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  • High School Sports Begins…Maybe
    It started Monday. Kids from Evansville to Angola started official practices for their fall sports teams.

    They were kicking soccer balls, pounding volleyballs across a net and getting fitted for their pads and helmets. There is conditioning occurring this week, although not as much as there used to be because coaches expect you to do that on your own before you show up to that first practice.
  • Sports Briefs
    Manchester Girls Golf Opens At  Homestead Invitational; Rochester Schools, Athletics Closed Until at least Aug. 24
  • Along With The IHSAA, Refs Ready For Fall
    If the Indiana High School Athletic Association can remain full speed ahead amid the COVID-19 pandemic in offering a full menu of high school sports this fall — an intention that it declared on Wednesday — then it appears game officials won’t be getting in the way, at least not around the Warsaw area.

    Jimmy Arnett, first-year president of the St. Joseph Valley Officials Association, and Lou Brown, who presides over the Northern Indiana Officials Association, each say there has been minimal opting out for the coming season among their respective memberships.
  • Grace To Play Sports This Fall
    On Tuesday night, the NAIA Council of Presidents announced the rescheduling of all fall 2020 championships to spring 2021.

    As part of the NAIA’s decision, each conference retains the autonomy to decide when to play regular season competition. The Crossroads League’s Council of Presidents has made the decision to carry on with a fall season of competition after detailed discussion and planning.
  • IHSAA Green Light A Critical First Step
    Wednesday’s IHSAA announcement clearing the way for fall high school sports to be played is a critical first step to getting student-athletes on the field.

    But it’s hardly an iron-clad guarantee, as we found out later Wednesday afternoon when the Marion County Health Department put a stop to such activities until at least Oct. 1. That means no schools calling Indianapolis home will compete much before Oct. 10 unless the IHSAA waives the requirement for a minimum number of practices before a first competition.
  • Pandemic Proves Fans Are Essential
    With the major sports in America all starting or restarting, we can confirm one thing — fans are essential to sports.

    I believe we have always thought it was true, but after watching soccer and baseball games along with NBA scrimmages there just is no doubt about it.

    Sure, little league games and AAU summer tournaments are games, but you cannot compare the atmosphere of the fourth game of the day on Court No. 6 in July in a giant fieldhouse somewhere to what the Tiger Den will be like on the night before Thanksgiving when Warsaw hosts Tippecanoe Valley.

    The difference: fans.
  • Heartland Moves Football, Volleyball, Soccer To Spring; GLVC To Start Some Winter Sports Early, Moves FB, VB, Soccer;
  • Grace Tennis Players Win Academic Accolades
    A trio of Grace College tennis players added awards for their work in the classroom.

    Emily Mast and Carrie Copeland of Grace’s women’s tennis team as well as Pavle Popovic from the men’s side were named NCCAA Scholar-Athletes.

    The NCCAA recognizes juniors and seniors with a GPA of at least 3.40.
  • Manchester Shuts Down Conditioning Program
    In a statement sent to parents before being released publicly Saturday, Manchester Community Schools and its athletic program shut down its off-season conditioning program due to two positive COVID tests.

    After saying the school corporation has worked closely with the Wabash County Health Department in defining procedures and protocols for returning, the statement said “At this time, we have received a report that one athlete from our football team and one athlete on our boys basketball team have tested positive for COVID-19. We cannot share specific details about the exposure, but in an effort to keep everyone safe we are going to postpone our summer practices of all sports for the remainder of the summer. We have been advised to use ‘an abundance of caution.’ In doing so, we hope to launch fall sports on August 3rd, the first official day of practice.”
  • Memorial Out, Mishawaka Officially In The NLC
    The landscape of the Northern Lakes Conference has changed.

    The unified Elkhart High School will compete in interscholastic competition starting next month, and they will do so as a member of the Northern Indiana Conference.

    Mishawaka is now officially a member of the NLC.

  • Indiana Wesleyan’s And Former Warsaw Tiger Mangas Repeats As Crossroads League Male Athlete Of Year
    For the second-straight year, the Crossroads League named Indiana Wesleyan’s, Kyle Mangas, as its Male Student-Athlete of the Year. Mangas is the first repeat winner of the award since it was started in 2011-2012.
  • Anderson Tabbed As CoSIDA Academic All-America
    Pl;us news from around the Crossroads League - by Seth Mikel
  • What’s Left On My Bucket List
    Turning 50 two years ago was a really eye-opening moment for me.

    The month leading up to that day was stressful and painful. In my mind, I knew what 50-year old people were supposed to be and I wasn’t anywhere near that. 50-year old people were comfortable in their own skin, they had established who they were and they were secure in what they wanted.

    I was missing that.
  • Grace College’s
Neuhart Honored As Crossroads League SID Of The Year
    The Crossroads League announced on Monday that Josh Neuhart of Grace College had been named its 2019-2020 Sports Information Director of the Year.

    The award is the second for Neuhart, who recently completed his 10th year as the SID for the Lancers. He also won in 2015-16.
  • Beer Writes Award-Winning Book On Negro Leaguer Charleston
    Jeremy Beer grew up with an appreciation for baseball.

    He played Little League and Pony League in Milford, Ind. (now the Wawasee Summer League).

    The oldest child of the late Dr. Ken and Lynne Beer, Jeremy graduated from Wawasee High School in 1990 then earned psychology degrees at Indiana University and the University of Texas and read about the game’s past. He considered himself pretty knowledgable about baseball.

    One day Beer was going through the second edition of the Bill James Historical Abstract and the listing of all-time best players.

    No. 4 in the James rankings was Oscar Charleston.
  • Wawasee’s Leedy To Play Golf At Rose-Hulman
    Wawasee graduate Zach Leedy (front row, center) signed a letter-of-intent Wednesday to continue his academic and golf careers at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, where he will major in mechanical engineering. Leedy is flanked by his parents, Candy (L) and Mike Leedy. On the back row is Wawasee Athletic Director Cory Schutz and Warrior head golf coach Steve Coverstone.
  • New Year Starts For High Schools
    The calendar has flipped over to July, and it couldn’t have happened soon enough.

    July 1 is when the 2020-21 high school sports calendar officially begins.

    This week is a little different than most years. This is where “moratorium week” usually falls. That’s the one week of the year where high school sports shut down — no contact, no team camps and no organized activities.
  • Tiger Assistant Baumgartner Honored
    Longtime Warsaw Tiger assistant football coach Dave Baumgartner (L) was recently presented with the Tom Kelly Memorial Award by the Indiana Football

    Coaches Association for “his diligent efforts for our association and the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.” Baumgartner put together a video history of the hall of fame in Richmond and is currently working on compiling a podcast from every IFCA North vs. South All-Star Game with help from former Tiger football coach Ted Huber.

  • Grace Esports Announces New Facility, MSI Sponsorship
    Grace College’s brand-new esports team is excited to announce two major enhancements to the program.

    The team has entered into a sponsorship with MSI, who is a leading developer of computer hardware for the esports industry. Grace’s student-athletes will wear custom MSI jerseys and play on powerful MSI gaming computers.
  • Manchester Hires Whitko Boys Hoops Coach Eli Henson
    Athletic Director Eric Screeton had a wide-ranging search for a new Manchester Squires boys basketball coach, but got his man from a neighboring school and Three Rivers Conference rival.

    Screeton presented Whitko boys basketball coach Eli Henson to the Manchester  Community Schools Board of School Trustees. The trustees approved the hiring of Henson at its meeting late Tuesday night.
  • A Moment And Place In Time
    I am sitting here on the patio of our vacation spot this week, being reflective and contemplating life — much like I have done just about every day since we all started “hunkering down” at the end of March.

    Today’s contemplation occurs while sitting on the beach, watching and listening to the waves roll in and roll out as the wife and kids greet those waves in person.
  • Clock Is Ticking On Baseball
    Word is the baseball players and Major League Baseball are drifting apart in their effort to negotiate a way into the 2020 baseball season.

    Owners are mourning the loss of every game not played so far because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and are staring at the massive loss of revenue from not having fans in the stands of any of the games that are played.
  • ‘The Bowling Alley’ Announces Plan To Reopen
    Jennifer Stichter, general manager at The Bowling Alley, 1535 N. Detroit St., announced on Wednesday the establishment will reopen, with new social distancing guidelines, on Tuesday.
  • Fishing Is More Than Just Fishing
    Monday was my six-year old son’s “Gotcha Day”.

    If you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s the day we met Oliver in China. It’s the first time we got to see him with our own eyes and hold him in our arms.

    “Gotcha Day” is sort of like a second birthday. Hannah and Oliver get to pick what we do and where we eat on their special day.
  • Grace Golfers Earn Academic Accolades
    Seven members of Grace College’s women’s and men’s golf teams were given academic honors.
  • Hill Recognized As NCCAA’s Game Plan 4 Life Winner
    Grace College volleyball star Alexa Hill added one more honor to her illustrious career on Thursday.

    Hill was named the winner of the 2020 NCCAA Game Plan 4 LIFE Award. T
  • Winter Sports Owners, Commissioners Should Just Give Up
    With the passing of Memorial Day Weekend, we are now officially into summer.

    I think we can all agree that summer couldn’t have come soon enough.

    Swimming pools are opening, golf courses are buzzing again, and people are outside doing … “outside things.”

    And thus the topic of conversation today.
  • Mays’ Road Takes Him From Lexington To South Whitley
    After playing big-time college basketball, first at North Carolina State and finishing his master’s degree at Kentucky, Julius Mays finds himself going from playing in front of thousands of fans in Lexington’s Rupp Arena to being the new athletic director at Whitko. The population of the entire school district is somewhere around a fifth of Rupp’s 23,500 capacity.

    The Marion native has had a long and winding road so far in life, but it’s about accomplishing goals rather than reaching destinations.

    “I never had a written plan. Obviously, I have goals and there are stepping stones to achieving those goals,” Mays said. “I was welcomed with open arms at my alma mater (Marion High School) and I was greatly appreciative of that opportunity.
  • Grace College’s Haney, Anderson Earn Academic Honors
    Two members of Grace’s baseball team were recognized for their excellence in the classroom.

    David Anderson and Houston Haney were both honored as NCCAA Scholar-Athletes. To achieve that status, student-athletes must reach upperclassman status and have a GPA of at least 3.40.
  • Sports Without Fans And Other Things
    It’s one of those weeks where there are a lot of things to talk about but only so many inches to do it in.

    So I offer a buffet of subjects for your consideration today.
  • NFHS Releases Guidance For State Associations To Consider In Re-Opening HS Athletics, Activities
    The National Federation of State High School Associations has released guidance for its 51 member state high school associations to consider in re-opening high school athletics and other activity programs across the nation.

    The guidance document was developed by the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, a 15-member advisory committee composed of medical doctors, certified athletic trainers, high school coaches and officials, research specialists and state high school association executives that regularly develops position statements related to medical aspects of conducting high school athletics.
  • Crossroads League Claims 11 CoSIDA Honors for Baseball and Softball
    The Crossroads League placed 11 student-athletes on the 2020 CoSIDA NAIA Baseball and Softball Academic All-District Teams recently. Taylor led the way with six combined honors, with Mount Vernon Nazarene collecting three awards and Grace and Indiana Wesleyan each claiming one.
  • 18 Spartans Named Academic All-HCAC
    The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference has announced the spring honorees for Tom Bohlsen Academic All-HCAC.  18 Spartans earned Academic All-HCAC honors this spring.
  • Julius Mays Named Whitko AD
    Whitko Community Schools approved the hire of Julius Mays as the new athletic airector Monday evening during the Whitko School Board Meeting.
  • Valley Exploring E-Sports Club For This Fall
    Tippecanoe Valley School High School announced at its Thursday board work session that an E-sports club is in the works for the 2020-21 school year.

    Valley would join the Indiana High School E-Sports League (IHSEN).
  • Manchester Boys Hoops Coach Fired
    After four seasons as boys basketball coach, Mark Underwood was fired by the Manchester Community School Corporation’s Board of Trustees this week, a move confirmed by Squire Athletic Director Eric Screeton Thursday.
  • All-NLC Academic Team Announced
    The Class of 2020 Academic All-Northern Lakes Conference team was announced this week. Winners were:
  • Fall Sports Gets A Thumbs Up From IHSAA
    Last week, the IHSAA announced that they have a plan for the fall sports season — and that plan is to have one.

    Hoosiers rejoiced!
  • Fall Sports Season Is Going To Be Affected
    With Gov. Eric Holcomb’s announcement Friday of a plan to start opening up stuff to us step-by-step, there are a lot of people with mixed feelings on the stages of the plan.

    This is not a political column and so you will not read my thoughts on Holcomb’s plan or my predictions on its ultimate success.
  • Tips For Teaching Kids
    I watch parents and grandparents working with their young kids on sports-related skills all the time. Most of them have the best of intentions.

    Either way, over my nearly 50 years of playing sports and watching others play, I have come to some conclusions about how to get young people off to good starts and pointed in the right direction for later in their sports lives.

    I want to share with you today some of the things that I have discovered.
  • TVMS Winter Sports Awards Announced
    Tippecanoe Valley Middle School recently presented its winter sports awards via a conference call.

    Winners were as listed below:
  • Wawasee Winter Sports Award Winners Announced
    Wawasee recently issued its winter sports awards, highlighting its six varsity sports as well as cheerleading.

    Wawasee’s winter season had girls swimming qualify for four events at the IHSAA State Finals and two of its wrestlers make the IHSAA State Finals along with the team achieving its third consecutive sectional championship. Additionally, one gymnast was used as a baseline scorer at the IHSAA Gymnastics State Finals.
  • HS Wrestling Rules Changes Address Weigh-in Procedures, Hair Length
    As the result of a concerted effort to accommodate the growing number of female wrestlers, the 2020-21 high school wrestling rules changes are headlined by significant adjustments to weigh-in protocol and appropriate hair length requirements.

    The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee met April 5-6 and recommended 11 rules changes to take effect next school year. In accordance with current health safety guidelines, the rules meeting was held in an online format. All rules revisions recommended by the Wrestling Rules Committee were approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
  • Moore A Tiger Of A Different Color
    Matt Moore met the media Saturday afternoon for the first time as boys basketball coach of the Warsaw Tigers.

    Of course, he met them via a video chat because, well, you know, that’s how we have do things like that these days.

    Moore was officially announced as head coach Saturday morning, and he saw the faces and heard the voices of those who would be covering the team and many of the other Tiger team coaches later that afternoon.
  • A Long Way From Fall Sports
    Sitting here in my home, one foot on the living room carpet and the other on the dining room floor, I can’t help but think we’re a long way from fall sports ... much farther than we normally are on April 21.

    And after reading Kyle Neddenriep’s article in Monday’s Indianapolis Star, we all need to take a closer look at the priority we place on high school sports.