And so it begins.
Monday will mark the start of another high school sports year. As a fall athlete I always loved the fall season the best. Practices would start hot and quickly turn to long pants and sweatshirts by the end of the cross country season. As a football fan I would dread the beginning of the season at North Montgomery, because the sun stayed in the sky for more than half of the game and blinded you until it disappeared below the horizon.
Fall has always been my favorite, because we have such a variety of things going on. While baseball and softball are probably my favorite sports to be around, and after-all we do live in the basketball state, there is just something special about fall. Golf meets start early in August, girls and boys soccer games are scattered throughout the week, you can hit a tennis match before going inside to get out of the heat and watch volleyball, cross country meets on Saturday, and nothing can beat Friday night lights.
This will be my first fall sports season as a full-time employee for any newspaper, and while I’ve covered each fall team in our area over the last eight years, I am excited to dig deep into the talented athletes and interesting stories that will unfold over the next three months.
Some might say that we haven’t had good football in our area for a while, or that fall sports are one of the weakest spots, but I have a simple answer to those naysayers.
All of the athletes and coaches at Crawfordsville, Fountain Central, North Montgomery, and Southmont starting Monday will put forth 100 percent of their effort for the duration of their season, some teams will surprise with triumph and some will shock with disappointment, but at the end of the day they will all have a story, and my plan is to be there to tell it.
I wanted to take some time to highlight some of the key teams and athletes that I am most excited about covering this fall.
Crawfordsville football will be under new direction this fall with 1987 North Montgomery graduate Kurt Schlicher taking the reigns, and a lot of hype is surrounding the program moving forward. It will be a process, but I’m eager to see how it unfolds in the next few years. The Athenians open the season at home on Aug. 23 against Greencastle.
The Southmont girl’s golf team could easily be the most talented team in the county this fall. With seniors Logan Berrisford, Lexi Rusk, Bailey Thompson, Carson White, and Erin Williams — a team that has improved each of the last three seasons is poised to compete for county, conference and sectional championships this season. They get things started on Monday at the Seeger Invitational at Harrison Hills Golf Club in Attica, where they won and Thompson took medalist honors last August.
Last season Lexi Nelson and Sidney Veatch took the volleyball world by storm for Southmont and I’m looking forward to see the continued program build by coach Lauren Nichols, and don’t rule out Crawfordsville and North Montgomery volleyball under the direction of two longtime coaches in Kelly Johnson and Jodi Webster.
At North Montgomery Sidney Campbell is well on her way to owning every record in the history of the girls soccer program. After a team record-setting year last fall, it will be interesting to see if Campbell’s goal-scoring capabilities will be able to counter the talented defenders the Chargers lost from graduation.
In cross country, Crawfordsville is setting themselves up for a historic boys season, while Madison Fry will look to cap a stellar four-year career. At Fountain Central, a storied boys program will turn to Carson Pietrzak as he looks to fill the shoes of his big brother Logan.
All in all, I’m looking forward to the fall sports season, It has been a blessing to have the break I have had, and I have been fortunate enough to do a lot of things this summer, but like most of the athletes and coaches, I’m ready to get back to the grind.
Let the fun begin!
Jared McMurry was born and raised in Montgomery County and is the Sports Editor of the Journal Review. He can be reached by phone at 765-918-8656 or by email at email@example.com