Every summer around the end of June I interview Phil Harris golf professional Bart Beard to give our readers a preview of upcoming events at the local golf course. And every year Beard says roughly the same thing: The Fourth of July is almost here and before you know it summer will be over.
Beard is right. The Fourth has come and gone and the rest of July has gone fast. School starts in two weeks, give or take, which means another fall sports season is almost upon us. It’s something we all look forward to, if for no other reason than to break out of the summer doldrums.
Football fans in the extreme western and eastern parts of Greene County are anxiously awaiting the start of gridiron season. Most aren’t sure what to expect from the Linton Miners and the Eastern Thunderbirds this fall.
How will the Linton Miners fare going forward now that Linton is assigned to Class 2A, at least for the foreseeable future?
My instincts tell me they’ll do just fine.
Last year I heard all the rumblings – “What’s wrong with this team?” I even wrote a column about it. In 2,000 words or less I said, basically, “Nothing.”
I’m not a football coach so my opinion is worth less than the price of a Senior coffee at McDonald's. But based on my observation, a few playmakers on the defensive side of the ball, on the edges and the back end, would have been all the Miners needed last year.
The offense should be good enough. The question is, will they be able to stop anyone?
To those who wonder if the schedule is too tough I say the schedule should be all about preparing for the postseason. Ask Joey Hart how that worked out for the Miner basketball team.
Meanwhile, Eastern will be operating with its third head coach in as many years. Roy Bruce, Jr. comes by way of Bedford to take over the Thunderbirds helm.
I don’t know much about Coach Bruce, other than he is a former wrestling coach at Bedford North Lawrence. I do know he comes with an endorsement from former Linton coach Steve Weber, now the varsity coach at BNL.
Eastern had just 21 underclassmen on last year’s roster. So it will be interesting to see how large a turnout the Thunderbirds get.
Next, we move on to the cross country course.
Shakamak athletic director Nate O’Neall tells me Shakamak has a move-in, a girl from Virginia. And according to O’Neall she may be capable of keeping up with Jacy Collins. As if the Lady Lakers weren’t good enough already…
WRV runner Joe Records has had a busy summer. Joe spent a week at Hoosier Boys State and another week showing livestock at the Greene County 4-H fair. This in addition to summer basketball and getting his miles in.
More on Joe next month.
On the volleyball court, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the Bloomfield Lady Cardinals are going to be tough to beat. With the likes of Elizabeth Combs, Kylee Shelton, Malea Ramsey and Brooklyn Bucher, plus a few others returning, the Lady Cardinals will be a formidable foe.
But with former Union Dugger standout Emeral (Holladay) Goff taking over the Shakamak program it may not be long before the Lady Lakers are a force to contend with.
Linton has a new boys tennis coach, Craig House. Craig’s first task will be to find some players.
The Miners graduated five senior starters who were mainstays in the lineup their entire careers: Dane Witty at No. 1 singles; Kaleb Crane, No. 2 singles; Cory Anderson, who alternated between No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles; and the Robbins twins at No. 1 doubles.
All five, along with Cory’s younger brother Kyle Anderson, were multi-sport athletes who excelled in their “other” sport. Crane, Witty and the Andersons were all multi-year starters for the Miner baseball team. Not only that, they were pretty good baseball players.
Something tells me tennis is good training for baseball and vice versa, since both involve swinging at a moving ball.
The Robbins duo provided the post presence for the Miners’ State Finals hoops squad.
According to the IHSAA calendar, the first official day of practice for most fall sports is Monday, August 5. Ten days and counting...