TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State redshirt freshman safety Mark Sewall knows comparisons are inevitable.
Sewall’s older brother, Alex, played at ISU from 2008-11 and was also a safety. Alex was a four-year starter, was an all-conference standout for the Sycamores and was a major building block in ISU’s rise to respectability.
No matter, says Mark. As he continues his maiden season as a Sycamore, he wants to forge his own legacy — one that exceeds that of his big brother.
“There’s definitely a little bit of burden to have his name in front of you. It casts a shadow, but I think it’s nice to have a goal to work towards. I know Alex had a great career here, I tell him that all of the time, but I think I’ll be better than him,” Mark said.
Alex Sewall, a graduate assistant for ISU who is recovery from a spring knee injury that delayed his professional aspirations, has no problem being used as a barometer of Mark’s success.
“I like that. I like that he’s using me as something to shoot for or even do better. If that’s what he can accomplish, I think it’s great. Other players look to me that way as well. They want to follow in the footsteps of what last year’s seniors got going,” Alex Sewall said.
So far, Mark is on the right track. After sitting out the 2011 season with a torn ACL in his left knee, Mark Sewall is blazing a very similar path that Alex did. Mark is, in effect, the co-starter at free safety with Donovan Layne as they rotate plays. Layne missed the second game of the season, so Mark has seen more a few more snaps.
“[ISU defensive coordinator Jesse] Minter decides how and when we play. We usually switch off on each possession and we’re both on the field for nickel and dime situations,” Mark Sewall said.
Mark Sewall is part of a secondary that’s been stingy against the pass. ISU is ranked 36th in the nation in pass defense as ISU has conceded 175.25 yards per game. Sewall himself has 12 tackles — including one for a loss — three pass break-ups and he had a 77-yard return on an interception against Quincy on Sept. 8.
Though they play the same position, Mark plays it differently than Alex Sewall did. Alex was renowned for his hitting ability and his acumen at playing downhill. Mark is more a pass-defending drop-back safety who isn’t necessarily going to make the highlight hit, but who’s more likely to tip a ball or take a receiver out of a play.
“He’s a physical, open-field tackler. I think I can make more game-changing plays in the back end against passing … and I can step up in the box when needed,” said Mark, who is already halfway to Alex’s career total of two picks.
ISU coach Trent Miles doesn’t feel the beat has been missed as the torch was passed to the younger Sewall sibling.
“He’s doing a good job. He’s playing well for us on special forces [teams] and defense. He’s very athletic, he’s smart and he’s tough. He’s a valuable guy because he can play either safety spot. It’s big that he’s here,” Miles said.
The interesting dynamic between Mark and Alex Sewall is the state of the ISU program when each got their start. When Alex arrived in 2008, it was every freshman for themselves. ISU had very few veterans to fall back on and Alex was one of several first-year players who were thrust into a sink-or-swim situation. Alex was an immediate standout, giving ISU’s pass defense an intimidating edge from jump.
Mark Sewall arrived in 2011 as the finished product was beginning to develop. His knee injury occurred during two-a-days last summer, which took away the possibility that the Sewall brothers could play side-by-side.
“Alex had to come in and play and learn on the play. Mark didn’t get a chance to do anything until spring football. It’s good because he’s better physically than he was. Mark is the way we want to do it — bring them in for five years and let them develop physically. Alex had to be a player right away, and he was, but think of all of those seniors, you wish you had them this year,” Miles said.
The motivation that Alex Sewall provides to Mark Sewall to have the better ISU legacy is one that has served Mark well throughout his football career.
“Having him as an older brother helped me push myself to being better at what I can. He’s a hard worker and he’s always pushing me to be better,” Mark said.
As for Alex — whose left arm was in a sling Wednesday after a pectoral injury — he is hoping his professional career can get back on track come next spring.
“I’m definitely looking forward to getting fully healthy and get into the shape I was last spring. If I’m in shape and 100 percent healthy, I’ll definitely have a shot at the next level. I still believe that. I had a good career here, I love the game and that’ll catch someone’s eye,” Alex said.
TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State redshirt freshman safety Mark Sewall knows comparisons are inevitable.
- Indiana State University
Etherington, Moore happy to be with ISU basketball
Not even two weeks into their college experience, Indiana State freshmen men’s basketball players Alex Etherington and Demetrius Moore stood sentinel as 115 kids ran around them collecting basketballs and getting autographs at the Greg Lansing Basketball Camp on Thursday.
ISU's Johnson invited to World University Games
Indiana State senior Felisha Johnson will be traveling the world this summer after being named to represent the United States in the women’s shot put at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Close, but no cigar, theme for ISU sports in 2012-13
When I covered my first event of Indiana State’s 2012-13 season — ISU’s opening football game at Indiana — I was the first one in the press box at IU’s Memorial Stadium. I’m never the first one in the press box.
Maybe the prospect of ISU’s season had me so pumped that I decided to get it started close to three hours early? (Or more truthfully, maybe I was over-vigilent about predicted traffic horrors on the Indiana 46 bypass that never came to pass.)
Q&A: ISU football coach Mike Sanford ready for fall
It’s hard to believe, but Mike Sanford has already been Indiana State’s football coach for six months.
Time flies, but Sanford’s task of preparing for his first season in charge of the Sycamores comes with few breaks.
Rex streak ends at 7
The Terre Haute Rex table setters — Kyle Kempf and Tyler Wampler — had three of the team’s eight hits Friday at Bob Warn Field, but the Rex offense found itself in a big early deficit for the first time this season.
Manaea’s selection puts ISU in spotlight
Once the stress and hang-wringing over where Indiana State pitcher Sean Manaea might get drafted was over, the angst subsided and was replaced with a happier emotion. Pride.
ISU’s Hope places 13th in NCAA pole vault
Indiana State senior Nicole Hope concluded her final competition of the 2013 outdoor season on Friday as she tied for 13th in the women’s pole vault at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Metro roundup: Former Sycamores take talents to CFL
Former Indiana State players Johnny Towalid and Justin Hilton were signed by teams in the Canadian Football League this week.
Exit Minnesota, enter Oregon State on 2016 football schedule
When the Big Ten Conference implemented a nine-game football schedule starting in 2016 and discouraged members from playing Football Championship Subdivision teams, there was one game on Indiana State’s future schedule that was likely on borrowed time.
ISU’s scheduled game at Minnesota in 2016.
ISU's Manaea selected 34th overall by Royals
Indiana State pitcher Sean Manaea selected 34th overall by the Kansas City Royals.
ISU's Manaea is mystery man of MLB Draft
There is no consensus as to where Manaea might be drafted. Some experts still have him being chosen among the top 20 picks. Some don’t have him being picked in the first round at all.
ISU's Johnson, Wise compete at NCAA nationals
Indiana State's Felisha Johnson and Katie Wise competed at the NCAA Track an Field Nationals at the University of Oregon.
Sycamores ready for more NCAA track success
Five of the six Indiana State athletes in Eugene, Ore., already have had some memorable track and field careers for the Sycamores.
But they’ll go ahead and try to add to their list of accomplishments in the NCAA outdoor championships this weekend.
Dustin Betz has been a scorer and key piece of eight Missouri Valley Conference championship teams between track and cross country. He’ll compete today in the 3,000-meter steeplechase as the Sycamores’ second best in the event behind Jordan Fife.
Mike Lucas joins ISU football staff
What traits do head football coaches seek out when they hire position coaches?
Indiana State football coach Mike Sanford provided insight into that question as he hired former Southeast Louisiana head coach Mike Lucas to his staff Tuesday. Lucas will be the Sycamores’ defensive line coach.
“You have to look at your staff and see what you need. I felt like in this particular case, I wanted an experienced defensive line coach. I feel like we have a mixture of experience and youth and I want to keep that going,” Sanford said.
Sycamores bow out of MVC Tournament
Indiana State’s baseball was out of pitching, and after a loss to Wichita State on Thursday, the Sycamores were out of second-chances too at the Missouri Valley Conference baseball tournament. What the Sycamores weren’t out of was heart, guts and clutch performances from some unlikely sources. But in the end, Friday’s elimination game rematch against the Shockers was a sampling of ISU’s season overall — the Sycamores were out of luck.
Four Indiana State athletes advance to NCAA outdoor track and field championships
Three Indiana State seniors and a freshman have punched their tickets to the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in two weeks at Eugene, Ore., with their Friday efforts in the 2013 NCAA East Preliminary at Aggie Stadium on the campus of North Carolina A&T.
ISU baseball hoping Manaea can get its MVC Tournament moving in right direction
Indiana State’s baseball team has been waiting all season for its stars to align.
But this is the 2013 Sycamores, after all, and after a season in which seemingly little has gone right, it appears its stars will remain crossed at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
ISU sending largest group yet to postseason
On the heels of their thrilling double victory at the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships both the Indiana State men and women moved up in the national rankings which were released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
ISU's athletic treasure trove
Think of every championship that Indiana State has won in each of its sports, past and present. Think of every tournament — postseason or regular season — which the Sycamores have claimed as their own.
Ort sets ISU RBI record in 16-7 win
Robby Ort celebrated his Indiana State baseball Senior Day on Saturday by becoming the Sycamores’ all-time leader in RBIs as ISU ended its regular season with a 16-7 win over Bradley at Bob Warn Field.
Bradley ends 16-game MVC losing streak against ISU
Momentum was the only thing riding on Indiana State’s baseball game against Bradley on Friday. With a five-game winning streak going, ISU wanted to keep the good vibes going into next week’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
ISU couldn’t do it.
Indiana State to host 2014 MVC baseball tourney
Build it… and they will come. The Missouri Valley Conference and Indiana State University made that famous line from the movie “Fields Of Dreams” reality Thursday.
Behind 16 hits and Manaea's pitching, ISU beats Bradley
Indiana State’s baseball team rode a wild ride of emotion on Thursday.
First came the public announcement that Bob Warn Field would host the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Later, Sean Manaea’s availability to pitch ISU’s series opener against Bradley was in doubt.
TODD GOLDEN: Don't give up on ISU baseball just yet
If you had to pick one word that would describe the 2013 Indiana State baseball season, it would have to be frustration.
ISU baseball team builds on success with 14-2 rout
Indiana State’s baseball victory over Alcorn State on Friday would take on more meaning Saturday if the Sycamores could build momentum and pick up on the good work they did in Friday’s ninth-inning rally.
The Sycamores were aggressive from the opening inning at the plate and starting pitcher Devin Moore gave them eight valuable and effective innings on the mound as ISU defeated Alcorn State 14-2 at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a really good experience for everybody. It felt great to finally come out here and put some things together. It’s also really nice when your offense puts a lot of runs on the board,” Moore said.
Moore’s eight innings of work were as valuable as gold to an ISU team that is short on quality arms due to injury and ineffectiveness. He didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and one of the two runs he conceded was unearned.
ISU earns badly-needed win
Alcorn State’s baseball team might be ranked in the bottom 10 in RPI and Indiana State might have never lost to a Southwestern Athletic Conference team. So it wouldn’t appear that a quality win was in the offing when Alcorn State visited Bob Warn Field on Friday.
ISU’s Mascari and Hope win MVC track & field titles
Indiana State produced two champions during the opening day of action in the Missouri Valley Conference track and field championships Friday at Drake. Freshman John Mascari, a Terre Haute native, won the men’s 10,000-meter race and Nicole Hope won the women’s pole vault for the second time in three seasons.
ISU pole vault tradition continues with help from its author
Pole vault is track and field for the adrenaline junkie, Indiana State senior Nicole Hope proclaimed during a recent practice at Marks Field.
To catapult oneself about 14 feet into the air with a large $500 fiberglass pole on a daily basis is a risky endeavor.
“We have to be fearless. You can’t be afraid at all,” said Hope, who has also catapulted herself into the NCAA’s elite in the event, ranking 15th in the NCAA with her leap of 13-feet, 9 1/4.
Lansing looking for more home games for next fall
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is looking for a few good games.
Home games that is.
The Sycamores have filled in most of the blanks in their nonconference schedule, but as ever, ISU coach Greg Lansing would like to visit the friendly confines of Hulman Center a bit more often.
ISU baseball gets back into rhythm with victory
Baseball is a rhythm game. With contests every day or five times a week in the case of many college programs, you have the chance to build on success or wallow in a slump.
Mother Nature took that rhythm away from Indiana State’s team last week. After a 7-1 loss to Indiana on April 24, ISU was supposed to play a three-game series at Tennessee-Martin, but it was wiped out by rain.
So the rhythm was disturbed, but perhaps that wasn’t a bad thing.
ISU was in a five-game losing streak before its unintended vacation and the Sycamores made a move in the right direction Wednesday with a 7-0 win over DePauw at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a disappointing weekend. We went all the way down to Tennessee and didn’t get to play. We sat around in the hotel room. We came here and it was still raining. It was nice to get out and see some live pitching,” ISU center fielder Landon Curry said.
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