The Washington Times-Herald
---- — Although I don’t get out to nearly as many high school events as I used to, it is still one of my favorite things to see fall athletes prepare for the upcoming year.
Understandably, our area has always been known for full gyms on February nights where ancient rivalries take on the same same fanatical fervor, regardless of whose bodies are currently occupying the uniforms. That is OK, but fall has its own vibe too.
Cross country kids are some of the toughest athletes on earth. Their sport is every other sport’s punishment. We have been blessed to get a chance to watch some of the best runners Southern Indiana has ever seen in the last couple of years. From what I have been told, Washington’s Madison Decker and Viking Jarit Perkins should provide many highlights to come.
The volleyball capital of Indiana has always been considered Muncie, but is there any better volleyball played outside of the state finals, than the late-September slugfest between Barr-Reeve and Loogootee? Although there is no easy route at sectional, North Daviess has also hung tough in a very difficult volleyball neighborhood, and Washington is also making a move, winning its first two matches of the season.
Soccer still holds its spell over this community and both Washington and Washington Catholic have put teams on the field that are as competitive as any team in this part of the state. We are also seeing more Hispanic students participating at the junior high and high school level, which is a win-win situation. It gives many of these students an easier road to help socially assimilate and provides a tremendous talent pool. I think we are not far from multiple sectional titles returning to town.
Area tennis and girls golf are back in action as well. Tennis and golf are lifetime sports and I think they are great ways for kids to learn and compete at a sport that many will continue to play for 50 or more years. I think Hatchet seniors Ty Stoll and Corey Thompson deserve a lot of credit as they play their fourth years of varsity tennis. WHS’s Lucas Miller is also showing that regardless of age, you can come right in and make an impact in a varsity sport.
Girls golf is always the first sport that kicks off the schedule, and WHS has shown that you can go from 0.0-to-State in no time flat with good coaching and dedication. North Daviess is also building a solid program, that will begin paying dividends, especially with someone like Brett Melton, who knows the game as well as anyone, at the helm.
And then there is football.
There is no sound better than the click-clack of cleats on gravel parking lots. It means fall is here and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays have meaning again after a long, hot summer.
Scott Helms is now in his 20th season of shaping young men’s lives at North Daviess and last year he picked up his 100th win. The Cougars should again be very good, with a veteran quarterback in Brady Helms and an absolute horse in Colton Lengacher. There won’t be much of a surprise if we see a well-deserved sectional title in the northern part of the county.
And then there is Hatchet football. It is hard for me to be unbiased because I have had sons on the team for the last four years. I believe in spite of low numbers, this team will become very competitive as the year goes on. If they can stay away from injuries, there is a lot of senior talent on this team. I have had a close-up view of the effort the coaching staff and team puts in all year, so I know good things are right around the corner.
So fall is here with something for everyone, so please come out and support these athletes, after all they are the only ones who truly are our athletes.