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Fall sports season features outstanding performancesPosted Tuesday, November 4, 2008, at 5:55 PM
With the Linton-Stockton football team being the exception, it is time to put the 2008 fall sports season behind us.
There were plenty of memorable performances, by both individuals and area teams.
If there were cross country individual awards, Bloomfield freshman Julie Riggins and White River Valley senior Jennifer Hughes would be at the top of the list.
Riggins burst onto the high school scene in her first meet. Back in late August, Riggins beat Shakamak's Casey Fougerousse and Hughes by 29 seconds to win the Greene County individual championship, leading the Lady Cardinals to their first county title in 10 years.
Riggins was runner-up, helping the Lady Cardinals to the Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference championship in October.
Riggins, who had to be the freshmen of the year if there were such an award, went on and placed 11th at the sectional, 14th at the regional and 40th at the semistate. Quite a season for a freshman.
Hughes would have easily won the comeback runner of the year. After two seasons of being hampered by injury, Hughes showed she would have to be taken seriously with a second-place finish to start the season at the county meet.
She just got better from there, including setting a course record in winning at Clay City.
Hughes, who advance to the semistate as a freshman in 2005, was timed at 20 minutes and one second in winning the SWIAC title.
Hughes placed 10th at the sectional to earn her way to the regional, where she finished fourth to qualify for her second semistate.
Unfortunately she was not 100 percent healthy and finished 54th at the semistate.
Fougerousse qualified for her third consecutive semistate, something that has not been done since her coach Kelley Miller, Kelley Strickler back then, did it at White River Valley. Eastern Greene standout Laura Sparks also may have accomplished that feat.
Fougerousse helped the Lady Lakers win its third consecutive Tri-River Conference girls crown. The Shakamak ladies also qualified for a third straight trip to the regional.
Drew Gambill of Shakamak did not have his season end as hoped, but the junior did qualify for the boys cross country state finals for a second straight season.
It was a bittersweet season for the Bloomfield boys tennis team. The Cardinals, led by coach Mike Canty, finished the season with a 17-4 record.
They finally defeated Loogootee in the post season, ending the Lions streak of 11 consecutive sectional champions with a 4-1 victory in the semifinals on Oct. 3.
But they ran into a North Daviess buzz saw and lost a 4-1 decision to the Cougars in the championship match. It was North Daviess' first sectional crown in 16 seasons.
Bloomfield lost three times to North Daviess, accounting for all but one of their losses.
Derek Corn advanced in the singles sectional tournament. He finished with an 18-4 record.
Senior Willy Scott won 16 of 21 matches in 2008. He finished his career with 56 wins, the most in the history of the boys tennis program at BHS. All but two of those wins came at singles, where he tops that list with 54 career victories.
The Linton-Stockton boys tennis team advanced to the sectional championship match against Northview. But for the second time in two years, they lost 5-0 in the title contest against the host Knights.
Kudos to Jeri Morin, who kept her Shakamak volleyball team focused in repeating as Class A sectional champions.
Although not as impressive as far as pure numbers as in 2007, when the Lady Lakers won 29 times and lost only three matches in tying for the SWIAC and TRC titles, this year's 18-14 squad had to battle expectations and injuries. They had to beat an up-and-coming North Central squad and found a way to win in five games in the sectional title match at WRV.
The Linton-Stockton volleyball team won 25 matches and repeated as champions of the TRC and SWIAC. But the Lady Miners were upset by South Knox in the championship match of Class 2A Bloomfield Sectional.
Coach Penny Dunn's team said something that proved to be very ironic. After beating North Knox in the semifinals Saturday morning, Dunn answered a question about her team being the favorite.
"I hope we are a moving target," Dunn said of having the target of favorite on their backs. "In volleyball, anything can happen."
As disappointed as the Lady Miners were after the loss, they still accomplished a great deal in 2008.
It just happened that they ran up against a South Knox team with some good athletes that caught fire at the right time. You couldn't help but be impressed with coach Michelle Cummings, who took over a program that won two matches in 2006.
They won six times in 2007 and ended up with 17 wins in 2008 as they claimed the school's first volleyball sectional title.
The Union (Dugger) football team bounced back by winning 6 of 10 games this season and coach Luke Dean's Eastern Greene Thunderbirds came up with two victories in his first season in charge at EGHS.
The Miner football team is hosting North Daviess in the Class A Sectional 40 championship game at 7 p.m. The Miners are gunning for their second straight sectional title and seventh in school history.
B.J. Hargis is sports editor at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 20 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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