Archive for October 15, 2013

IHSAA FOOTBALL SECTIONAL DRAW FOR HOWARD COUNTY AND LOCAL AREA

IHSAA

(Courtesy of the IHSAA and Sports Journal staff)

A new format for a record 322 teams is set as the pairings were announced this evening for the 41st Annual IHSAA Football State Tournament presented by the Indianapolis Colts. For the first time Class 6A will be used for the 32 largest schools in the state. With all eight of those sectionals including four teams each, sectional semifinal games will be played on Oct. 25, sectional championship games on Nov. 1 followed by regionals on Nov. 8 and semi-states on Nov. 15. The two teams competing in the state championship game will have a week off before playing for the title.

In 5A, with the next 34 largest teams competing, two first round games must be played in sectionals 9 and 13 on Oct. 25 that contain five teams each. All other 5A teams will have a week off until sectional semifinals are played on Nov. 1 followed by sectional championship games on Nov. 8. Teams in classes 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A will begin with first round sectional games on Oct. 25 and will play on consecutive weeks all the way to the state championship games as they have in previous years.

The 12 teams that earn a berth in the state finals will play on Thanksgiving weekend in Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, the state tournament’s presenting sponsor. A new format for the state championship games will also be utilized for the first time as the Class A, 3A and 5A games will be played on Friday, Nov. 29 while the 2A, 4A and 6A contests are set for Saturday, Nov. 30. In previous years, the Class A and 2A were played on Friday with 3A, 4A and 5A following on Saturday. In all, 316 games will be played around the state over the six-week tournament.

See next week’s Sports Journal for a breakdown and predictions on the sectionals affecting local teams.

LOCAL TEAMS FIRST ROUND SECTIONAL PAIRINGS

Class 5A Sectional 11 (November 1)

McCutcheon (3-5) at Kokomo (4-4)

#1 Westfield (7-1) at Harrison (0-8)

Class 3A Sectional 26 (October 25)

Twin Lakes (4-4) at Culver Academy (5-3)

#13 Fairfield (7-1) at Maconaquah (5-3)

#5 Jimtown (6-2) at Tippecanoe Valley (5-3)

Rochester (6-2) at Peru (4-4)

Class 3A Sectional 28 (October 25)

Mississinewa (5-3) at #9 Western (7-1)

#12 Delta (5-3) at #2 West Lafayette (8-0)

#8 Yorktown (7-1) at Eastbrook (6-2)

Northwestern (5-3) at Blackford (1-7)

Class 2A Sectional 35 (October 25)

Southmont (3-5) at Taylor (0-8)

Delphi (4-4) at Benton Central (1-7)

North Putnam (0-8) at #3 Lafayette Central Catholic (7-1)

#12 Lewis Cass (5-3) at #12 Tipton (5-3)

Class 2A Sectional 36 (October 25)

Elwood (5-3) at Lapel (2-6)

Frankton (1-7) at Alexandria (6-2)

# 15 Oak Hill (6-2) at Madison-Grant (2-6)

Bluffton (4-4) at Eastern (2-6)

Class 1A Sectional 44 (October 25)

Indy Tindley (2-6) at Indy Shortridge (6-2)

Clinton Prairie (2-6) at Indiana Deaf (5-3)

Clinton Central (1-7) at #10 Tri-Central (7-1)

Indy Arlington (2-4) at #13 Sheridan (4-4)

TOURNAMENT FACTS AND FIGURES

Total schools entered: 322 teams (state tournament record), 18,668 participants and 316 games. By class: 6A has 32 teams, 5A has 34 teams, and 4a-1A have 64 teams each.

Defending state champions: 6A is a new classification for 2013 tournament; 5A Lawrence Central; 4A Indianapolis Cathedral; 3A Indianapolis Bishop Chatard; 2A Fort Wayne Bishop Luers; 1A Lafayette Central Catholic.

First time competitors: Indianapolis Tindley and Trinity Lutheran. Also four Indianapolis area teams are returning to the tournament: Manual, Marshall, Shortridge and Washington.

Schools playing up one class due to Tournament Success Factor: Indianapolis Cathedral (5A), Indianapolis Bishop Chatard (4A), Fort Wayne Bishop Luers (3A), Indianapolis Scecina (2A) and Lafayette Central Catholic (2A).

Most state championships: (12) Indianapolis Bishop Chatard; (11) Fort Wayne Bishop Luers; (10) Indianapolis Cathedral; (9) Sheridan; (8) Roncalli; (7) Ben Davis, Carmel, Warren Central; (6) Lafayette Central Catholic; (5) Penn.

SECTIONAL CHAMPIONS: NORTHWESTERN WINS THIRD CONSECUTIVE TITLE

NORTHWESTERN TIGERS - 2013 IHSAA Class A Northwestern Boys Soccer Sectional Champions

NORTHWESTERN TIGERS – 2013 IHSAA Class A Northwestern Boys Soccer Sectional Champions

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. – While fans were still settling into their seats, the Purple Tiger faithful erupted in cheers 27 seconds into the IHSAA Class A Northwestern Boys Soccer Sectional championship. Robert Olsen took a throw-in from Blaine Brutus and scored the only goal the No. 11-ranked Tigers would need en route to a 9-0 victory over Tipton to hoist the sectional championship trophy for the third consecutive year.

According to Northwestern head coach Jim Wagner, one of the goals for the Tigers was to jump on the Blue Devils early and take them out of the game. Mission accomplished. Less than eight minutes after his first goal, Olsen took another Brutus throw-in and scampered through the Tipton defense for his second score of the day. He added a third goal at the 12 minute mark and dropped in a fourth in the 29th minute.

Before the end of the first half, Jacob Wagner added two goals, Graham Ortmann scored on a penalty kick and Brutus fired a 50-plus yard shot on a free kick that found the back of the goal for an 8-0 lead. Spencer Lubben and Daniel Hernandez assisted on Wagner’s two goals. In the second half, Brutus scored on a rebound for the only goal of the final 40 minutes.

In goal, Evan LaDow recorded three saves as the Tigers posted shutout wins in all three sectional games. They opened with a 7-0 win over Taylor and knocked out Rossville 8-0 in the semi-finals.

Northwestern (15-3-1) advances to the Tipton Regional and will play Western Boone (10-6-1) on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the second semi-final game. No. 1 Guerin Catholic (14-2-3)  battles Hamilton Heights (10-8) in the 5 p.m. opener with the winners squaring off Saturday at 7 p.m. for the right to advance to the Elite Eight at the LaVille Semi-State on Oct. 26. The IHSAA State Soccer Finals will be held on Nov. 2 at the Michael A Carroll Track and Soccer Stadium on the campus of IUPUI in Indianapolis.

KOKOMO MAYOR GREG GOODNIGHT: NOT YOUR AVERAGE SPORTS FAN

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight speaks at the opening of Cougar Gym. (Courtesy of IU Kokomo)

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight speaks at the opening of Cougar Gym. (Courtesy of IU Kokomo)

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. – Kokomo has a long and proud history when it comes to the world of sports. Whether it is Tod Sloan dominating horse racing in the early 1900’s to standing room only crowds for Wildkat basketball in the 1950’s and ‘60’s to UCT earning a Cal Ripken World Series Final Four berth last year, the Howard County area is well known for producing first-class athletes and teams.

That said, it comes as no surprise that most Kokomoan’s are fans of athletics and enthusiastically cheer on their favorite teams and players – whether they have a direct tie or not. And that fan base includes a man who may be the biggest fan of all – the honorable mayor of the City of Kokomo, Greg Goodnight. Look around the stands at any number of sporting events around the City of Firsts and you might see Goodnight and his wife cheering for the local squads.

“Part of it is that (sports are) so contagious,” said Goodnight, who often rides his bike to games with wife Kelli. “The more you go and get familiar with the kids and the way they play, the more important it is to get it on the schedule to go back. We have all-sports tickets for Kokomo and friends of ours have kids who are active in Taylor sports so we try and get out there as much as possible. And of course, the fact that we have added collegiate athletics in Kokomo makes it important to support them.”

And when it comes to citizens saying there is nothing to do in Kokomo, he points right back to the athletic scene in Howard County.

“It is a great value when you look at the entertainment value of high school and college athletics in the area,” he said. “It is the best bang for your buck. We went to quite a few Kokomo boys varsity basketball games, including some away games, and a couple of Lady Kats games. And I have a niece who plays basketball for Logansport, so we will get out to some of those games as well. Sports are a great entertainment value.”

Goodnight admits he was not a gifted athlete coming up through the Kokomo school system. He dabbled in football at Maple Crest Middle School, but by the time he arrived at Haworth High School he knew his career was at an end.

“For football, I figured my time was better spent after my freshman year working and making a little extra money. I was about the smallest kid out there,” the mayor said with a laugh. “I was better off watching. And like I said, the more you are there, the more you want to be there.”

His support for athletics has never waned since that early discovery, even with the ultra-busy schedule of serving on the Kokomo Common Council or as mayor of the City of Firsts. And with the arrival of Cougar athletics at Indiana University Kokomo, Goodnight welcomed the newcomers with open arms. In fact, Goodnight said he was at the initial tailgate for IUK volleyball when it debuted at Northwestern High School in 2011. He was also instrumental in finding a new home for Cougar athletics at the new Cougar Gym, located behind Memorial Gymnasium in downtown Kokomo.

“That wasn’t the first place we thought of. We originally looked at the old Washington School gym,” said Goodnight. “It just couldn’t be converted into a college size basketball court. But we wanted to retrofit a gym and (Kokomo School Superintendent) Dr. Jeff Hauswald actually came up with the idea, I am just glad the city could assist.”

As mayor, Goodnight understands he might be the center of attention when he walks into a local athletic venue. He recalled one bike ride which took them past the Cougar Gym and Kelli ran in to watch a little of the volleyball game. He said he was afraid he would get caught up in a conversation and he wanted to get home, so he stayed outside. But on normal nights, that is not a problem – people are respectful of his away-from-the-office time.

“If (someone stops me), it is usually good,” he said. “If I am there I try not to get in anyone’s way. I am a fan and it is fun.”

Goodnight has the rare distinction of having four separate school corporations pulling students from within the city limits of Kokomo. Only Eastern resides outside of Kokomo, although they have Kokomo residents attend the Greentown school via open enrollment. Goodnight said few mayors have that many schools, and outside of Indianapolis, he said Noblesville comes to mind. The Noblesville mayor has three school systems and Goodnight said they have talked about the distinction – not only for athletics but the uniqueness in general. The Kokomo mayor said he has attended contests at all four school corporations.

“I am for all of the local teams – especially when they play other areas. It is a little difficult when it is two Howard County school’s playing each other,” said Goodnight. “We make it out the best we can.”

As he pointed to a poster of the Howard County Sports Hall of Fame, Goodnight stressed that the area is rich in athletic history, and he said he doesn’t foresee that changing anytime soon.

“There is a lot of success that has come from the area and I don’t see that as a diminishing area,” said Goodnight. “You talk about having five schools and a lot of that creates competition, and that is healthy. I love seeing Beachy or Thatcher come in and Kokomo flash on the television screen.”

The City of Firsts is a thriving sports region with a vocal cheerleader in the form of Mayor Greg Goodnight. He is a mayor, and fan, who understands the value that athletics bring to a city. But more importantly, he is a man who simply enjoys sitting in the bleachers watching Kokomo’s finest play hard and represent the name on the front of the jersey.