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Amey Takes Aim

March 26, 2012

AMEY TAKES AIM: Rox well represented on Amey teams

If having the state finals in town makes it a successful girls high school basketball season, then certainly having a team to follow at the state finals makes it a very successful boys high school basketball season; better than that, I have to think, if games were 33 minutes long instead of only 32.

Yes, I know I’m in uncharted waters here, setting a record with two columns in two days, but there’s a good reason. The Ameys are getting ready to go on vacation (hold the applause, even though I keep hearing there are folks ready for another vacation column), and for a very special reason: Jenny and I haven’t met our first great-grandson yet, and he’s almost six months old.

Feel free to tell either one of us that we are far too young for such a thing at every possible opportunity, by the way.

Without further ado, the Amey boys teams:

Two of my captains of the Clutch Team have been mentioned together so often this season for all the qualities this team exemplifies that it would be a shame to split them up now. Matt O’Leary and Ross Sponsler of Terre Haute North were fantastic leaders all season, and Jordan Houser of West Vigo did the same for his team.

Their teammates are John Ashcraft and Cade Hill of White River Valley; Logan Cannady and Jacob Duncan of Marshall; Ben Denker of Clay City; Brock Dowell of Shakamak; Ben Hays and Ryan O’Neall of Bloomfield; Jansen Hight and Trent Whitton of Owen Valley; Nick Hutcheson and Hayden Stuckwisch of Greencastle; Austin Karazsia of Linton; Kade Lawson of South Vermillion; Lane Mahurin and Gary Ulrich of Rockville; Dalton McCool and Brayden Woodard of North Vermillion; Kaleb Pirtle, Rhett Smith and Brooks Weszely of Sullivan; Aaron Siler of Robinson; Tyler Strain of North Central; Tyler Talpas of Union; Jeffrey Turner of Terre Haute South; and Brandon Wolfe of Casey.

There were a lot of candidates for the Competitors Team this year, as usual, but I think I can limit it to one captain: Phillip Harpenau of South Vermillion.

Other battlers are Calvin Blank, Nate Jahn and Chris Schenck of North; Ethan Blankenship, Zach Murphy and Jeremy Nichols of Casey; Jared Boyll and Taylor Sanders of Marshall; Blake Cesinger and Brylan Jones of Clay City; Nate Christy and Nick Gilliam of Greencastle; Lane Clark and Kody Zumwalt of North Vermillion; Justin Crody and Brett Yeryar of Shakamak; Zach Danks and Derrick Nicholas of Robinson; Kyle Doane and Jared Myers of Bloomfield; Blake Eaton and Dess Fougerousse of Linton; Ethan Fettig and Seth Gambill of Union; Matt Haltom and Riley Stohler of Riverton Parke; Jeff Hogue and Luke Mowery of White River Valley; Damon Hyatt, Daniel Kimball and Chance Talbot of Northview; Cody Jeffries of Rockville; Jake Kinnaman and James Lisman of Sullivan; Tod Lebeda and Connor Strain of North Central; Holden Smith, Jermaine Smith, Lucas Steward and Peter Tanoos of South; Kyle Stewart and Cody Thornton of West Vigo; Riley Sunderman and Jeff Woods of Turkey Run; and Josh Vaughan and Logan Waldrop of South Vermillion.

The captains of the Unsung Team have gotten so much notoriety for what they do best — play defense — that they may not even be eligible for this team anymore. I’ll excuse it by saying only the real aficianados appreciate work like stoppers Austin Lewis of North and Joel Wittenmyer of Rockville do.

Even less heralded are their teammates: Ben Allen, Kaleb Oldham, Josh Parker and Dalton Vest of Owen Valley; Jeb Batchelor, Christian Burris and Kyle Schubla of Shakamak; Bryce Bement, Lance Ellett and Caleb Turner of Sullivan; Zac Birdsong, Sterling Langley and Ethan Secrest of Union; Cray Bloodworth and Taylor Maurer of Marshall; Cory Blount and Bryant Scott of Robinson; Jackson Bohnert, Ben Brown and Koye Kaiser of Linton; Ross Brown and Kyle Wheeler of Rockville; Robert Buka and Kyle Robinson of Bloomfield; Adrien Corenflos and Dustin Gilbert of West Vigo; Nate Coulter and Nathan Luft of South Vermillion; Steven Davis and Charles Dillahunt of North; Cory Edge, Gary Secuskie, Wade Stites, Cody Vauters and Adam Wilson of Riverton Parke; Austin England, Shane Stanley and Preston Tofaute of South; Tyler Goddard, Schuyler Jeffers and Dallas Thomas of Turkey Run; Travis Hakman and Jacob Ninesling of Northview; Brad Haussin and Trevor Huber of Greencastle; Matt McCown and A.J. McNeil of Casey; Jordan O’Haver of White River Valley; Aaron Stone, Seth Vanschoyck and Landon Worrell of North Central; Jake Tiefel of Clay City; and Dalton Weaver of North Vermillion.

My Unselfish Team captain has fascinated me for the last couple of years now. Some games he barely plays at all, depending on matchups, but against the right people he’s among the most important players on his team. That’s Bryant Pestoff of Northview.

Others who put their team ahead of themselves are Nathan Buell, Koby Rhodes and Kole Smith of Clay City; Matt Cory, Austin Jones and Justin Paddock of Turkey Run; Braden Cox, Drake Schlomer and Mark West of Shakamak; Brandon Flater and Ryan Woodward of Linton; Logan Gardner and Chad Keyt of Greencastle; Jared Gilstrap, David Parker and Evan Rice of Owen Valley; Shane Herrell and Warren Whithaus of Robinson; Aaron Hines of South Vermillion; Landry Huisinga, Pat McCown and K.J. Wade of Casey; Nick Johnson of White River Valley; Taylor Kilgore and Rylan Smith of North Vermillion; Ian Long and Monte Stevenson of South; Bryce McGlothlin of Bloomfield; Drew Shreve and Jacob Todd of Union; and Nate Wake and Matt Wheeler of Rockville.

A lot of players got better from last year to this year or from the beginning of the season to the end of it. But only one emerged as a key player on a state-finals team, so the Most Improved Team captain is Jordon McFall of Rockville.

Others who emerged were Tyler Allen of Clay City; Jake Amstutz of Turkey Run; Aaron Bellgraph and Lester Moore of North Central; Sean Benford, Danny Etling, Kevaris Gregory and Logan Steward of South; Walker Berner and Thomas Sisson of Marshall; Drew Bolin and Trivette Scales of Casey; Brendon Bovair and Aaron Hill of Riverton Parke; Dakota Brown of Union; Brodie Crowe and Patrick Green of Shakamak; A.J. Grady, Nathan Paul-Bonham and Casey Vickers of North; Nathan Gregg and Cade Lindsey of West Vigo; Curtis Hasler of Bloomfield; Gavan Marx of Sullivan; Michael Muncie and Jesse Tesmer of Greencastle; Craig Peters and Dillon Reynolds of Northview; Brayden Scott of Robinson; and Kam Weyrauch of South Vermillion.

Captain of the Most Promising Team got very little time to show it, but Ethan Whitson of Northview certainly looks like a player to watch in the future.

Others are Michael Akande of Robinson; Joe Ball of Northview; Jordan Branz, Cole Morgan, Kole Sanders and Tristan Spivey of South Vermillion; Dylan Collins and Brandon Morin of Shakamak; Sam Dyar and Bryant Jackson of Linton; Michael Fisher of White River Valley; Ian Hamburg of Union; Alex Harbison, Noah Nevins and Jarred Russell of Turkey Run; Patrick Hart and Evan Low of North; Nolan King and Ethan Sparks of Owen Valley; Jimmy Maples of West Vigo; Baylor Myers of Marshall; Damon Olds of South; and Isiah Thurman, Nick Waltz, Tre Wilkey and Trevor Woodard of Rockville.

Whitson, unfortunately, is also a member of a team of players who suffered injuries that cost them all or significant parts of the season. Among others on it are Cannady of Marshall; Mahurin, Wake and Clint White of Rockville; Preston Rieck of Casey; and Logan Steward of South.

But lefties, I haven’t forgotten you. Seniors Ben Brown of Linton and Kole Smith of Clay City are its captains because of their buzzer-beating junior varsity shots a couple of years ago — 50 feet for Kole, 75 for Ben. Their teammares are Berner and Myers of Marshall; Danks of Robinson; Gregory and Logan Steward of South; Sam Huisinga and Nichols of Casey; Kilgore, Smith and Jordan West of North Vermillion; Turner of Sullivan; and Whitton of Owen Valley.

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Amey Takes Aim
  • Andy Amey: Just a small trip to talk about this time

    To paraphrase Carl Spackler, the heavy stuff’s not going to come for quite awhile. So while it’s true that I’m back from a week’s vacation, it’s not time — yet — for the big vacation column. Trips to Noblesville, Brunswick and Reelsville, while providing some nice family time, don’t really have the cachet to fill newspaper space.

    July 11, 2014

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    I’ve often had the weird thought that it would be nice to be able to attend my own funeral — in some kind of cognitive state, of course.
    Seeing what people show up to say nice things about me (or bad things, although I’ve never known that to happen and I’ve been to quite a few funerals) would be very interesting, maybe a little heart-warming (a relative term in that circumstance).

    May 14, 2014

  • SPT 013114 AIMONE FILE.jpg Amey Takes Aim: Columnist’s boys basketball tradition continues

    In marked contrast to my recent whiny column about girls basketball, I was blessed this winter to see virtually every high school team in the Wabash Valley during the boys season.
    Some might suggest that was a mixed blessing, since a few of our teams weren’t as successful as they are used to being (particularly in the 2014 portion of the season), but the Tribune-Star was still involved with two teams that came within a game of the state finals, one of them in an Indiana final four (no capitalization anymore, new system) and two teams that were in the top eight of their class. That’s only three great teams — Paris was both a game away and in the final eight — but that’s still a pretty good haul.

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    This column was falling into place nicely until about 1:15 p.m. Saturday. Then youth and inexperience reared up to bite it.

    January 1, 2014

  • This time don't use your head

    My personal suggestion is leather helmets.
    As frightening data on concussions filters its way from the National Football League on down to colleges, high schools and youth leagues, I can’t help but think back to the time when I was standing on the sidelines watching my teammates play.

    December 12, 2013

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: WNBA is part of travel plans

    Columnist prepares for vacation destinations.

    July 4, 2013

  • Amey Takes Aim: NHL playoffs to put TVs to good use

    If Jenny had known, she probably wouldn’t have bought that TV.
    But four or five years ago, my Fathers Day present — for those unfamiliar with Amey family traditions, the Fathers Day one is “let’s get something we all really want and pretend it’s a gift for Dad” — was a 42-inch Vizio. It’s been used even more than the cell phone I never would have bought for myself, or the TomTom that disappeared since Jenny’s smartphone arrived.
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    April 25, 2013

  • Amey Takes Aim: Can’t bottle the joy of Amey vacations

    The first bad sign was the Gatorade bottle.
    In the Bataan-Death-March drive to Orlando that got the Amey family spring break vacation off to a bad start, seeing it between lanes of I-24 — as we zipped along at a 100-miles-in-five-hours clip — filled with an ominous yellow liquid was a little bit scary. And although we didn't stop to check for sure, I'm fairly certain I knew about its contents.
    And the person stuck in the same traffic jam with us, the one with the existential license plate YMIHR4, couldn’t have asked a more pertinent question.
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    April 14, 2013

  • SPT 123112 MAHURIN FILE.jpg ANDY AMEY: Farewell to basketball

    I believe you’ve heard me say before — just about a year ago, perhaps — that a boys high school basketball season that ends with the Tribune-Star in Bankers Life Fieldhouse can’t be considered a bad one, which is why we have a little celebrating to do thanks to the Linton Miners.
    Lover of irony that I am, I’ve also got to point out that this season was another branch sprouting from the Wabash Valley’s most legendary coaching tree, that of Joe Hart.
    Joe never got much credit for his work at Dugger, but he took Brody Boyd, Clark Golish and the Bulldogs to a state championship game in 2000, and since then three of his former players — Joe Pigg, Clint Swan and now Joey Hart, his son — also have coached teams in the final game of the season.
    Joe probably wishes he could take credit for Doc Nash, another down-home type who gave a banjo lesson earlier Saturday in leading Borden past a bigger, more athletic Triton team (banjo lesson is a Howard Sharpism, for you younger readers), but his lineage is still the best I can think of around here.

    March 27, 2013 4 Photos

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: Maroons, Rox final a true Classic

    I don’t make predictions nearly as often as I used to, but I had one several months ago that was proven correct last week.

    January 7, 2013

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: Nitpicking aside, West Vigo Hall of Fame selections spot on

    I can’t imagine a better first class of inductees into the West Vigo High School Athletics Hall of Fame than the one that was feted Saturday night in the Jim Mann Green Dome.

    November 8, 2012

  • SPT090812THNFBbarrett.jpg Tough bunch of people

    I’m getting my warm clothes ready for a trip to Linton this week, and if a few thrills from the Miners, Casey or North Vermillion happen the next couple of weeks, I hope I get to see them.
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    Walking the sidelines and doing midweek or postgame interviews enables me to meet quite a few of the guys whose names you are about to read, and haven’t been more impressed than I was this fall. What outstanding groups of young men. What a tough, tough bunch of people.
    Many know that one of my favorite athletic adjectives appeared consecutively in the previous sentence.

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    They’re all still pretty hale and hearty, the boys of the fall of 1972 who returned to campus over the weekend to honor their former football coach.

    October 8, 2012

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    One of the wrestlers I used to hang out with occasionally claimed to be a pretty good second-story man — although he may have just been talking, since I never saw any of the goods — and it was with him in mind that I was able to get access to the Indiana State Wrestling Alumni Reunion late Saturday night.

    July 26, 2012

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    If having the state finals in town makes it a successful girls high school basketball season, then certainly having a team to follow at the state finals makes it a very successful boys high school basketball season . . .

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  • SPT 032412 MCFALL FALLS.jpg AMEY TAKES AIM: A feeling of pride, not disappointment, comes from watching Rox play

    It’s not going to come as a startling admission that I — once the rest of the local opposition has been eliminated from consideration — am an unabashed fan of whatever team the Wabash Valley sends onward in postseason high school sports competition.

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  • AMEY TAKES AIM: This private school plays basketball the right way

    Any girls high school basketball season that ends with state championship games in Hulman Center is a pretty good one — even though I wished I’d seen Riverton Parke and Seeger knock off a couple of private schools the week before to even the public school-private school battle a little bit.

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  • AMEY TAKES AIM: Harrowing path for state hopefuls

    The bad news is that the winner of Class 4A Sectional 13 in boys basketball heads northeast instead of southeast for regional play in March — to Hinkle Fieldhouse instead of Seymour as a result of Indiana High School Athletic Association’s changes.

    January 23, 2012

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    January 16, 2012

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    For many, many years, the number of live games televised on WGN has been cited as perhaps the main reason for the popularity of the Chicago Cubs (it’s got to be something besides masochism, right?).

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    When one of the first people you meet is Tammy Wynette’s stepdaughter, when you’ve stepped on the feet of people you haven’t met while trying to navigate Ernest Tubbs’ old Silver Eagle tour bus, and when the activities director of your resort is, well, Elvis, you might be vacationing in Nashville.

    April 14, 2011

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