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Exciting weekend of high school sports aheadPosted Friday, October 23, 2009, at 12:28 AM
Some high school sports fans could argue this weekend is one of the most exciting of the post season, and who could argue with them.
Two area volleyball teams will walk away with sectional hardware Saturday night at Shakamak (Class A) and Bloomfield (Class 2A).
A pair of Shakamak seniors will be looking to qualify for the cross country state finals Saturday
The six-week, state football tournament begins with virtually every team in the state (a few have a bye) starting their quest for a sectional championship and beyond with first-round playoff games Friday night.
The local volleyball sectionals actually began Thursday night with Clay City defeating North Central at Shakamak while Eastern Greene improved to 28-4 with a three-game victory over North Knox at Bloomfield.
This sets up two-time defending Shakamak against Union (Dugger) and White River Valley playing Clay City in the semifinals at Shakamak, starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. The two survivors will play at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Who could forget the happiness and joy on the face of SHS coach Jeri Morin after the Lady Lakers won the 2007 Class A Sectional title at home?
Will it be a three-repeat (thank you Pat Riley) for Shakamak or could WRV win its first title since 1996 or the Lady Eels taking home sectional hardware for the first time since 1978. Union (Dugger) enters the tournament 0-25 and will have its hands full with the Lakers. Seems like light years, but it was just four years ago when the Lady Bulldogs were completing the fourth of four consecutive sectional titles.
To be perfectly honest, I did not know that Clay City, who I believe now has 19 wins, had ever won a title in volleyball. Shakamak also has 19 wins.
But none of those wins or losses will matter come this weekend. If you don't believe it, just ask any members of the 2008 Linton-Stockton volleyball squad. They had won 25 matches, both conferences and had dominated the field of teams at the Bloomfield Sectional before the post season.
But somebody forgot to tell South Knox, who turned a three-game loss to the Lady Miners in the regular season into a three-game victory in the sectional title contest.
Since witnessing that, I have come to believe that anything involving teenage girls is possible. My daughter is 17, so I speak from experience.
Maybe that is why Eastern Greene coach Gina Ingram contends that her Lady Thunderbirds are not the favorite, despite having won the Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference title for the 15 years. They have beaten every sectional opponent during the regular season.
Linton-Stockton and South Knox will meet in the first semifinal at 11 a.m. Saturday at Bloomfield. The host Lady Cardinals will take on Eastern Greene in the second semi at approximately 12:30 p.m. Saturday with the finale set for 7 p.m.
I can't even venture a guess (even if I were inclined to do so) who will come out on top at Guy Glover Gymnasium. Momentum, confidence and execution will be key for everyone in a sport that I have long since given up on trying to figure out.
The winner at Bloomfield will play at the Eastern Greene Regional while the Shakamak Sectional survivor will have to travel to the South Decatur Regional. The regionals will take place Saturday, Oct. 31.
Laker senior Drew Gambill and Casey Fougerousse will each be making their fourth consecutive trip to the cross country semi state Saturday morning. Gambill will run at 10:30 a.m. with Fougerousse competing in the girls 5K race to follow at approximately 11:10 a.m.
The top 15 individuals in both races will make the state finals, set for Saturday, Oct. 31 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute.
Gambill has went to state for the past two years while Fougerousse will be trying to qualify for the first time.
No matter the outcome, two great prep cross country careers are coming to an end.
Union (Dugger) will host North Knox at 7 p.m. Friday in a match-up of Southwest Seven Conference football teams in Class A Sectional 40.
Also in Sectional 40, Linton-Stockton will take its first step toward defending its 2008 title when they play at Tecumseh at 8 p.m. Friday.
If the game is as good as last year's 13-6 Miner win over the Braves, also in a sectional opener, fans should not be disappointed.
In Class A Sectional 38, Eastern Greene will be searching for its first post season victory on the gridiron when they play Indianapolis Scecina at 7 p.m. Friday at Indianapolis Manual.
Indianapolis Scecina coach Ott Hurrle was an interesting guy to speak with this week. He talked about the tradition of the Crusaders, who have won two state championships, five sectionals, four regionals and two semi states.
It still seems weird to think of a team without its own field having won two state titles.
Hurrle said they have a dinner each year where former players come back to speak to the current team about having pride in everything they do on and off the field.
One of the most ironic things to me was that of the 11
Crusader assistants, yes 11, all but one are Scecina graduates, including Hurrle.
I had a personal question for him. It involved former Scecina football and track standout Donald Winston, who later played at Purdue.
I remember Winston competing in the high jump state finals in Indianapolis in the early 90s. It was amazing watching this 5-6 bundle of athletic ability clear seven feet as easily as I put a letter in the mailbox.
"Donald was an amazing kid," said Hurrle. "We would have fourth down and forever and we knew we had to get the ball in his hands.
"But he was more than a football player. He was an honor student and he also was involved in a lot of activities other than sports. It was a dream to be able to coach a kid like Donald."
Dreams will come true for several local athletes this weekend and some bubbles will be burst.
Good luck to all.
B.J. Hargis is sports editor of the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (812) 847-4487, ext. 12.
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