Montgomery County has produced many talented athletes, but undoubtedly one of the absolute best is Matt McCarty, who lettered in baseball and basketball all four years at Crawfordsville High School from 1991-94. As a member of Coach John Froedge's baseball squad, Matt played shortstop, and the team won three Sectional championships in those four years. Matt stated, "I was fortunate to play for one of the best high school baseball programs in the state. All of the players bought into Coach Froedge's philosophy about hard work and dedication to each other . . . to be the best player and person we could be."
Matt was a member of the Junior Olympic team, and he was honored as First Team All-State shortstop, an Indiana All-Star . . . and he finished third in the balloting for Mr. Baseball in Indiana. His name appears among the leaders in several offensive categories in the state baseball record book.
But Matt also excelled as a member of the Athenian basketball team. I got a chance to watch him one time, and I knew that he had "the touch," as he was a deadly shooter from anywhere on the court. He holds the single season scoring record for Crawfordsville and Montgomery County . . . 719 points for a 31.3 average, and is second in career scoring for Crawfordsville with 1,410 points for an amazing 21.0 point average. Matt also holds the single game scoring record for both the old and new Crawfordsville gyms . . . 42 points against Central Catholic in 1993 . . . and 57 points against Frankfort in 1994. In the game against Central Catholic, Matt literally couldn't miss, as he canned 10 of 10 three-point shots, which was a state record for three-point shooting! Matt told me that he really loved the old gym as he always thought of the great players who had played there in the past. He commented that it's just not the same in the new gyms today . . . "I was proud to represent Crawfordsville, with its storied basketball history, and it was an honor to wear an Athenian uniform."
Several college coaches had their eyes on Matt, and upon graduation, he was offered a baseball scholarship to the University of Illinois. But Major League Baseball wanted him, too, and Matt signed a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization right out of high school. After a stint with professional baseball, Matt headed to Indiana State University to play basketball and obtain a degree in Criminology. Like his Dad, Tom McCarty . . . an Indiana State Trooper, and his older brother, Mike McCarty . . . a Nashville, Tenn. police officer, Matt became a police officer, too, for the city of Brownsburg . . . before heading back home, where he now serves as Chief Deputy for the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department.
When asked about what event he remembered most from his playing days, Matt replied, "In the 1994 basketball Sectional Tourney championship game against Southmont, we lost in double overtime. But I have never played in a sporting event that had so much energy and excitement. Many people say it was the best Sectional game ever played in our county."
There are several great athletes from Montgomery County who were great basketball stars, and there are also several athletes who were outstanding baseball players. But there are very few who led all other athletes in both sports. Matt McCarty reached the pinnacle of success in both. He was simply amazing! Thanks, Matt, for entertaining the fans with your athletic skills . . . and for serving our county as a dedicated police officer!

John "Butch" Dale is a retired teacher and County Sheriff. He has also been the librarian at Darlington the past 30 years, and is a well-known artist and author of local history. He writes a general column that appears in The Paper on Fridays and a local sports column on Tuesdays.