Category Archives: Sports

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.

GC Baseball excited to be back on the diamond

by Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Parker Stanley, 12, pitches during the Frankton game on Wednesday, March 31. ( Tom Russo | Daily Reporter)

After having the entirety of the 2019-20 season canceled due to COVID-19, the Greenfield-Central Cougars baseball team’s excitement levels are about as high as possible as the current season progresses. Knowing what it’s like to have the game that they love ripped away from them has made them appreciate the opportunity to go out and compete even more. Along with this, the Greenfield-Central unit feels they have unfinished business from two years ago that they need to handle. With that, the Cougars are experiencing loads of success.

Currently sitting at 8-4 overall, with a 6-1 conference record, the Cougars are tied with Mt. Vernon at the top of the Hoosier Heritage Conference standings. Talking to players on the team, it’s evident that the desire to get back out on the field is one of the biggest reasons the Cougars are frequently finding themselves in the win column. Lance McKee, 12, said, “It feels great to be back playing the game I love. I missed the game a lot after not being able to play last year. I’m glad to be back out there with my teammates; nothing is better.” 

Along with the eagerness to get back on the field, another factor contributing to the Cougars’ success is the desire to repeat as conference and sectional champions. Throughout the course of the season, it’s clearly been the main goal that keeps the team motivated. “From being reigning conference and sectional champs, I’d have to say our main goal is to repeat what we did two years ago.” Carson Gibson, 12, said. “There is no better feeling than winning conference and sectionals with the people you’ve been striving to reach that goal with.” 

The Cougars aren’t stopping their expectations at just conference and sectional championships, however. The entire program believes that the sky’s truly the limit for this talented group. “My goals for the team is to win the conference, win a sectional, win a regional, and finally win a state championship.” McKee said. “We’ve won plenty of games in the past, but I think we’re all looking forward to taking the success to new heights.”

McKee and Gibson both are in the middle of a senior season that they are trying to make their most momentous one yet. How are they going to make it their most eventful? Both of the upperclassmen pointed to it simply coming down to one thing: Winning. “I’m trying to make the most of every moment I have on the field so that we can win as many games as possible. The best memories I have in high school is winning games, so there’s no better way to make this last go-around more memorable than winning!” Gibson said. Echoing similar thoughts to his teammate, McKee said, “I think winning has a huge part of making a season memorable. I know we’re going to win a lot of games and have a good time doing it, and with the goals we have set, this last season will definitely have a great chance to be a special one.”

Cougars Exceed Expectations, Still Not Satisfied

By Kyler Rhoades/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Joey Roland, 11, goes to the basket during the Pendleton Heights game on Friday, Jan. 29.

The Greenfield-Central Cougars boys basketball team wasn’t supposed to be successful this season. At least, that’s what some people thought going into the year. As the season played out, though, it was clear that the projections some had for this group weren’t accurate. In fact, they weren’t even close. Under second-year head coach Luke Meredith, after losing five seniors, and much of their scoring from the previous year, the Cougars finished the 2020-21 season with a record of 14-10, earning just the second winning season for the program in the last 17 years.

The low expectations that many had for the Cougars was one of the main resources used to keep the group motivated, and it added loads of fuel to the fire to prove those who doubted the team wrong. “This group of young men were special because we were underdogs all year and always played with a chip on our shoulder. We knew we would be underdogs most nights and when you’re doubted, that continues to add fuel to your fire and additional motivation to prove people wrong,” Meredith said. “This group relished the fact that no one expected us to win 14 games, win a sectional game against New Pal, win the Alexandria Holiday tournament, have the second winning season in the last 17 years at GCHS. This group fed off that doubt from others and used it as a positive to prove them wrong. That was our identity and will continue to be our identity moving forward.” 

While the Cougars are obviously happy about proving the doubters wrong, they aren’t satisfied with how the season came to a close. Adam Lester, 11, said, “It felt great to prove everyone wrong and win 14 games. We were doubted all season and fueled off of it. We made a solid run, but in the end, we didn’t get the job done. Until we bring a trophy home, we won’t be satisfied.” Gavin Robertson, 11, echoed similar thoughts to his teammate. “Looking back at the season as a whole, there was a lot that we accomplished, but we are never satisfied with where we’re at. The goal is bigger next year, and we are working to achieve a sectional and conference championship.”

The Cougars improved greatly in many areas throughout the course of the season, but one word is all that Coach Meredith needs to sum up the improvements: Culture. “This team cared about each other, were fun to be around, worked hard, and loved the process of practice, they understood what it took. We preach the standard is the standard, which simply means when someone pays to come watch Greenfield-Central boys basketball, they know what to expect: young men who will work hard, dive on the floor, hustle on and off the court, and represent our school, community, and program the right way. The biggest improvement from November to March was caring about each other and continuing to develop our CULTURE.”

As for next season, the Cougars feel like they can bring the momentum they obtained this past year into it and reach even higher levels of success. Leading scorer for the Cougars this past season, Dylan Moles, 10, said, “With how our season ended, we’re definitely hungry going into next season. We always feel like we are overlooked and slept on, so we’ll be ready to continue to wake people up next year. Nobody is satisfied, and we are ready to get to work and cut down the nets next season.” 

Coach Meredith also believes that the program can build quite a bit off of the success from this past season, and with a complete buy-in from his players, believes that his Cougars squad will once again have the chance to surprise some people. “We can build quite a bit from this past season. We return our core with a group of players that logged a ton of minutes as sophomores and juniors. If these young men continue to buy-in and work hard this offseason, we have an opportunity to surprise people again next season. We will be undersized and doubted along the way, but that is who we are and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We just have to stay humble and hungry and be willing to put in the work in the dark if we want the opportunity to shine under the bright lights next season.”

LET THE MADNESS BEGIN

by Tyler Young/Staff Writer

That’s right, all you sports fans. The NCAAM (college basketball men’s) and NCAAW (college basketball women’s) will all be held in the state of Indiana, even both the Big Ten tournaments for men’s and women’s basketball.

The Big Ten tournament was supposed to be held in Chicago but was relocated to Indianapolis in Lucas Oil Stadium and will go from March 10-14 due to “multiple factors for the decision, primarily health and safety, and COVID-19 testing protocols” according to thedailyhoosier.com.  The same thing goes with the Big Ten women’s tournament, which will be held one day before the men’s tournament starting on March 9 and ending on March 11. It will also be played in Indianapolis. But instead of being in Lucas Oil, the women will play in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Now for the NCAA men’s March Madness. According to the writers of ncaa.com, “The 2021 NCAA D1 men’s basketball tournament will be unlike any March Madness that has come before.” Announced in early January, many sports fans were shocked to hear that the ENTIRE NCAA men’s tournament will be held all in Indiana. A total count of “67 men’s basketball games will be taking place in Indianapolis” according to ncaa.com. That is exceptional. Selection Sunday will happen on March 14 and the Final Four will start on April 3 and April 5. The schedule is strangely similar to the previous tournaments, just all the games are in the same state. NCAA.com also states that “Games will be played on two courts inside Lucas Oil Stadium, as well as Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Mackey Arena in West Lafayette and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Only one game at a time will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium. Teams will practice at the Indiana Convention Center with multiple courts set up inside the venue.”     

The 2021 NCAA Women’s basketball tournament, however, will not be held in Indiana. Instead this event will take place in the major cities of Texas. It states on ESPN.com, “including San Antonio; Austin, Texas; and San Marcos, Texas.” Live coverage starts on the 21st of March and ends on the 4th of April with the National Championship. Unlike the NCAA men’s basketball coverage, which is held on CBS, TBS, TNT, or truTV, the women’s basketball tournament will be entirely on all platforms of ESPN throughout all dates of scheduled basketball. ESPN.com states that “The Alamodome will host the Women’s Final Four, Elite Eight and Sweet 16. All 63 games of the 64-team event will be televised by the ESPN family of networks and available on the ESPN App.”

Lastly, there will be some considerations and ideas moving forward. After Selection Sunday the NCAA is considering a 1-4 team pool provided a disqualification before the end of the first round. An article on CBSsports.com states, “if necessary, to move into the tournament field should that be required before the completion of the first round. Those teams would be ranked 1-4 and will be announced during the Selection Show on CBS on March 14 at 6 p.m.” This special type of March Madness shall be interesting to watch. Let’s just hope that it gets to happen.