There are four huge games on Friday night right here in Montgomery County, including a battle for the county crown.
Up at North Montgomery, the Chargers will play host to the Crawfordsville Athenians for a girls / boys double header.
The girls' game is a rematch of the opening game of The Sugar Creek Classic. Crawfordsville took that early-season battle, 50-19. The game was closer than the score indicates. The teams were knotted at 21-21 at halftime and the Chargers kept it close to start the third quarter. The leadership of Crawfordsville senior Lacey Garrett and junior Paige Schueren propelled them to the win.
It's easy to see that both of these teams have improved since that point in the season. Erika Brooks has developed a hot hand of late for the Athenians to go with Garrett and Schueren. They've also gotten solid minutes from senior Emily Seybold and freshman Zoe Walbert.
The Chargers are led by Conner Norman, who is a senior. Cheyenne Warren and Becca Adams provide a bulk of the offense while Lauren McClaskey, Carli Cahill and others work hard on defense and on the boards.
In boys action, Crawfordsville is coming off of its first win of the season last Saturday against North Putnam. The Athenians seem to get better every time they take the floor. Trent Johnson has emerged as one of the leaders of a young squad that is still getting used to the speed of the varsity game. Tuesday, December 16, 2014
It's a wild week of wrestling in Montgomery County!
Last night the Mounties knocked off Lebanon in a dual meet at home and North Montgomery traveled to Tri-West and dominated. On Thursday, the best team in the land (at least in 2A), Yorktown, comes to North Montgomery for a dual meet. Crawfordsville will play host to Seeger that night as well.
When the weekend rolls around, the Mounties will be off to the Chris Traicoff Invitational at Calumet. It's one of the best wrestling tournaments in the state and they will see some outstanding competition. The Chargers head up to Frankfort where they will go against the likes of Hamilton Southeastern, Lebanon, McCutcheon and Kokomo.
The week has started off well for the county with two wins and if it continues it will give the teams huge momentum going into the Montgomery County meet on Dec. 20.
There's no doubt that the county meet will be a blast and the Sagamore Athletic Conference meet might be even better. Add Frankfort, Western Boone and Danville as top-notch teams into the mix with our county schools and Lebanon. Ought to be a barn-burner. Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I've been thinking lately. What would it take to be a Division 1 football coach?
Well, we found out this week that you just have to beat Wabash. It was announced earlier this week that Lance Leipold, the coach at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, would be taking the job at Buffalo, a Division 1 FCS program. The announcement came just days after the Warhawks eliminated the Little Giants from the Division 3 Playoffs.
Now for those that think I've completely lost my marbles, I am just kidding. I know that Leipold has five national championships under his belt and the timing of the announcement was a coincidence. I still found it humorous.
I didn't do much laughing on Saturday. I spent the afternoon watching the web-feed of the Whitewater vs. Wabash game (luckily without distraction from Mr. Hammer . . . Sounds like he found Mr. Timmons during operating hours for once). Wednesday, December 3, 2014
How about some special Saturday action from the sports editor with the best beard in Montgomery County? There's plenty to talk about, so why not?!
First things first, I hope you are reading this late Saturday night or Sunday morning. If so, that means you might have gotten up before the sun today and went up to Wisconsin to see Wabash College battle the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater.
Going to a playoff game is something special. Whether it's a high school playoff game, a college game or even the pros. I've been to games at each of those levels and can tell you that the atmosphere is just different.
A lot of fans got a look at the atmosphere last week when Wabash beat Franklin 33-14 to open the Division 3 Playoffs. My first playoff experience was in December of 2008. We went up to Cleveland for the Wabash game against Case Western Reserve.
The snow was piled outside of the endzones and it was an awful day for football. And it was an awful day to have driven so far as a Wabash fan, for most of the game. Wabash trailed 17-13 late in the fourth quarter. Friday, November 28, 2014
Southmont got in some early action last night at home against Turkey Run and all three Montgomery County boys' basketball teams will be in action tonight.
North Montgomery kicks off their season with a trip to Speedway and Crawfordsville opens at home against Greencastle. The Mounties get back to it with a short trip to North Putnam.
Obviously basketball is a hot topic, not only around The Paper, but around the county. Talking to a lot of people, no one seems very sure about what we should see this season.
Some things have been agreed upon. Crawfordsville is young, Grant Gayler should have an amazing senior season at North Montgomery and Southmont is a big team.
Let's start with Crawfordsville. The Athenians have a whole new team this year, but they have some great athletes. Trent Johnson and senior Nick Corbin have varsity experience in other sports, so the speed of the game won't intimidate them. They are going to be important guards for the Athenians. Down low, Ryan Barr and Konner Smith looked sharp in the scrimmage and both have good size to be able to bang bodies inside. Who else is going to emerge for Crawfordsville is the big question! Last season several kids stepped up and led them to county, Sugar Creek Classic and sectional championships. Who's it going to be this year? Wednesday, November 26, 2014
It's another good day in the Montgomery County sports world because Wabash retained the Monon Bell Saturday.
It's always a blast when the Little Giants keep the bell in Crawfordsville, but it's even better when it's not even close.
It was almost sad, at times, on Saturday. It's hard to see such a one-sided affair in a rivalry game.
I will give it to the DePauw fans. They had a much better turnout this year than last year. They nearly filled the entire permanent visitor's bleachers. That left the temporary endzone structure that was constructed for them basically empty, but it was a lot better than two years ago.
But as much credit as I'll give them for showing up, what they left behind was disappointing. The tailgate area set up for DePauw fans near the Fine Arts Center at Grant and Jennison was trashed Saturday night.
The hard-working folks at Wabash Campus Services deserve thanks for their work to clean up the area.
It's often a thankless job to do something like that, but the community is appreciative. Wednesday, November 19, 2014
The Monon Bell has only left Crawfordsville for two days since Nov. 14, 2009. Those were both one-day trips to Greencastle as the Little Giants brought it home after wins both times.
The last two times the Tigers of DePauw have visited Crawfordsville, they've gone home without putting a single digit on the scoreboard. They haven't scored a single point on the artificial turf at Wabash since it was installed.
Wabash College has won the Bell Game five straight times. That means two senior classes graduated without never knew the agony of losing the Bell.
Don't take it for granted. This is not status quo.
For me, part of the whirlwind of events surrounding the game each year is to help coordinate our tailgate. Of my closest friends from my time at Wabash, just two of us live in Crawfordsville. That means we have to take point on getting a spot early, making sure people have accommodations booked and wrapping up any loose ends that arise last minute. Friday, November 14, 2014
The break is over and we are back in action in the Montgomery County sports world!
It's a lot more fun around these parts when games are going on and results are rolling in.
The county split season-opening action last night. The Crawfordsville girls' basketball team was led by a stout defensive effort to beat North Putnam. Southmont, which traveled to North Vermillion, struggled offensively in a loss.
It's the first game. No one is hanging their season on what happened last night.
The Mounties are going to figure out how to score the rock and Crawfordsville won't have another shutout for an entire quarter the rest of the season.
Crawfordsville looked solid on the defensive end, but they know that they have to continue to improve to perform like that against the likes of Tri-West, which they'll see on Thursday. The Lady Athenians have plenty of young talent and strong leadership that could help them find some success this season.
The same is true for Southmont, despite the loss. They have some of the best sophomores in the county down south and it's all about finding their rhythm.
The boys are off and running too. Well, they are practicing at least.
It's going to be a very interesting boys' season. The Chargers are bringing a bunch of talent back and only lost a couple of seniors to graduation last year. If Grant Gayler has a great year, like he is capable of, North Montgomery should have the supporting cast to win some titles. Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Entering Friday night, eyes were bright and our football teams had them set on the second round of the sectional. Three hours later, everyone was knocked out of the tournament and the football season was over. Hard to believe how quickly it can all end.
Over on the north side of Indianapolis, Crawfordsville ran into a Brebeuf team that could be the class of 3A once again this year. Lavante' Bellamy is unreal in the backfield and the Braves have played a tough schedule. The only really bad game they've had is when they laid an egg against a very explosive Guerin Catholic team. It should be an interesting matchup between them and Tri-West this week as one team looks to make it to the sectional championship game.
On the other side of the 3A sectional bracket, Western Boone stole one from North Montgomery. The Stars benefitted from the return of their starting quarterback and running back. They just found a way to get by the Chargers. That's what it's all about this time of year. Now the Stars will take on an Edgewood team that is a mystery to most around these parts. They sit at 9-1. They haven't beaten anyone good, but they've blown out all the bad teams they've played. So who knows? We'll find out what they're about on Friday. Tuesday, October 28, 2014
I know, I say that a lot. I say it about the wrestling / swimming county, conference and sectional weekends. I say it about the baseball regional weekends. I saw it about the Sugar Creek Classic weekends in basketball (You know it's going to be fun if we sponsor it). I say it a lot.
But it's true. Weekends around the Montgomery County sports world are hard to beat.
After the thrill of covering football sectionals on Friday night, it will be time to bounce right back on Saturday and cover the North Montgomery vs. Crawfordsville volleyball sectional semifinal. There might not be a better semifinal in the state that day and it's right in our backyard. Tuesday, October 21, 2014