News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 22, 2009

Amey Takes Aim: Postseason success is still possible for many Valley teams

By Andy Amey

In the past few weeks, when we’ve been so busy that this column has found neither time nor space to appear, you’ve missed a lot of really good predictions.

I was fully prepared to tell you that the Cardinals were going to win it all in major league baseball and that the Colts would be finishing third in the their division of the National Football League. Now I don’t have to take back those words.

I might also have tried to figure scenarios that would be best for Wabash Valley high school football teams in Indiana to make long playoff runs.

Lots of postseason success is still possible, but certainly not because the Indiana High School Athletic Association did any of our teams any favors. I am hard pressed right now, a little more than 24 hours before postseason football begins, to think of any of my teams with a fortuitous draw.

I guess we’ll have to make our own breaks.

There is still time to tell you about volleyball, which is a good-news, bad-news deal for the three best teams in this area.

The good news is that the Class 4A sectional — which features a defending champion Terre Haute South team that’s beaten Terre Haute North which has beaten Northview which has split with South — includes at least two other teams with similar skills and credentials. Absolutely anything can happen in the five matches that will determine the 2009 champion today and Saturday, and all five could be heart-stopping.

The bad news, of course, is that the tournament is at Martinsville.

Continuing down that path, more good news is that such a situation probably assures a championship match between two of the three western representatives — a match some of their fans probably won’t get to see — just as the 2010 championship match, coming back to a western site, will probably feature Plainfield vs. Martinsville or one of those teams vs. Mooresville.

Which came first, class sports or irony and cynicism?

There is volleyball closer to here, however. West Vigo is host for the Class 3A tournament, during which a lot of teams will probably be scheming to think of a way to beat Sullivan; there are at least three contenders in a Class A sectional at Shakamak; and an entertaining Rockville team is the favorite at Covington.

Any or all of those tournaments are worth a look or two. And for fans of the Braves, Knights and Patriots, try to remember — as I always try to remember — that there are speed traps on Indiana 67 between Gosport and Martinsville, particularly after dark.

• • •

• With gratitude — It’s been almost 20 years since I met Rachel and her friend Evalee while refereeing one of their Clay City basketball games and, as Darcy would say, I had no clue that one day I’d be marrying Rachel’s mother with Rachel and Evalee tending the guest book at the ceremony.

Nor, of course, that I’d be speaking one day at Rachel’s funeral.

You may remember me writing a few years ago about how tough Rachel was as she fought off her second round of cancer. The fifth round proved to be too much, but the Princess in pink was a fighter; it’s going to be fun to watch Garrett grow up with all the great qualities he got from her and from his dad Ryan.

Not all of you were there to hear my speech about her, and its gist needs to be in public domain anyway. A lot of great things have happened in my life in the last 15 years, none of which would have been possible without the girl who helped her mom through some tough times until I could take over that job.

Thanks, Rach.

Andy Amey can be reached after 4 p.m. for comments or news items at (812) 231-4277 or at 1-800-783-8742; by e-mail at; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN, 47808; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.