They say the view is pretty from 30,000 feet, but you can’t make out much detail. That is where COVID has kept me for the last few months, about 30,000 feet away from sports. However, in the last week or so, I’ve gotten a chance to swoop in for a little closer look, and for the most part, was excited with what I have seen.
I watched North Daviess and Barr-Reeve play basketball at North Daviess last week, and for as much as was written about Curt Hopf not playing last year, it was nice to watch him actually play again.
Curt is the real deal.
In just a simple summer scrimmage, he was blocking shots and dunking like a big man, while running the floor and shooting like a wing. Brycen Graber also seemed like his game has matured as well, taking the ball to the rim and continuing to add offensive skills, which is nice when you are also one of the best passing point guards in the state. The only missing piece was Hagen Knepp who didn’t play due to a foot injury. That team is going to be a lot of fun to watch. I think people will see a different style out of North Daviess as well. They were a much faster team and I think they will be able to use speed and athleticism with the sophomore Wilson twins complementing sophomore Jaylen Mullen. Mullen was more of a pure point guard last year, but I think you will see his scoring numbers go up next year as well.
I also checked in with Joe Morris and the Hatchet football team. Joe said that they have had 63 different kids show up since practices have resumed. He said that are generally getting between 45-50 players at each session but understands that vacations and work schedules are keeping the numbers fluid. He said that they currently have more players than helmets and have had to order more. WHS moves into full pads on Aug. 6 and they play on the 15th at 11 a.m. in a scrimmage at Hatchet Hollow.
One of the big questions was, where is Barr-Reeve’s Anna Ballengee going to play next year? That was answered last week when she announced she was going to play at USI, most likely as a defensive specialist. I think there are several others out there who will be joining her at the next level, including some of her volleyball teammates. Washington’s Trey Reed will be a big catch somewhere. I recently saw some video footage of him reaching 90 mph on the radar gun in travel ball. I have also been told WHS’s Seth Holtsclaw is starting to field some offers in both football and baseball. Hatchet volleyball coach Brett Matteson added that Alaina Thorne is starting to get some looks in volleyball as well as basketball.
Washington’s girls’ golf is filled with a lot of new faces, and coach Josh Butcher stressed to me that if you have an interest in the game or would just like a chance to try something different, even if you don’t have your own clubs, get in touch with him.
I haven’t had a chance to talk to folks in cross country or tennis yet, but those programs are heating up as well. Last year we had some incredibly competitive tennis teams in the area, and most of the area schools return a big part of what made them successful last year. Hopefully I will get a chance to talk to some tennis people in the next few days.
I have been watching some MLB baseball in the evenings, and although it has been completely underwhelming, it has still been nice to be able to passively be a part of something. It certainly doesn’t feel like Opening Day, but more like tuning-in after a two-hour rain delay to watch Cleveland and Milwaukee at 11:45 p.m.
The NBA starts in the next 24 hours as well and I’m just not sure August NBA or NHL is what I’m looking for. I think we have seasons that if a sport is played out of season, it is hard to get excited about. I think that was part of the problem with the USFL, it was the right sport at the wrong time.
As of right now we still have high school sports, keep your fingers crossed.