High School Sports

FOOTBALL PREVIEW

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Athenians have winning on their mind

The goal for Kurt Schlicher’s Athenian football team in his second year at the helm is very simple.

Win football games.

“Our goal is to win, regardless who the opponent is,” Schlicher said. “Last season is in the rearview mirror. Our players are anxious to go out and compete against opponents and show that we can play winning football at CHS.”

Crawfordsville posted a 1-9 record last season, and graduated a number of skill players, but do return a strong core for the 2020 season. Seniors Nathan Schroeter, Moises Mora, Peyton Busenbark, Corbin Smith, Keegan Abney, Jack Pendleton, and Andrew Martin are all back along with juniors Alex Hernandez, Evan Chaney, Kaigen Fields, Ethan Powell, and sophomore Mikale Willis. The Athenians also expect freshman Ethan Mclemore, juniors Gavin Kenny, Ethan Patton, Nick Busenbark, and seniors Eli French and Trey Mclemore to make the jump to varsity this season.

Schlicher understands the talent amongst the Athenians in the Sagamore Conference, including powerhouse Lebanon, two-time defending state champion Western Boone and a semi-state finalist in 2019 in Danville, and knows each opponent will be tough week in and week out.

“The Sagamore Conference is one of the best in the state in terms of talent and coaching in Indiana based on the school enrollments,” he said. “We understand that every team will present an enormous challenge for us.”

Mustangs ready to push toward success again

VEEDERSBURG —  After a winless season in 2019, the Fountain Central football team is ready to steer back in the right direction.

“Our goals are to improve every week, be great teammates, play the game the right way, and compete at all times,” Fountain Central coach Ryan Hall said.

The Mustangs return quarterback Seth Gayler and running back Austin Pickett, along with Luke Adams, Layne Lynch, Matthew Alexander, Luke Foxworthy, Colton Badgley, Cole Kirkpatrick, Imanol Barradas, and Jordan Melvin. 

Hall says they spent a lot of time together via Zoom and Google Classroom during the pandemic, and believes their returning experience will pay off in 2020.

“We are hoping our seniors and juniors who got a lot of playing time last year will guide us in the right direction,” he said. “We lacked experience last year, now we are hoping we grew from last year.”

Fountain Central will also look to A.J. Hall, Owen Acton, Isaac Gayler, Joe Sims, Dawson Blue, and Eli Davis to step up at the varsity level this season.

Chargers look to reload

LINDEN — The North Montgomery football team had its first winning season in 2019 since 2015, and used a lot of senior depth to achieve it, but the goals and objectives will continue to remain the same in 2020.

“Our yearly goals are to win the county, conference and sectional,” Chargers coach Josh Thompson said. “Continual improvement is a program trait that we teach to our players every year. We talk to them about getting one percent better each day and that we must always be improving.”

Returning for the Chargers are Zak Searle, Jacob Braun, Kolton Scrimager, Logan Kelly, Nick Ebaugh, and Benjamin Pietsch. North Montgomery will also welcome newcomers Jamyson Roche, Dylan Braun, Jordam Miller, Donavan Haworth, Nick Norman, and Joel Clouser to the varsity this season.

The long layoff in the spring and early summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic can especially hurt a team with as much youth as the Chargers will have this fall, but Thompson feels confident his team got better during the time away.

“Our players have been great with everything we have asked them to do this year,” he said. “They have cooperated with us and I think in the long run it is going to pay off for them.”

Mounties happy to be competing

NEW MARKET — Southmont football will be looking to improve on its 3-7 record from 2019, but more importantly, the Mounties are just eager to return to the field.

“Every year I think you come into a year hoping the kids buy in to something bigger than themselves,” longtime Southmont coach Desson Hannum said. “That they become a team and are unselfish. This year more than any other year, we are hoping to have the opportunity to play and compete each and every week of our season. For kids to have the opportunity to compete with their friends in the sport or sports that they love.”

Much like other fall athletic teams across the state, the Mounties are eager to start the season after spring and summer workouts were put on hold due the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mounties only return a bit of experience in Isaiah McMaster, Brady Boller, Carson Chadd, and Riley Woodall, but do expect big things out of newcomers Trip Ward, Cale Hess, Wyatt Woodall, EJ Brewer, Will Cody, Kasey Line, Waylon Gomez, and Nolan Boyer.

“We have a lot of new faces this season,” Hannum said “We are young and lack experience, so it will key for us to have our experienced players step up and lead. For this team to be successful they have to first believe that they can compete each and every week regardless of the opponent. Being unselfish, accepting coaching, and a work ethic to get better everyday will be important to creating the winning mentality that it will take be successful this season.”

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