An old saying indicates, “Dynamite comes in small packages.” When it comes to Cara Stuckey, the adage is certainly on the mark.
The 5-foot-5, 120-pound Stuckey might not have been mistaken for a high school basketball player, but a basketball player she was, and a very talented one to boot.
As a point guard on the South Vigo girls’ basketball squad, she helped her team to three sectional titles and two regional championships. During her senior year in 1999, Stuckey tossed in 38 points against Sullivan despite taking only 14 shots at the basket. Cara recalls, “I liked playing basketball because you could get pumped up when the crowd is behind you.”
Cara’s experience as a golfer began when she was in the fourth grade. She recalls, “My dad, Larry, would drop me off at Rea Park where I could play all day, often with Scott or Charlie Kluesner.” She added, “I think both of them know my golf game better than I do.”
Both Kluesners had outstanding high school golf careers and both earned college scholarships, Scott at IUPUI and Charlie at Oakland University, where he is a junior. Matching shots with the boys must have had a positive effect on Stuckey’s golf game. During her freshman year at South in 1995, she qualified individually for the IHSAA state finals by finishing second in the sectional and third in the regional. Stuckey also reached the finals during her sophomore year. In her senior season, it was back to the finals and a top 12 finish. She recalls losing in a playoff her junior year when an opponent holed a 35-foot putt.
Although basketball was Stuckey’s favorite sport during high school, before graduation she began to think about college golf and a golf scholarship. When one was awarded, she followed in the footsteps of the Kluesner brothers as a scholarship golfer.
While at Indiana University she was tutored by long-time golf Coach Sam Carmichael, from whom she felt she learned a great deal about the game.
Indiana earned the right to play in the NCAA Finals four straight years with Cara qualifying for the NCAA squad in both her junior and senior seasons. She enjoyed flying to matches, something she had never done before arriving at IU. She also enjoyed her trips to Florida for matches.
Stuckey’s best score on the IU course was 71 — three under women’s par. She also had a two-under-par 71 in a match at Iowa. Additionally, she placed third in a tournament hosted by Mission Inn Golf Club in Florida.
On the local scene, Stuckey has won the Terre Haute Women’s City Tourney six times during the past seven years, each with Scott or Charlie Kluesner caddying for her. What happened the other year? She took some time off golf and did not enter the tournament, which was won by Jennifer Myers.
In state competition, Stuckey had a third-place finish in the 2001 Indiana Women’s State Open, which included a 68 on the final round.
Other low rounds were some 32s for nine holes, and also a score she would like to have completed, but her match in the women’s city was over at the twelfth hole when she was six under par.
Her lone hole-in-one came on the 165-yard No. 7 hole at the Country Club of Terre Haute when she stroked her five iron into the cup while playing with Travis Smith and his father Jim. Stuckey’s drives average 240 yards, which she considers her strength. Cara has never expressed any desire to turn professional.
She is currently a math teacher at Terre Haute South, and also the girls golf coach. Cara remarked, “I hope to get more girls involved in golf, and try to get them to have as much fun as I’ve had.” She also hopes to instill in her players the virtues which have made her successful in golf, namely hard work and a positive attitude.
Stuckey credits her dad for not pressing her to choose basketball over golf. Larry Stuckey is no stranger to coaching. He’s been a basketball coach at Sarah Scott, an assistant in basketball at South, the head coach in girls’ softball and an assistant in girls’ tennis.
Stuckey’s mom, Diane, has long been a tireless worker on behalf of Terre Haute South athletics.
With great parents and a sound background in golf, it’s not difficult to understand the successes that have come Cara Stuckey’s way, with I’m sure, many more to come.
I I I
A couple of players with ties to Terre Haute and Cloverdale respectively, went out and accomplished a pair of major achievements recently. Both Rob Johnson and Chad Collins survived the ultra difficult task of qualifying for the 155-man field for the U. S. Open Championship something that eludes some of professional golf’s big stars each year.
To make the prestigious field, Johnson and Collins had to survive two stages of qualifying and fire low numbers on difficult courses against some extremely rugged competition. Regardless of how these players finish in the Open, they now have a major addition to their resumes to go with their wins, Johnson on the Canadian PGA Tour and Collins on the Nationwide circuit.
n Salute — How about a 21-gun salute to Travis Smith, Mark Metheny, Conner Clinkenbeard, Phillip Myers and Ryan Shelley for their sterling play during the dual match season and on to the IHSAA State Golf Tourney where they propelled South Vigo to a tie for second. Smith finished in a tie for fourth individually. Congratulations to Coach Chris Cassell and his Braves on a sensational season.
n Tiger tough to beat — For years the sports media has longed for someone to come out and challenge Tiger Woods. In years long gone, it was once Bobby Jones dueling Walter Hagen. Later it became a rivalry between Ben Hogan and Sam Snead. Then it would become Jack Nicklaus battling Arnold Palmer. Recently it has been Tiger against anyone who could stand up to him when the chips were down and tournaments were on the line, especially majors, but few have been equal to the task on a regular basis.
Now it seems Phil Mickelson is the media’s pick to add another major to the three he has already won. In this writer’s opinion, Mickelson has a big job ahead.
n Tip of the week — When it comes to tournament play, one word is paramount, and that is PATIENCE. This goes double for a U. S. Open. Learning to take what the course offers and not pressing for too much too quickly is a lesson all good golfers have learned. Playing the smart shot at the correct time is often the difference between victory and defeat.
Keep your head down and your shoestrings tied. We’ll be back.
Bob Arnett can be reached by mail at the Tribune-Star, P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN, 47808.
An old saying indicates, “Dynamite comes in small packages.” When it comes to Cara Stuckey, the adage is certainly on the mark.
- Softball Scene
SOFTBALL SCENE: Swingers win state title
The Swingers from Greencastle double-dipped Carlisle Plaza 10-7 and 8-6 to win the ASA coed novice state title in Lafayette last weekend.
SOFTBALL SCENE: Brent D. Long Tournament a success on and off field
Somebody forgot to tell the Tykal’s American team that they weren’t the favorite in the Brent D. Long Tournament last weekend at Spencer Field.
SOFTBALL SCENE: Team Bud takes third at coed state tourney
Following last week’s news that local softball fortunes had improved with Crawlworks/All American Auto Repair’s seventh-place finish in the Amateur Softball Association men’s Class D state finals, this weekend’s news is even better.
SOFTBALL SCENE: Wabash Valley slowpitch team takes seventh at state
News from the state softball front has improved as a result of Crawlworks/All American Auto Repair’s seventh-place finish in the ASA MSP Class “D” state tournament this past weekend. With their finish, this is the first local team with a .500-or-better record in state tournament play.
SOFTBALL SCENE: Tough tournament trail
Results from various ASA state tournament play continue to trickle in and unfortunately for local softball interests, they are disappointing. The combined record for the Outkast men’s team and the Ladies Last Call women’s team was one win and four defeats.
Valley softball teams fail to impress in ASA tourneys
“Disappointing” might be the operative word to describe the outcome for Wabash Valley softball efforts in the ASA men’s slowpitch Class D (North) and men’s slowpitch Class E (North) state tournaments last weekend.
SOFTBALL SCENE: Copeland’s wins its first Show-Me’s coed tournament
Results are in for the Show-Me’s coed city softball tournament and Copeland’s are the new champions.
The eight-team affair was divided into two four-team pools, with the pool winners matched in the championship game.
SOFTBALL SCENE: Valley squad wins Bedford tourney, series titles
This past weekend the Crawlworks/All American Auto Repairs squad ventured to Bedford to participate in another leg of the Tanel 360/Dudley Challenge Series. In doing so, Crawlworks/All American Auto Repair not only captured the tourney title but also annexed the season-long series title.
SOFTBALL SCENE: Sign-up now under way for city slowpitch championship
Arrangements for the Show-Me’s city slowpitch softball tournaments have been completed and interested teams are encouraged to sign up.
SOFTBALL SCENE: The talent ladder for local softball
I would like to open this week’s column with a “thank you” to Tribune-Star sportswriter David Hughes for his excellent article featuring local softball star Kevin Kull, which ran in Wednesday’s paper.
The article, which chronicled Kull’s rapid rise to prominence, was a much-discussed topic around the ballpark Wednesday and Thursday evenings. In addition, it provided me with an idea for this week’s installment of “Softball Scene.”
SOFTBALL SCENE: Teams give some pep to area men’s softball
Wabash Valley softball action picked up briefly at Spencer Field last Saturday as four men’s slowpitch squads competed in tournament play.
SOFTBALL SCENE: Coed slowpitch softball tourney raises money for cancer research
Last weekend, Hamilton Center and the Terre Haute Parks and Recreation Department co-hosted a co-ed slowpitch softball tournament to raise money for cancer research.
SOFTBALL SCENE: Valley teams strong at tournaments
The results are in from last weekend’s Bedford All-Nighter and Wabash Valley softball interests fared well in the 42-team men’s slowpitch tournament.
SOFTBALL SCENE: Local adult softball teams gearing up for action
Well softball fans, it’s time for yet another season of adult softball in the Wabash Valley.
SOFTBALL SCENE: Wabash Valley well-represented in state tournamen t
The Wabash Valley was well-represented in the ASA Coed Class D/E state tournament last weekend at the Avon softball facility.
Budweiser team has mixed results in national slowpitch regional tourney play
The local Budweiser men’s softball squad ventured to Columbus, Ohio, this past weekend to participate in the 82-team ASA MSP national regional tournament.
SOFTBALL SCENE: Myers family softball tradition carries on
This past Jan. 10, local softball icon Wayne Myers passed away leaving behind two brothers, Fred and Bill, son Terry, daughter Elaine as well as grandchildren Haley, Whitey and “Chicky.” In addition, the Indiana Amateur Softball Association was left without its commander in chief.
Softball Scene: Softball moments of years past
With the summer softball season coming to an end, I thought it might be interesting to look to past Softball Scene columns and dredge up a few old memories from seasons gone by. This type of column also serves as a reminder to those presently playing that in a few short years, your achievements will be largely forgotten by those who will be playing in future seasons.
Softball Scene: Valley squads fare well at state tournaments
The results from the Indiana Amateur Softball Association’s MSP Class “C”, “D” and “E” state tournaments are in and local softball interests fared well. Of the five local men’s teams participating, four managed to come away with winning records.
Softball Scene: 8 Valley softball teams competing in 5 different state tournaments
This weekend several local softball teams are vying for titles in Amateur Softball Association state tournament play. In all, eight local squads are competing in five different state tournaments.
Softball Scene: Outkast heating up at right time with state tournament approaching
Local softball player and enthusiast Ryan Dehart recently made an astute observation when commenting on the Outkast softball squad. He said, “they’re getting hot at the right time of the year.” Lending support to Dehart’s claim was Outkast’s showing in the recent Hooter’s Invitational hosted by Indy Sports Park.
Softball Scene: Get scoop on upcoming men’s, co-ed tournaments in Wabash Valley
Several questions have arisen concerning the upcoming city tournaments for men’s and co-ed softball teams. In an attempt to dispel any rumors and to address the questions, I will now address callers’ concerns.
Softball Scene: Terre Haute ready for first-time city tournaments in July
The Terre Haute Parks and Recreation Department, working in conjunction with several interested softball parties, will be hosting city championship tournaments for both men’s and coed softball teams.
Softball Scene: Hit Men making their mark on travel softball scene
I have recently noticed a dearth of young softball squads coming up through the ranks. In short, I am interested in knowing who will replace the Wabash Valley’s top-caliber talent as they fall pretty to age, injury work and family obligations.
- Softball Scene: Valley teams have mixed results in state tournaments
- Softball Scene: ‘Old School’ softball at Saline City withstands test of time As the college football season begins and Wabash Valley adult softball action starts to wind down, those interested in a dose of “old school” softball should travel to Saline City this weekend.
- Softball Scene: Crawlworks’ hard work to host tournament pays off Recent Softball Scene columns have been devoted to efforts to raise funds for various causes. The opening segment of this week’s column will stick with that theme.
- Fund-raising tourneys a great way to contribute to community
- SOFTBALL SCENE: Crawlworks prevents Valley shutout Thank goodness for the efforts put forth by the Crawlworks men’s slow pitch team in the ASA MSP Class D state finals. Without their 6-2 finish, local softball efforts were almost shutout in ASA state tournament play this past weekend.
- Softball Scene: Several Wabash Valley softball teams preparing for state-tournament action The next three weekends should prove interesting for local softball squads as several local teams will be competing for state titles. Hoping to improve on last year’s second-place finish in the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) women’s class C tournament, the Chop Shop women’s team will be traveling to Kokomo this weekend. Chop Shop’s second-place finish at state earned it a nationals’ berth, and the squad finished fourth.
- More Softball Scene Headlines
- SOFTBALL SCENE: Swingers win state title