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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Shakamak grad in state finals again

Posted Friday, June 8, 2012, at 8:24 AM

This weekend, I will find myself cheering for two different teams -- the Shakamak Lakers as they are in the Class A baseball semistate and the South Putnam Eagles as they are vying for a second Class 2A softball state title.

I'm a graduate of Shakamak High School, so it's obvious why I am rooting on the Lakers. I'm rooting on the Eagles because of a connection to Shakamak -- South Putnam's head coach is Chris Jones.

Jones and I graduated from Shakamak in 2000 and have been friends since first meeting in preschool.

He's in his fourth year leading the Eagles and is taking his team to the state finals for the second year in a row. Last year, his team walked away as state champs. Undefeated and ranked No. 1 this season, the team has won its last 55 games. In his four years as head coach, Jones has amassed a record of 101-4.

"It's awesome," Jones said on Thursday. "It's a little different the second time around as far as preparation and knowing what's ahead of you."

The Eagles will play Adams Central, a school located near Fort Wayne.

Last year, they defeated Woodland in the state title game. Woodland and Adams Central are in the same conference.

Not only has his team received support from Putnam County, they have also been supported by Greene County folks.

"A lot of people from Greene County and Shakamak have been very supportive. The well-wishes and support from them has been tremendous," Jones said.

The Lady Eagles play at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be broadcast live on Channel 4 out of Indianapolis. It will also be streamed live from the IHSAA's website -- ihsaa.org .

I'd like to wish Chris and the Lady Eagles the best of luck in their attempt to become back-to-back state champs. As a friend and classmate, I'm proud of you, Chris!

Also, good luck to the Lakers as they battle for a semistate title.



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