Category Archives: Sports

Profile: Anderson U. baseball players hope for spring season

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

Corinne White/Staff Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coach Wiley helps girls golf team in another successful year

By: Tyler Young/Staff Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Girls track and field train for upcoming season

by Meilyn Howe/Staff Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Dalton and Jahrsdoerfer dive their way up the podium

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wrestlers finish season at regionals, several advance

By Ashton Gillam/Staff Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Girls swim team dominates at sectionals

by Meilyn Howe/Staff Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Boys swim team prepares for post-season

by Trinity Fields/Staff Writer 

The boys swimming season is coming to an end with a strong finish. They have had a successful season so far. The boys ended up winning their 10th Hoosier Heritage Conference (HHC) title in a row, and are headed into sectionals in a few weeks. 

Travis Black, 11, swims sprint freestyle. Black talked about his goals for the season. Black said, “My goal for the end of the season is to go a sub 20 in the 50 free and break the school record in the 100 free.” Black also discussed how he prepared for the season. He said, “Preparation would have to be the preseason and going on the team training trip to Florida. I have been swimming year round for a while now. Preparation is really just showing up to preseason practices and getting excited for the season to start.” 

Black’s favorite memory of the season is: “I was at a swim meet in Shelbyville and it was their senior night. One of the kids on the Shelbyville team swam an entire 500 fly. It was amusing and everyone was cheering for him towards the end. It really showed how the sport brings people together.” 

The last thing Black talked about was what he learned from being on the team. He said, “I have learned how to manage time and wake up early in the morning. Swimming for an hour and a half before and two hours after school teaches a lot of time management. Morning practices have, over time, turned me into a morning person, and taught me that I need to set one alarm on the other side of the room so I actually get up.”

Samuel Jennings, 12, swims distance freestyle (200/500) free. Jenning’s goal for the season is, “To place top 8 at the ISHAA State Competition.” Jennings talked about his favorite part of the season. He said, “Getting to know and work with newer swimmers.” Jennings also discussed how he prepared for the season “by eating healthy and getting adequate sleep,” he said. The last thing Jennings talked about was how he wants to end the season. Jennings said, “To finish on a good note with the team. I want to leave the team being remembered as a leader and a good teammate.”

Tyler Swango, 9, swims 50 and 100 freestyle. Swango commented on what it’s like being a freshman on the swim team. He said, “Honestly being a freshman is not that bad. You don’t get judged for anything and it is fun being a part of such a great program.” 

Swango also discussed his and his team’s goals for the season. Swango said, “My goals going into the season were just to swim two individual events at varsity sectionals and meet my times, but I also ended up in the A 200 free relay so that is very exciting.” Swango continued, “Obviously one of our biggest goals was to win the Conference championship and Sectionals championship for the 10th year in a row.” 

The last thing Swango talked about is what he has learned from being on the team. He said, “I have learned that hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” Swango continued, “I have learned that you have to fight through the hard workouts to get better. That is the only reason I have made it all the way to Varsity Sectionals.” 

Tyler Osborn, 11, swims Freestyle 200 and 500 and backstroke. Osborn also discussed how he prepared for the season. He said, “I stayed in shape through exercise and I just put in hard effort throughout the time I had pre-season.” Osborn talked about his very specific goals:“My goals are to get 200 (1:54) and 100 Back (0:58).” 

Osborn’s favorite part of the season is, “Being able to train and hang out with the team.” He continued, “The team has great work ethic and overall are fun to hang around.” Osborn lastly reflected on what he has learned from being on the season. He said, “I learned with hard work and determination, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.” 

 

Boys basketball ready for season with new coach

by Trinity Fields and Ashton Gillam/Staff Writers

Photo Caption: Brock Wheeler, 12, passes the ball to a teammate in a game last season.

Cougar basketball is starting the season in full throttle. The freshmen team took home a hard earned first win against Knightstown. Owen Anderson and Bryce Hasty, both 9, had 11 steals combined in the 41-31 win. The junior varsity won on Dec. 9 against Indian Creek with Joey Roland, 10, leading with 16 points and Tyler Kerkhof, 9, with 10. Varsity got a win against Speedway on Dec. 14. Team members discussed their thoughts on the beginning of the season. 

Tyler Kerkhof, 9, plays on the junior varsity team. Kerkhof talked about what he is looking forward to most this season. He said, I am looking forward to building a family and winning some games this year, and I’m just really excited for it.” Kerkhof plays point guard and shooting guard. Some encouraging words from Kerkhof are, “We need to keep our heads held high and just know we got this because I think we all know we are a good team.” Kerkhof also believes that teamwork is an important key to basketball. He said, “Teamwork to me is everything. You have to have good chemistry and teamwork to be successful.”

Joey Roland, 10, plays for varsity and junior varsity. Roland said, “Playing varsity and jv can be difficult because of my age and inexperience on the court. To be successful takes a lot of time and effort.” A goal of Roland is, “I want to be able to play at a high level and get me and the team better and better every day so that the team can be successful and so we can make history.” Roland is looking forward to playing a fun sport with friends and trying to win basketball games. 

Bryce Hasty, also 9, said, “I am hoping to win almost every freshman game.” Hasty wants his teammates, including himself, to try and help the situation and to keep their heads in the games coming ahead. “I feel like it is my responsibility to hype them up,” said Hasty. Hasty plays shooting guard. Some encouraging words from Hasty are, “Try and keep their head in a game. I tell them that it’s good and to keep doing what they are doing.” 

Varsity has a little bit of a change to their coaching, getting new head coach Luke Meredith. The former assistant coach at Avon High School has been coaching for over a decade and beat out 40 other applicants for this job. Having a history of making things turn towards the right direction, he will hopefully turn us around into a winning team. Meredith said he knows the team has a ton of potential and is ready to start building a winning program. Meredith teaches English Language Arts in addition to coaching the boys varsity basketball team.  

Coach Meredith talked about what it’s like coaching the varsity team. Meredith said, “It is a unique opportunity, it’s a challenge, and I’m very blessed and appreciative to have the opportunity to be here at Greenfield Central.” 

Meredith also discussed the preparation and time he has put in towards coaching. He said, “Effort is the equalizer. Although this is my first year coaching as the head coach, I do feel like I put in a ton of time to be able to be prepared. I’m willing to put in that time, and I’m willing to sacrifice and do the things needed in order for our program and our kids to be successful. Without that experience, I feel like I can turn that into a strength by working harder” 

A phrase that Coach Meredith uses to encourage his team is, “Piece by piece, block by block, brick by brick.” Meredith continued with what he considers a good season. He said, “A good season is not winning 8, 10, 12 games, a good season is ‘Did we mold these young men?’ ‘Are they getting it done in the classroom?’ ‘Are we getting better?’ That, for me, would define a good season.”

 

Wrestlers discuss training, preparation

by Leah Olin/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Sly Blevens, 9, tries to get a hold on Braden Smith, 10, at wrestling practice.

The wrestling season can be an exciting time for everyone involved. The connections made between each team member show a mutual understanding of wrestling as a whole.  A few Cougar wrestlers expressed their thoughts on their preparation and goals for this sport.

Wrestling can be a bonding experience, but how it came into each student’s lives is all different. Matt Torres, 11, began wrestling at a young age because his older brothers did as well. Cooper Noehre, 12, was in a similar family situation. Growing up in homes where this sport was encouraged later influenced these boys into working harder to meet their goals of success rather than just wrestling for fun.

The Cougar’s wrestling coaches are head coach Josh Holden as well as coaches David Thaxton, Austin Early, Ed Hamant, and Mike Stanley. These men have been around for the athletes their entire journey. “I have learned so much from the coaches just within the last year,” Livia Quigley, 10, stated. “Coach Holden has inspired me the most always pushing me to work harder, he sets goals for me.” 

Noehre’s take on the coaches was that they are a “tremendous help to improve my wrestling all the time.” Along with Quigley, Torres talked about his life being completely different if it wasn’t for the guidance of the coaches. “Throughout practice they’re right along with us.” This not only shows the character of these helpers, but the care they take with their young charges.

Training for the season is a year-round task that each member must do in order to be prepared for the actual season. Quigley likes to take her off-season training to cardio while Noehre practices with club wrestlers. Depending on their strengths and weaknesses, they usually know what they need to work on most. “I train hard all the time,” added Torres.

Right alongside training is maintaining the right diet in order to reach the correct weight class in a healthful way. Some of the wrestlers have a natural diet which makes it easier for them to stay in shape, wrestlers such as Noehre. “I know what is healthy and what I should eat. Even when I’m cutting weight, I still eat three meals, just smaller portions,” Noehre said.

 Quigley has a similar situation in that she always has to watch what she eats even without wrestling in the picture. Torres laughed while saying, “Eggs have a lot of protein. They’re light and they fill you up!”

All three agreed that wrestling does more to you than put you in shape to fight another wrestler on a mat. Noehre said, “Wrestling teaches me to work through things when it gets hard.” Similarly Quigley added, “I’ve learned to take responsibility for my actions and hold myself accountable.”  Torres commented about all of the life lessons wrestling teaches him. “The life lessons wrestling teaches me outside of the sport is most important for me, honestly, hard work.”

The wrestlers talked about life after high school. “I love being in the fight,” Torres began. “I’ll hopefully coach after high school.” Noehre is attending Purdue University next year and plans to wrestle for the next four to five years. Quigley hopes to make it big one day and become a professional. With such big dreams, it is apparent that they have the passion.

Girls basketball talks goals for this season

by Meilyn Howe/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Hannah Farrell, 12, looks for an open teammate during the Richmond game this season. 

The girls varsity basketball team is  feeling positively about their season this winter. The girls have defeated Greenwood  and Richmond so far. 

Caroline Gibson, 11, said, “I am very excited for this season, not only for me, but also for the team. I enjoy being around all my teammates and it’s just a fun group; I think we can accomplish a lot.” 

Zoe Solis, also grade 11, said, “I’m always excited for the start of the season. All of the work in the offseason finally starts to pay off once the season starts. It’s awesome to get out there and see what your team can do.” 

Gibson said her goal this season is to win sectionals. She said that has always been her goal for their team. 

Addison Hill, 11, wants her team to win all of the games this year and sectionals. Hill said, “A few goals we would like to accomplish this season is having a winning season and winning sectionals.” 

Solis wants to always be there for her team. Solis said, “One goal I personally want to accomplish this season is honestly just helping my team any way I can. On the court or off the court, I want my teammates to know I have their backs at all times.” 

Gibson, Solis, and Hill all have the same competitor they want to beat this season: New Palestine. Hill said, “One of our biggest games this year is definitely going to be New Pal and if we play all out as a team, it’s a winnable game.” Gibson said all the games are going to be competitive, but she looks forward to playing New Pal the most. 

Solis says that you can manage your school work and sports at the same time if you work hard. Solis said, “It can be tricky to organize your time responsibility so that you get your work done, but if you work hard in the classroom just like you do on the court, everything will be fine.” 

The girls varsity basketball team has already started to bond very well this season, even with new girls joining the team. Hill said, “Our team this year is really close. A lot of us have been playing together for a while, and we get along so well. We’ve had a good group of freshmen come in too.” 

One of the biggest things the girls have already learned from basketball this season is having to work hard. Gibson stated, “I learn many things from basketball and from (Coach Key) but the most reinforced lesson I will always keep with me is that winning is hard, and you have to work hard on something if you really want it.” 

Solis stated, “One thing I will learn from playing basketball is that hard work prevails. High school sports teaches you a lot about the real world. The work you put in reflects on the type of person you are.” 

Solis continued, “Basketball teaches me everyday that if you’re dedicated and you work hard, good things will happen.”