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Fall has already started for area sports teamsPosted Wednesday, August 6, 2008, at 1:17 PM
Even though the unofficial end of summer does not happen until Labor Day weekend, it is already fall for all football, volleyball, cross country, boys tennis and girls golf teams in Indiana.
Girls golf started practice on Aug. 1 and the Lady Miners started the season Tuesday at the Providence Invitational. White River Valley's girls golf team, coached by Karen Cullison, doesn't have their first match until Thursday, Aug. 14 when they face Northview, Cloverdale and the host Lady Miners at Phil Harris.
The rest of the area teams started practice Monday. Football teams had two days of practices without pads, but Eastern Greene, Linton-Stockton and Union (Dugger) were able to go in full practice gears (pads included) Wednesday.
The Miners, the defending champions Class A Sectional 40 who are again led by coach Steve Weber, have a controlled scrimmage at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15 at Cloverdale.
Eastern Greene will get to try out its new football field at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15 in a controlled scrimmage against South Decatur.
Thunderbird as well as visiting fans should be made aware of the new facility will not have bleachers until at least October. So bring your lawn chairs.
The two county schools will meet at the new EGHS field at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22.
For a number of years, Union (Dugger) had a scrimmage with Indiana School for the Deaf in a home-and-home series. Even though they meet in the regular season, the Bulldogs and Deaf Hoosiers scrimmaged.
But this year without warning, Deaf School will be scrimmaging someone else, not Union (Dugger), according to Bulldog athletic director Shane Reese, leaving the Bulldogs without a tune-up for its regular-season opener at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22 at home against North Central.
Area volleyball teams can commence regular-season contests on Monday, Aug. 18.
The defending Class 2A sectional champion Lady Miners of Linton-Stockton will begin on that date with a home contest against Monrovia.
Bloomfield, with new coach Jennifer Heaton, will play the same night at Terre Haute South.
Union (Dugger), who is now led by former White River Valley coach Becky Borter, also is set to begin Aug. 18 when they host South Vermillion.
The Lady Bulldogs will apparently struggle to have a junior-varsity team as only eight girls have been regulars at preseason practices and conditioning.
Defending Class A sectional champ Shakamak begin the season at home Tuesday, Aug. 19 against Bloomfield in a Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference volleyball match. The Lady Lakers and Lady Miners both tied for the SWIAC and Tri-River Conference titles a year ago as well.
Eastern Greene will be the last area volleyball team to begin the season. They will host Bloomington South Thursday, Aug. 21.
Half of the area volleyball teams will have controlled scrimmages, with all occurring on Thursday, Aug. 14 and all will be in Greene County.
Shakamak will entertain Clay City at 7 p.m. Linton-Stockton will host Barr-Reeve at 6 p.m. while Eastern Greene will face Washington at 6:30 p.m. in their new gym.
For the rules of the volleyball and football scrimmages, go to www.ihsaa.org.
As far as boys tennis, Linton-Stockton coach Brad McKinney has six returning starters and will open the season Tuesday, Aug. 19 at Barr-Reeve.
Bloomfield, again led by coach Mike Canty, will start the season Wednesday, Aug. 20 at Northview.
WRV, under the guidance of new coach Daniel Crites, is scheduled to start the boys tennis season Saturday, Aug. 23 at home against Northeast Dubois.
The boys and girls country season will begin Thursday, Aug. 21 when Linton-Stockton hosts WRV and North Daviess.
Eastern Greene runners will start the season Monday, Aug. 25 at the General Lee Invitational at Bedford.
The Lady Thunderbirds are under the guidance of new coach Brian Spice, who replaces Mike Caldwell.
Shakamak's boys and girls cross country teams begin with a meet Tuesday, Aug. 26 at Owen Valley that includes Brown County and Northview. With the graduation of Anthony Witt, Laker sophomore Drew Gambill takes the unofficial title of the best runner in Greene County.
Bloomfield's cross country squads will be the final county teams to begin the season when they join WRV, Eastern Greene, Linton-Stockton and Shakamak in the Greene County Invitational at White River Valley on Thursday, Aug. 28.
The girls golf sectional will be on Saturday, Sept. 20, most likely again at the Bicknell Country Club.
The boys tennis sectionals will against be hosted by Loogootee and Northview, likely starting Thursday, Oct. 2 and running through Saturday, Oct. 4.
WRV and Bloomfield will compete at Loogootee while Linton-Stockton will play at Northview.
White River Valley will host the Class A volleyball sectional while Bloomfield will be the site for the Class 2A sectional. Tournament play will likely begin on Thursday Oct. 23 with one match at both five-team sites. The semifinals and championship matches will be played on Saturday, Oct. 25.
The volleyball regionals will be Saturday, Nov. 1 with the state finals set for Saturday, Nov. 8.
As far as cross country is concerned, the sectional, regional and semistate will all be at Brown County with the state finals again at LaVern Gibson in Terre Haute.
The sectional will be on Tuesday, Oct. 14; the regional Saturday, Oct. 18; the semistate Saturday, Oct. 25 and the state finals on Saturday, Nov. 1.
The post season for football will begin with the first round of the sectional Friday, Oct. 24. The second round is Friday, Oct. 31 with the sectional title games Friday, Nov. 7.
The regional games will be Friday, Nov. 14 and the semistate contests set for Friday, Nov. 21.
The Class A and 2A title games are set for Friday, Nov. 28 for Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The other three class championship games are set for Saturday, Nov. 29.
Don't forget to pick up a copy of the 2008 Fall Sports Preview, which will appear in the Greene County Daily World on Thursday, Aug. 21. Schedules, rosters, photos and season previews of all area teams will be included. Both girls golf teams are the exception because they start the season earlier than other fall teams. Their 2008 previews and information will be an upcoming edition of the Daily World.
I don't know if any fans have noticed the shift in the calendar this year. With leap year included in the mix, the start of practice got pushed back to Aug. 4, where in recent years it has been in late July. It will be Aug. 3 in 2009 and work its way back into July too soon.
With schools also beginning very early, this means that Eastern Greene and Linton-Stockton, and other school corporations around the state, both will only have one week of two-a-day practices.
Last year, practice started on Monday, July 30, which allowed teams two full weeks of the traditional two-a-days, ending on Saturday, Aug. 11. School started the next week and teams started playing regular-season games on Friday, Aug. 17.
But this year, both Greene County schools have teacher in-service days Monday, Aug. 11 with classes beginning Tuesday, Aug. 12. This means both teams, as well as other sports, have to start practicing after school on Monday.
Union (Dugger) won't begin school until Wednesday, Aug. 13. They don't have an in-service day for teachers so the Bulldogs can have two-a-day workouts on Monday and Tuesday.
Sullivan does not begin school until Thursday, Aug. 14. They don't have an in-service day for teachers so the Golden Arrows and second-year coach Trent Olson will have two-a-days next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Is this an advantage? Only time will tell.
B.J. Hargis is the sports editor of the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext 12 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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