WESTERN CLAIMS BOYS AND GIRLS SOCCER SECTIONAL TITLES, EASTERN EARNS A BOYS SOCCER SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. – In the span of six hours last Saturday, three Howard County schools hoisted IHSAA championship trophies on three different soccer pitches. The day started when Western earned a girls title before the Western boys and Eastern boys raised title trophies that evening.

2A Mississinewa Girls Soccer Sectional: No. 15 Western (16-1-1) girls captured its second consecutive sectional championship with a 4-2 victory over Marion, marking the first back-to-back titles for the Lady Panthers. Sophie Weigt scored two first-half goals – the second with 10 seconds left in the half – to put the Lady Panthers up 3-1 at the break. Samantha Garber put the game away with a goal in the 76th minute to put the Panthers up 4-2. Goalie Madlyn Beechy then defended goal to preserve the win.

2A Northwestern Boys Soccer Sectional: In a thrill on the turf at Northwestern, Western (12-4-1) won the sectional 2-1 over the host Purple Tigers. Mason Pfefferkorn gave Northwestern a 1-0 halftime lead. In the second half, Nate Tuchscherer found Max Harbaugh twice – in the 53rd and 56th minute – to take a 2-1 advantage. Adam Barber recorded the win in goal for the Panthers. Northwestern finished the season 9-8-1.

1A Taylor Boys Soccer Sectional: For the Eastern Comets, it was an easy victory as they topped Liberty Christian 7-0 for its third sectional championship in five seasons. No. 20 Eastern (16-3) led 4-0 at halftime and cruised in the second half. Comets all-time goal leader Lance VanMatre scored four times to bring his record to 101 goals. Joe Hawes added a pair of goals and Luke Swartzendruber added one. Assists went to Seth Lamb (2), Hawes, Jared Smith and Lucas Stout.

3A Kokomo Girls Soccer Sectional: The Kokomo Lady Wildkats advanced to its own sectional final before losing to conference rival Harrison 4-0. Kokomo, which never threatened the Harrison goalie, finished the season 3-9-1 after upsetting Logansport in the semifinals.

Class 2A Boys at Oak Hill

10 a.m.: #9 FW Concordia (14-4-1) vs WESTERN (12-4-1)

12 p.m.: #8 Eastbrook (13-1) vs Leo (10-5-1)

7 p.m.: Championship Match

 

Class 2A Girls at Marion

10 a.m.: #15 WESTERN (16-1-1) vs #8 FW Dwenger (13-4-1)

12 p.m.: Yorktown (11-6) vs #3 Bellmont (16-0-2)

7 p.m. Championship Match

 

Class 1A Boys at Taylor

10 a.m.: #3 Heritage Christian (12-6) vs #20 EASTERN (16-3)

12 p.m.: LCC champ vs FW Blackhawk champ

7 p.m.: Championship Match

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TIM WEIR NAMED NEW HEAD COACH OF THE KOKOMO WILDKATS BASEBALL PROGRAM

KOKOMO, Ind. – Tim Weir takes over as Kokomo High School Varsity Baseball Coach after working as the Kats Pitching Coach the past two seasons, while former professional baseball player John Curl joins the KHS Baseball staff as an Assistant Coach / Hitting Instructor.  

“This is a perfect situation for me because teaching the game of baseball appeals to me,” Coach Weir said. “I am looking forward to the challenge of developing this next group of Wildkats. I believe the 2019 team can be better than they think they can be.”

KHS Athletic Director Nick Sale is pleased with the selection of Tim Weir as the baseball coach.

“Many times, Tim has proven his enthusiasm and passion for teaching the game of baseball to the youth in the Kokomo community,” Mr. Sale explained. “We are excited to be able to bring someone with Tim’s experience and knowledge of the local talent. Tim’s understanding of the current, and incoming, Kokomo athletes will help Tim implement his vision for the Kokomo baseball program.”

Coach Curl believes he and Coach Weir will complement each other.

 “Tim’s strength is in the pitching area, and my expertise is in the hitting area,” Coach Curl explained. “We both have a passion for the game of baseball and we both are seeking to find, and develop, the young talent in the Kokomo community.”

Mr. Sale was very pleased to have someone of John Curl’s caliber join the Kokomo baseball staff.

“John’s experiences as a player at the collegiate and professional levels, as well as his recent coaching stints with the highly-respected Indy Bulls on the travel baseball circuit, will be huge resources for our student-athletes.”

 KHS Principal Angela Blessing believes the hiring of Tim Weir as baseball coach and John Curl as an assistant coach adds to the tradition of quality in Kokomo baseball.

“Tim brings a vast knowledge of baseball in our local community, while John brings an extremely strong baseball background to KHS and enhances our current coaching staff,” Mrs. Blessing said. “Together, I believe Tim and John will continue the legacy of the Kokomo High School baseball program.”

Mr. Weir has been coaching youth baseball since the mid-1990’s, and joined the Kokomo staff after his son TJ graduated from Ball State University. Tim has worked with several Kokomo pitchers, who have signed Division I baseball scholarships. Tim’s son, TJ, pitched in professional baseball (AAA) this summer.

“The young men showing up so far for Fall baseball have been eager to learn and they are working hard,” Coach Weir said. “The past couple years, 6 or 7 of the varsity starters were penciled in before we arrived at the ballpark. With 8 graduating seniors, our current players realize that the 2019 varsity lineup is wide open. That makes for great competition. And the future for Kokomo baseball is still bright … we have some college-caliber players still on our roster, and some of the freshmen are very talented.”

Mr. Curl was a three-time All-State player for Logansport High School before participating in the 1993 College World Series and was named a 1995 All-American for Texas A&M before being drafted in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball draft in 1995 as a first baseman. John played professionally at first base and in the outfield from 1995 through 2001 for three Major League organizations – Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, and Seattle Mariners.

“I have great respect for the Kokomo baseball program,” Coach Curl said. “Our current Sectional is equivalent to a Semistate when I was playing high school baseball. If we win our Sectional, we can make a deep run in the State tourney. I see coaching at Kokomo as a great opportunity. Through the connections I have established during my baseball career, I hope I can help our Kokomo players who want to play at that higher level.”   

Story courtesy of the Kokomo School Corporation

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NORTHWESTERN VOLLEYBALL HEAD COACH LORRI SCHULER WINS NO. 300, LADY TIGERS CLAIM RUNNERS-UP FINISH IN HOOSIER CONFERENCE

Northwestern Athletic Director Dan Armstrong presents a 300-win plaque to volleyball head coach Lorri Schuler. (SJ photo/Dean Hockney)

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. – The Northwestern Lady Tigers fell one match short in its bid for a conference championship. During the Hoosier Conference Tournament, Northwestern downed West Lafayette and Western before falling to Lafayette Central Catholic in the finals.

In the quarterfinals, the Tigers knocked off Western Lafayette 25-18, 25-12 before coming back in the semifinals for a cross-county win over Western 28-26, 25-12. The Lady Tigers then faced Class 1A No. 1 Lafayette Central Catholic, falling 25-12, 25-16 on the championship match.

“We finished second in the conference for the second year in a row,” said Northwestern head coach Lorri Schuler. “Our first two matches we stayed aggressive throughout each set. We fell behind in each set to LCC and although we made some nice runs we could not overcome our unforced errors.”

During the tournament, the Lady Tigers were led by Madison Layden with 29 kills and 18 digs, Jenna Goodspeed with 25 kills and 14 digs, Kendal Rooze with 56 assists and Stephanie Burns with nine kills and six blocks.

Earlier in the week, Northwestern Athletic Director Dan Armstrong honored Schuler, Rooze and Layden for reaching milestones. Schuler earned her 300th varsity victory during a four-set win against Tipton. Layden, a junior, was presented a plaque for her 1,000th career kill and classmate Rooze was awarded a 1,000 career assist plaque.

“Northwestern is blessed to have great female athletes in all of our sports,” said Schuler. “They make coaching easy. What makes Madison’s accomplishment so special is that as a freshman she set four rotations for us and as a sophomore she set three rotations. She is a very efficient hitter.”

Northwestern is currently 22-6.

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