Isn’t it about time for the Rockville-Linton high school football game? And can you have too many games between Casey and Marshall?
Both those scenarios could be a little more than a week away, provided the four teams take care of playoff business Friday and Saturday.
Linton and Rockville actually don’t appear on each other’s schedules, although by this time they may as well. The two schools have staged a pair of exciting games the past two seasons for Class A regional championships — and, by extension, the Indiana small-school championship of the Tribune-Star area — and have been stopped after that only by future state champions Sheridan (over Rockville in the RCA Dome in 2007) and Indianapolis Ritter (in a spell-binding semistate game at Linton last November).
Neither Rox nor Miners were probably picked to be playing in November when the season started. Graduation ripped away the so-called skill-position players from both teams.
Well guess what. At Rockville and at Linton — and at Marshall and at Casey — blocking and tackling also qualify as skills.
I was fortunate enough to get to see the Rox last week at North Vermillion (where the Falcons’ field, incidentally, was in a lot better shape than the Class 5A field I walked a week earlier) but wasn’t able to fully recognize all the Rockville stars. James Kent and Nick Wheeler got in the paper, but I should have found ways to talk about Levi Berry and Cody Stout and Jared Paxton too.
All five of those Rox are linemen. So is Stefan Sparks, who was probably Linton’s best player the night I saw the Miners this year at West Vigo (although I have to admit little Evan Magni was pretty good then too).
Both teams are underdogs on Friday against conference opponents that have already beaten them — Rockville at Fountain Central, Linton at home against North Daviess. I’m not about to bet against either one, however, and would be happy to walk both sidelines in about eight days.
Casey and Marshall, of course, do appear on each other’s schedules. That would be the game, on each slate, with the big circle around it.
It’s probably been more than 35 years since I covered my first Marshall-Casey game, and I quickly realized then that I was watching two teams that really liked to hit each other. I haven’t seen as many of their battles lately, but I doubt anything has changed in that regard.
They’ll be playing Saturday — Casey at Red Bud, Marshall at home against Williamsville — for the rare opportunity to beat each other up twice in one season. A spot in the Illinois Class 2A semifinals would be the prize for the winner of that game — not that any additional incentive is needed.
• • •
• Panther senior headed for Lucas Oil Stadium — Riverton Parke’s Shawn White has been named to the Indianapolis Colts Academic All-Star team, and will be one of 24 players honored Dec. 13 when the Colts play the Denver Broncos.
White was an all-purpose back for coach Hank Lopez’s team this fall and will be the valedictorian of the Riverton Parke Class of 2010. He is one of six valedictorians on the all-star team, which also includes nine salutatorians. All 24 players selected — from a field of 80 finalists — are in the top two percent of their respective classes.
He’ll get a plaque from team president Bill Polian of the Colts and will also be part of a pre-game press conference. His mother, Penny Griffin, will also get tickets to the game as part of the award.
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 email@example.com; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN, 47808; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.
Isn’t it about time for the Rockville-Linton high school football game? And can you have too many games between Casey and Marshall?
- Amey Takes Aim
AMEY TAKES AIM: WNBA is part of travel plans
Columnist prepares for vacation destinations.
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.
And it came with high-def.
I’m not going to insult you by telling you how great high-def is, because to do so would be to imply that you are even farther behind the technological curve than I am. I’m guessing, however, that not all of you have yet discovered what it does for hockey.
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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.
But, after seeing a lot more of Oak Grove, Ky., than we’d planned, and after enduring more traffic slowdowns in Nashville, we were on our way. Even some rain in the dark in the Smokies didn’t slow us down much, so you would think our first-day troubles were over.
You would be wrong.
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
But high school football is over in Vigo County for the season — as coach Chris Barrett of Terre Haute North said, prematurely — and I’m sadder to see it go than usual.
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.
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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.
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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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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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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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Look at them now.
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Terre Haute North got the good news Sunday night — or did it?
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As a mild-mannered reporter from a great metropolitan newspaper — or thereabouts — I admit I haven’t paid much attention to the burgeoning mixed martial arts scene.
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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.
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So many matches, so many favorites
Go ahead, ask me anything about the 224 wrestlers who competed last week at the Indiana state finals — or at least about the 112 wrestlers who survived Saturday’s first round.
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