Category Archives: Cross Country

Fall Sports wrap-up

Photo by Brock Kennedy

Story by J.D. McKay

Well, it snowed yesterday and I still have not written my fall sports wrap-up yet. So, even though football is still playing, it is time. 

Girls’ golf had a successful season as they always do. They won sectionals and got sixth at regionals. Junior Halleigh Cullins won, and senior Sydney Juliot got first and second. Sophomore Sophia Cook also tied for third. Cook led the team at regionals with an 80. This year, they won their eleventh sectional in the past 12 years, and their seventh straight. 

Boys’ and girls’ cross country also continued their success. They both won conference before moving on to the IHSAA post season. There, both teams won sectionals and regionals, before both finishing third at semi-state and 19th at state. The girls’ top runner was Sydney Liddle, who finished 51st. The boys’ top runner was senior Luke Heinemann, who finished 82nd. Throughout the season, they won other big meets like the Tiger Run at St. X. Including the post season, the boys won six races and the girls won six races. 

Boys’ soccer struggled at times this year, but that often is shown when you play strong competition, which the boys did. They play five strong Louisville schools and ended up losing four and tying one. However, at the end of their season they upset Columbus North in sectionals before losing to Columbus East, who lost in semi-state, in the sectional championship. 

The girls’ soccer team went a little further than the boys did. The girls won sectionals this year, as well as winning conference. They won the Hoosier Cup Tournament in early September. Last season, senior Katie Yankey was all-state as a junior. This year, she was injured for most of the year, but senior Audrey Brumfield has a good shot to be all-state. 

Boys’ tennis is another of the three teams to make semi-state. They won conference again, sectionals again, and regionals again. They also had a big win early in the season against North Central. They eventually lost to Columbus North in semi-state.

Volleyball had a slow start to their season but got it rolling as they went along. Several of those games were against good teams like Sacred Heart and Providence. Providence finished the year ranked 24th in the country, and Sacred Heart was ranked fourth in Kentucky. However, as they got some momentum, they won conference, and 13 of their last 15 going into sectionals. They got a tough sectional draw and had to play Providence again. However, they gave the Pioneers a scare by taking the first set, but the Pioneers won the last three. 

The last sport I am coming to is football. Football is still playing after winning sectionals for the first time in 10 years Friday night against Jeff. We are the sixth team to win nine games in a season and have a chance to be the first to get past regionals and third to win 10 in a season. But we also have two losses, one to Columbus East, and one to Louisville Male, who is ranked second in Kentucky and will probably win state in 6A. Friday, the Highlanders are playing at Bloomington South, who is very talented, on the road. If they win, they will be playing semi-state at home.

 

NCAA decides to allow some compensation for players

By J.D. McKay

This time period is a bit of a dead period in FC sports. Football sectionals are starting, which is very exciting, and cross country is going to state Saturday. But other than a home game Friday and a meet in Terre Haute, every other sport is just beginning practice. Next week I will be writing about my favorite rivalry I have been a part of in high school. Then, I will be back to previewing games and doing underrated athlete spotlights. So this week will be nationals sports before diving back into FC sports in the following months. 

The biggest issue the NCAA is facing right now is if they should pay players. Several pro and retired athletes have be outspoken on this recently, and apparently, the NCAA is listening. 

About a month ago, California passed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which allows athletes to make money off their likeness in things like jersey sales and gear that could be promoting a signature look like Anthony Davis’ unibrow. I am not completely sure why the California government did this because there could be huge repercussions passing it, mainly, not allowing California teams to participate because of an unfair recruiting advantage. Regardless, it has made the NCAA think and make some sort of decision. 

Yesterday, it made the decision everyone was hoping for. They decided athletes could make money off their name and likeness. This is probably the biggest decision made by the NCAA since taking Louisville’s National Championship away, maybe ever. Now, athletes who previously might not have had any spending money or money to buy things they need like a car, potentially can. 

Some people will push to get them compensated for playing; however, that is too far. Not all athletes are out of state, but many are. Out-of-state athletes that attend North Carolina, Alabama, or Oregon, are paying about 50 grand a year for all expenses. That is 2 grand more than the average income in America, which seems more than fair. Most college students are not making that much a year while in college, and the average Bama student is leaving with 26 grand in student debt, something that none of these scholarship athletes will need to worry about. 

This new program will not see huge payouts for all athletes. The main people to see the benefit will be men and women basketball players, as well as football players. However, if a team has a national champion they could find themselves making some money because of their achievement. Another non-football or basketball player that might get a payout is an athlete whose local town loves and will pay him or her for ads around town. 

This has more impacts than just some money for athletes, though. The NCAA has not released their official plans yet, but I imagine that they will be getting a little bit of that cash from the promotion. 

The part of this that I am most excited about is the potential of NCAA football and basketball video games coming back out. I would be shocked if this did not happen because of my basic understanding of our economy, which I learned in Gage Brogan’s class. NCAA Football 14 came out in July, 2013 and sold for $40 new. It has been the last NCAA game produced since then because of licensing and players arguing that the EA used their likeness and the players got no compensation. That was definitely a legit argument. Anyway, since then, the new game price has peaked at $153 and is currently being bought for $70 used at Gamestop. That kind of demand will mean that it will either be made by EA and become one of the highest selling video game of all-time, or 2K or some other brand will jump on it and basically control the sports video game market. 

Regardless of when the best video game of all time comes out for the first time in over half a decade, this was a huge step by the NCAA. It needed to be done and does not seem to be going to far too pay players. It seems to me that they are basically giving athletes the opportunity to make money just like all students have.

 

A BADDUDE’S JOURNAL UNDERRATED ATHLETE SPOTLIGHT: Freshman Savanna Liddle

By J.D. McKay

It is hard to call freshman Savanna Liddle underrated. She is already finishing third on the cross country team behind two seniors who will both be running at college next year. But, when one of the girls ahead of you is your sister, it would be easy to fall into her shadow, especially when your sister was all-state as a junior and broke the school record last Saturday. However, Savanna does not see herself as being in Sydney’s shadow. 

“I do not think that I am really in Sydney’s shadow,” she said. “We have been training and working together through the whole off season, so we really hope each other will do well. Plus, she was all-state last year, and being all-state is definitely one of my goals. It is not like my parents or anyone through a lot of pressure on me to be all-state like her.”

The hard work with her sister has led to the success Savanna has already seen. 

“We do cross training, which means swim workouts, and workout videos as well as running. We would run seven to eight miles on long days, but normally we do five or six miles a day,” said Savanna. “Plus, my dad is a coach for the team, so it is nice having him at home to train with me a little extra.”

While most people would enjoy the success Savanna has seen her freshman year and might even let it go to their head, she has not done that. 

“I like getting to see the team every day and competing with my teammates and against other good runners. I want to be a good example to other girls because I try to run for Jesus because he gave me the ability to do this,” said Savanna. 

She also understands that to be a successful runner you need to always push and do, not let yourself plateau. 

Savanna said, “Of course I want to be all-state, but I know right now if I try to get faster and PR (personal record) every race I will get there, hopefully soon.”

Savanna is clearly a talented runner, but throughout the interview, she made it very clear that running was not her end goal. 

“Obviously it is fun to be successful and be on a good team,” she said. “But honoring God in all that I do is more important than running or swimming or school or whatever I do.”

 

Previewing fall sports

By J.D. McKay

Sports at FC are finally upon us. After months of lifting in the new weight room and hours of practices over the summer, it is time to play. Expectations for every sports are high, which seems to be common over the past three years.

Volleyball starts the season off by playing Christian Academy at home tomorrow. But it is almost a month until the first rivalry game. They play New Albany on the road on Sept. 12. The biggest home rivalry games are against Providence on Sept. 18, and Jeff on Oct. 3. Providence is always a tough match, and the Pioneers often beat us in volleyball. Hopefully, this team will be the one to finally beat Providence. They are also in our sectional, so beating them in September could give us the upper hand later in sectionals. 

One team that has a good chance of winning state is boys’ tennis. Last year, they graduated one significant senior, but returned several other players, including senior Alex Poe, who has been all-state, and senior Eric Whitehouse, who was all-conference last year. They finished in the Final Four last year, so it would not surprise me if they had another good year. They will hosting Providence tomorrow. 

Girls’ golf is another sport that always does well. I do not know why that would change this year. Our three best players, sophomore Sophie Cook and junior Zoe Hoehn both return. They went one, two in sectionals, so I expect another top finish in sectionals from the pair. They play against New Albany on Aug. 27 at Covered Bridge Golf Course. 

The other team that has a good shot at winning state is girls’ cross country. They have a great team led by senior Sydney Liddle, who was all-state last year. They came up just two points short last year in semi-state. They did graduate one runner, but the team is strong and deep enough that it should not be a hard replacement. The boys’ will also have a good team. Last year they won regionals and only graduated one runner. They should be able to repeat their regional victory behind senior twins David and Luke Heinemann. Neither team has a home meet this year. 

Boys’ and girls’ soccer are both coming off sectional championships, but, the boys’ lost a big senior class. However, senior Xander Ochsner is one of the best players in Southern Indiana, and senior Drew Cromwell might be the most athletic senior at FC right now. Both seniors should be big players and leaders for this team. They play New Albany at home on Sept. 19. 

The girls, on the other hand, lost some seniors, but this senior class is huge. Audrey Brumfield is a senior and headed to Murray State. Senior Katie Yankey, although hurt in the Turkey Bowl, will be back sooner than expected. Last season she was all-state and the Courier Journal best female soccer player in Kentuckiana. Along with six other seniors, many of whom have seen significant varsity action, they should lead the team to a successful year. The girls also play New Albany Sept. 19, before the boys’ game. 

The last team to mention is football. The schedule has changed significantly over the off-season. Now, New Albany is Week Four, on Sept. 13, and Jeff is a week later. Both games are at home. There were a few key losses last season, but many players are young and returning. However, the biggest excitement is the change in sectional. Columbus East is now 6A. So that leaves New Albany, Jeff, and Bedford North Lawrence. That sectional is more open than it has been in years, so it could lead to an exciting October in Southern Indiana high school football.

 

FC wraps up successful sports year

By J.D. McKay

It is my last column of this school year, so it is time for an end of the year wrap up. All in all, we have had a great year. Unfortunately, we have come up short in a few sectionals, but we have also had success against New Albany.

Girls’ cross country was very good. They won their regional and got second at semi-state by two points. Junior Sydney Liddle followed in her dad’s footsteps and became FC’s first second generation all-state athlete. Next year, the girls have a very real chance of winning team state and Liddle could win individual state. The boys’ cross country also won regionals. They were led by junior Luke Heinemann, who finished sixth there and could win regionals next year if he stays healthy. They only graduated two guys, so they could win semi-state next year.

Football had a pretty good year, too. They beat New Albany, Jeff, and Providence. It was their first year with new head coach James Bragg. The conference was very tough this year and their 5-5 record was pretty good for the level of competition. Next year, the sectional is winnable for all the teams in it, the first time FC has been in a winnable sectional in three years.

Girls’ volleyball had a good year. They beat New Albany and Jeff. They have a tough sectional and came up short against Providence in the sectional championship. The boys’ had a terrific fifth season. They were ranked in the top four for most of the season. They also beat Trinity. They lost in the state semifinals to eventual champion Roncalli.

Girls’ soccer had another good season. They won sectionals against Seymour 2-1. Junior Katie Yankey was all-state. They could be very good next year. They lost a few seniors, but they have a lot of talented returning juniors. Boys’ soccer also won sectionals 1-0 over Jeff. They had a big senior class, so they might have a tough year next year. However, junior Xander Ochsner is very good and could lead them to a successful year and sectional championship.

If you asked one of the players on our boys’ basketball team, they would probably call the season a disappointment. However, they had a very good year. They beat New Albany in the regular season and tied Jeff for first in the conference. Unfortunately, they lost to New Albany, who overcame some adversity and injuries to play a great game. Their head coach, Jim Shannon, also ran a tough triangle and two defense that made senior Cobie Barnes and sophomore Jake Heidbreder less of a threat. Barnes was all-state.

The girls’ season was pretty good. They went in with mixed expectations. They were hit with the injury bug again but still managed to beat New Albany and Providence. They have a lot of underclassmen so if they stay healthy they could be good next year.

Boys’ and girls’ swimming both had a pretty typical year by their standards. Both went undefeated during the regular season. Both won conference and sectionals. Both teams have pretty good senior classes, but they also have lots of underclassmen talent, so they should continue their success.

Wrestling had a decent season. They beat New Albany in sectionals. Unfortunately, they did not win sectionals. However, they had two all-state wrestlers, junior Jonathan Kervin and sophomore Gavinn Alstott. Freshman J Conway also went to state. Those three alone make the future of FC wrestling bright.

Boys’ golf dominated like it always does. They will easily win sectionals next week. They may even have two finishers in the top three. The girls’ also dominated like they usually do. Freshman Sophie Cook won, sophomore Zoe Hoehn got second, and junior Francesca Hartlage got third.

Baseball had a better year than many were expecting. They beat New Albany as well as Castle who was ranked very highly at the time. Ultimately, they lost in their sectional which is very tough, boasting New Albany and Jeff.

Softball had kind of a weird season. They started the year playing below their talent level. But as the season progressed, they improved. That led to beating Seymour in sectionals after losing to them in the regular season. Unfortunately, they lost to Jennings County 2-4 after being up 2-0 going into the last inning. Next year, they will be led by junior Taryn Weddle, who will be going to Louisville after she graduates.

Girls’ track had a successful season. They won sectionals and conference. They have two freshmen, Annalise Zeinemann and Reece Davis, who are going to state as pole vaulters. The 4 by 800 meter relay advanced to state as well as the 4 by 400 meter relay. Junior Sydney Liddle and Chloe Loftus is going to state for the 2 mile. The boys’ season was disappointing. They lost sectionals for the first time in 17 years after going into the season with a chance at winning regionals. However, senior Cam Sturgeon is going to state for discus, senior Devon Montgomery for pole vault, and senior Jon Gunn for the 100-yard dash. The 4 by 800 meter relay also is going to state.

Girls’ tennis has had a successful year. They won sectionals over Eastern Pekin in straight sets. Boys’ tennis had probably the best season of any team. They advanced all the way to state before losing to eventual state champion Carmel. They are only losing one senior, all-state Lucas Sakamaki. They should be very good next year.

The last sports are the unified sports, track and football. This was the first year for unified football. It was not a great season competitively, but that is not the main goal of unified sports like it is for some other sports. It is a fun chance for impaired students to compete with their classmates. Some schools should probably put more focus into this aspect than the competitive aspect. Unified track also did not have an outstanding competitive season, but once again, that is not the main goal. The main goal is to try new things and give all types of kids a chance to be on an FC team.

This has been a pretty good year for FC, but the future looks even brighter. This talented senior class will be hard to replace but there is a lot of talent below it. Be sure to stay connected with FC sports by reading my column next school year. My first column will be on July 31.