Category Archives: Cross Country

Baddude reflects over favorite stories in 100th column

By J.D. McKay

After about 2.5 years of writing my column I have two left. Today’s column, from May 13, and next Wednesday’s, the day before my last day of school. During my three years in newspaper and 2.5 years writing this column, we have done some impressive things as Highlanders. So, I thought in my 100th column I would look back on my favorite columns and stories I have written for the newspaper.

 

Boys’ basketball wins sectionals for the first time in 31 years 

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2020/03/07/boys-basketball-wins-sectionals-for-the-first-time-in-31-years/

This one was an easy number 1 for me. This was either my favorite or second favorite memory from my senior year. To me, though, this was an awesome moment in FC history and was awesome to cover. 

As a student, I was celebrating, but as a writer, I immediately was ready to interview guys after the game. And while the players I talked to knew I was interviewing them for the Bagpiper, we were just students at a school that had just won sectionals for the first time in 31 years. Crazy excited and completely themselves. They did not overthink the answer and told me exactly what they were feeling. That produced some great quotes, which made writing the story easy for me. 

Another significant part of this story for me was how quickly I wrote it and got it out. It was the only story I wrote in all three years on the Bagpiper staff that got out the same night as the event happened. It was the first story published about the game by any news source and I was very proud of the work I put into it. 

 

FC’s best athletes reflect over their success

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2018/05/18/fcs-best-athletes-reflect-over-their-success/

I got to interview some of the people that are hanging all over the FC athletic wing. That included Pat Graham, Mr. Basketball; Jeffrey Thompson, pro-baseball player and college World Series pitcher; Jill Schuler, an All-American and three sport all-state athlete; and Codie Hamsley, the Gatorade Track and Field Athlete of the Year, as well as six others. It was interesting to put a story to a face on the All-State wall and tell their stories to a lot of students who may never have heard of them. 

 

Previewing New Albany basketball regular season games

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2019/12/11/fc-plays-new-albany-friday-in-continuation-of-historic-rivalry/

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/20447/

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/column-highlanders-face-toughest-task-this-friday/

I wrote three of these and I didn’t have one that stuck out, so I just included all of them. I wanted to flex a little but because my scoring predictions for these games were almost always pretty close. And that came from almost no knowledge of the Dogs. I never watched them play before writing the column and only looked at the scores of their previous games. 

Last year, my final score prediction was not very close but the margin of victory was. This year, the final score was 52-48, I predicted 53-51. My favorite game against New Albany was my sophomore year when they had Romeo Langford on their team. I predicted 51-50 and the final score was 49-47. That was an awesome game that played overtime and inspired my fourth favorite column to write. 

 

FC win against New Albany captured old Indiana basketball emotions

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2017/12/13/fc-win-against-new-albany-captured-old-indiana-basketball-emotions/

This was a cool column to write because I got to mention Indiana high school basketball history. If you read my columns very consistently you would see that came up in a lot of my basketball columns. But I enjoyed recapping the game and crediting Matt Weimer’s stellar defense on a player who is now in the NBA. I also got to proclaim the game an “Indiana high school basketball classic.” 

 

Baddude reflects on football career before college

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2019/11/20/baddude-reflects-on-football-career-before-college/

This one I enjoyed writing because it is always kind of fun to reflect on something. But it also reminded me of a lot of good memories I hadn’t thought about in a long time. It was also cool to really look back and see how all the football I played and was around as a little kid to success in my FC career and specifically senior season. 

 

Honorable Mentions

 

Baddude prepares to roll on to Wheaton

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2020/01/29/baddude-prepares-to-roll-on-to-wheaton/

This was fun to write because I committed in it. I had a place to do a cool commitment instead of the typical Twitter commitment. It was also fun to put out what I got to do as a college student-athlete for a weekend. 

 

Football coach Brian Glesing steps down

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/column-football-coach-brian-glesing-steps-down/

I liked writing this because I have known Glesing for a while. I worked with him a lot as a writer and he was very helpful. I also liked giving him his recognition that I thought he earned and a lot of people ignored because they did not like him.

 

Sports directly influence higher grades

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/sports-directly-influence-higher-grades/

I never really viewed myself as a dumb jock so I enjoyed arguing that the dumb jock stereotype was false. 

 

Tiger roars back to the top after Masters Win

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/tiger-roars-back-to-the-top-after-masters-win/

I have enjoyed trying to rank sports events for a long time. Here was a column where I finally got to do it so it was fun. Plus, writing about Tiger Woods was cool to do after he finally got back on top.

 

Louisville should be AAF Expansion City

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/louisville-should-be-aaf-expansion-city/

This was just kind of a fun story to write. I got to use my imagination to make a plan for Louisville. Obviously, the AAF did not work out, though. 

 

High school basketball is better without a shot clock

https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2020/01/22/high-school-basketball-is-better-without-a-shot-clock/

I published this after we lost to Jeff on a buzzer beater early in the season. Many students were complaining that high school did not have a shot clock and were worried about Jeff using this again to impact a potential sectional game. It ended up not mattering in sectionals at all.

A Baddude’s Journal senior athlete spotlight: Chloe Loftus

By J.D. McKay

Last season, senior Chloe Loftus and her 4 by 800 meter team finished 10th at the state meet. This year, the team made up of sophomore Jaydon Cirincione, junior Natalie Clare, and Sydney Baxter were aiming to finish top eight and get on the podium. Loftus’ hard work was certainly helping to lead the team to a top eight finish.

“On an average week, I spend about 20 hours running and strength training,” said Loftus. 

On top of the hours she has put in, Loftus has been running for a long time. 

“I started doing track in fifth grade, the first year I could.” 

Along with the 4 by 800, she runs the 800 and 2 mile. 

“My goals for the season were to PR in the 2 mile and individual 800,” said Loftus. “I also wanted to be all-state with my 4 by 800 team.”

Loftus is getting to run at Division 1 Indiana State next year. One reason is her work ethic, but she believes the mental aspect of being a good runner is important, too. 

“I have had successes and get to run at ISU because I stay positive, work hard, and stay committed,” said Loftus.

As a D-1 athlete, she knows she cannot just sit back and get upset by the fact that she is losing a lot of her senior year, and plans to continue training for college. 

“My goals past track season and into the summer are to work hard and prepare for my freshman cross country season at ISU.” 

Even though she is excited about her future as a runner, that does not mean she is just fine with missing her senior season. 

“My favorite part of track is getting to compete and hanging out with my friends,” said Loftus. “So the thing that I am most sad about when it comes to track season is having to miss out on all of the memories that I would have made with my teammates.”

But the best advice ever given to Loftus has helped her push through this tough time and become a talented runner. 

“The best advice someone has ever given me is to set your eye on a goal and never give up until you achieve it,” she said. “Even if it seems impossible.”

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.”