By Kate Zuverink
Photos Courtesy of Noah Lukinovich
Story by J.D. McKay
Earlier this year, I wrote a column about how sports can make an enormous impact on a community and nation. It focused on national tragedies with a focus on 9/11
because I published it on 9/11.
Recently, another heart breaking event happened in the area with the passing of head West Washington football coach and athletic director Phillip Bowsman. He died unexpectedly in the hospital on Nov. 25 after suffering a stroke during the semi-state championship game on Nov. 22. His son was the starting quarterback for the team.
But the state has rallied around the Bowsman family. Last Friday night, the memorial was held on West Washington’s field. But as this was happening, schools all over the state were turning on their football field lights to remember coach Bowsman. The first school to do it was Southwestern. They do not have a football field but had a moment of silence and lit their basketball gym with cell phone flash lights to remember the coach.
By the time Friday came around, this was known throughout the whole state. A few colleges and many high schools began posting pictures of their lit-up football fields with the hashtag Bowsmanstrong. From what I could find, the number was at least 153 schools, but possibly as many as 291, including at least seven out of eight HHC teams. That also includes two schools in Iowa, Bishop Garrigan, over a 10-hour drive away, and North Scott.
This is an incredibly sad story. But it shows the power sports have. One simple action, turning on stadium lights, shows that the Bowsman family was not alone, and the whole state was think of them in their tough time.
Story by Destiny Love
A chorus of handbells ring through Central Park as the bustling sounds of the city are temporarily ignored for the enjoyment of the holiday music.
“This trip is going to be exciting, but also crazy. We have packed a lot of stuff in the span of three days for our multiple performances,” said senior Aaron Seay.
All of the arts programs have their own trips that they take for performances. However, this trip for the handbells holds many new experiences for the group.
“We will leave Thursday, Thanksgiving morning early. We will arrive in New York City Thursday afternoon. On Friday we will be performing at Radio City Music Hall as a pre-show to the Radio City Rockettes,” said choir and handbells director Angela Hampton.
Fifteen students will be attending the NYC trip with Hampton and assistant director Briston Hatchell for their performance. Many of the students have been in handbells for several years, but this performance could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I am most excited about getting to experience NYC for the first time with a great group of friends and playing with so many ringers,” said senior Delaney Agnew. “We are performing a bunch of the common Christmas songs like ‘Joy to the World,’ ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas,’ ‘Deck the Halls,’ and ‘Jingle Bells.’“
The trip to New York City will have many other new opportunities for the young musicians.
“It will be a really great experience for us. Not only for being able to play there, but we will be playing with a lot of ringers from the New York area and beyond. We will also be conducted by one of our favorite conductors for handbells: Kevin McChesney, so the kids are really excited to meet him and play under his direction,” said Hampton.
A lot will be going on this Thanksgiving weekend in New York City, but the handbells group is ready to take on this new performance opportunity.
“The handbells have never gone to New York before. We travel every other year. Being there Thanksgiving weekend, that is a really big time in NYC with the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the shopping and just being New York. This is a really different opportunity,” said Hampton.
This will not be the first time a music group from FC have performed in New York City, but it is another to add to the books with more planned in the future.
“It is every musician’s dream to either say they have played in Radio City or Carnegie Hall,” said Hampton. “I think it is something they will be able to look on later in their life and say ‘I got to do that.’”
By J.D. McKay
If you have been to a FC sporting event over the past year, it is clear that our athletes are bigger, faster, and stronger than ever before. That is because of strength and condition coach Donnie Gumble. His first year was last season, and after just his first year, the football team won sectionals for the first time in 10 years. We also won five other sectionals this fall, so that decision seems to be paying off.
Gumble came from Florida where weightlifting was a official high school sport.
“I started it because it was something I competed in in high school. In Florida, it is a varsity sport, so you have your teams,” said Gumble. “You develop team comradery and you develop a family within your team like you do in football, basketball, or any other team sport. That was what it was like in Florida at the last school I was at. The goal is to develop this club and hopefully the IHSAA will see it through as a varsity sport in the next 5 to 10 years.”
Making power lifting an official sport in Indiana would not make us outliers. Many other states are adding it as an official sport. According to Gumble, Minnesota and Arizona have it as well as many southern states.
“Last year at the high school state meet there were at least 10 schools,” said Gumble. “Some schools brought one lifter but other schools like Crown Point have a whole club team and brought between eight and 12 lifters with them.”
If you are worried that you are not the best athlete or star of a team, but want to compete against other Indiana schools, Gumble said that is not an issue either.
“You do not have to be the all-star athlete of a tradition sport to be good at weight lifting. A lot of times it is not the guy who is the all-star or the first stringer but they just have this natural knack for bar-bell movements, or they are just made for it,” said Gumble.
Senior Noah Lukinovich has not played a sport in high school, so he was a little worried about being behind, however, that has not been an issue.
“I was not sure I would be a top priority for coach Gumble, be he definitely gives me and everybody else the attention that they need. He also gives great instructions even for athletes at all different levels of experience,” he said.
Senior Gary Schultz has plenty of experience lifting and joined the team after football season because he just enjoyed lifting and working with Gumble. But his goals have changed a little since when he joined.
“I want to lose weight while my lifts go up,” he said. “It’s fun to do it for Coach Gumble, too, because he is always smiling and really enjoys what he does.”
Gumble said, “I am passionate about weight lifting. It has tremendous transfer and benefits to sports performance.”
When: After school most days or before school on Mondays and Wednesdays. Talk to Gumble for more time information.
Questions: Talk to Gumble in the weight room after school or email him at email@example.com
Photo by Brock Kennedy
Story by J.D. McKay
My football career in southern Indiana is over. My last season was exciting. We won sectionals. We also beat New Albany, Jeff, and Providence. It is crazy that it is over.
I started playing football when I was three years old. I would run routes with my dad, and if I could not get anyone to play with me, I would throw the football up to myself as Peyton Manning and run under it as Dallas Clark. I also would play football in my living room. Astonishingly, I have no scars on my head or body from running into furniture, the fireplace, or mantle during these games. However, I did lose my second tooth playing football with my dad.
Fast forward to when I was seven, and I played flag football for the first time. Since then, I have not missed a year of football. After one year of flag, I played tackle for the first time. My dad was always one of my coaches. I played almost every skill position on offense in Little League. However, I spent most of my time at QB. One of my funniest memories from Little League was my center, senior linebacker and center Adam Hynes, wearing a cup when I was under center. Another good memory came from fourth grade. My team, the Bengals, beat the undefeated Colts in the Super Bowl, winning my only little league championship. I still have that trophy.
In fifth grade, my dad started coaching at Highland Hills. He suggested to head FC coach Brian Glesing that he have some actual ball boys instead of injured players having the balls ready during the game. So, starting in fifth grade, I have been on the sideline at all but about two Friday night games, except for my freshman year.
One of the most memorable games came from fifth grade at Jennings County. It rained, snowed and sleeted like crazy that game. The weird thing was, the whole day was warm, so most people were unprepared for the cold, including several coaches, who wore shorts the whole game.
Seventh grade was my worst season by record. However, the next year coach Tom Hodge became head coach and we were 7-1. The QB-to-TE connection senior Trace Willman and I had that year was like Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. I caught a ball from him one handed, and, of course, tripped as I turned upfield. He also delivered a perfect pass that I did not trip on and took 40 yards for the game tying touchdown against River Valley. The next play, D-1 senior kicker Cole Hussung took in the two-point conversion for the win. That was the last TD I scored until this year.
My freshman year, I saw a potential opening on varsity the following year and moved to guard as well as playing linebacker. The paid off the next season when I started as guard from Week 4 on.
Week 3 of that year was against Madison. It was just after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, so the remains of it were on their way up. It hit us during the game and was the coldest, wettest, nastiest game I have ever played in.
Unfortunately, the injury bug hit us that game but it opened up a varsity spot for me. Eventually, we pounded the ball against New Albany for two straight games and won the Anchor and the first round of sectionals. That team was very good, but unfortunately, we lost to Columbus East, who was on their way to a state championship. I like to say that we were their closest game, though, only losing to them by 30.
Last year, I was hit with my first injury in football. I was out from the fifth play of the first game to Week 4. Unfortunately, we were 5-5 last season. I got to play with the best player I have played with so far in Tyler Edwards. He was excellent at hitting creases at running back and reading plays as an outside linebacker.
I also played LB with Levi Hamby. He started playing his sophomore year after going to Chirstian Academy. He showed underclassmen what great work ethic was. He had to work very hard to even have a chance at playing varsity after starting late. But, he put in work in the weight room and on the field, eventually leading the team in tackles.
This season was my favorite season of football so far, though. I am sure everyone reading this is shocked by that. I was a captain along with senior Calvin Brown. We won sectionals for the first time in 10 years, completed the sweep (beat New Albany, Jeff, and Providence every year for four years), and finished 9-3. In Week 3 against Vincennes Lincoln, we had six picks. I had one, and Willman took one for six with a cast on his left hand. The next week, we tied the record for the biggest margin of victory against the Dogs, beating them 50-14. We started down 0-14 that game but scored 50 unanswered. The following week, we beat Jeff in the National Guard jerseys. I think I gained a lot of confidence that game that carried through the rest of the season.
The first round of sectionals was another close, physical battle with Bedford (check out my column on the BNL FC rivalry https://fchsbagpiper.wordpress.com/2019/11/06/bedford-football-rivalry-has-grown-recently/). Then, the next week, we won sectionals. I had my first TD since eighth grade after the Jeff running back fumbled the pitch and after trying to grab it, knocked it into the ground and into my hands. That play has been my favorite individual moment of playing football. Our defense played lights out against Jeff and gave up 0 defensive points. Last Friday was my last high school game. We were up 14-13 at half but stalled in the second half, eventually losing 40-14. I had a pick on the second play of the half, but it did not matter.
Next year, I am hoping to play football at Wheaton College in Illinois, with a bunch of dudes who love Jesus, as well as a coach who loves Jesus and also has a win percentage over .800 and is ranked third in Division 3 currently.