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Greene County Coach

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  1. Joey Hart played up until 8th grade... he was a burner. Great straight line speed... not a big fan of running between the tackles... he would be a good wide receiver... believe it or not... he liked to hit on defense (sort of funny since most basketball coaches think the only way to slow him down on a court is to be physical with him). While we are throwing out D1 athletes at Linton that never played HS football. Josh Pyne (IU Baseball) would have been a great football player. We never could talk his mom into it (in her defense... Josh was on a D1 baseball path in JH) Even Lincoln Hale played until JH. Evan Slover (Trester Award winner in HS basketball) is probably the best recent kid to not play football. He was a beast with an insanely high football IQ. I could probably write a book on great Miner athletes who chose not to play football 😉 Braden Walters is one that I'd love to see back on the Gridiron... hopefully he will come back out as a JR. and SR.
  2. Elmer Oliphant would be distantly related to Kip Fougerousse who is currently playing at IU on a baseball scholarship. Kip didn't play HS football... at 6'3" and 200+ lbs... he might have been good. The Oliphant clan and their descendants are sort of scattered across Green County.
  3. A couple thoughts from the GCI... WRV- They have the pieces to be better than what they are. Max Hostetter is a good PG, but I would require him to create more scoring opportunities for himself. Sometimes it is like watching Walters and Franklin from Linton... very unselfish and seems to always be looking to involve his teammates. The problem is he doesn't have kids who can create their own scoring opportunities. Jared Franklin and Wade Hall can hit spot up shots, but neither have the athletic ability to create against good defenders. Imagine if Max required a player to cheat over to guard him... then those guys become effective shooters. Eli Crites seems to be in a time loop from his freshman year. He still is too weak with the ball. That was OK then... we saw the potential... I'm not sure a Senior gets that pass. Luke Hall looked solid in some spots. The basketball IQ is there... he still tends to be streaky as a shooter... and he needs to get bigger/stronger, but as a freshman... he has time to grow into that. I like the effort Fulford brings, but he is an energy/defense guy. English has moments, but he is just a Sophomore... if he could squeeze out a few more inches... his game becomes much tougher to defend. 5'10" physical scorers aren't nearly as effective as 6'3" players. If the new coach can work some magic... next year might be a .500 season with an opportunity to be in the mix come sectionals. North Central- I really like the Clark kid. He has thinned out a little and is crafty with the ball. He can also fill it up when he starts feeling it. Hadley looks slower than last year. He seemed to be standing around a lot and was not as effective as a scorer/passer. Ison has really improved... I could see him filling Clark's role next year. He could be a 15-20 ppg scorer next year. Jennings is getting minutes, but he needs to become more physical. His effort is also all over the place. A focus on getting stronger could turn him into a tough player. Vaughn still provides athletic play that borders chaos. When he is hitting shots and making plays, he is an X factor. The problem is when he isn't... expect fouls and turnovers. Shakamak- First... congrats to Coy Gilbert on reaching 1,000 points. I have been thoroughly impressed with how hard he plays. Next to Joey Hart and Logan Webb... he was probably the most effective scorer in the GCI. Oscar Pegg provides physical play at another guard spot. He bullied some kids in the GCI... he didn't have that luxury against Linton. Jernigan had some solid play from another guard spot. JT May was lights out in the 2nd half to get the Lakers past North Central, but he struggles to score on athletes with any length. He struggled against the Miners. Guyler Gorby came off the bench in all the games I watched. He looks uninterested in being out there. He has maybe the highest athletic ceiling on the team, yet doesn't get much out of it. Linton- 8 in a row... Most of the guys who played weren't even playing school basketball the last time the Miners lost a game in the GCI. Hart was on fire the first game... and didn't really slow down. After a week of physical games where every team tried to push him around to get him off his game... The teams at the GCI allowed him to get comfortable shooting 3 pointers. Then they would run out on him while he drove past them. Webb was a little off compared to the previous tournament, but he still scored around 20 ppg for the GCI. Smith and Walters made plays going to the rim. Frady scored around the basket, while Franklin made some nice defensive/hustle plays. It was good to see Jaxon Walker come of the bench as a reliable outside shooter. If he was a little more physical... and versatile on the offensive end... he could carve out some time. Ayden Riggleman came off the bench and scored some points, but his skill set doesn't seem to be translating to playing time. Hunter Gennicks has the athletic and defensive skill set to fight for some time, but he is behind as an offensive player.
  4. What a week for basketball. North Daviess and Southridge had competitive holiday tourneys, while the Wabash Valley Tournament had some really good games. Bloomfield, Linton and North Daviess were knocked from the list of unbeatens. Linton- The Miners notched good wins against Marshall, Bloomfield, and Edgewood... Unfortunately, they fell short against a very good Terre Haute North team in the Championship game. The Bloomfield was a good win, but sort of glimpse into the Good, Bad, and Ugly of the Miners. As a whole they played a sloppy/lazy game for about 3 quarters. They looked good for the first 5 minutes and the last 3 minutes. Fortunately, the Miners did a good job on stopping Graf. The problem was Combs killed them around the basket... the Cardinals also hit 6 first half 3 pointers. Even with that... when the all of the Miners played with some effort... they rattled off 16 points in the last few minutes to squeeze out a win. They handled Owen Valley easily on day 1 of the Greene County Tournament. North Daviess- I didn't get a chance to watch their loss to FW Blackhawk, but an OT loss to an undefeated team that is off of state championship runs is a good loss... if one believes in such things. Bloomfield had a solid week at the Wabash Valley Tournament. They were 3 minutes away from giving Linton their 1st loss. A close game against South Vermillion was a little unexpected, but SV played well. The biggest problem was the nasty turned ankle that Peter Combs came away with against Cloverdale. The game was well in hand when he went down, which will likely cause some to question the call to have him in. North Central- Had the week off... Some one mentioned they needed time to get healthy. Looks like they will get Shakamak on Friday. That will be a good game to see where each team is at this point. Shakamak- They showed some life in the Wabash Valley Tournament. A close loss to West Vigo should have been a win, but a win against TH South was big. The loss against Northview was by about the same as North Central... which could be a sign of a good game at the Greene County Tourney. That would be nice after watching the 1st couple games. White River Valley- This team is young at a lot of key spots... they also seem to have trouble handling the ball. 20+ turnovers cost them a chance of winning their game against Shakamak. Hostetter is a solid ballhandler, but after that... the barrel is thin. Wade Hall, Eli Crites, and Jared Franklin handle the ball ok in a 1/2 court situation when looking for their own shots. I didn't see much ball movement and unselfish team play. The other Wolverines need work. Dalton Fulford provides hustle... Luke Hall can shoot... neither provide varsity level ball handling. Most of their Sophomores are getting good experience, but outside of Hostetter... none of them seem ready for full time varsity. Clay City- They had a solid holiday tournament. 2-1 with a close loss to Martinsville. Looking at their schedule... they could be on a 6 game winning streak going into their game with TH North in a few weeks. A lot of winnable games over the next few weeks. I'll be interested to see how they fare against WRV at the end of the month. Eastern- I don't know if the Rippy kid is back, but Coach Hudson is giving his young guys a lot of experience. Unfortunately, I don't see many winnable games on the schedule. Washington Catholic... maybe WRV... It is going to be a tough year.
  5. Another good weekend for the top of the conference... and some interesting games down the line. Linton- A huge over a slightly depleted Shakamak team was to be expected. Linton could have hung 100 on them, but what use would that be. It really seemed Coach Hart and even the players were looking ahead to Saturday's matchup against Castle. The big win against Castle was a solid win. Castle plays really hard. Niehaus is like a bigger Josh Pyne. He hurt us when we went to a zone with offensive rebounds (he came in averaging 10+ rebounds... about 1/2 were offensive). We kept him in check. Franklin guarded him the most, but Webb... Walters... and even Hart were on him at various times. While in man... he did very little. The 6'9" kid was solid, but he met Drew Smith and his great positioning and outstanding strength. Walters shut down their other top scorer. On the the Drew Smith note... this team is good without him... but with him... they will be really tough to handle. Smith, Walters, and Franklin make so many plays without scoring. Don't get me wrong Hart and Webb are studs, but watching the other three is fun. Loose balls, steals, rebounds, great passes, etc... just happen when these guys are in. Gennicks provides some of the same types of things, but he hasn't quite caught up after missing the last 2 years of basketball. I did enjoy the SIAC folks on social media and even in the stands Saturday. The social media folks bad mouthed Linton's schedule (note... Evansville schools/SIAC don't really believe sports are played outside of their little part of the world). My favorite was the SIAC fan sitting near me. He started the game as an ardent supporter of his conference... by Walters-Hart alley oop at the half... his transformation to Linton fan was complete. He rooted for the Miners the rest of the way 🙂 North Daviess- I would have liked to watch the matchup against Hammond Central. Sounds like a really good game.. free throws seemed to be the deciding factor. I wonder how tightly the game was called. HC gets after it defensively... almost to their own detriment. The Cougars notched another solid win against Evansville Mater Dei on Saturday night. Bloomfield- The Cardinals keep rolling, but their strength of schedule makes me wonder how they would fair against a good team. They might be as good as the top 2, but it is hard to tell beating teams that are average or below. The Wabash Valley Tournament should give them a few opportunities to notch a bigger win. North Central- They won on Friday against Eastern and rolled against Bloomington Lighthouse the following night. They beat who they should have. They are quietly cruising into 2022 with a 5-2 record. Not bad. Clay City- They lost a close game against Monrovia, but bounced back against South Vermillion on Saturday. 2 wins would have been nice, but they are showing a little bit of life. Shakamak- They were destroyed by Linton on Friday. I'm sure the loss of Gilbert and Jernigan will provide an excuse, but let's be honest... the Miners still would have rolled. JT May scored their 1st 11 points... the only problem was a whole quarter between his 9 point 1st quarter and his 1st basket of the 3rd quarter. Eastern- They were handled by North Central, but a close loss at Martinsville shows they may have a little life in them. WRV- They have 2 wins, but Wood Memorial and Bloomington Lighthouse isn't exactly good wins. They are probably better than Eastern... for now... assuming Rippy doesn't play in their matchup later this season. Who knows.. they might even be able to squeeze out a win against Clay City... I doubt they beat NC or Shakamak at full strength.
  6. That article doesn't make me upset that those kids, coaches, and administrators gutted out a rough year. Football can take a lot... but it also gives a lot. Those players are among a select group of people with the guts and will power to overcome rough circumstances. I did enjoy how they used Mater Dei as the bar for participation. They dressed about 100 players against us with only 1 freshman (kicker). Linton has great numbers for a public school... we usually have between 45-55 players. CC is just a few students above the 1A/2A line. Their unique situation with distance and poverty probably makes it even tougher to keep kids involved. Lets break down some things on this "list". This is from someone with almost no direct knowledge of Crawford County... so take it for what it is worth. It is probably fair to make comparisons to similar programs. Eastern Greene and Forest Park both started their programs around the same time. Enrollments are close, but Eastern probably compares better in regards to lacking a good size town... I'm also guessing their poverty rate is higher than FP. In the first 10 seasons... CC had 11 wins; Eastern had 21 wins; FP had 35 wins... Coaching seemed to be the biggest factor. CC had a revolving door... Eastern finally got their feet on solid ground by year 7 or 8... FP came out with a good coach (they have only had two in 14 seasons). 1. Chronic lack of competitiveness- I'm not sure this should be addressed specifically... all the other things directly impact this. 2. Chronic staff turnover- Forest Park had 2 experienced coaches for the first 14 years of their program... there is consistency. They also were able to grab an experienced coach in the beginning to help establish the program. Eastern has had 8 coaches in 19 years (Coach Lorig got the program on its feet, but didn't coach in its 1st varsity season). It wasn't until Luke Dean took over that progress was made. He was a young energetic... almost an arrogant coach, but exactly what the program needed. He seemed to focus on a feeder program and his teams competed. Paridean comes in and reaps the benefits of a strong Junior/Senior class to guide them to a couple really good years. Good coach + a few good classes = success. It didn't hurt that they were one of the biggest 1A teams during their deep tournament runs. Since then, they have struggled. Crawford County has had 6 coaches in 15 years... I didn't recognize all the names, but I wonder if they were young, energetic, experienced, etc... Or were they stop gap coaches. Hard to gain credibility with your players and the community/school that way. 3. Low numbers- This could be a couple problems. How does distance effect participation numbers for their teams at all levels? What does feeder program look like? Are they losing good athletes to other schools? Is the coach good at recruiting athletes? I'm guessing their feeder program is attached to another league, which means they may only be fielding 1 team. Are players being developed? In an area that may not have many former football players, what kind of coaches do they have in place at the youth level? Is there conformity in what they do on offense and defense? So many questions 4. Poor administrative support- It sounds like there is at least a base level of support, but most of us know fielding a team is not the same supporting the team. What does the field and practice facilities look like. What about the weight room? Do they have a weight lifting class? If not... they should. Is there work to tie the program together from top to bottom (elementary)? 5. Poor community support- This is a tiered issue. Showing up is a part of that.. but not always the most important. Does the community support kids playing all sports? Are there qualified coaches to fill out the varsity staff, JH staff, and youth league? Is there an effort by the school to make football a community unifying event? Is the community open to the vision of the coach in terms of plays/strategy? 6. Lack of coordinated feeder system- A coach having to go over plays over and over until their whole team is there is hard to read. Maybe they need to start their offense at the youth league level and build on it every year. Of course, that would require a coach to stick around for awhile. Being small... I'm guessing they feed into a bigger league or travel around and play other small schools. Do they participate in a few school affiliated tournaments at the end of the youth season? 7. Strong apathetic attitude towards football- It isn't just losing that creates this... it is all of this stuff wrapped up into one. We now have COVID to deal with on top of the general apathy some kids have. 8. Competitive consolidation- Who could they possibly merge with. It is a rural school. Any kid that would have the means to travel to a better program... probably already has... or they just didn't buy a house in CC school district. I would look to play as many 1A or struggling programs as possible. A few wins could help if other things are in place. 9. Merger consolidation
  7. I believe the top 50 is only for Seniors. I'm also pretty sure you can't be on the top 50 list and also be on the all state list. Where that puts the Senior brother... no idea. I listened to their dad speak at a coaching clinic once his 1st time at Indiana. It was really interesting how he found "diamonds" in the rough for the RB position. I think he said Howard and Coleman were 3 star or below when they went after them.
  8. The weekend continued to set the top 3 teams in the conference apart from the rest of the pack... while the rest all seem to be within 8-10 points of each other. Linton beat a solid Mitchell team on Friday. Mitchell looked to be well coached and had a handful of solid guards and shooters. I think Linton's length and athleticism was the difference. Wigley getting in foul trouble hurt Mitchell... he had a couple dumb fouls, but requiring him to guard Webb on the block was a poor coaching move. He was giving up 3 inches and quite a few lbs and muscle. I thought Hart played below his usual level... oddly he struggles shooting at home. Mitchell put a smaller physical defender on him and he didn't rise up. Frady and Franklin hit enough shots to prevent Mitchell from focusing on Hart and Webb. Walters looked disinterested in filling the 3rd scorer role. He is more than capable and the addition of Franklin takes some of the playmaker responsibilities away from him. It may not matter since Drew Smith is likely back this weekend. If he takes up where he left off... he could fill the 3rd scorer role. They have a conference game against Shakamak on Friday followed by a matchup with Castle at Bosse Saturday afternoon. Bloomfield cruised to 2 big wins this weekend. Clay City and Edgewood aren't world beaters, but they beat both by a wide margin. I'm not sure anybody will know how good they are until later in the month. The back half of their schedule will sort out how good they are. Linton, North Daviess, Loogootee, and Bloomington South should sort it out before sectionals. North Daviess also cruised to 2 big wins by lesser competition. North Central is likely in the 4th-6th place range in the conference... looks like that gap is 20+ points between the top 3 and the rest. I don't know anything about the Jeeps... I'm guessing they aren't great. They will have a big game against Hammond Central this weekend followed by a game against Evansville Mater Dei. Hammond Central would be a nice measuring stick. They will have better athletes... ND will need to control the pace of the game. I don't know anything about MD basketball, but they are likely still getting their basketball legs in shape after football season. North Central lost big to North Daviess... a matchup next weekend against Eastern will give everyone a glimpse into the difference between the middle and bottom of the conference. Shakamak lost a winnable game against North Knox, while beating Washington Catholic easily. A matchup against Linton will be a tough task this weekend. Surely this team will start to play better. There is some talent there. Clay City is going through the top teams early... it might give everyone a inaccurate view of their place in the conference. They are clearly 20+ points worse than the top 3, but they might be on equal footing with the rest of the conference. Eastern looks like a team that is playing very disciplined with a really young team... that won't help them this year... who knows down the line. Valentine is a good senior... if Rippy returns... they might move up from the bottom of the conference. WRV looks to be falling to the bottom. I've heard that Crites is playing well as a Senior, but others are struggling to score. I've heard rumors that shooting mechanics were altered and some have not been able to hit open shots ever since. If this was a summer switch that just hasn't taken, I get it. If these changes were done more recently, seems like an unwise move. Changing the mechanics of a shot is something that requires a lot of work/shots in the summer. It also seems some players that were more focused on offense than defense... have fell out of favor. This weekend might get them their 2nd win against Bloomington Lighthouse. WRV always seems to play Bloomfield better than their record or talent suggest. I still see them losing by 20+.
  9. Word was buzzing around school yesterday for the Miners who made the teams. Hats off to Gabe Eslinger for making 2A all state as a LB. He was a Jr. all state selection last year as well. We also had 2 Juniors make the all state cut. Hunter Gennicks made it as a DB, while Wrigley Franklin made it at DL. Both were very good on offense as well... it will be good to have them back.
  10. Last week was a pretty good week for the top teams of the SWIAC conference. Bloomfield made sure to emphasize to Shakamak that they were a distant 4th in the conference on Friday night. A 20+ point makes the Cardinals look like a clear favorite in their sectional. North Daviess moved to 4-0 with a big win over Washington. Linton went 2-0 on the weekend. The 30 point win over Clay City was expected, but the double digit win over Crispus Attucks was a big win. Looks like the Miners have moved into the top 20 coaches poll for the first time in school history. They didn't play a perfect 1st half, but well enough to keep it close. The 2nd half was dominated for the most part by the Miners. Depth might be their only chink as of right now, but some of the guys that didn't play much Saturday would be fine against most teams on our schedule. Drew Smith will also be back sometime after Christmas, which provide another player to handle the ball... play defense.. and score at the rim. Shakamak had a weird weekend. They get destroyed by Bloomfield... then it takes a last second shot for Sullivan to put them away. This kind of inconsistency makes sense for the Sophomore contributors... but one would think there is enough Senior leadership to balance that out. They also have a new coach. If you are half empty people... this is just Shakamak... you never know what you are going to get. If you are a half full person... these are some new coach/emerging team issues that will work themselves out as the year progresses. Too early to tell. North Central is 2-1, but their wins are against teams that are 0-7 combined. Coach Edmondson usually gets his teams ready by Sectional. They still have some pieces to give Bloomfield some trouble. White River Valley is not only without a win, but they are barely scoring 30 ppg. I think they are giving up 40+ppg. They are 0-3 against middle of the road teams. Clay City had to play Linton, which was not a close game. Reilly Myers was solid for them. Early on he had 10-12 of their first 15 points. This was a solid Jr. group in JH... Outside of Myers... I'm not sure the rest of them have improved at the same rate as the other Juniors in the area. In fairness, there are a lot of really good kids from that class scattered across the conference. Eastern is just not very good. They look to be disciplined with the ball, but they aren't very talented. Rippy didn't play in the game I watched. I had heard he was injured during football season, but I hadn't heard the severity of the injury. Valentine did a nice job leading in the game I watched, but with this group... he needs to look to score more often.
  11. The GCI will have Linton, Shakamak, North Central, WRV, Pike Central, Shoals, Eminence... I assume there is an 8th team, but I don't know who it is. Not a very good tournament for the Miners, but not an awful thing after grinding it out at the Wabash Valley Tournament.
  12. The weekend played out about as expected... I'll start with the teams that struggled... Eastern, WRV, Clay City, and North Central each lost their opening game. Eastern will likely struggle all year. WRV lost a close one vs. North Knox. Clay City was a toss up for me... Looks like South Putnam had enough to squeeze out a win. North Central was a bigger loss than I expected, but the White/Cook backcourt is pretty good. If Northview has any type of size... this doesn't seem like a big loss. Shakamak beat a very weak Rivet team. I'm not sure it says much one way or the other about the Lakers. Bloomfield beat Owen Valley and Cloverdale. I thought the Clovers would put up a bigger fight... maybe they were missing someone. Bloomfield looks to be minus Dean and Sherrard for what could be the whole season... that would not be good for the Cardinals post season chances. North Daviess won 3 games over the weekend. The win against Loogootee was a nice victory against a sectional opponent. Evansville Day looked to be an easy win , but North Posey looked to be a close game. Linton got 2 quality wins over quality teams this weekend. Indy Metro didn't play the 6'10" Merriweather kid, but they played faster without him. Stamps was a load at 6'1" 250lbs. He scored 20 or so in the 1st half... Their PG, Omari Ferguson was a speedster. He was really tough to stay in front of in transition. They will be a tough 1A team. Park Heritage went to state last year, but the Miners handled them fairly well. Some big shots out of a few PH kids helped keep the game close, but it never seemed to feel like it would be close. One of those weird games were the score looked and felt like an 8-10 point game for the majority of the time.
  13. Park Heritage will be tough to beat. The Linton score doesn't take into account that Coach Hart has a lot of familiarity with Christian Johnson... and specifically how best to slow him down.... I'm not sure you can stop him. Wrigley Franklin drew the short straw to guard him. Franklin was a step slower, but at 6'2" 220 with a 6'6" wingspan... he forced Johnson to take contested shots and didn't get pushed around. Coach Hart clearly wanted his team to contest his shots... provide help at the rim... DO NOT let him kill us on second chance opportunities with offensive rebounds. He wasn't shooting well... there was help to make his drives contested (he still scored)... and most importantly... we didn't let him get going with offensive rebounds. He is an impressive athlete... I'm not sure most schools will have the horses to run with him. I was impressed with Dowd and Luce as shooters... they kept it close. McNeal did a great job on Joey Hart. He was giving up some height but his wingspan and athleticism gave Hart some trouble at points during the game. Noble Johnson also made some big athletic moves to score... he also shot better from 3 point range than I expected. Who knows... these two teams could meet again in late March.
  14. The season is here... Here is the schedule for this week... Tuesday, November 23rd Clay City @ South Putnam- CC should be improved with a solid Junior class gaining a lot of varsity experience last year. I don't know much about SP, but they had some athletes on the football. If those guys are basketball players, Clay City might be in trouble. North Daviess @ Loogootee- This always seems to be a great game. Both teams lost some key guys from last year, but return their best player(s). It is hard to go against Mullens... he does a great job control the game from his PG spot. Bledsoe will be the go to man for the Lions. I think the studs on both teams are fairly evenly matched... it may be the unknown role players that will be the deciding factor. For ND... I'd watch out for Britton... he can shoot when left open. Loogootee will spend a lot of defensive effort containing Mullens, Wilson, and Wilson. As for the Lions... Isaac Eagle is a capable player who could step into a bigger role this year. Whiteland @ Eastern Greene- A 4A school is usually a tough matchup, but having only 2 returning varsity guys along with some uncertainty about the health of at least one of those guys... Looks like Eastern's baptism by fire for their young players will start right out of the gate. Wednesday, November 24th Bloomfield @ Owen Valley- This should be a big win for the Cardinals. Atkinson was a do it all player for the Patriots, but he is gone. Bloomfield won last year... they are better. Indy Metro @ Linton- Linton was without 2 starters for their scrimmage against Evansville Central... Smith is likely out until around Christmas. Webb should be back much sooner. I think he practiced a little on Saturday, but they will need him to be 100%. Even without those two guys... Linton looked good against Central on Friday. Their biggest concern for Metro will be their 6'10" center. He looks to be good near the basket and on the boards. I still like the Miners in this one. Joey Hart is still going to be the best player on the floor... and his supporting cast is capable. On a bit of side note... Ayden Riggleman stepped in to a starting roll in the absence of Webb and Smith... and he played well. It would be good to have another shooter with all the defenders/playmakers on the floor. North Knox @ WRV- This game always seems to be close. I think North Knox should be better, but not be enough to keep this from being a good game. Saturday, November 2th Shakamak @ Rivet- This will be a good chance for Coach Crowe to get his 1st win. JT May lit them up from outside last year. I don't know if Rivet has the athletes to stop May from scoring. If they do... this could be interesting. I'm guessing Shakamak will win by double digits. North Daviess Tournament- Their 1st game will be against Evansville Day... I don't know anything about them. I'm guessing the Cougars will win. The 2nd game says they will play North Posey. I don't know anything about them either. The Ricketts brother were there a few years ago, but I'm not sure if the younger one is still there. Hulman Center Classic- Bloomfield will play Cloverdale. Bloomfield should be a good 1A team... Cloverdale should still have the Thomas boys. The older boy should be hard to handle. I don't know as much about the other one. North Central vs. Northview- Both teams will rely heavily on their guards. Clark will lead they way for the T-Birds. Northview will be led by Noah White (former TH North player) and Drew Cook. I watched a little bit of Northview this summer. Cook looked to score, while White ran the offense. North Central might have a size advantage. Linton vs. Park Heritage- Linton won this match up at Linton last year, but PH had the last laugh playing in the 2A state finals. Johnson & Johnson will lead the way for PH. Christian Johnson is an explosive scorer, while his brother is a solid wing. I'm not sure what they have around them. Linton could be 2 starters. Walters did a great job of neutralizing Christian last year... I think Linton has a solid supporting cast. With or without Webb, I think Linton will win.
  15. It has been a topic of conversation over the last few years. There is a lot of good basketball history there... it used to be a great tournament. Unfortunately, once WRV began to decline as a program... they seemed to seek out other struggling programs to be part of the tournament. Since they have been seeding it... that means we don't usually see good games until the Linton/Bloomfield match up. Sure... there are plenty of close games among the bad teams... but not good games. Of course, Linton has used the tournament as a spring board for the 2nd half of the season... Coach Hart has bulked up the rest of the schedule enough that a little lull before the back stretch isn't necessarily a bad thing.
  16. This should be a good year for the top teams in the conference... The rest have some big unknowns or will be rebuilding. Linton- If the Summer is any indication of the type of team this will be in 2021-2022... be ready for a different style of play from the last few years. Passing and sharing the ball was the big thing on offense, while watching Joey Hart & Company develop into a very dangerous offensive team. The defense was better than the last few years... lots of length in the starting 5 and all 5 guys could switch without giving up too much. I think they went 30-3 with losses to Brebeuf and TH North (North once again had a kid go nuts from the 3 point line... even hitting the game winner), and Lakota East out of Cincinnati. Lakota East was the only one that kept a steady 8-10 point lead on us throughout the game. We shot horribly against the other two, while they made contested shots. The Senior class will have Drew Smith, Ayden Riggleman, Jackson Fields, and Japheth House. Smith was the #3 scoring option this Summer. At 6'1" 210+ lbs of muscle, he is a difficult matchup for most teams. Riggleman will have opportunities to play off the ball and be a shooter. He had mixed results as a PG at the Freshman and JV levels, but he is a solid shooter. Fields is more of an old school big man when it comes to skill, but at 6'0"... he will struggle to find a niche with a team full of 6'2"+ players. House is a streaky shooter... his ball handling and defense will need to improve to crack the rotation. The Juniors are led by Joey Hart. Hart is a 6'5" shooter who has above average athleticism... for the college level. He is a legit D1 talent who will likely receive offers from a lot of big programs. The #2 scorer will be Logan Webb. Webb is a 6'3" matchup problem. He is too strong for guards to handle in the post... too skilled for bigs to handle. Most teams don't have enough size and athleticism to guard the starting 5. Wrigley Franklin rounded out the starting 5 this Summer. At 6'2"+ and 220 lbs, he provides an interesting skill set. He handles the ball well... willing and good passer... he also could switch onto all 5 positions defensively. He doesn't look to score, but he is improving is a capable option. If he can hit open shots, this team becomes very dangerous. Nathan Frady and Jaxon Walker are the other Juniors looking to play a lot of varsity. Frady is a 6'4" big man with a nice 3 point shot. He isn't quick enough to guard all 5 positions, so expect a zone if he is in. The Sophomore class is led by Braden Walters. He is an outstanding defender, good ballhandler, solid passer, and can take the ball to the basket. He will need to elevate his scoring a little bit this year, which shouldn't be a problem. Since everyone handles the ball and looks to hit the open teammate... he should have more opportunities to look for his own scoring opportunities. Jamison Fields is another Sophomore who should be positioned to at least dress varsity. I don't see any Freshman ready to contribute at the varsity level. Linton does have a strong 8th grade team that will challenge next year for JV time and possibly varsity minutes. Bloomfield- This Bloomfield group should be a very good 1A team. The Senior class is led by Baylin Graf... he is strong inside/outside threat at 6'2". Ethan Dean, Chris Royal, and Ryan Shulte will provide ball handling and shooting. Royal stepped up as a solid 2nd option to Graf late in the season. The Junior class will have Brett Sherrard, Hank Skomp, Justin Beard, and Peter Combs fighting for time. A few others will likely play JV. Combs looked to be a legit 6'5" and seemed to be filling out. His play could elevate this team to a deep run in the tournament. Sherrard will provide ball handling and defense, while Skomp will provide shooting. Beard had some big scoring games as a JV player... if he has improved... he could be a great addition to the full time rotation. There are a couple Sophomores who could be in the mix. North Daviess- The Big 3 of Mullens and the Wilson twins are as good as any 3 perimeter players in the area. Mullens is a good lead guard who has become a bigger scorer. The Wilson twins are good wing scorers who can drain a deep 3 as easily as finishing at the rim. They are all juniors. The Britton kid started this Summer as a Senior. He is a good shooter. They only had one big man... he seemed content to hang out at the 3 point line. They will have a host of solid sub 6'0" guards to rotate in and out. North Daviess has won 4 straight 8th grade SWIAC championships... I'll be interested to see if they are able to win it at the HS level this year. Shakamak- This team could be interesting if their new coach can convince everyone to play. Seniors will have Coy Gilbert and Carson Jernigan return as guards. Oscar Pegg and Joe Van Sant will be eligible after transferring from Bloomfield. I would imagine Brayson Shipman will provide some size up front. If Coach Crowe can convince Guyler Gorby (6'4") and Tyler Vivian (6'3") to play... this is a solid Senior group. Brady Yeryar may be the lone Junior contributor. JT May and Will Miller will headline the Sophomore class. May is a good shooter, but his defense is suspect and an athletic defender seemed capable of locking him up. Will Miller has some skill, but he simply wasn't strong enough to play in physical match ups. This team could be solid with a starting lineup of Gilbert, May, Pegg, Gorby, and Jernigan, VanSant, or Vivian. The other two with Miller and Yeryar off the bench is 9 solid players. White River Valley- New coach should add a little bit to the program. The feeder program seems to be improved, but there are a couple weak classes filtering through the HS. Max Hostetter should be much better after his baptism by fire as a freshman PG. He will need to be the alpha dog... this goes against his natural inclination to distribute the ball. He will need to be their best player. I'm not real familiar with the Senior class... Parker Stone could provide another athlete in the backcourt.... I haven't heard if he is playing. The Junior class will have two shooters. Wade Hall and Jared Franklin. Hall is about 6'3" and a high effort kid. Franklin is a crafty scorer. Neither are exceptionally quick. The Sophomore class has a few kids that will need to step up. North Central- This group will be led by DeShawn Clark. He is a crafty guard that has had some big games over the last few years. Trevor Hadley should return as a big with some ball skills. Ison and Seay will also return. Ison has become a solid rotation guy... Seay will provide some athleticism. They should have at least a few more contributors graduate from the JV. Clay City- I'm not sure how many seniors they have, but the Junior class is solid. Reilly Myers returns at PG.. Swearingen should provide some shooting... I think there is an Adams kid that is solid as well. There was a big man (6'3" or so) who was a Jr. but he didn't play against Linton. This was one a few teams I didn't see much of this Summer. Eastern- Coach Hudson will have his work cut out for him. The T-Birds return 2 starters in Rippy and Valentine. Rippy is 6'7" and can be a load underneath... Valentine a sweet shooting guard. Ripp was hurt during football season... hopefully that won't spill into basketball season. After those 2... the bottom falls out. Now they will work in a bunch of Freshman and Sophomores hoping they are ready for varsity. I don't think they will be there. Last year's JV team was not very good and the 8th grade team was only average. This baptism by fire might help prepare the T-Birds for the next couple of seasons.
  17. The game was a great battle between 2 good football teams. Of course... in such a tight game... we could knit pick at it all day. I think the first score of MD and the last hurt the most. Both were mental mistakes in the defensive backfield that allowed wide open receivers to score. You have to make good teams work for it. Maybe they still make the play... but we weren't even within 5 yards to make it tough. I felt like Linton won the battle up front. That is saying something because Ralph & Co. are the real deal on defense. Ralph made most of his plays when we pulled the man in front of him, failed to reach block him, or on passing downs. He also was pancaked a time or two, which doesn't happen very often from what I have seen over the last 3 years. We also got good pressure on the QB on defense. Personally, I felt like the officials we determined not to throw a holding flag on either team with maybe 2 exceptions. Rewatching the game... there were plenty to call each time either team passed the ball. The run game was cleaner. It wasn't until a Linton player showed an official their ripped jersey late in the 3rd/early 4th that we got a call in our favor. The only other holding call went against us on an extra point, which was a bad call... especially considering the nature of how they called the rest of the game. For MD, I felt like Wunderlich was really good at not making a big mistake with pressure. He hit open receivers on 3rd and long with pressure. On 2 separate screens we had a DE ready to make a play on the pass... instead he tucked it on one and threw the other to a WR (the lineman downfield penalty). I've watched him make those throws in previous games and turn it over. And when it is all said and done... 1 turnover robbed the Miners of a potential 1st half score. Great game... just wish it was a 1 point win our way. Good luck to Mater Dei and North Posey in the Sectional Championship. As for recruiting... open borders and the emergence of travel/aau loyalties have changed the landscape of HS sports. Neither school has control over the AAU scene or the perception of some parents looking to further their kids athletic prospects (we have lost quite a few kids because they could play earlier elsewhere... less so in football). Both schools go after good kids to attend their schools... that often means picking up good athletes. In the case of Linton, most of those kids from other schools... they move into the district. That is a rural/small town school's issue with getting kids to come to their school. The drive can be a killer. We also have gained great kids when Dugger closed their doors as a public school and reopened as a struggling charter school... Of course, so have other schools. I'm guessing that is our highest number of students who don't live within our district. Currently, we have a lot of successful athletic programs and academic opportunities.. so kids come to Linton. We lose some too... just like everyone else. That is the name of the game these days... go after kids to attend your school... or prepare to close your doors. My one question to most P/P is the type of kids they have walking the halls. I realize not everyone plays a sport, but public schools get everyone in their district. That usually means some kids that just drive up your enrollment and provide very little to the school outside of $ to schools. That isn't to say public schools aren't working to get those kids involved and turn them into success stories, but we are often working against some difficult outside factors. I can't imagine P/P having the same percentage of those type of kids with their cost of tuition. BTW... I don't know of any parents that admit they are moving their kid for sports.... even the ones who with out a doubt moved for athletics. Not to say it would be #1... but it is always a factor for any family that has a student athlete. Now for the 2021 Miners... this was a special group of guys. An undefeated season is always nice, but a deep tournament run was their goal. I know there is disappointment, but this group has a lot to be proud of. I'm sure a 2nd round loss will keep them from overtaking the 2015 and 2016 teams in the minds of some of the Miner faithful, but being a small part of both... It would be a whale of a game if those guys squared up against each other. Those teams may have had a few individuals that were better, but from top to bottom... 2021 would more than hold their own. In 1A, this team makes a deep run into the tournament... maybe even a State Title. Next year's team will have to replace some great Seniors, but they also will have almost the whole line back and 3 of the top 5 tacklers on the team.
  18. Yes... they will likely play. They will be in the mix of the 7-8 varsity guys. If this summer is an indicator of this Winter... it will be a team effort. The ones listed played most of if not all of the 30+ Summer games. Riggleman and Fields both missed quite a bit due to work schedules. My mistake 🙂
  19. Wrigley Franklin (G/DE) qualified for Regionals in the Discus as a Sophomore. He would have out thrown the MD guys as well. Linton had 4 guys that threw 42'+ in the shot put. I'm a little shocked the Ralph kid doesn't throw... his explosive power seems a natural fit for shot put. Gennicks and Lynn were good hurdlers... both were injured for track sectionals. Both would have had a chance of advancing. Smith, Franklin, Gennicks, and Webb should be big pieces for what looks to be a really good Miner basketball team this Winter. Personally, I love to see multi-sport guys. It is a major accomplishment for these young men who can commit the time to all these sports and still be contributors.
  20. If you really watch the NV game... that was a bit of a "trap" game performance. We didn't really play well... forgot the score and watch for the little things... it was not our best. Not a shock, but hopefully it was the hiccup after 3 solid games to open. I don't think this group will look past Boonville. With only a couple seniors last year... most of the guys playing this year were contributing in our close loss at Boonville. I'd say they would like to make a statement. We will also be a little closer to full strength. As for the matchup, they bring a couple stud athletes every year. Bottling up their RB last year was a chore and great experience... the year before they brought 2 stud lineman. Park Heritage will be solid with Johnson at QB next year... I'm sure they will spread it out and throw. That will be good for our schedule next year. It gives us a look we don't see as often. Christian is a stud athlete at the QB spot, so he will provide some challenges. I think his favorite targets are graduating.... but if there is any level of talent around him... it could be a really good game for week 1. Who knows for the years after.
  21. Summer basketball is in full swing with multi sport athletes being pulled in all directions. With the exception of WRV and North Central... I think I have seen everyone play at least once. Linton- Whoa... this team may shock people after the style of basketball they played with Lincoln Hale as the alpha dog. Everyone handles the ball... everyone plays defense (good defense)... The ball moves until a good shot or match up is taken advantage of. Joey Hart no longer looks like he is trying to figure out how to co-exist with Hale. He is a legit D1 player. Logan Webb at 6'3" is a bully in the post with the ability to take his match up outside. Braden Walters and Drew Smith still act as pseudo point guards, but it is helped by Wrigley Franklin and Hunter Gennicks who are willing passers who play defense. Nathan Frady is an effective post player with a 3 point shot. Smith has also become a good 3rd option to score. Walters has also looked to score more. They are starting 6'5", 6'4", 6'3", 6'2", and 6'1". The last two are football guys who add to the physical nature of Webb (who also looks to be a football guy). Jaxon Walker, Ayden Riggleman, and Bracey Brenneman have logged some time. All bring some things to the table once they play enough. North Daviess- They will be very good. Mullens is really good as a lead guard. The Wilson twins are good wings. I think the X-Factor may be the Britton kid. Good shooter who can fill it up if he is allowed to get going. They have some other solid guards/wings. I just don't see much size. The one kid with size is rail thin and shoots 3's. Bloomfield- They looked good in the game I watched. They were without Sherrard, but Combs looks taller and stronger. If Combs has become more physical with his added overall size, they will be improved from an already strong team. Skomp looks to be better to add with a strong senior class. They will be in the mix. Shakamak- Tough to know without 4-5 baseball boys there. May is a shooter, but he is asked to do a lot. Gilbert is still rocking an old school look with the hair... He is a solid wing player. Will Miller could be ready for varsity action, but he needs physical strength. They did get Tyler Vivian playing basketball again. Now they will need to get back Guyler Gorby. The rest are a lot of guys that didn't look ready to contribute. There was a incoming 8th grader who looked really good against Eastern... Johnson. Clay City- They will be led by a solid junior class. They still don't have much size. Eastern- This will be an interesting group for Coach Hudson to coach. He has 2 big returns in Rippy and Valentine... and then a bunch of sophomores and freshmen. His JV wasn't strong... the 8th grade was average last year. The 2 returning seniors will have to be really good until the young ones can get up to speed. WRV- New coach... I think they have played some games the last week or so... but the word is their new coach wanted time to see his team before playing games. North Central- No idea... I can't imagine Coach Edmondson doesn't have them playing some games.
  22. Unique.. Dugger Union was always interesting... folks could just back their truck up within a few feet of the field. Pike Central mid 1990's- I remember the crown on the field was so high... you couldn't see below the knee at the 50. Best... Linton's Roy Williams Field is a pretty good place to watch a big game. I may be a little partial. Other thoughts... I like North Vermillion's field... the grass always seems to be in top notch condition Vincennes has a mixture of history/new facilities... I'm glad to see it is still being used after years of rumors to move them to the HS. Eastern Hancock- The coldest I have ever been standing on top of a press box was there. It was semi-state... cold... and really windy. Reitz Bowl- Really cool atmosphere with it sunken in around a whole neighborhood. It would be amazing with a grass field. The turf seems out of place and is in poor condition. Bosse's Enlow FIeld- We have only had scrimmages there, but it is a cool place. Grass would fit the atmosphere, but their turf is in good shape. Tell City is an interesting setting in the middle of town... sort of reminded me of Linton with fans outside of the stadium playing a role in the atmosphere.
  23. Outstanding group of unselfish ladies who just want to win... they have been a lot of fun to watch.
  24. What an interesting week for the SWIAC teams in their sectionals... Sectional 63 ... The lone conference team was the SWIAC Champion North Daviess Cougars... who had the hardest road to a sectional crown. A first game against Barr-Reeve followed by a potential championship game against Loogootee. Unfortunately, the Cougars lost 40-38 to the Vikings. The winner of this sectional will be expected to make a deep run. Barr-Reeve ended up defeating the Lions. Sectional 57... WRV was able to play 2 games which ended up being a big deal for Andrew Ellett who scored his 1,000 point. A first round win was nice for the Wolverines, but the Shakamak Lakers put them out in round 2. Bloomfield was probably favored to win the sectional... they took care of business against Clay City in round 1. The semi final round was against possibly the only team that seemed to have the horses to play with the Cardinals. I thought it was a long shot, but at least a possibility. The T-Birds not only beat the Cardinals, but by double digits. Word was Clark had a big game for North Central. Shakamak came into the sectional playing better basketball, but they still were a longshot. WRV in the semifinal was not a given. WRV posed potential problems if Ellett had a big game. I still don't think the Lakers would have any chance to defeat Bloomfield... but North Central... maybe. Matchups matter... and the Lakers got their perfect Championship game. Congratulations on the Lakers for a great Sectional title. Congratulations to the Lakers as they will travel to Martinsville to take on Indianapolis Tindley Sectional 47... Linton was the favorite, but also had the toughest road. South Knox, Eastern, and North Knox were on the slate to win their 3rd straight crown. Each team was capable of beating the Miners. South Knox played out the way it should have earlier in the year. The Miners shot better and put the Spartans away with some great defense, which hasn't always been their forte this season. The semi final matchup against Eastern would give Lincoln Hale a chance to show the T Birds how big of a difference he makes.... Oddly, it was their defense that was the deciding factor. For 2nd game in a row... Braden Walters made an Evan Slover level of effort on the defensive end. Not too many guys can dictate the direction of a game without the ball in their hands. North Knox on Saturday night was a trap game. The Warriors have steadily improved and play physical defense. If they could patiently move the ball and hit shots, they had a good chance to win. That is exactly what they did for the first 20 minutes of the game. If not for some big shots by Hale and some great defensive/hustle plays by Drew Smith, Josh Pyne, and Walters... the Miners could have been down double digits. The Miners did not match the physicality of the Warriors early on... then Pyne got a little worked up. Walters, Pyne, and Smith seemed to be the 1st to step up. Walters was a game changer on defense, while Hale started to attack the basket. I know there was talk about the number of fouls called in the 2nd half, but watching the game... it was pretty simple. The Warriors didn't take the ball to the basket in the 2nd half, while the Miners/Hale went to the basket. In defense of the Warriors, they were struggling against the Miner 1-3-1 defense and hitting lots of 3 pointers. Congratulations to the Miners as they will travel to Huntingburg to face of against Southwestern Hanover.
  25. A lot of games in just a week or so with the season winding down. This past weekend cemented some of the standings within the conference. Friday night... Linton @ North Daviess- The Miner faithful started the evening watching their JV hand North Daviess JV their first loss of the season on a last second shot. The Miners were up, but turnovers, a couple dumb fouls, and a few made shots by the Cougars made the game closer than it should have been. It was an entertaining start to the evening. As for the varsity contest, this was for a share of the conference title. The Cougars seemed to take a page out of the book of Eastern and Greencastle... move the ball around on offense... hit 3 pointers play physical defense. In all 3 of those games, those teams moved the ball well and hit open 3 pointers. In each of those games the Miners saw teams hit 8+ three pointers. Although the Miners have some good individual defenders... they are not really a very good team defense. They don't rotate well to the next guy while in their man defense... they are often out of position when in their 1-3-1. Nobody cares when you are making steals, but all 3 of those games... teams were patient and made shots. Sort of odd considering the Linton JV is really solid on defense, but struggles to score. Either way... the Cougars had a plan and executed it well. On offense, Jaylen Mullen drove a kicked out to open shooters... he hit three 3 pointers of his own. He was outstanding the whole night. Defensively, they put athletes on Hale and Hart who were going to hand check them all over the floor. I was mildly impressed with their ability to grab a jersey without an official seeing it. Throughout the year... both of those guys have had mixed results when physical defenders are allowed to bumo them. Sometimes officials call that... they never call those type of fouls at North Daviess. Pyne and Smith seemed to be the only Miners ready for a physical battle. After all... when in Rome?? Oddly, the JV game was similar... The Cougars were aggressive on defense... its just the Miners start 3 guys that are 215+ and don't get pushed around easily... in fact... they seem to enjoy the contact. They also bring in an all state free safety in off the bench 😉 The varsity contest was a good win for the Cougars... they took what they knew about Linton's weaknesses and exploited them. If the Miners want to make a deep run... they need to figure out how to play through physical play and rotate better on the defensive end. Bloomfield over Greencastle- Good win for the Cardinals. I really liked Greencastle's stud guard. He was really good in the Wabash Valley Tournament. Saturday night... Bloomfield lost to New Albany- We don't get to see 80-73 games very often these days. Losses are losses, but this seems like a loss that would help the Cardinals for the postseason. Linton defeats North Central... again- North Central is solid... the Miners played uninspired basketball for most of the game. Everytime the Miners would extend the lead to 10+ points... the T-Birds would come back. I think it was as close as 1 point in the 4th quarter. Tough to beat a team 3 times in a season, but the Miners seemed to move on defense with the same lack of purpose as the night before. They also did a poor job rebounding and coming away with those 50/50 balls. Maybe it was 2 games in 15 hours, but they just seemed uninterested. Lincoln Hale became the leader scorer in Greene county basketball history surpassing AJ Graves. Nice company to be in. The Miners will need to be better for TH South and North Putnam this week. North Daviess defeated Bloomington Lighthouse- Not a shocker Eastern loss a close match up with Paoli- Paoli has a strong senior big man... I'm sure they are the mix to win their sectional. Shakamak over WRV- Good win for the Lakers. Sort of sad that WRV couldn't score 30 points. I figured this would be a game Ellett would have his way around the basket. I guess not.
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