TERRE HAUTE — As we go through the ups and downs of everyday life, priorities often change.
Rose-Hulman multi-sport standout Liz Ridgway learned that first-hand in the last five years.
Upon graduating from Grosse Pointe South (Mich.) High School in 2004, she accepted a scholarship to play NCAA Division I women’s soccer at the University of Michigan.
Ridgway scored 19 goals as a forward during her senior season in high school, but she was recruited to be a defender and that’s what she did as a freshman on the Wolverines’ club team in the fall of 2004. In the spring of 2005, she started for the real Michigan women’s team.
“Everyone got a lot of playing time,” Ridgway recalled this week. “But in the end, it wasn’t for me. The school was too big.”
So she transferred to Northwestern, another member of the Big Ten Conference, in 2005.
“I wanted to prove I could play Division I soccer,” Ridgway explained.
A broken L4 vertebrae delayed her Northwestern debut and caused her to wear a foam back brace in future games, but rehab went smoothly and she was able to return before the end of the fall season.
In the spring of 2006, a fully recovered Ridgway started at defender. But a 2005 hazing incident left the Northwestern women’s soccer program in disarray and led to coach Jenny Haigh’s resignation in the summer of 2006, putting Ridgway’s scholarship status in jeopardy.
So she transferred to Rose-Hulman, where then-coach Brad Hauter welcomed her with open arms.
“I knew I made the right decision right away,” emphasized Ridgway, who majors in civil engineering and also competes in basketball and track and field at the Division III institute.
“I love the sense of community here. I love that I can play sports that I enjoy, but in the end I’m here for the academics… Coming here was the best decision I could make.”
Ridgway, who returned to the forward position in soccer, certainly made her mark at Rose. She was a three-year all-conference soccer selection and helped the 2007 Engineers reach the Division III tournament.
In 2008, Ridgway posted a team-high 19 goals with six assists.
In basketball, the senior forward leads Rose-Hulman in scoring with an average of 10.9 points per game. The Engineers, coached by Jon Prevo, are 6-13 overall and 3-9 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) entering Saturday’s home matchup against Transylvania.
“She gives us enthusiasm and athleticism on the court,” Prevo mentioned. “She has stepped up her leadership role this year. She’s done a real nice job with that.”
With five regular-season games remaining (three at home), the Engineers need to climb into the top six in the league standings to qualify for the HCAC postseason tournament. Right now, Bluffton is sixth at 4-7.
“We’re going to have to beat some of the dominant teams,” Ridgway admitted, “but every one of our games has been close. The heart’s been there. The effort’s been there. So I think we can do it and we will do it.”
Regardless of what happens in the next few weeks, Ridgway will carry fond memories of her Rose athletic experiences into her adult life.
“I love it,” she said. “I love the camaraderie with all my teammates. It’s more serious than high school, but it’s not a job here. It’s obviously more fun when you win, but it’s still fun every day.”
On Thursday, Ridgway was named to the ESPN The Magazine college division academic all-district team in women’s basketball, according to a news release from the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Ridgway earned third-team academic all-district accolades to become just the second Rose-Hulman student-athlete ever to earn academic all-district honors in two sports.
A few months ago, Ridgway was named an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American in women’s soccer. She joins 2004 graduate Jessica Farmer as the only two-sport academic all-district winners in school history.
Ridgway still has the 2009 track and field season to go before she graduates and starts working for Exxon Mobil in Fairfax, Va., this summer.
In the spring of 2008, having never competed in track before, she learned how to throw the javelin and placed second in the HCAC outdoor championships. She also finished fourth in the HCAC in the triple jump after doing it for the first time one week earlier.
“Division III sports are about having fun,” Ridgway assessed. “We put our all into every game and every meet. That’s all anyone can ask for.”
• Former Hautean in Tampa — Former Terre Haute resident Randy Knowles, his wife Tapanee and two other family members live in Tampa, Fla., so naturally they tried to get into Raymond James Stadium on Sunday to watch Super Bowl XLIII between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals.
Hoping to buy tickets priced at face value — which were rumored to be available in Tampa last week — Randy and his family showed up outside the stadium three hours before kickoff.
They did not succeed in finding reasonably priced tickets, but they gave it their best shot.
“The Steeler fans were much more friendlier and not at all obnoxious as compared to the Philly [Phillies] fans that were down here for the World Series, in which I was able to go to Game One,” Randy wrote in an e-mail to me.
I’m surprised Randy didn’t talk his way into the stadium Sunday. Back in March 1979, he and I purchased face-value tickets minutes before the NCAA Midwest Regional men’s basketball championship game between Indiana State and Arkansas in Cincinnati.
David Hughes can be reached by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4224; by e-mail at email@example.com; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.
TERRE HAUTE — As we go through the ups and downs of everyday life, priorities often change.
- Hughes News & Views
Terre Haute runner sets up race to help Boston
Having competed in the Boston Marathon once before in 2003, 35-year-old Majel Wells of Terre Haute thought she should give it another try in 2013.
“My goal was just to finish and enjoy Boston,” she reflected this week. “I had an injury [runner’s knee] beforehand, so I wasn’t too worried about beating my time from 2003 [4 hours, 10.20 seconds].
“But nobody cares about what your time is at Boston anyway.”
From what I’ve heard over the years, she’s right. Unless you’re a super-serious runner, the Boston Marathon has been more about taking in the atmosphere and having fun than placing in the top 50, although Wells was pleased that she beat her previous time by finishing in 3:55.19 on April 15.
Obviously, her race time wasn’t the most vivid memory that Wells took away from her 2013 Boston experience.
Former South players to play in Saylor benefit game
I had my first phone conversation with Mike Saylor since mid-February on Thursday and he sounded good.
The former Terre Haute South High School boys basketball coach, who’s been battling cancer this year, has been traveling back and forth to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for chemotherapy treatments.
Recent South swimmers Roach, Bray heading to DI nationals
I’m sure most of you with office jobs can relate.
When work gets busy, sometimes it’s easy to skim over our emails. After all, how many times do we need to read the same nonsense from alleged Nigerians wanting to make us rich if we’ll send them several thousand dollars first?
So after having three consecutive days off, that almost happened to me when I returned to work Tuesday. Then I realized that the message from Jeff Thompson, Terre Haute South High School’s boys and girls swimming coach, contained significant news.
NCAA Division III basketball tournament returns to Rose-Hulman
The last time Rose-Hulman served as host for the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament, its game was played inside an old World War II airplane hangar.
You “old-timers” should know the building I’m talking about and the matchup wasn’t really that long ago — March 6, 1997, to be exact.
DAVID HUGHES: Childhood friends use faith, sports to get them through
When I learned in February 2009 that a rare form of appendix cancer would devastate my life and cause me to miss work for several months, Mike Saylor was among the first to offer assistance.
Book review: Thumbs up for ‘Trophies and Tears’
Now might be too late for giving Christmas presents, but the book “Trophies and Tears: The Story of Evansville and the Aces” is a fascinating read for longtime Indiana basketball fans, particularly those older than 40.
Written by award-winning Kyle Keiderling of Henderson, Nev., and released in hardcover format in mid-December, the 480-page “Trophies and Tears” documents the rich tradition of the University of Evansville men’s basketball program through recent interviews and research of old yearbooks and newspaper/scrapbook clippings.
The book contains many cheery moments — behind-the-scenes details of all five NCAA College Division (now known as Division II) championships won in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s by the Purple Aces and their legendary coach Arad McCutchan — although some of those moments don’t seem so cheery from an Indiana State perspective when the Sycamores found themselves on the losing end of scores.
Hughes, News & Views: Wishing for Colts-Broncos playoff matchup from Santa
There’s plenty of tragedy in the world to bring us down if we let it, so let’s have a light-hearted column today — my annual Christmas gift requests for Santa Claus.
I already know one of my gift wishes is becoming less likely to happen. That would be for the Indianapolis Colts to face the Denver Broncos in the AFC playoffs.
Colts' loyalty tested by Manning, Broncos
We’re approaching the halfway point of the NFL season and so far it’s been surprisingly enjoyable.
I wasn’t sure how I would handle following two favorite teams — 1a.) the Indianapolis Colts and 1b.) Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos — but the new arrangement hasn’t caused me any loyalty conflicts yet.
HUGHES NEWS & VIEWS: Sorting out the sports air waves
My name isn’t attached to them, but I’m the one who usually puts together the “Sports on the air” television/radio listings that appear daily on this newspaper’s Scoreboard Page.
Hughes, News & Views: North junior ready to go racing
When we last visited 16-year-old Rachel Gutish, she was finishing sixth in the Women’s Enduro X race in the nationally televised Summer X Games at Los Angeles.
HUGHES NEWS & VIEWS: Yelovich still striking the ball long on LDA Tour
In June 2011, I wrote a feature story about former Indiana State basketball center Mick Yelovich making a name for himself as a golfer on the Long Drivers Association (LDA) Tour.
HUGHES NEWS & VIEWS: Colts? Broncos? Maybe there’s more than enough room for both
I’ve got a longtime buddy who I’m fairly sure rarely, if ever, reads this column.
HUGHES NEWS & VIEWS: Point of Jones’ return
Since May 14, Indiana high school basketball fans have wondered why Jim Jones would want to come out of retirement at 74.
HUGHES, NEWS & VIEWS: Questions abound for Indy 500, Manning, baseball sectional
Phones are ringing less frequently in the Tribune-Star sports department this week.
Hughes, News & Views: Hutson getting ready for final stretch toward Olympic Trials
If Kylie Hutson were a cross-country runner, she’d be approaching the final stretch of her biggest race in about three weeks.
HUGHES NEWS AND VIEWS: Rose basketball alumni offer advice to current team
Bryan Egli and Joe Puthoff, both Rose-Hulman basketball starters I covered in the late 1990s, took their degrees from the prestigious engineering institute and found successful careers in the Indianapolis area.
Egli, also a former West Vigo High School multi-sport standout, lives in Carmel and works for Thieneman Construction in Westfield. Puthoff lives in Indy and works for Rolls Royce Aircraft Engines.
DAVID HUGHES: Super Bowl odds getting stranger and stranger
Today’s annual “Super Bowl odds column” feels special to me because I’ve been a diehard NFL fan since 1967 and next Sunday will be the first time the big game takes place in our great state of Indiana.
HUGHES NEWS AND VIEWS: Coach’s book a chance to remember North Vermillion state champs
Almost 10 years ago, February 2002 to be exact, the New England Patriots upset the high-powered St. Louis Rams to win Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans, the Winter Olympics entertained spectators in Salt Lake City and Terre Haute South High School’s girls basketball team started its tournament run toward a Class 4A state title.
HUGHES NEWS AND VIEWS: Plenty of sports-related gifts for columnist's wish list
Last week, I was all set to beg Santa Claus to give the Indianapolis Colts a certificate good for one NFL regular-season victory.
Then the 2011 Colts decided to play like the 2009 Colts and clobber the Tennessee Titans on Sunday for their first win of the season. So that present won’t be necessary.
HUGHES NEWS AND VIEWS: WTHI defends decision not to show Colts
When your favorite NFL team is threatening to finish 0-16, you have to figure a few fans will jump off the bandwagon.
HUGHES NEWS AND VIEWS: Former South coach Rady makes it look easy
Jack Butcher, Howard Sharpe and Bill Stearman.
HUGHES NEWS AND VIEWS: Wheldon's genuine personality a devastating loss to racing
Lori Wood, the Tribune-Star’s Indianapolis 500 correspondent since 2000, planned to visit a friend in California and take in the IndyCar Las Vegas 300 as a ticket-buying fan last weekend.
HUGHES NEWS AND VIEWS: Past greats proud of ISU’s recent improvements
Indiana State football alum Chris “Big C” Hicks will turn 58 Saturday and he knows exactly what he wants for his birthday.
HUGHES NEWS AND VIEWS: Rose-Hulman hungry for first football victory of season
The Engineers have not endured a losing season since 2004. But they’ve opened this season at 0-2, causing Sokol to admit they’re desperate for a win.
“We’re all very hungry for a victory,” he said after practice Thursday. “We all want to taste victory really, really bad.”
Valley semipro football team reaches championship of IFL
The West Central Wildcats’ semipro football team from Terre Haute has been written about before in this column space over the last two years.
HUGHES NEWS & VIEWS: Colts cheerleaders glad to get back on field
When I heard the NFL lockout finally ended this week, I looked for someone affiliated with the Indianapolis Colts to get a reaction.
Amateur boxing card set for outdoors at Show-Me's
We all know what Show-Me’s sports bar is famous for around Terre Haute, right?
Chicken wings, of course.
HUGHES NEWS & VIEWS: Porter’s persistence keeps his boxing career going
When I walked in Sweatbox Gym through the alley door Wednesday, I wondered if a time machine had taken me back to the 1950s, the glory days of boxing.
HUGHES, NEWS AND VIEWS: Seaton aces chance for more Div. 1 volleyball
Plagued by one injury after another after another, Kristen Seaton was ready to turn off the lights on her volleyball career.
In her mind, the party was over.
HUGHES NEWS & VIEWS: Semi-pro football team to kick off season today
If you’re worried about the NFL season being canceled and you can’t wait months for the college and high school seasons to begin, you can get your football fix tonight at Memorial Stadium.
- More Hughes News & Views Headlines
- Terre Haute runner sets up race to help Boston