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  • Wednesday, December 6, 2017 4:10 AM
    The Jon Sparks era has come to an end for Southmont boys’ basketball. Problem is, no one seems to be willing to explain why.
    A press release from Southmont athletic director Aaron Charles came out just before 3 p.m. Tuesday saying that Sparks resigned as head coach and that Jake Turner will serve as the interim head coach.
    I asked Aaron, “Did Jon give a reason for his resignation? If so what was it?”
    His response: “Our focus is on this team and moving forward as they continue to work to reach their goals for the season. We will not comment any further than what was released.”
    Our staff called Charles several times Tuesday, called Southmont Principal Mike Tricker multiple times and even called the corporation office trying to speak with Superintendent Dr. Shawn Greiner. Not one call was returned. I’m not a hard guy to get hold of. I’ve printed my cell phone number in this very paper multiple times.
    When we tracked down Sparks, he was only willing to confirm that “a change has been made.” I talked with him later and he sent a statement that started with “The administration at Southmont has determined my coaching to be finished. And so I have resigned effectively immediately.” The full statement can be read at the bottom of this page. 
    So was he fired or did he resign? 
    Did the fact that Sparks made a decision to bench his best player Saturday as Southmont lost a lead and the game at Cloverdale factor in?
    I asked Aaron that, too, in an email. No response yet.
    It’s time that we start acting like adults, don’t you think? Someone made an adult decision that has us in this situation. This situation where a 4-2 Southmont team had a head coaching change part way through the season.
    That’s the situation and fans, supporters, taxpayers and students want to know why. They deserve to know why and what really happened.
    52 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, July 5, 2017 4:00 AM
    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 for a lot of folks the grind continues with travel and AAU-type teams. I don't think any of the coaches or athletes are breaking the rules. That's not what I'm suggesting. 
    I'm only suggesting that this "week off" isn't really a week off. But that's OK with me. I don't see the need for the IHSAA to mandate athletes to take a week off from the sports their playing. And most athletes won't. That's good by me.
    I can hear the blowback before it begins. "Let ‘em be kids! They need time off!" What better way is there to be a kid than to play games? The large majority of kids that are putting in work this week (either on their own or with travel teams) love the games they're playing. They don't love 6 a.m. workouts. They don't love running sprints. They don't love losing. But they love playing. And that's why they do it. 
    So I say let them play. 
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, June 7, 2017 4:00 AM
    Hello world!
    What a wild baseball season it was! We saw state contenders in the No. 1 ranked Crawfordsville Athenians fall in the sectional opener and saw a Southmont team that looked average win the sectional. Those Mounties then took the state’s No. 3 team in Class 2A to the brink of elimination in the regional. Cardinal Ritter pulled it out over Southmont and will play in the semistate this weekend while the Mounties move on to other summer plans. 
    To borrow a line from our friend Honest Hoosier, I’d like to give a tip of the seed corn cap to a handful of those Mountie baseball players who volunteered some of their time to help with our move to the Athena Center. 
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, May 10, 2017 4:00 AM
    Hello world!
    It’s hard to believe that there’s less than a month left in the spring sports season. In-season championships are being won and the squads are rolling right along. Athletic directors, sports folks and fans alike are persevering through the rain and reschedules that come along with every spring. 
    May also means the return of an annual tradition – the Sugar Creek Canoe Race. John Marlowe has an excellent story about the return of the tradition that, at one time, brought world-class athletes to race. The event’s had a couple years off, but it’s back and will hopefully have a good turnout. It’s hard for a lot of younger folks to turn away from whichever screen is most distracting at the moment to really be involved in outdoor hobbies, but I think a lot of younger adults will have an interest. That’s in addition to the generations who made the race the spectacle that it once was. 
    I didn’t know much of the history of the race. I never really took notice during my time at Wabash and would have only written about the races in 2013 and 2014. John’s sources do a great job of painting the picture of how much the event – and Sugar Creek – mean to a lot of folks around here. It’s a neat read with a lot of great accompanying info. Flip back to A1 to read it, if you missed it. 
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, April 12, 2017 4:00 AM
    Hello world!
    Boy did we get into the Sagamore Athletic Conference and Montgomery County baseball season with a bang. A pair of one-run wins for North Montgomery and Crawfordsville over Southmont and Tri-West made for a thrilling Tuesday night of baseball. 
    Yesterday was probably the nicest day of the spring season so far, and we can only hope the weather gods continue to lose their tempers. Saturday is looking like a pretty good day and it’ll be a busy one. The county golf teams will see their first action of the year with the annual trip to Danville for the Warriors’ invitational. Local golfers will see some of the bigger Indianapolis-area schools and face some of the best competition they’ll see all year. 
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, April 5, 2017 4:00 AM
    Hello world!
    Spring sports are here and what’s that mean? Rain!
    The flowers love it, athletic directors and coaches (and parents and athletes and grandparents and everyone else) hate it! It’s hard to even get a real read on teams this early on because how a team holds up in the cold wind, muddy mess and light drizzle don’t really tell how they’ll perform when the shine of the postseason is here and summer approaches. 
    One team that certainly made a statement early on is the Crawfordsville baseball team. I talked last week how I missed basically two years of spring sports with my journey east, so a lot of the faces are new to me. I recall Athenians Trent Johnson and Caden Jones as very good sophomores with a lot of potential. Nowadays they’re the heart of the team and leading a very good bunch of diamondmen who’ve climbed to No. 2 in the Class 3A state baseball rankings. The Athenians are on a much deserved break from action until Saturday. They had a grueling start, with six games in eight day. They came away with wins if five of those contests – a pretty nice start. 
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, March 29, 2017 4:00 AM
    Hello world!
    Despite a few showers here and there, springs sports are officially outdoors. 
    Spring always kicks off with the indoor track and field season, but being trapped indoors with hundreds of people doesn’t exactly scream spring. What does represent spring in full force is opening day for the Crawfordsville baseball team. That took place Monday and the boys notched the first W of the season. Tony Bean and the younger guys put in a ton of work to get the field ready despite the rainy conditions. Things were pushed back about a half hour but got going and the field held up nicely. The junior varsity was even able to get some action in Tuesday.
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, February 22, 2017 4:00 AM
    Hello world!
    What a weekend for Montgomery County. We had three wrestlers take to the mats Friday night with their eyes set on a state championship. Tanner Webster, Boone Welliever and Seth Johnson all got through Friday night to ensure a top-8 spot in the state. 
    The wrestlers returned Saturday and continued to show well. Johnson hit the mat first and advanced followed by the same from Welliever and Webster. Johnson, just a sophomore, went on to wrestle his way to fourth place and Welliever finished his career with a win, taking third. The placement matches that of his dad, Jamie Welliever, as the best in Southmont history. 
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, February 15, 2017 4:00 AM
    Hello world!
    It’s been an up and down season for Montgomery County wrestlers. Forty-two young men started the sectional at Crawfordsville with hopes of standing on a podium at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse this weekend. Just three still have that opportunity. North Montgomery senior Tanner Webster, North Montgomery sophomore Seth Johnson and Southmont senior Boone Welliever have one last chance at making their mark on history. 
    The wrestling state tournament is an interesting structure. For three straight Saturdays the kids hit the mats early in the morning and compete for most of the day at the sectional, regional and semi state level. Sixteen grapplers from each weight class make it to state where they wrestler one match on Friday night. If you win Friday, you get to come back Saturday and get a medal. If you lose Friday night, you just go home and you’ll need a ticket to watch Saturday’s action. 
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, February 8, 2017 4:00 AM
    Hello world!
    The rubber meets the road Saturday at the New Castle wrestling semi state. Eight local wrestlers have made it out of the North Montgomery regional and are two wins away from a trip to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse as one of the state’s 16 best. The North Montgomery regional is one of the top two in the state. Ask folks around here and they’ll say it’s the best. Ask folks a little further south and they’ll tell you Mooresville is tougher. Six here, half-a-dozen there.
    Point is, the kids who came out of our hometown regional are legit and they all have the opportunity to compete their way to state. Strangely, Montgomery County only came away with one regional champion out of a crowded field. That one champion was Southmont senior Boone Welliever. He joins his dad, Jamie, as the school’s only 3-time regional champions. 
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, February 1, 2017 4:00 AM
    Hello world!
    Saturday was a very interesting day for the Montgomery County boys’ basketball teams. They traveled to Knightstown to spend an afternoon at the Hoosier Gym. The location is notable as the location that the movie Hoosiers was filmed. In the movie, it was the home gym for the Hickory Huskies. Each Montgomery County team had the opportunity to dress in the home locker room and show up as Hickory on the score board. 
    Scott Smith and I hopped in a car Saturday morning and headed over to cover the games and take in the environment. As we arrived, we searched for a parking spot on the street in the neighborhood where the gym is. When we finally found a spot, we walked the short distance to the gym and packed into the foyer / concession stand / ticket booth / merchandise room as we waited for the first game of the day to end so that North Montgomery vs. Attica could get started. We checked in just as the final horn sounded and got great seats along press row with a great view. 
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, January 18, 2017 4:00 AM
    Hello world!
    Book your Saturday right now. The only place you should be on Saturday evening is the Crawfordsville High School Gym for the C’ville-Southmont game. If the first go-round was any indication, the county title won’t be won easily. The Athenians and Mounties battled in an overtime thriller in the championship game of the Sugar Creek Classic less than two weeks ago . . . you might have read a column or two about it. Point is, believe the hype. 
    I have a memory of game just like this a couple years back. In 2013 Southmont went into Crawfordsville with a 9-2 record and countered Crawfordsville’s best game of the year to win 82-69. Crawfordsville came out firing that game and really did play its best game of the year. Southmont did the same. Southmont seniors Cody Thomas and Drake Cooksey tossed in 29 and 20 points, respectively, and junior Devon Burton matched Thomas’ total. On the other side, Seth Lewis racked up 17 points to lead a brigade of four Athenians in double figures. That wasn’t enough on a night that Southmont hit 16 3-pointers.
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, January 11, 2017 4:00 AM
    Hello world!
    What a Saturday! Going into the Sugar Creek Classic, I knew that Saturday could be a fun night. If the cards fell the way they should have Friday, which they did, we would have matchups between North against WeBo and South against C’ville. I knew those two games would be a blast but little did I know just what we would see. 
    Let’s start with the grand finale of the Classic. Crawfordsville had control of the championship game against Southmont for most of the duration. The Athenians were never able to establish firm dominance, but at the same time Southmont just couldn’t get on the right side of the scoreboard. The Mounties found some magic late and knotted things up with about a minute left. 
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, January 4, 2017 4:00 AM
    Hello world!
    Sports are back in full force and it’s a beautiful thing. Swimmers hit the water Monday for a fantastic county meet on Monday at the Crawfordsville Aquatics Center. The meet came down to one one-hundredths of a second for the girls. Megan Merica put together a special effort to touch the wall and put the Chargers in second place in the 400-yard freestyle relay. That was enough to propel them into first place as a team and claim their third straight county championship. 
    0 comment(s)
  • Wednesday, December 21, 2016 4:00 AM
    Hello world!
    First and foremost, Merry Christmas! It’s slow around the sports world, but it gives athletes (and us local media folk) a chance to enjoy some rest and time with family. 
    Some athletes do have some work to put in over the holidays. North Montgomery’s wrestling team is headed up to Fort Wayne on Friday for the IHSWCA Team State Duals. Surprisingly, the Chargers were assigned to No. 4 seed in the Class 2A Bracket. The ranking reflects the rankings put out by on Dec. 12. Yorktown, Bellmont and Jimtown are ahead of the Chargers in ranking and seeding but I think the Chargers might perform much better than that. 
    They’ll start the day with duals against fifth-seeded Edgewood and unseeded Northwood. I imagine they’ll cruise through those duals. If they do, they should find top-seeded Yorktown in the semifinal. In my eyes, the winner of that dual goes on to win the tournament. The Chargers might not be getting the respect from the state rankings but they have a chance to put a lot of folks on notice this weekend. 
    0 comment(s)
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media 
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P.O. Box 272 Crawfordsville, IN 47933
Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933


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