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home : sports : your game day update September 14, 2014


An early look at Sagamore football ranks
Hello World!

Who would have thought it could happen again?! But it did!

What am I talking about?

Well for starters, the storms. Two Fridays in a row. C'mon. I have enough gray on the top of my head as it is, I don't need it to start in my beard too!

But another thing happened that just couldn't be . . . for the fourth straight year the North Montgomery vs. Southmont football game was won by the visitors. Who would have thought?!

I did get the pick right in our little contest we have every Friday, but it's still one of those things that stand out in sports that just doesn't make sense.

Another shocker, at least to me, was the Danville and Crawfordsville outcome. I picked the Athenians and if I had to do it again I would pick them again. I thought that they had the momentum to carry them through. What I underestimate was how ticked off Danville was.

Turns out, getting beat up on by the likes of Plainfield and New Palestine doesn't put a very good taste in your mouth. The Warriors could be a threat in the Sagamore this season. COULD be. They won't. But they could.

Part of the reason they won't is that there's a pair of legit squads that are in mid-season form already. Other can keep getting better and get there, but Tri-West and Western Boone are two of the best in the state.

The Bruins are ranked 10th in the media poll and the Stars are right behind them at No. 11.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Lightning strikes same place twice
It appears Mother Nature wants a say in the county title race.

For the second week in a row, the county football games were delayed Friday night because of lightning in the area.

Games pitting Crawfordsville against Danville and North Montgomery against Southmont were postponed until today. Both games were at the half.

Last week, the starts of the games were delayed because of storms.

New day, new teams?

North Montgomery was leading Southmont 28-8 at the half and Danville was ahead of Crawfordsville 21-0.

Will a new day result in a different look for the Mounties or Athenians? Or will North Montgomery and Danville come out looking sharp once again?

There was no doubt who was in control in New Market Friday night. The Chargers had outgained the Mounties 271-89 in total yards at the half. North Montgomery's last two offensive plays of the half saw quarterback Baylee Adams hit a streaking Vince Gwynn down the middle of the field for consecutive touchdowns of 34 and 62 yards.

Saturday, September 6, 2014
Thunder, lightning, delays, oh my
Hello world!

What an adventure we had Friday.

Those of you that were out at the Southmont football probably saw me as the guy running back and forth between administrators and bugging them about when (and if) we were going to get the games going. I was anxious for a decision, as were the fans, and there was a lot of pressure on the people in charge.

There was even more pressure because of the updated rule that, as of January, states thunder is indistinguishable from lightning. All my life, I remember not being able to play sports if it was lightning out. You could play in the rain, wind and even snow, but lightning meant a delay. And that made sense.

But now the powers that be at the National Federation of State High School Associations have decided that where there is thunder, there is lightning. And no matter how far away the storm is, the game still has to be delayed for 30 minutes from the last strike or thunderclap.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
We can learn a lot in a week
Hello world!

And congratulations to Crawfordsville!

We told you the boys in blue and gold looked good in their scrimmage against Sheridan. And they made us look good by coming back with a win over Cascade Friday night.

It broke a streak of 19 straight losses for the Athenians and it was about time.

I said over and over again last season that Mike Hammons was getting it right with the way he was running the program. I'll still say it. Does that mean that the Athenians are going to go undefeated this year? Not at all. But they have a couple more wins on the schedule this year, I think. And the program will continue to develop and get better over the years.

So what do we know about the Athenians after the first week of the season? Well, we know that they aren't ready to accept defeat. They battled in their 10-8 win over Cascade in a way that teams don't do if they don't believe in themselves.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
What's 'Bash looking like?
Hello world!

Back and better than ever as a new week hits its stride. It's an exciting time around The Paper of Montgomery County. We are getting ready to rock the fall season and bring you the best coverage of the local athletes that you'll find anywhere.

There's a lot of excitement floating around in regard to the high school football teams and which players will emerge as the stars of the future. And we will talk about all of that, in good time. But this week why don't we talk about the guys that don the red and white jerseys of Wabash College.

Wabash has established itself as one of the premier Division 3 programs, year in and year out. And while they did lose a lot of talented players from last year's 9-1 squad, they're going to be good again this season.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Fall sports start today
Hello world!

It's a double dose this week, but there's plenty to talk about as the fall season gets nearer with each day.

What's that? It's here? Crazy! But that's right. Girls' golf starts action today with practices taking place around the county.

North Montgomery, which got out of the sectional last season, lost only Morganne Carpenter to graduation from last year's squad. Carpenter was, however, the Montgomery County Girls' Golfer of the Year as a senior. So it's a big loss. Kennedy Bonwell, Kristen Glass and Abby Woodard will all be juniors this year and were a big part of last year's team. Scout Groves and Stephanie Winkler saw time last year as freshman.

Crawfordsville also has a crop of young talent, including senior Regina Go, juniors Kaitlyn Dixon and Shania Harrison and sophomore Olivia Grady. Southmont might have the most to replace, losing Chelsey Smith, who is continuing her outstanding career at Trine.

Friday, August 1, 2014
Football will be interesting
Hello world!

Can you feel it in the air? Sports are coming. Football will be here soon and all will be well in the world.

It should be a pretty interesting fall on the gridiron. All three teams will have new quarterbacks at the helm when they step onto the field. Travis Harris (CHS), Jalen West (North) and Devon Burton (South) are all graduated. They each have been to the go-to guys for their teams the last two years.

It will be interesting to see who steps up at each school to lead their squads. It seems likely that Trent Johnson will be the guy to step up at Crawfordsville. He will be a sophomore this season and got reps behind Harris last season. Crawfordsville will bring back a majority of their backs, but their biggest loss might be at the receiver position. PJ Schafer was Crawfordsville's big-play option last season. His 6-4 frame made him useful on all sides of the ball. Also gone from the center of the defense will be the hard-hitting Garrett Phelps.

Up North, the Chargers have a new coach (Josh Thompson) and should have quite a few new faces. In addition to losing West and a host of lineman, the Chargers graduate Chase Mahoy and Joel Kauth, two bruisers in the backfield. Alex Parsons will return after a breakout sophomore season that saw him slash through defenses from several positions on the field. Baylee Adams, a big-bodied athletic junior, should be one of the key players for North.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Not time to make move for Burk
Hello world!

This was potentially going to be the column where I also said so long. Yes, as a handful of you know, I had intentions to move on from The Paper of Montgomery County and move a little closer to my family's home in Fort Wayne.

I dabbled with the idea of a few different things, but ultimately I decided that my time and place was here and now. So I'm staying on board and returning for another season at the helm of The Paper's sports department.

It's the right move.

Long story short, I was looking at moving closer to my family because I need to see them more. I need to be a bigger part of the lives of my niece and nephews. I need to have experiences with my parents and grandparents - laughing and joking and having a good time.

Those things are all still true. But they are all very doable. I just needed to force myself to find ways to make it happen, and I did that. I will continue to do that. I will also continue to head up the best coverage of Montgomery County sports you'll find anywhere in the world.

I'm still a young guy and the beauty of that is that I am constantly learning about perspective in life. If you look at things with a narrow mind and just accomplish things through the path of least resistance, it won't work out well. Not for you or anyone involved. Everyone needs to make memories with their loved ones, and it's all about action - whether you are 10 miles or 160 miles away.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Baseball is good around these parts
Hello world!

How about it! The summer is in full force and the weather is looking beautiful - for the most part.

And we made it through moratorium week. Whew, I wasn't sure if we could go a whole week "without sports." But we made it. Thanks to some pretty awesome sports.

I hope you had the chance to get out to Crawfordsville, North Montgomery or Wabash College last weekend. There was some great baseball being played and one of our local teams, the Indiana Thunder, was right in the mix. The 15-and-unders took second place against some very good competition. So kudos to them and it's good that Montgomery County gets to host some good summer competition with all the quality players we have in the county and the area.

Another quality program is the American Legion Byron Cox Post 72 team that is based in Crawfordsville. The team stays very busy and has faced some very good competition this season. They are in the home stretch of their regular campaign and will be home again this weekend. If you want to see some great baseball, they will play at North Montgomery High School on Saturday at 11 a.m. and again following that. Most likely around 1:30 or 2 p.m.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
It's that time of the year
Hello World!

We've reached an interesting time of the summer. It comes around every year and I'm never quite sure what to make of it.

Yes, it's moratorium week.

A week when high school athletes can't have any contact with their coaches.

A week when, in theory, athletes take a week off from the never-ending grind that high school sports have become.

I think the intended design is more of the exception than the rule.

I wrote a column about this last year and got an email from a coach letting me know that he was out of the state, and therefore not working with athletes. It was lighthearted. I don't think any of the coaches are breaking the rules, and he knew that. That's not what I'm suggesting.

I'm only suggesting that this "week off" isn't really a week off.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


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