Category Archives: Tennis

FC nearing the end of another dominant year over rivals

By J.D. McKay

On March 1, New Albany beat us for the first time this school year in any sport. Losing to them in the second round of sectionals certainly was not what we were hoping for. But like college basketball analysts sometimes say, sometimes a loss is what a team needs. That loss seemed to point out how good we have it athletically at FC.

We have also dominated our rivals in most if not every sport this year. On Monday our girls’ tennis team won their matches against New Albany. That win meant that we had defeated the Dogs in every sport at least once this season. Unfortunately, I could not find the exact record between schools because several sports like golf, track, cross country, and wrestling are not head-to-head and sometimes neither team wins the meet. It is also incredibly hard to find these stats.

New Albany was not the only rival we dominated this year, although we have had the best record against them. We have also beat Jeffersonville and Providence pretty consistently.

Just this year we have already had won eight sectional championships in 13 sports. This spring, we  will add to that total. There are six spring sports, and winning five of those sectionals is definitely possible, but we could potentially win all six with a little luck and outstanding play.

I expect the boys’ and girls’ track teams to both win sectionals. The main competition in those sports sectionals is New Albany, and both teams have already beaten New Albany once this year. Two boys’ track athletes I expect to excel the rest of this season are senior Cam Sturgeon and senior Jon Gunn. Sturgeon has a real chance to win state and will be all-state. Gunn can fly. He should carry the title of 100 and 200 meter dash champion out of this sectional after winning both last year. I expect freshman Annalise Zeinemann to win pole vault sectionals and could make a real splash in regionals–maybe even state. Plus, junior Sydney Liddle, who was all-state in cross country, has a chance to be all-state in a second sport this year in a long distance event.  

Baseball is the only team I am not expecting to win their sectional. Our team is talented, but we also have a very competitive sectional. New Albany and Jeff are both very good. We have defeated New Albany and lost to Jeff. However, if senior Adam Spalding, who tossed a no-hitter last night, can have another dominant pitching performance over either Jeff or New Albany, and senior Blake Barrett can light it up from the plate like he did against New Albany earlier this year, I could see them winning sectionals.

Softball should win sectionals and potentially go deep into state. Our team has a plethora of future college softball players including seniors Cassie Thomerson (Indiana State) and Dallas Henderson (Indiana University Southeast). As long as our players play up to their potential, the team could advance far past sectionals.

We typically have the best boys’ golf team in the area, and I do not see that changing. Last year, we won sectionals and had three golfers come in the top five. Senior Harrison Eades finished third, graduate Dylan Zink got fourth, and junior Reece Compton got fifth. One of the opponents that finished above Eades and Compton has since graduated, and the winner from Corydon is within reach of Eades or Compton.

Our girls’ tennis team should also win sectionals. They won sectionals last year in straight sets and I do not expect that to change. While we did lose two seniors, Kate Sparrow–a doubles player was the biggest loss–junior Katie Weimer should step up and fill that role.

It is almost the end of the 2018-19 school year and time is running out of time to get to an event if you have not yet. It is a good time to be a Highlander. Do not miss out.

Classes give small schools a chance to win sectionals

By J.D. McKay

On Saturday, Carmel won the girls’ swimming state championship, which makes sense. They are the biggest school in the state by almost 800 students. However, this is their 33rd straight year winning the swimming state championship. Only three other schools in Indiana scored that have fewer than 1000 students: Madison, Corydon, and International. These schools did not really have a chance against Carmel, a school at least seven times their size.

This is not the only sport that this happened to, and Carmel is not the only school benefitting. Our tennis team has won 34 straight sectional championships. Being that successful for that long is impressive, but the competition can tarnish that streak. Our sectional currently has North Harrison, Salem, Eastern (Pekin), and Crawford County.

The way to fix this is to add classes. Classes mean that teams play other teams in sectionals that are similarly-sized schools. Football, basketball, softball, baseball, volleyball, and soccer all have classes and also are not consistently winning sectional championships like the non-classed sports. That would allow for some smaller schools like Corydon or Madison to be successful and win state championships in sports like swimming instead of just going in expecting to lose to Carmel by 400 points.

The main problem with this solution is what to do with individual state champions. For example, having an individual state champion in the 500-freestyle or in singles tennis. However, I do not think this would lead to a problem. There could just be a state champion by class. This could lead to more all-state athletes because top 8 in an individual sport is all-state, but this is not really a problem, either. Football, for example, has all-state athletes by class, so other sports should be able to do this as well.

For example, Jeffersonville had not won a sectional championship in wrestling from 2011 until 2018, because there was a high level of competition in the sectional. But after losing to New Albany or FC for six straight years, we were dropped from their sectional. Now their main competitors are two teams who are 3A in football while they are 6A. These schools that are a third of the size of Jeff often do not really have a chance against the big school.

It is time to give the small schools a chance to win sectionals in every sport.

 

Football team to face challenging sectional

Before I get into the football sectionals, FC had a terrific weekend in sports. Our football team beat New Albany 17-7 and kept the Anchor up on the hill for 365 more days. Girls’ soccer finished second in their regional, and boys’ and girls’ cross country both won regionals. Junior Sydeny Liddle was the girls’ individual winner. The volleyball team also beat New Albany three sets to one before finishing as the runners up in their sectional. The boys’ tennis team had one of FC’s all tine best finishes this weekend. They lost to eventual state champion Carmel in the state semifinals.

The football team has a bye week this week, but has a tough road after that. Every team in the football sectional is ranked in the top 15 in class 5A, and one of them is Columbus East, who won state last year.

The first game for the Highlanders is against Bedford North Lawrence. Earlier in the season, FC lost to BNL 26-20 in an outragious, penalty-filled contest which saw two coaches ejected. FC’s defense came out flat early and gave up 21 of BNL’s 26 points in the first half, limiting the Stars to a field goal in the fourth quarter. FC’s offense also took a safety to give BNL their last two points. For the Highlanders to win, they will need to come out and play well in the first quarter.

If FC beats BNL then they will face either New Albany, Columbus East, or Seymour. Columbus East swept the other two teams this season, but New Albany only lost earlier to East. However, any team that comes out of that group will be a challenge. FC lost to East in what was not even a game, and lost to Seymour after the Owls drove down the field and scored a touchdown with less than 30 seconds remaining.

Fall sports ‘midish’ season update

Photo by Grace Allen

Story by J.D. McKay

We are about halfway through the fall sports season and have already seen the success FC has come to expect.

Volleyball has had a tough season. They are 8-13 but beat New Albany on Sept. 6, three sets to one. They have three more home matches remaining, against Presentation Academy on Sept. 24, Assumption on Oct. 1, and Madison on Oct. 4. The varsity plays at about 7:00 p.m. for every game.

Football has struggled this year but still has a winning record at 3-2, losing to Male and Seymour. However, they have beaten their rivals Jeffersonville 23-0, and Providence 30-17. This Friday they play Columbus East at home which is the Homecoming game. They also play New Albany at home on Oct. 12. Both games start at 7:00 p.m.

The girls’ golf team has almost finished their season. They were 37 strokes under sectional runner up Corydon Central in their sectional championship. They also were all top three individual finishers. Freshman Sophie Cook won with a 79, sophomore Zoe Hoehn finished second with a 82, and junior Francesca Hartlage finished third with a 83. Regionals are this Saturday at Country Oaks Golf Club in Montgomery, IN.

Boys’ and girls’ cross country have both had success. The girls’ team won the Tiger Run at St. Xavier High School on Aug. 25. The girls’ are also heavy favorites to repeat winning conference. The boys have been competitive in several big meets. They finished fifth in the Tiger Run. They will have a tougher task come Sept. 29 when they run conference but they could certainly win the Hoosier Hills Conference. Conference for the boys and girls is at home on Sept. 29, starting at 9:00 a.m.

Boys’ tennis is also having a good season. They have a winning record and are ranked fourth in the state and first in their district. They have the Hoosier Hills Conference prelims tonight on the road. Their last home match is the Hoosier Hills Finals on Sept. 21 at 5:00 p.m.

Last is boys’ and girls’ soccer. The boys have had a good season. They are 6-4. They have beat Jeff, Providence, and New Albany and have two more home games. They play Jennings County Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and Collins on Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Girls’ soccer is 10-2 and ranked 32 in the country, according to MaxPreps.com. They have a home game at noon saturday against Bloomington South and against Madison on Sept. 27 at 6:00 p.m.

Boys’ tennis adjusts to new leaders as season begins

By JD McKay

The tennis team wakes up early to get a full day of work in and makes their way to FC to practice. When they arrive, the sun has roasted the courts, creating waves off heat coming off the concrete and through the rubber soles of their shoes.

“We have been on the courts for four or five hours a day just hitting this summer,” said junior Connor Mason.

That kind of hard work has shown. The team has a tradition of winning sectionals, having won 33 consecutively, but have been just short of going deeper into state recently.

“We definitely want to win regionals,” said head coach Robert Kleeman. “We haven’t won it since I have been a coach. We have lost in the regional finals the last three years.”

Junior Alex Poe played past regionals last year. Poe played doubles with Noah Neuhauser and eventually finished second in state, losing to Park Tudor’s team.

Losing Neuhauser is a challenge. Adding to the challenge is the lack of seniors, so some of the team’s leadership will fall to the juniors.

“We have two seniors, so I will count on leadership from my juniors, but I still expect my seniors to lead. The seniors kind of lead by example, they are the most outgoing, but they are very hardworking and will set a good example for the younger kids,” said Kleeman.

The talent of this year’s team should lead to a successful season.

“Last season we were ranked about 10, now we are all a little older and more talented. We lost two seniors last year, Noah Neuhauser and Kyle Poe, who were both really good and helped us,” said Kleeman. “But I think the younger boys have passed them up. It is just a really, really talented team.”