TERRE HAUTE —
Jimmy Maples was prepared to help West Vigo contend for a Western Indiana Conference title in 2012, but the Viking junior planned to do so as a wide receiver.
When Tyler Hayes broke his leg a week before two-a-days began, Maples was moved under center.
With his speed an integral part of the Vikings’ potent rushing attack and his arm hitting for the occasional big play, Maples quarterbacked the Vikings to a share of the WIC title.
Now he faces his biggest challenge of the season, leading the team against undefeated Greencastle in an IHSAA Class 3A Sectional 21 football game tonight at Jay Barrett Field.
The Tiger Cubs have allowed just 14 points all season and beat the Vikings way back on Aug. 24 by a 44-0 margin.
“Their defense is pretty good,” Maples conceded. “Our offense has improved. We made a lot of errors that game. Can’t do that this time.
“We’ve grown as a team [since then],” Maples added. “I think they’re overlooking us. I think we’ll have a pretty good chance at winning the game.”
Vikings coach Jeff Cobb agrees that his team is much improved on both sides of the ball since early in the season.
“We’ve got kids that have kind of grown up into the positions they’ve been given,” Cobb said. “Really started noticing about week 5, in the South Vermillion game and Week 6 with the Edgewood game, kids feeling more comfortable with where they were. In Week 2, we still had a lot of new kids, some of them playing new positions. We’re familiar with what we’re doing. We feel a lot better about ourselves as a team.”
The No. 4 Tiger Cubs are just one of three teams in the toughest 3A sectional in the state; No. 3 Indianapolis Chatard (7-2) and No. 7 Brebeuf Jesuit (7-2) loom on the opposite side of the bracket. Chatard’s first-round opponent, 7-2 Danville, is just outside the top 10.
Greencastle’s schedule strength shows the West Central Conference isn’t at its strongest in 2012, but Cobb knows Tiger Cubs quarterback Nick Gilliam and a veteran defense will be ready to play.
“Everything goes through him, he’s got some great receivers, great lineman. Very good offense,” Cobb said.
The Vikings’ defense has only allowed seven points the last two weeks, holding a pretty good Sullivan passing attack to just one touchdown last week.
“The Sullivan game taught our defense they could bend but couldn’t break,” Cobb said. “I think we have a chance. Some things need to roll our way.”
Class 5A Sectional 6
Terre Haute North (5-4), ranking 18th overall in the state Sagarin rankings with a schedule rated the sixth toughest, will try to take down city rival Terre Haute South (3-6) twice in the same season. (See related story).
Terre Haute North dominated the line of scrimmage in the first meeting as Brother Scank, Ricky Brookins and Kai Stratten led the Patriots to 265 yards rushing. Linebacker Lee Davis and the defense held South to 84 yards on the ground.
South showed improvement in that department last week, with sophomore running back Michael Watt rushing for 140 yards in the Braves’ victory over winless Lawrence North.
Watt and Ian Newton will have to get the South ground game so that quarterback Danny Etling and Tyler Seibert can have opportunities to make big plays in the passing game. South was held without an offensive touchdown in the first meeting, Watt providing the only TD with a kickoff return.
The winner will earn a home game with Avon (5-4) or Decatur Central (4-5). Ben Davis (8-1), Zionsville (7-2) and Brownsburg (9-0) will duke it out in the opposite side of the bracket.
Class 4A Sectional 14
Don’t be fooled by Indianapolis Cathedral’s 4-5 record. With Warren Central, Ben Davis, Louisville Trinity and Cincinnati Moeller on the schedule, the Fighting Irish play a schedule as tough as any team in the state.
The Knights’ young team has shown improvement all year long but they’re likely to be overmatched in this one.
Class 2A Sectional 32
Sullivan (6-3) finally caught a break in a very tough sectional field after drawing traditional power Evansville Mater Dei on the road in the opening round the past two seasons.
The Golden Arrows will have a home game against South Spencer (3-6) and would play 1-8 Forest Park with a victory.
Mater Dei (7-2) and Southridge (6-3) play in the first round of the opposite bracket, with North Posey (9-0) likely playing the winner of that contest in the second round.
Sullivan coach Trent Olson isn’t counting on a trip to the championship game just yet.
“If we switched schedules [with South Spencer], we could very well switch records. Not that our schedule’s terrible but they play in a tough league,” Olson said of the Pocket Athletic Conference that includes Southridge, Heritage Hills and Gibson Southern.
Plus, Sullivan is coming off a game in which it left a lot of potential points on the field. Quarterback Payne Fortner passed well at times, but the Golden Arrows only scored one touchdown in an 8-7 loss.
“We threw it around well last week,” Olson said. “We bogged down in the red zone. Have to find a way to get those tougher yards.”
Looking on the bright side, the loss was a wake-up call to the Arrows.
“We’ve got to be more physical,” Olson said. “The big thing was for us last week, probably a little overconfident. I think it grounded us a little bit. Might have been a good thing going into the tournament.”
Class 2A Sectional 30
South Vermillion (2-7) coach Chuck Sorrell made progress this season with the Wildcats, but he runs into an undefeated and No. 1-ranked Indianapolis Ritter team in the opening round.
Ritter is averaging 51 points a game, including a 56-33 victory over Class 3A Chatard, a team that ranks in the top 10 overall in the state in the Sagarin rankings.
Class A Sectional 38
North Vermillion is the team to beat after a 9-0 regular season in which the Falcons outscored opponents by an average of 38 points per game.
Junior quarterback Brayden Woodard has ran for more than 1,200 yards with 21 TDs and passed for over 1,100 with 15 TDs.
“He’s a talented young man, but he’s humble about it too,” coach Brian Crabtree said. “A big part of his success is the five guys in front of him.”
While the Falcons, who play 2-7 Covington in the opener, are known for a high-powered spread offense, the defense has been strong recently, Crabtree said.
“Ethan Kunkel, a linebacker’s just a really good football player on that side of the ball,” Crabtree said. “A lot of talented kids around him as well. Sometimes the defense is overlooked because of the amount of points we’re scoring.”
A first-round win would set up the Falcons for another matchup with North Central (7-2), which was Crabtree’s first head coaching job. North Vermillion won the first meeting 48-0. The Thunderbirds play 3-6 Turkey Run at home tonight.
“They’re such a good football team, so athletically talented,” said Crabtree, who hopes the Falcons can make an extended run in the state tournament.
“I think if we’re playing our best football, no reason we can’t look at that as a possibility,” he said of the state finals. “You set goals big but approach it with humility and realize you’re vulnerable every Friday night.”
Riverton Parke (0-9) and Cloverdale (0-9) will be looking to advance to the second round with a first victory of the season.
Rockville (4-5) plays Attica, and coach Herb King said the Rox are a much better team than they were early in the season.
Lightning fast Kiontre Wilkey (5-foot-5, 135 pounds) took over at quarterback and Ryan Lewis moved to wide receiver in the fifth week of the season.
“We think both of those moves have helped us,” King said. “The offensive line has improved drastically. Those kids have done a job at getting much better. We can see marked improvement on a weekly basis.”
Robby Foster, one of only two seniors on the Rox, leads the defense. He’s led the team in tackles the past three seasons.
The Rox had seven turnovers in a 27-6 loss to Attica in early September.
“We’re playing much better as of late,” King said. “We’re playing extremely hard. I think we’ve gotten a lot better. It’s been an enjoyable group of guys to coach. Early in the year we were turned the ball over a lot.”
Class A Sectional 40
Undefeated Linton is the heavy favorite. The Miners take a 5-0 record against the sectional field into the state tournament.
Linton has averaged 55 points, while its defense has pitched five shutouts.
The Miners go on the road to North Knox (4-5) — a team they beat 64-0 — and then likely visit Perry Central (6-3) next week.
TERRE HAUTE —
Jimmy Maples was prepared to help West Vigo contend for a Western Indiana Conference title in 2012, but the Viking junior planned to do so as a wide receiver.
- High School
Goatee, Bertoli ran away with Spring Athlete of the Year
When honoring athletes after a season of excellence, the phrase “what might have been” doesn’t usually come up.
But in the case of Terre Haute South’s Jackson Bertoli and Terre Haute North’s TaPring Goatee – the Tribune-Star’s Athletes of the Year for spring sports – there’s an air of unfinished business despite obvious recent successes.
Post 346 opens tournament with two victories
Preston Tofaute got on base enough to score three runs, Cody Thornton smashed a two-run triple in the first inning and pitcher Pete Lannoo scattered four hits over a seven-inning complete game.
All of that helped Wayne Newton Post 346 down Lafayette Post 11 by a 7-2 score in the opener of the Terre Haute Inviatational tournament for American Legion baseball Thursday afternoon at Terre Haute North High School.
North boys move up to 13th in golf state finals
Early Wednesday morning, Terre Haute North senior Ryan Baker and coach Abe Nasser headed out to the Legends of Indiana Golf Course for a range session.
Baker wasn’t happy with the 85 he shot in Tuesday’s first round of the IHSAA boys golf state finals.
“He was frustrated,” Nasser said.
Problem solved. Baker bounced back with a 2-over 74 Wednesday, helping the Patriots improve their team score by seven strokes.
The Patriots shot 304 as a team Wednesday, giving them a two-day score of 615, good for 13th place in the 15-team field.
Big hill to climb for North golf
Terre Haute North boys golf is 21 strokes behind leaders at IHSAA boys golf tourney.
Top of her game
There are a lot of surprising facts about blossoming volleyball prodigy Caitlyn Newton, including that shape-shifting thing she can apparently do, but maybe one of them stands out the most. She may only be scratching the surface.
Camp, Howe win, then lose in state tennis tourney
Miranda Camp and Nicole Howe of Terre Haute South won their first match of high school tennis Friday at the state individual doubles finals, then won the first set against a powerful Park Tudor team before falling in three sets.
Terre Haute North heading back to state finals in boys golf
Terre Haute North is going back to the state finals in boys high school golf for the first time in more than 10 years. The Patriots qualified for a trip to The Legends Course next week by tying for third in the Washington Regional at Country Oaks Golf Club and advancing with the better fifth score.
North, South, Sullivan to compete at golf regional
Boys high school golf teams from the Wabash Valley will compete in the Washington Regional on Thursday, seeking a spot in the state finals to be played next week.
Terre Haute North falls 6-1 to Brownsburg in opening game of Class 4A Regional
Terre Haute North coach Shawn Turner told the Patriots to raise their heads. He wanted to see their eyes at the close of their 24-7 high school baseball season.
Terre Haute North girls shine on dreary day at track state finals
Led by a record setting 3,200-meter relay team and Keirra Porter’s long jump, Terre Haute North turned in its best finish ever in the 40th annual IHSAA Girls Track & Field Championships on Saturday at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Valley teams will have to wait until Monday for baseball regionals
Rain and the threat of more rain caused postponements of high school baseball regionals involving Terre Haute North, West Vigo and Shakamak on Saturday.
Rockville's season ends at Lafayette Central Catholic
Lafayette Central Catholic ended Rockville’s tourney run in high school baseball Saturday, defeating the Rox 8-0 in the first game of the LCC Class A Regional.
IHSAA boys state track finals: Standing alone
It hadn’t been a particularly good day for Wabash Valley track and field Friday, and it wasn’t looking like a good one for Jackson Bertoli either.
Terre Haute North, West Vigo return to baseball regionals
Terre Haute North’s baseball team hasn’t participated in an IHSAA regional since 2006. West Vigo’s wait hasn’t been as long, but it was 2010 when the Vikings last advanced from a sectional.
Patriots girls take aim at state track title
Terre Haute North’s girls have several potential state champions today at Indiana University.
South, North track athletes looking for big performances at state finals
Terre Haute South’s distance trio of Jackson Bertoli, Logan Hambrock and Riley Stohler appear to be the favorites to crack all-state status among Wabash Valley competitors today in the IHSAA boys track and field state finals at Indiana University.
- Internet site keeps area prep teams on airwaves
- PREP ROUNDUP: Locals to take part in Hoosiers All-Star Game
South Vermillion softball can't overcome errors, Tri-West
Uncharacteristic errors led to eight unearned runs and hard-luck hitting made that impossible to overcome for South Vermillion, which fell 8-0 to Tri-West in Class 3A regional play.
Clay City softball comes up short against Lutheran
Clay City closed its high school softball season Tuesday night with the best record ever for the program at 21-9.
The Eels wanted to add another win, the school’s first regional title, but they came up short.
PREP ROUNDUP: Rockville wins baseball sectional
Rockville won its own Class A sectional in high school baseball Tuesday, defeating Covington 10-4 in the rain-delayed championship game.
Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional:The wait is over
Three minutes into an interview with various media members, Terre Haute North baseball coach Shawn Turner couldn’t react fast enough to avoid a bucket of ice water being dumped over his head from behind by his giddy players. The soaking-wet Turner could shake it off with a smile, however, because his Patriots had just won the IHSAA Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional championship with a 13-3 six-inning triumph over Plainfield on Monday evening.
Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional: TH North, Plainfield win squeakers
The high school baseball teams of Terre Haute North and Plainfield proved Monday that what a batter does early in the game is not necessarily indicative of what he will do in the late innings.
Class 2A Linton Sectional: Eastern rains on Sullivan parade
Mother Nature put Sullivan’s quest for a high school baseball sectional championship on hold Monday night at Linton-Stockton High School. Sullivan (14-15) and Eastern Greene (16-7) will resume play in the Class 2A Sectional 47 championship game at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Linton’s Roy Herndon Field.
Opening Day: Terre Haute Rex host Quincy
In his first season at the helm, first-year Terre Haute Rex manager Ronnie Prettyman is going to be surrounded by men he knows and trusts.
Class A Shakamak Sectional: Stout pitching leads Union, Shakamak to final
Trey Bedwell and Patrick Green made sure their respective high school baseball teams would meet for the championship of the Class A Shakamak Sectional by pitching shutouts in semifinal contests Monday afternoon.
Class A Rockville Sectional: Covington, Rockville title game postponed
Rockville and Covington won semifinal high school baseball games Monday to advance to the championship game of the Rockville Class A Sectional. Due to rain, the championship game was postponed. A decision was expected this morning whether the game will be played today or Wednesday.
South Vermillion, Linton, Clay City look to stay alive in softball
There might have been as many reasons to think they wouldn’t be winning sectionals this spring as evidence to show they would, but high school softball teams from South Vermillion, Linton and Clay City will be playing one-game regionals Tuesday with the chance to keep defying the odds.
West Vigo back on top of Class 3A baseball sectional
West Vigo won its sectional with a 6-4 victory over South Vermillion on a rainy night at Dick Ballinger Field.
South runs into ‘buzzsaw’ at girls tennis semistate
Postmatch interviews don’t often begin with a coach and a reporter ready to blurt out the same word, but that was the case for Bill Blankenbaker and his interviewer Saturday morning after the Center Grove Semistate for girls high school tennis.
Unfortunately for Blankenbaker’s Terre Haute South team, that word was “buzzsaw.”
Greenwood’s Kawamoto twins made quick work of the top of the Braves’ singles lineup, so despite stellar efforts by both South doubles teams the Woodmen’s 3-2 victory didn’t seem all that close.
Greenwood moves on to Fishers, where it plays Floyd Central or Jasper on Friday in the state quarterfinals.
Also playing Friday, but at Park Tudor, will be South’s Miranda Camp and Nicole Howe, who reached the individual doubles finals for the second straight season by virtue of their 6-4, 6-2 win over the Greenwood team of Taylor Hudnall and Brittany Toney.
“It’s really exciting,” said Howe of the prospect of a second straight finals trip, “but I wish our team could’ve gone with us.”
- More High School Headlines
- Goatee, Bertoli ran away with Spring Athlete of the Year