Tag Archives: A Baddude’s Journal

Baddude writes final column in high school career

Photo by Brock Kennedy

Story by J.D. McKay

It is crazy that after a little over two and a half years I’m writing my last column. Last week was my 100th column, and I think that this is the 120th story I published — that includes all columns and stories published in the paper. That could be a few higher, but I think that it is a pretty safe estimate. I am also going to declare myself the record holder for most stories published during anyone’s time on the Bagpiper staff, or at least while Mr. Lang has been in charge. 

The next thing I want to hit in this column is that I think it is time to retire the baddude mantra I have taken up throughout my high school career. The first simple reason is that at Wheaton the term used is dudes not baddudes. The idea kind of started as a joke because Coach Brian Glesing used that term a lot and I thought it was a funny nickname. But it kind of became a name you earned by your play on the field. If you made a pancake block, you are called a baddude. Had a big hit, baddude. Interception, baddude. Break a tackle, baddude. So it was kind of something you earned, and at Wheaton, I have not earned it yet. Might it come back late in my time at Wheaton? Maybe, but probably not.

Next, I thought I would hit a topic I wrote about a lot. My two and a half years I got to write about how FC dominated New Albany, as well as Jeff and Providence, a lot. So I thought I would just mention that the school year ended with FC as sectional champions over Jeff and New Albany. I also thought I would point out that we were undefeated against the three schools in football, tied the record for largest margin of victory against the Dogs after we scored 50 unanswered earlier this school year, and won sectionals for the first time in 10 years that included both Jeff and New Albany in it. 

I appreciate everyone who has read my column over the past couple of years, and I have enjoyed writing them. I really liked interviewing my fellow Highlander students and giving them credit for their athletic achievements. I am glad I decided to take Mr. Lang’s journalism class my freshman year so I got the chance to write for the paper while in high school. It has been a fun time and I am excited for my future as a Wheaton Thunder. 

J.D. McKay, signing off.

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.”

A Baddude’s Journal senior athlete spotlight: Talon Hutto

Photo by Grace Allen

Story by J.D. McKay

Last season, boys’ track and field lost sectionals for the first time in nearly two decades. Senior Talon Hutto was planning on avenging that title this year. 

“I’m most disappointed that I won’t be able to win the sectional title that we lost last year,” he said. 

Hutto feels this way because he has been working towards the goal of a sectional championship for several years. 

“I started running when I was in 7th grade,” said Hutto. “We moved to Indiana and I wanted to get involved in something.”

Since Hutto started, he has been working hard to be a talented runner. 

“Hard work is a big factor in how successful I was,” he said. “I probably practice like eight hours a week.” 

After working hard to be successful, team leadership is an obvious next step. 

“I think I would have been a leader on the team this year,” said Hutto. 

Earlier I said Hutto had planned on winning the team sectional championship this year. But he also had important individual goals, too.

“One of my goals was to break the 300-meter hurdles record.” 

Hutto lost his senior year, so he is not ready for his career to be over. 

“I want to run track in college,” he said. “I think it would let me take my athleticism to the next level.”

Hutto has had a lot of success and has the chance to run at the next level because of the best advice he has been given about running. 

He said, “The best advice I’ve gotten about track is showing emotion and running don’t mix.”

A Baddude’s Journal senior athlete spotlight: Reece Compton

By J.D. McKay

This season, the boys’ golf team was preparing to win their fourth straight sectional title. Senior Reece Compton was preparing to try to finish in the top five for the third straight year,  but his goals for this season were bigger than a top 5 finish at sectionals. 

“My goals were to make it back to state, obviously. Then finish on the podium,” said Compton. “I wanted to team to get a top 4 finish. That had been our goal for the past three seasons and I knew we had it in us.”

The team finished 10th Compton’s sophomore year and 7th his junior year. As the team’s lone captain, he knew he would have to be a leader to get the team to improve three spots at state. 

“My role this season was to be a great teammate and lead by example. I wanted to show the underclassmen what it takes to get to the level you want to get to.” 

Being the team leader his senior year would be an easy role to fill because Compton has been a hardworking golfer for a long time. 

“I have had a club in my hand since I began to walk. My dad introduced the game to me at a very early age. I began competing competitively at age eight,” he said. “Now, I play between six and seven days a week and probably spend four hours a day practicing.”

Next year, he will play golf at Division-1 Purdue Fort Wayne; of course, Compton is excited about the future, but he is still disappointed to lose his senior year.

“The most disappointing part of losing the senior is being around the guys and not getting closure to how our season would have ended. Our whole team had dreamed about walking on the podium and having a medal around our neck,” said Compton. 

Just like in high school, he has big goals for the first season of his college career.  

“My goals are to make an impact my freshman year at Purdue Fort Wayne and keep improving,” he said. “I want to help the team win a Horizon Conference championship and make it to the NCAA regional.” 

His work ethic makes these goals reachable, but part of his work ethic came from the best golfing advice he has been given.

“The best advice would be from my dad,” said Compton. “He told me to never settle or get complacent and always look for ways to improve.”