressful,” said former GC student Tyler Evans. Students that aren’t into business and money can still enjoy his classes because of the way Bolden takes other topics and relates them to money. 

Whether you have had Bolden as a teacher or a coach he is a well-respected teacher here at GC and he wants “everyone to have an easier time during sports and academics.”

Senior wrestlers set up for season

by Trot Scholl/Staff Writer

Wrestling season is just around the corner for GCHS. These wrestlers have been working very hard and are ready to show out this season. Senior Zeke Holden says, “We’ve put in a lot of work this off season and it will be fun to watch it pay off.” Senior Adam Saxon says, “I’m excited to see where senior year will take me. I’ve learned this sport for three years and I feel like I can do something if I work hard for it.

Holden and Saxon both have goals they would like to accomplish this upcoming wrestling season. Holden states, “My goal this year is to be a state placer, I have worked really hard these past few years and have been short every year but this year my goal will be achieved.” Saxon says, “I want to win my matches, it’s a basic goal but I haven’t won many matches and I want to win most of mine this year.” Having a goal for wrestling and any sport in general is a good thing. It can help you get better and do better and you can get more enjoyment out of sport and the season by reaching those goals.

To reach your goals, you must stay focused the whole time and don’t get caught off guard. Holden states, “I am gonna keep my head on straight and be disciplined and really just stay on track and it will happen.” Saxon says “I think it’s important to pay attention to minor details and make sure you are doing everything right and put those things you learned into the matches.”

Going into any wrestling season, your view changes every year on it. Holden says, “This is the last ride, you have to make everything count this season.” Saxon states, “The perspective has changed, this is our last year to show what you can really do if you put the work in.” Having a different view on the season could help you and give you more motivation to do better.

  To prepare for the upcoming season, wrestlers will. all prepare differently for the upcoming season, but still all prepare. Holden says, “I go to a wrestling academy and train with the best coaches and the best kids in the state.” Saxon states, “I have already started watching weight so I don’t have to cut during the season, and I have started lifting and working out.” 

NBA off-season recaps, predictions for upcoming season

by Hunter Baylous/Staff Writer

If you follow the NBA you understand how impactful this NBA off-season has been: with a draft class comparable to the historic class of 2003, some unexpected trades, free agents signings, and injuries. I have compiled some of the most influential information and the under-the- radar information that could possibly affect your favorite NBA teams. 

The most important trades:

    Possibly the craziest move this offseason was the Jazz-Cavaliers trade. The trade includes the Cavs trading: Collins Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, 3 first-round picks, and 2 pick swaps, all in exchange for the 25 year old all-star Donovan Mitchell. With this trade transaction the Eastern Conference is even more stacked as five other teams are considered championship contenders. The Jazz had also traded their multiple time Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves for: Malik Beasley, Patrick Beaverley, Leonardo Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, and four first round picks. Coming into this season the Utah Jazz are projected to begin intentionally losing games this season to secure good draft positions as they have acquired nine future draft picks. (Information acquired from Rudy Gobert Trade & Donovan Mitchell Trade)

    Another unexpected trade was undoubtedly the Dejounte Murray trade to Atlanta. The Spurs traded Dejounte Murray for Danilo Gallinari and three first round picks. As this trade happened many people assumed that the Atlanta Hawks would have a deep playoffs run as their star point guard, TraeYoung, is subpar at defense but an excellent shot creator and Dejounte Murray being a star player as well ,leading the San Antonio Spurs in points, assist, steals, and was 2nd in rebounding for the organization. ( Information acquired from Dejounte Murray Trade)

Free agent movement:

    Now with the Free-Agent signings the Los Angeles Clippers signed the 31 year old, five time All star, John Wall to improve their backcourt. Jalen Brunson signed a $100 million 4-year deal to join the New York Knicks, who now have a backcourt of Evan Fournier and Jalen Brunson. The center ,Christian Wood, was signed to the Dallas Mavericks after the loss of Jalen Brunson. Otto Porter Jr. , who was on the championship team Golden State Warriors, now moves to Toronto to join the Raptors. Goran Dragic, the dragon, and the elite rebounder, Andre Drummond join the Chicago Bulls. (Information acquired from John Wall signing & Free Agents Tracker)

Injuries / Returns:

    The most notable injury this off-season was the second pick of the 2022 NBA draft Chet Holmgreen, who was drafted to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Chet Holmgreen suffered a Lisfranc foot injury (a foot injury where one or more metatarsal bones are displaced with a sudden force to the mid foot or arch of the foot Lisfranc Injury)during a rec game in Seattle ended his rookie season. Kawhi Leonard is expected to come back but not play at least 65 games. Jaren Jackson Jr. also suffered a foot injury described as a stress fracture and is expected to return on Christmas. Jamal Murray is also expected to return this season and has some top 50+ potential if he stays healthy this season. Finally Zion Williamson is also expected to come back and play after only playing around 85 games in his 3 season career. (Information Acquired from Basketball Injury updates and returns)

Teacher Interview:

    With all this information I’ve listed here I wanted to ask someone who was passionate about the NBA that many students may know at this school. Mr. Kevin Potter, an economics teacher, is an avid NBA fan and possibly follows the league the most out of everyone I know. Mr. Potter stated that the biggest shocker during the off-season, in his opinion, was the Rudy Gobert trade due to the value that he was traded for. As Mr. Potter said, “ I figured that Rudy would be moved, but not for that price or to this team.”  Mr. Potter also stated, “For Utah this was a dream come true. You unload a player who wanted to leave while still receiving a haul! Plus they’re now better equipped to tank for (Victor) Wembanyana.” Although it was a very surprising move, Mr. Potter believes that both teams have benefited from the trade. He also believes the Donovan Mitchell trade was a great move as they were one of the worst teams in the league; he believes his talents were wasted there. 

The Dejounte Murray trade was also a trade he was passionate about. As Mr. Potter explained, “Dejounte Murray has been one of my favorite players in the league out of UW. His defensive consistency and basketball IQ make for an almost perfect pairing with Trae Young in Atlanta.” He and some analysts believe that the Hawks are going to be dangerous later in the season as they outpace other teams and could possibly steal a round in the playoffs. Although the Hawks gave up 3 first-rounders, Mr. Potter said, “You never want to unload first round picks if you don’t need to, but I’d argue that this trade all but guarantees that those picks fall from 20-30.” With the increased star power of the Hawks, many people believe their lottery picks are to fall tremendously.

Mr. Potter was not exactly excited about the free agency movement but he did give his thoughts about it. He expects John Wall not to be super productive but said, “…he just needs to D up and be a cog in the arguably the deepest team in the NBA.” His opinion on the Jalen Brunson move was similar to other analysts saying, “I like Brunson a lot but can’t envision him as much more than a #3/4 player on a legitimate contender. I expect him to post impressive assist numbers with the volume of shoot-first players on this roster, but also expect his scoring to take a hit.”

Finally, possibly the things he was the most in depth about were the returning players and player injuries. As he said the Chet injury was possibly the most heartbreaking, as he has some serious potential to be a great defensive force and shot maker but, “Unfortunately we’ve seen how guys with this build have panned out over the last few years…” Possibly the thing he and many NBA fans are the most excited for is the return of Zion Williamson, with Zion really cutting down on the weight, and taking conditioning seriously. “People slept on the Pels last season while they quietly assembled the perfect players to compliment Zion’s downhill attacking style. Teams are going to be giving up TONS of threes doubling a driving Zion this year…” This was his main point with the return of Zion Williamson, as the young player is very dominant when it comes to attacking the painted area.

“Key” to success in girls’ basketball

By Della Hedge/staff writer

Photo Caption: The girls basketball team at early morning practice, getting ready for winter ball 2022 season. 

“We had a really really good spring and a great summer,” girls basketball head coach Mr. Bradley Key commented on the upcoming season. He is very excited for the three seniors this year; he’s looking forward to seeing them lead their team as the winter approaches. 

    Mr. Key has many goals for his team and players. “I think the goal, the longer I have been doing it, is to produce better basketball players. Even better than the week before,” he said. He wants wins but more importantly he wants them to grow and a team, and this year with more experience he thinks they can get those wins and produce better basketball players along the way. “You always hope they are ready,” Key said.

He thinks they have gotten better but the team is never really ready until you play.  “We are down to 5 weeks until game time,” Key said. He is excited; he’s ready for the girls to take the court. He said that the girls are in a totally different place, they have worked and worked to get to this point. He is ready for game time and is striving for success for the girls this year. 

     Key talked about his new coaches, and he speaks very highly of them. “It’s been great having two new coaches. Megan Dawson has been with me for 8 years now.”

Kynsey Hasty, sophomore and second year team member, said of Dawson, “She has helped me improve my personal game, she is always there giving me feedback and helping me push through hard days.” Key also hired two new coaches, including Megan Henderson. “She was super good at basketball and the girls love her.” Henderson is from Alexandria, which is where Mr. Key went to high school. Also Coach Maggie Walters was his JV coach at New Castle, and the girls get along really well with her as well. 

    “I just hope we play a good version of basketball,” Key said. His aim is to prepare his girls as best he can mentally and physically. 

    “My first year of high school basketball was an eye-opening  experience,” Chaney Brown, sophomore and second year varsity member, said.

As a freshman starter she had so much pressure on her to perform well, but this year for her is different. “This year we are finally playing good basketball, we are doing things we should’ve done last year,” Brown said. Brown had very big goals like to beat New Pal and make it through the first round of sectionals. She also had personal goals like average more this year and step up and be a leader. 

    The girls will be ready to take the court this winter with the help of their coaches’ leadership. They are all very excited and ready to show everyone just who the Lady Cougars are. 

GC men’s tennis team prepares for county

by Ryley O’Brian/Staff Writer

Photo caption: Junior CJ Michalek prepares to serve against a Scecina player.

The GC men’s tennis team is nearing the halfway point of their season. There are three meets left before county and nine meets before sectionals. They have already made a mark on the season with an 8-1 record.

Greenfield Central junior Caden Robertson has helped the team push to achieve this record. “I think we are doing very well,” Robertson stated. “We are performing above expectations.” The tennis team’s record last year was 13-4. With an 8-1 record this season they are looking to beat last year’s record and maybe even win county. They have even beaten multiple teams that they fell to last season.

Delta High School was a team that beat the tennis players last year. The Cougars suffered a heartbreaking 4-1 defeat with only one of the doubles’ teams winning. This year the tables have turned. Greenfield Central powered through to beat Delta for the first time in GC men’s tennis History. The score was 3-2 with a singles sweep. Junior Chris Long was one of these singles’ players. Long accredits this success to the coaching staff. “Over the off-season we have all worked hard and gotten better thanks to Coach (Michael) Turpin’s advice and Coach Lawhorn’s great coaching,” Long stated. 

The Cougars have already beaten multiple conference rivals including New Palestine and New Castle. Greenfield recently upset New Castle. The victory was 4-1 with every match being hard fought. Another conference rival, New Palestine, has recently fallen to the Cougars. The Cougars won against New Palestine 3-2. This pushes the tennis team’s record to be undefeated by conference rivals this season. The next conference rival the tennis team faces will be Mt. Vernon.

Junior CJ Michalek is undefeated going into this last week before county. “It took hours of very hard work to come this far,” Michalek responded. “All the effort I put into getting better has really helped me this season.”

Robertson’s goals this season are to win sectionals and county. This seems to be a common goal among GC mens tennis players. Long said, “I hope we can win county or sectionals this year.” Long thinks this is a very real possibility because they are having the best season he has been a part of according to him. Robertson believes Mt. Vernon or New Palestine may be the toughest opponents in the county tournament. With an 8-1 record all seems possible to these Cougars. 

Girls golf continues individual success, teamwork

by Dylan Ramirez/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Sydnie Wherry, 12, finishes up a hole at the county meet on August 30. The girls placed third at this event.

 The girls golf team is one of the most successful sports for Greenfield Central with many accomplishments. With this year speeding up, the girls golf coach and two of their most valuable players answered some questions. So far the team is 1-1-1. Russell Wiley, the golf coach, is a teacher who has been teaching for 15 years at Greenfield Central. He has also coached the girls golf team for 11 years and the boys golf team for 7. “Learning the importance of hard work, building skills, work ethic, and being able to get through something difficult since golf is such a skilled sport,” said Coach Russel Wiley when asked what he wanted his team to get out of being on the golf team. 

   Coach Wiley is always on sight to improve his team any way he can. Some of his goals this year is to “finish better than we started — looking back at our first scores and see how much we improved. Also to make it to regionals is always one of our top goals.”   Coach Wiley doesn’t feel pressure, but when the girls do, he likes to ease the pressure and talk them through and make sure they don’t mess up.

  Sydnie Wherry, 12, one of Greenfield’s most valuable players, has been on a roll. With a great match just a week ago, she shot a 39. Whenever she is under pressure, she likes to “take deep breaths and don’t stress over a ball.”  She talks about what she likes most about being on the team. “The girls. They can definitely be a lot, but a special group of people. They are some of the best people to be around, when they don’t stress me out.” 

   Wherry has golfed since she was small, but started playing competitively since seventh grade. She enjoys going to Grandview Golf course once a month with her family. She also likes Hawks Tail. “I love Hawks Tail, mainly because I practice there a lot and go on my off days. I just know the course by heart.” Wherry offered some helpful words of advice to other golf players. “It is harder to keep composure than stress out and throw a tantrum. Never stress over one ball because if you stay angry at one ball, from there to the next shot or hole, you’re going to fall apart.” 

   Ella Neil, 11, another player on the golf team, enjoys being on the team and getting so close with the girls. She golfs almost every day besides Saturday. She golfs with the team all week, then golfs solo on Sundays. “On days I don’t have required practice, I like to go alone and practice difficult shots or just play a fun 9,” said Neil when asked what she likes to do on off days.  This shows how much work she puts into this sport. Neil loves her 7-iron and her driver; those are her go-to clubs. Neil ended the interview with some more advice for golf players. “Don’t get discouraged, even if you hit a bad shot. Just keep going. It’s not the end of the world,” she said.  

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.”