News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 16, 2013

COLLEGE REPORT: Valley prep athletes getting ready for next level

Joey Bennett
Tribune-Star Correspondent

TERRE HAUTE — The NCAA “regular” signing period begins Wednesday for all sports except football, field hockey, soccer, track and field, cross country and men’s water polo.

The football signing period ended April 1, while the other sports continue through Aug. 1.

As always, many Wabash Valley area athletes will be making their athletic and academic futures official. Athletic directors and coaches should be on the lookout later this week for the working list of all known signings or commitments. That list will be published on April 30.

Parents, fans and players are also invited to send such information — including current college athletes transferring to new schools — to the email address at the end of the column.

Some of the most recent basketball decisions made were former Terre Haute North standout Thomas Anderson, who will play at Division II Mars Hill College in North Carolina; Rockville’s Jordon McFall, who will take his talents to Lincoln Land Junior College in Illinois; Terre Haute South’s Tasia Brewer, who will play at Vincennes; Rockville’s Jenifer Lee, who will play at Manchester; Beth Mahurin of Rockville, who will resurrect her hoops career at Lincoln Trail; and North Vermillion’s Taylor Turchi, who will play for coach Jon Prevo at Rose-Hulman.

• Bits and pieces — Wabash won the first-ever Indiana Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship Saturday afternoon.

Northview’s Joel Whittington picked up an individual title in the 400-meter hurdles, winning the race with a time of 54.84. John Haley of Terre Haute South finished first in the 400-meter dash by turning in a time of 50.14.

In the recent Hanover Invitational, Whittington set a meet record to win the 400-meter hurdles, crossing the finish line first with a time of 54.55. Haley won the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.19, and added a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter dash (22.68), as well.

• Former Indiana State assistant basketball coach Kareem Richardson was a member of Rick Pitino’s staff as the Cardinals won the NCAA title last week. Richardson now takes over as head coach at Missouri-Kansas City.

• Indiana State outfielder Landon Curry will not be returning to the Dubois County Bombers of the Prospect League this summer for two reasons — that team folded, and Curry was invited to play in the prestigious Cape Cod League.

• Terre Haute South grad Jacob Hayes will not be returning to the Rex. He will play this summer for the Marysville Gold Sox in California.

• Former ISU and Northview star Brady Shoemaker recently had shoulder surgery and is going through rehab. His status for playing this year is in question.

• Congrats to White River Valley grad Matthew Graves for finally getting the overdue opportunity to run his own program at South Alabama. He is actively trying to take Linton’s Austin Karazsia with him.

The best local sports fans could easily answer the question of who was the last Wabash Valley area athlete to compete at South Alabama. Answer? Dexter Shouse of Terre Haute North, who first played two years at Panola JC in Texas.

• Robinson’s Aaron Siler is still looking for an opportunity as a Division I walk-on, according to coach Mack Thompson — who tweeted recently that there isn’t much difference between Siler and Michigan breakout star Spike Albrecht.

• I know many local people are extremely thrilled to see Loyola (Chicago) get an invitation to fill Creighton’s spot in the Missouri Valley Conference, a move that will let Terre Haute North grad Matt O’Leary play in his hometown for the next three years.

Loyola is a beautiful school on the shores of Lake Michigan and is making big strides athletically, including hiring three-time WNBA MVP Sheryl Swoopes last week to coach its women’s team.

• One-time ISU men’s basketball signee Clayton Vette closed out his career this season by being named the Division II national player of the year.

The 6-9 senior from Winona (Minn.) State averaged 20.7 points and 7.9 rebounds this year in leading his team to the Elite Eight.

Vette signed with Royce Waltman in 2007, but asked to be released from that commitment once Waltman was let go. He played five games in one season at Iowa State before landing at Winona.

• Josh Phegley of Terre Haute North and Indiana University made another pitch in his case to be promoted to the majors on Sunday night. With the game tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the 11th inning, Phegley roped a 1-2 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Class AAA Charlotte Knights an impressive 5-2 comeback win over the Durham Bulls.

Phegley is hitting .257 with four homers and 10 RBIs.

• Another week, another conference pitcher of the week award for Haley Chambers.

The former Riverton Parke standout picked up her third such honor of the year from the Ohio Valley Conference after tossing a pair of shutouts last weekend.

She blanked Tennessee State and Belmont and also recorded a 12-inning road victory over SIU-Carbondale.

Chambers finished the week with 33 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched. The freshman lefty has five shutouts this season and holds a 15-2 overall record with a 1.71 earned run average. She has won 12 consecutive games and holds the best OVC record at 7-0.


Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at tribstarcollege