WESTERN LADY PANTHERS CLAIM FOUR-PEAT AT IHSAA GOLF SECTIONAL, KOKOMO AND NORTHWESTERN ALSO ADVANCE

(Photo courtesy Western Athletics)

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. – The Western girls golf team took its first step to returning to the IHSAA State Finals by winning its fourth consecutive sectional championship in convincing fashion. Playing at Kokomo’s Chippendale Golf Course, the Lady Panthers shot a 339 to easily outpace runner-up Kokomo’s score of 358. Both of those squads will join third-place Northwestern (375) at the IHSAA Lafayette Jefferson Regional at the Battle Ground Golf Course in Tippecanoe County.

While the Panthers were the team champions, Wildkat Kiah Parrott earned individual low medalist honors. The Kokomo sophomore broke the school’s sectional record by six strokes with a with a 3-under par 70. Parrott shot identical 35s on the front and back nine and tied her personal 18-hole best.

Tipton finished in fourth (398), followed by Maconaquah (410), Peru (420), Logansport (421), Lewis Cass (422), Eastern (449), Taylor (480) and North Miami (489). Individuals advancing to the regional include Tipton’s Emma Kelly (second place at 74), Maconaquah’s Renae Stoll (92) and Cass’ Olivia Salyers (92). Kelly was a 2016 state finalist.

For Western, Trina Gill finished third with a 78, followed by Lauren Tuchscherer (85), Andrea Peterson (87), Kaitlyn Sanders (89) and Torrie Smith (91).

The rest of the Lady Kats squad included Sydney Murphy (89), Haley Salinas (98), Molly Mavrick (101) and Mackenzie Smith (119).

Northwestern’s regional qualifying team includes Allison Miller (90), Amanda Wilson (90), Emily Martin (93), Jaimy Lalonde (102) and Hannah Newell (106).

Jillian LaRowe led Eastern with a 105 and Taylor was led by the 112 of Ruth Durham.

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KOKOMO FOOTBALL WINS BY HOSTING ITS THIRD ANNUAL VICTORY DAY FOR SPECIAL NEEDS PLAYERS

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. – On Sept. 15, the Kokomo Wildkat varsity football team played its second game on the new synthetic turf field at Walter Cross Field. And while there was plenty to cheer about during the game, when the final horn sounded, the Kats found themselves 1-2 in North Central Conference play following a 48-28 loss to rival Lafayette Jefferson.

Head coach Brett Colby was initially pleased with Kokomo’s performance, but after a restless few hours of sleep, he watched the game film and formed new opinions. Fortunately, he knew a special day was about to begin for the Wildkats which would wipe away any thoughts on the previous nights loss.

A 10:30 a.m. the following morning, Colby was back at Walter Cross Field and had tears in his eyes. But those tears were not from the way his Kats played Friday night – it was from the way his squad was interacting with players with special needs during the third annual Victory Day at KHS.

“This is special,” he understated. “Incredible experience at Victory Day.”

Several special needs athletes were treated to a special morning as the entire Wildkat football program joined in Victory Day – an activity for cognitively and physically impaired children to be the star of the show by running drills, wearing Wildkat uniforms and even scoring a touchdown as a public address announcer yells their names. Victory Day – an effort brought to Coach Colby by Wayne and Susan Luttrell three years ago – has grown into a date that the entire football program looks forward to each fall.

“This! This is what KHS is all about,” exclaimed Principal Angela Blessing. “I love Victory Day at KHS.”

Participants in Victory Day 2017 included Jake Deleon (escorted by Kyle Wade), Grant Mayfield (with Noah Hurlock), Sharaw Barbary (with Brody Smith), Bryce Miller (with Aion Jones), Cameron Miller (with Luke Cameron), Adam Husky (with Jack Perkins) and Destiny Bales (with Aeden Ligon).

Following the on-field actives, Victory Day participants were introduced one final time over the PA system, presented with a championship medal and then joined the entire KHS football team for a pizza lunch.

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NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE IHSAA

INDIANAPOLIS – The InSideOut Initiative – a nonprofit aimed at transforming the “win‐at‐all‐costs” sports culture in communities across the country – will launch soon in Indiana, in partnership with the IHSAA Foundation and the Indianapolis Colts.

Sports engage more individuals, families, and communities in a shared experience than any other cultural activity, organization or religion. Three out of four American families with school‐aged children will have at least one child play an organized sport – approximately 45 million children.

However, youth sports has evolved into an $8 billion industry that promotes early specialization, private one‐on‐one coaching, multi‐team layered participation and a significant financial and emotional investment by parents. Less than 3-percent of high school athletes will go on to play college athletics and only a fraction of those – less than 1- percent – will ever play professionally. If the value of youth sports comes solely from winning, then millions of kids lose out on the potential for a life‐changing human growth experience.

“For sports to provide students with human growth opportunities and moral development, we must move beyond defining success by the scoreboard and create space in the culture for a higher purpose,” says InSideOut Initiative co‐founder and executive director, Jody Redman. “The InSideOut Initiative provides a blueprint for systemic change – and guides communities into reframing the purpose of sports, and building a system that focuses on the development of the educational, social and emotional well‐being of each student-athlete.”

Powered by the NFL Foundation and piloted in Colorado and Texas in 2015, the InSideOut Initiative catalyzes partnerships with educational leaders, state athletic associations and local NFL teams to address the brokenness of the sports culture and engages stakeholders in strategic conversations to re‐define the role of interscholastic sports in the lives of students and communities.

“The Indianapolis Colts are proud to support the InsideOut Initiative here in Indiana.” said Pete Ward, Chief Operating Officer of the Indianapolis Colts “We believe that while accomplishments on the field should be celebrated, they should in no way exceed the character growth of the student throughout their high school sports experience.”

Indiana will be the next state to launch this Initiative, thanks to comprehensive funding from the National Football League Foundation. The IHSAA is currently gathering leaders in the education and sports communities to discuss the Initiative and plan for its implementation.

“The InSideOut Initiative stands as a critical opportunity for Indiana high schools to reclaim the narrative about what high school sports and youth sports in general should really be all about.” says Bobby Cox, Commissioner of the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA). “We are excited to bring the InSideOut Initiative to Indiana and enhance the student athlete experience in the Hoosier State.”

For sports to provide students with the human growth and moral development opportunities they deserve, we must move beyond defining success by the scoreboard and create space in the culture for a higher purpose. Indiana is committed to creating that space, starting now.

Questions regarding the InSideOut Initiative may be directed to Jody Redman at jody@insideoutinitiative.org or visit https://insideoutinitiative.org/

Baseball/softball sectional assignments

The IHSAA Executive Committee approved the sectional assignments in baseball and softball for the next two school years. The Executive Committee accepted the recommendations of the realignment committee which determined the sectional groups for the 2017‐18 and 2018‐19 school years (see the list on the IHSAA website).

The Baseball and Softball Realignment Committee was one of four groups of school administrators representing each IHSAA district and class to realign each of the team sports. Sectional assignments for the other team sports were announced on May 1.

IHSAA accepts new school

In other news, one school was approved for initial membership by the IHSAA Executive Committee during today’s first meeting of the 2017‐18 school year. An application was approved from Trinity School at Greenlawn of South Bend.

Trinity enrolls 122 students and maintains teams for both genders in soccer, basketball and track and field. Students at the school will be able to compete in regular season events immediately but, by IHSAA rule, won’t be eligible to participate in state tournament series competition for four years (2021‐22).

The school will enter a four‐year membership period during which it will be required to meet a number of criteria in order to gain full membership. Among the criteria are adhering to all IHSAA rules and regulations, maintaining at least one team and program for each gender in each season (fall, winter and spring), attending the IHSAA New School Orientation and attending all seasonal meetings and educational opportunities for the principal and athletic director. In addition, each school will be monitored for compliance by an IHSAA assistant commissioner who will be assigned to mentor the school’s administrators during the first two years of membership.

At the end of the four‐year period (June 2021), the IHSAA Executive Committee will review the school’s overall compliance and vote to determine whether the school will gain full membership.

The new addition combined with the membership loss of Indianapolis Marshall maintains the same membership total as last year at 410 schools.

Courtesy of the IHSAA

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