It's customary for fans to greet the Guerin Catholic starters - one-by-one - with generous applause at every home soccer match.
On Saturday night, though, before the top-ranked Golden Eagles soared to a 4-1 victory against the No. 6 Northwestern Tigers in the Class A Regional 12 championship, an anticipation grew as the announcer made his way down the lineup to No. 23.
"Andrew Kaskie," the PA announcer exclaimed.
Those two words enthused the crowd into a frenzy and for good reason. Out with a concussion the entire postseason, Kaskie hadn't stepped foot on the field in two weeks, and his timing for a comeback couldn't have been planned any better.
INDIANAPOLIS - Carmel's bid for an undefeated season and state championship was ended by a team they beat earlier in the season.
North Central swept the singles matches to defeat Carmel, 3-2, in the Indiana High School Athletic Association team tennis state championship on Saturday, moved indoors to the Indianapolis Racquet Club due to weather.
But this wasn't necessarily the case of a letdown on Carmel's end because the Greyhounds weren't facing the same Panthers lineup they defeated in a regular-season match by the same score.
North Central had a key player back in the lineup: No. 3 singles player J.T. Wynne, who missed the regular-season matchup with a concussion.
With little surprise to most, the top-ranked Carmel Greyhounds boys and girls cross country teams swept the Noblesville Regional at White River Elementary on Saturday morning. With neither team having the top-overall finisher, they used a strong team effort to take home the crown.
In the girls' race, the Greyhounds used five top-11 finishes to cruise to the regional championship. Senior Anna Schmitz led the way for the Greyhounds with a fourth place finish at 18 minutes, 39 seconds. Carmel ran six athletes that didn't participate in last week's sectional.
Carmel head coach Mark Ellington praised his team's effort on Saturday.
LOGANSPORT - With wintry winds swirling about and rain drops falling steadily from overhead, the Fishers Tigers huddled at midfield in a red and white cluster looking to Ben Beasley for their cue.
Encircled by his players, fans and parents wielding umbrellas and cameras, Beasley surveyed the scene with his archetypal and unruffled expression. First came a subtle grin chased by a broad smile. He rocked in place and paced around, then sprang into action.
It was time to let loose. Defeating the Marion Giants (13-5-1) in decisive fashion 4-0 on Saturday afternoon to win the Class 2A Logansport Regional title, the Tigers (13-1-6) celebrated like they do after any big win. A victory chant was in order led by their customarily reserved head coach.
"He has a different mindset when he gets to the field," junior Hannah Sullivan said after the team happily adjourned to the warmth of the bus. "On the rides to games, he's goofy and it's funny, but on the field he's very calm and also serious. Then, he's goofy and funny again. We all share the same vibe as him.
"He's our main influence. We look to him to see what to do and how to do it." Sunday, October 19, 2014
The Hamilton Heights girls soccer team fell just short of what would have been their third regional title in program history. The Huskies lost in overtime to the 14th-ranked West Lafayette Red Devils 2-1 on Saturday.
The usually potent Huskies' offense was held to just one goal or fewer for only the fifth time this season. The reliable goal scorers of senior Amanda Freeman, junior Sierra Welch and sophomore Abby Hardacre were kept largely in check by the Red Devils' defense.
The West Lafayette defense held Hamilton Heights to just four shots in the match. In contrast, the Red Devils attempted 26 shots and had 13 shots on goal.
West Lafayette started the game off early with a goal in the seventh minute of the contest. Junior Kylie Tracanna found the back of the net off a cross from senior Hayley Karpick to give the Red Devils the 1-0 lead.
The Red Devils played great defense to keep the Huskies off of the scoreboard for much of the morning. The effort from players like Shannon Berry and the rest of the Red Devil defense limited the Huskies opportunities to a minimum.
But Huskies Hannah Cochran was able to score a goal late in the second half to send the game into overtime. She scored on a free kick just a few yards outside of the box. It was her fourth goal of the season, and it couldn't have come at a better time for the Huskies.
In overtime, the Huskies had a few great chances for shots on goal, but the ball would instead get bounced back off of the crossbar. Sunday, October 19, 2014
SHARPSVILLE - As the Tri-Central Trojans celebrated their second consecutive Hoosier Heartland Conference championship a few yards away, Sheridan head coach Bud "Larry" Wright had a singular reflection.
"The third quarter killed us," Wright said after his team fell to seventh-ranked Trojans in the regular-season finale 40-21. "We didn't have the ball very much at all."
Deadlocked in a 14-14 tie at halftime, the Sheridan Blackhawks (5-4, 3-1) had kept pace via the home run play, scoring on a 55-yard touchdown run by Austin Hoover in the first quarter to cut the deficit 8-7.
The Hamilton Southeastern Royals scored early and often to defeat Hoosier Crossroads conference rival Brownsburg 36-0.
Aaron Matio did most of the heavy lifting for the Royals as they cruised to an easy victory. Mattio scored three times from inside the 10-yard line and finished the night with 109 yards from scrimmage on 20 carries.
Quarterback Carter Poiry also got in on the action tossing two touchdown passes. He found Greg Miller for a 17-yard touchdown throw late in the second quarter. In the third quarter he found Chris Ford for a 32-yard touchdown to make the game 36-0 after the extra point.
The Guerin Catholic Golden Eagles shutout the Culver Academy Eagles on the road 27-0 on Friday night.
Quarterback Matt Labus led the way for the Golden Eagles tossing three touchdowns on the night and 105 yards on eight completions. Running back Johny Swidan rushed for a score of his own and picked up 138 yards on 26 touches.
Everything was clicking for the Golden Eagles, who were coming off a hard loss last Friday to Bishop Chatard. They averaged about six yards a play on offense and gained a total of 278 yards altogether.
Noblesville couldn't contain a tough running back for the second week in a row, dropping a 21-16 contest to Avon Friday at Hare Chevrolet Field.
Avon senior Derrick Tennant rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns and his success helped keep the Millers off the field for much of the fourth quarter as they tried to mount a comeback. This came a week after surrendering 123 yards and two touchdowns to Brownsburg's Toks Akinribade in an overtime win.
However, the Miller defense gave Noblesville a chance to win late in the game. Saturday, October 18, 2014
The Hamilton Heights Huskies are postseason ready. Needing only 24 minutes to build a 33-point lead against Mid-Indiana Conference foe Peru, the Huskies (7-2, 6-1) cruised to a 40-0 victory on Friday night.
Prior to the game Class 3A Hamilton Heights had limited its opponents to 11.2 points per game and 25 points in the past three contests. Tonight's shutout marked the team's second in four weeks and third this season.
Grant Weatherford kicked off the onslaught against Peru (3-6, 2-5) in the first quarter with a fumble recovery and 60-yard return for a touchdown to put Hamilton Heights up 6-0. The senior added a 12-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, capping the Huskies' scoring drive to increase the margin 12-0. Weatherford rushed for 16 yards but paced the receiving corp. with 88 yards on five catches. Saturday, October 18, 2014
WESTFIELD -- The Westfield Shamrocks blasted the visiting George Washington Continentals 42-0 on Westfield's senior night at Stanley Stadium.
However, the Shamrocks didn't have an error-free night of fun. They struggled holding on to the football early in the game and fumbled the ball four times throughout the contest. Washington was able to grab three of the loose balls, but fortunately they weren't able to do anything with their possessions.
Heading into next week coach Jake Gilbert said that turnovers will be a focal point in practice. Saturday, October 18, 2014
CARMEL -- The Class 6A No. 1 ranked Carmel Greyhounds (8-0) played the last game of the regular season on Friday night, defeating Lawrence Central 27-20.
The Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference champions will continue fighting toward their goal of finishing undefeated for the first time in 28 years after a game that left the crowd holding their breath until the clock ran out.
In a conference battle, Carmel defeated the previously unbeaten Warren Central Warriors (7-1) on the road last week 17-10. With a strong defensive effort, the Greyhounds were able to do something no other team has been able to do this season - hold the Warriors to merely ten points. Saturday, October 18, 2014
Who says there's nothing to play for in the last week of the football regular season? Honestly, nothing can be further from the truth. With the Indiana High School Athletic Association football state tournament a week away from opening night, things aren't winding down. They're heating up, and no other race is as hot as the Hoosier Heartland Conference.
As most in Northwest Hamilton County will recall, the title came down to Tri-Central and Sheridan last year. Tri-Central won the HHC championship outright with a 4-0 standing and a 14-1 record overall. Not to mention, they went on to win its first Class A state title. Sheridan was second at 3-1 and 5-6 overall. It marked the first losing season for Sheridan, a nine-time state champion, since 2009.
In what has become a yearly tradition, top-ranked Carmel ventures to Indianapolis this weekend for the boys team tennis state finals.
Making the short trek south in each of the previous five seasons, this fall marks the sixth consecutive year and 12th time overall the Greyhounds have advanced to the state finals since 1980.
The program won three straight state championships from 2010-12, but fell short of a four-peat last year in the state semifinals 3-2 against eventual champion North Central, who coincidently was the last team to win four continuous state titles.
This year, the Greyhounds appear poised to reclaim the crown.