TERRE HAUTE —
Harding University knows exactly what it wants in terms of football players to fit Coach Ronnie Huckeba’s system.
South Vermillion’s James Craigmyle knew exactly what he was looking for in a college.
It was a match made in heaven, and the Wildcat speedster will be taking his athleticism to Searcy, Ark., this fall to compete for the Division II school that competes in the Gulf South Conference.
Huckeba runs the Navy-Georgia teach spread offense, which results in his receivers often drawing only single coverage. Craigmyle runs a 4.56 40-yard dash.
Harding is a faith-based school, and Craigmyle is a strongly faith-based person.
“With his work ethic and his fit here regarding his character, it’s a great match,” Huckeba said. “We have a picture of what we are looking for, and he fit it.”
Craigmyle felt very comfortable with the Bison coaches and the entire school atmosphere in making his choice.
“I chose Harding primarily because of the connection I was able to develop with their coaching staff,” he said. “On top of that, they have a great community, run the same offense I’ve ran in high school, and have an opening at wide receiver which is the position they recruited me for.”
Modern technology played a huge role in arranging this football marriage, since Craigmyle would have been easy to overlook at a mid-sized school hundreds of miles away – especially since his statistics suffered due to nagging injuries over his junior and senior years.
Huckeba recalls getting an e-mail about Craigmyle, and checking out his profile on the NCSA college recruiting website.
“He had some video highlights on there, but what stuck out was his profile he mentioned how important his faith was to him,” Huckeba said. “We got in contact with him, and invited him to come to our senior camp last June. He and his dad came down, got to visit with him and tour his campus.
“It’s a workout-based camp, and he worked out great for us,” Huckeba added. “He and his family were perfect fits for what we are looking for at Harding.”
Wildcat Coach Ron Whiteman predicts success for Craigmyle at the next level.
“James is an explosive athlete that is a threat to score every time he touches the ball,” he said.
“James is a very intense player, and playing college football has been what he wanted to do and planned out how to do since he started playing in high school,” Whiteman added. “Harding University is getting a very gifted player and great kid, and I look forward to seeing what he will be able to do in college. I know he will do well.”
South Vermillion had an outstanding season during Craigmyle’s junior season, but heavy graduation losses contributed to a 0-10 record last fall.
Huckeba knows a team’s record does not always reflect the value of any individual player.
“They were not able to get the ball to him much last year, which may have made him overlooked,” Huckeba said. “Actually, one of our best wide receivers played for a winless team in high school and he’s been great for us.”
Craigmyle was limited to just 11 games over his final two seasons, missing three during his junior year due to an emergency appendectomy and only playing in two and a half games his senior year due to recurring hamstring injuries.
In his limited appearances, Craigmyle averaged over 32 yards on nine kick-off returns and returned two for a touchdown. In his senior year, he caught seven passes for 86 yards and one score and also rushed 52 times for 330 yards and three TDs.
“James doesn’t show much emotion, but I could tell when he returned from his first visit to Harding that he knew Harding was right for him,” Whiteman said.
Whiteman’s favorite plays by Craigmyle didn’t even involve him having the ball in his hands and came against Brown County two years ago.
“On one play he made the key block for Cody Mumaw on a split end screen to score a touchdown,” Whiteman recalled. “On another play, our quarterback, Andy Walsh, dropped back to pass and was rushed, started to scramble to the side James was on, Walsh started to run down the sideline with a Brown County defensive lineman chasing him, and James peeled back and knocked the defensive lineman chasing Andy head over heels into our sidelines.”
Craigmyle knows he will need to improve upon his physique for the next level, but he’s ready for the challenge.
“I'm hoping I can make the transition to college a little easier by working harder than I ever have over the offseason,” he said. “I'm sure two-a-days there will give me a whole new definition of “tough” and of course everyone at the college level will be bigger, faster, and stronger which equals much harder hits.
“My main goal when I check in for the fall is to make every single one of the upperclassmen there ask themselves, “Who the heck is that freshman and where did he come from?”
TERRE HAUTE —
Harding University knows exactly what it wants in terms of football players to fit Coach Ronnie Huckeba’s system.
- College Report
College Report: Haley Chambers making noise in OVC softball circles
Two Wabash Valley natives are again making big news for the Southern Illlinois-Edwardsville softball team.
Former Riverton Parke and Cascade standout pitcher Haley Chambers was recognized for a string of dominant performances in the circle by being named Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday.
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The Little Giants produced several quality times, including a first-place finish by Northview grad Joel Whittington in the men’s 400-meter hurdles. The junior captured the title with a top time of 54.4 seconds, the fourth quickest recorded for NCAA DIII men this season. Cole Seward, a freshman from Terre Haute North, took third place, crossing the finish line in 55.7.
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Former Terre Haute South and Furman University basketball standout David Conrady has re-entered the coaching world after a short hiatus. Conrady was recently named head coach of the boys team at Chattanooga Christian, a prep school in eastern Tennessee.
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Two Wabash Valley products have helped the Ball State softball team get off to a 12-2 start, including five straight wins last weekend to capture the Louisville Slugger Invitational at Arizona State.
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Administrators and coaches long ago scheduled the East Tennessee State and Indiana University softball teams to both compete in the Georgia State Panther Invitational in Atlanta last weekend. Little could they have realized, however, that a Sunday afternoon pitching matchup between the two teams would pair two successful, blonde, and versatile performers from western Indiana in a head-to-head clash.
College report: Versatile Vicars set to help VU baseball program
Chris Barney knew what qualities he wanted as he was searching this winter for a new assistant baseball coach at Vincennes University. He wanted someone familiar with his program and his coaching style, someone from the Wabash Valley area who understood the state’s high school and American Legion programs, someone who had played several different positions in the field and also someone who had made a successful transition from junior college to Division I baseball. It didn’t take him long to realize that Cole Vicars was his man.
College report: Terre Haute pair Berry, Comer to boost Sycamores’ lines
While many people have varying opinions on the most important position on a football team, most old-school gridiron veterans would consider strong line play as a necessity for anything else to work — kind of like pitching in baseball and guard play in basketball.
College report: Wabash Valley hoops pair earn MVC weekly honors
Two Wabash Valley natives picked up big honors this week from the Missouri Valley Conference for their excellence on the basketball court. Evansville freshman Sara Dickey of Riverton Parke earned the league’s Newcomer of the Week for the third time while Loyola sophomore Matt O’Leary of Terre Haute North was chosen as the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the week.
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R.J. Mahurin, a senior at Indiana Wesleyan, was selected as the Crossroads League’s Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the period of Nov. 24-30.
The fifth-year senior from Rockville led Indiana Wesleyan, then ranked No. 2 in NAIA Division II, to an 88-82 win over No. 9 Bethel last month in the Crossroads League opener.
Mahurin scored 33 points on 12-for-18 shooting from the field, including 7 of 10 from 3 point range. He also recorded seven rebounds and two assists while knocking down both free throws in the contest.
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College Report: North grad enjoying sophomore season at Virginia Tech
A.J. Hughes had an admittedly up and down freshman season as the punter for Virginia Tech’s football team, but the sophomore from Terre Haute North High School has elevated his game like one of his long, hanging left-footed punts.
Hughes ranks first in the Atlantic Coast Conference in punting with a 44.8-yard average per punt, a 4.7 increase over last year and a lofty number that ranks him ninth nationally.
College Report: South graduate becomes Wabash College swim coach
Brent Noble’s climb up the collegiate swimming coaches has taken another big step, after the Terre Haute South grad was recently named the new head swimming and diving coach at Wabash College in Crawfordsville.
Noble joins the Wabash program after serving for a year as the women’s head swimming coach at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.
College Report: People with Valley ties getting up-close look at top-ranked Crimson Tide
Trivia question: What do Trent Miles, A.J. Hughes and Johnny Manziel have in common?
Maybe nothing right now, but after Saturday they will all have played against the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide already this season.
Manziel has no known local ties, but was involved in the most-hyped game of the year last month as Texas A&M fell just short in a late comeback against Alabama.
Hughes, a sophomore punter for Virginia Tech from Terre Haute North, did his part in the Hokies’ 35-10 season–opening loss to the Tide.
Turner hoping to prove himself in junior college
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Daniel Watson, former graduate assistant from Terre Haute North, has been hired by Rocky Mountain College to serve an assistant football coach and the head strength and conditioning coach.
Matt Seliger, also a former graduate assistant and North Patriot, has been hired by Athletes’ Performance in Frisco, Texas, to serve as an intern.
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Catching up as the school year winds down
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College Report: Lively earned collegiate upgrade with strong play
Hillary Lively signed to play Division II basketball at Maryville (Mo.) during her senior year at North Vermillion, but those plans changed and she would up at nearby Danville Area Community College — where she recently concluded an outstanding two-year career.
Lively was impressive enough to earn a Division I scholarship to Southeast Missouri State of the Ohio Valley Conference, and both her future and past college coaches think she will continue to succeed there.
“She fits what we need,” SEMO coach Ty Margenthaler said. “She has college experience, she is strong and physical and plays well around the basket and moves well.
“Her strength, rebounding and touch around the basket will be a big help. On the defensive end, she’ll be able to guard a true center.”
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Several Wabash Valley area college softball players have been honored by their respective conferences for outstanding play this spring.
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COLLEGE REPORT: A.J. Reed earns SEC Player of the Week honors
After belting three home runs during a five games last week, Kentucky sophomore left-handed pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week.
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A.J. Hughes knew he was in for a battle as he competed with three other walk-on punters in the preseason for the lone starting job on the Virginia Tech football team.
Etling, Meggs enjoying great year
It’s been a great year so far with more to come for a pair of longtime friends and St. Patrick’s School classmates.
Former Terre Haute resident Jack Meggs quarterbacked the Bellevue Wolverines football team to the Washington Class 3A state championship this fall, culminating with a 35-3 win over Sammamish Eastside Catholic — Bellevue’s fifth straight crown.
Danny Etling, meanwhile, has completed graduation requirements at Terre Haute South and is preparing for an upcoming high school all-star game and his first college classes in a couple of weeks.
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