TERRE HAUTE — Many people rate intelligence, besides the obvious need for skill, as one of the most desirable qualities for a baseball player.
It’s no wonder, then, that Holy Cross is thrill to be adding Terre Haute North senior Parker Fulkerson to its program next year.
Fulkerson committed last month to play collegiately for the Worcester, Mass., school, which plays at the Division I level in the Patriot League. He was recently notified of his acceptance to the College and its respected pre-med program, and plans to major in math or physics and take required pre-med classes.
Fulkerson has played all over the infield for North and the Wayne Newton Post 346 summer team, and will be the Patriot shortstop this year.
Holy Cross Coach Greg DiCenzo said it’s rare that a player will send a video of his highlights that he gets extremely excited about, but it happens.
“Parker did that, and soon thereafter we had an opportunity to watch him play this past summer at Harvard University,” DiCenzo said. “We were impressed with his athleticism as well as his competitiveness in the games he played.
“A fantastic student in the classroom, Parker is a versatile player who we hope will contribute early in his career at the Division I level.”
Fulkerson was an all-Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference and all-Wabash Valley selection last spring, and was the second baseman for the successful Wayne Newton team last summer.
The 6-2, 175-pounder hit .270 last spring with two home runs and eight doubles.
North Coach Shawn Turner feels Fulkerson has found himself an excellent collegiate home.
“Holy Cross is getting as close to a perfect prospect as a collegiate program could expect,” said Turner, who adds another name to his lengthy list of Patriots moving on to the Division I level. “He is tall and lanky, but possesses the frame and work ethic to get much stronger. He has very good speed, a strong arm, can play anywhere on the field defensively, and is able to take advantage of the bunting game when he isn’t being an offensive leader.”
Turner knows he only has one more season with Fulkerson on his squad, but he’s going to enjoy it to the fullest.
“More than anything else, Parker Fulkerson is an excellent person,” Turner said. “He is motivated academically and will be a positive contributor to our community in many areas that are much more important than just the great game of baseball … what a fantastic young man he is!
“The Patriots will be successful again in 2010 due to the nucleus of sharp players on the field and in the classroom of which Parker is a part.”
Fulkerson is also an accomplished tennis player, playing No. 1 doubles for North’s sectional and regional championship team last fall and being selected to the All-District, All-State Honorable Mention and All-State Academic tennis teams.
He will only be playing baseball at Holy Cross.
“That’s been my favorite sport since Little League,” he said. “My career at North has made me a lot more versatile. I started at third base as a sophomore, I played a lot of second base as a junior but I ended the season playing shortstop. This past summer I played second base for Post 346, which gave me a great opportunity to become a well-rounded infielder.
“I have been working to improve my hitting and arm strength this offseason.”
Fulkerson credits the North coaches with helping him achieve the heights he’s achieved on the baseball diamond.
“Coach Turner has been the most instrumental in my development as a player and a teammate,” he said. “I learned the importance of being a steady player and not getting caught up in the emotions of the game from him. He has helped develop my abilities as both a hitter and a fielder. Also, North’s assistant coaches [Lance Walsh and Fay Spetter] have taught me a lot about the intricacies of the game.”
Holy Cross finished the 2009 season with an overall record of 22-27 and an 11-7 record in Patriot League play. This season marked the first time in school history that the Crusaders played in back-to-back Patriot League tournaments, and the first back-to-back 20-win seasons since the 1922 and 1923 seasons.
Fulkerson is looking forward to joining the up-and-coming Crusader program.
“Coach DiCenzo thinks my versatility will serve the Crusaders well and he thinks I have the ability to play middle infield and third base,” Fulkerson said. “Holy Cross will be graduating a couple starting infielders this year and I will be competing with a lot of younger guys for playing time at those positions.”
I I I
n Meggs signs — Former Terre Haute North basketball standout Kelly Meggs signed her letter-of-intent last month to play college basketball for California-Irvine.
Meggs averaged 13.5 points and 3.0 steals per game a year ago for the Patriots, and is now a senior member of the Bellevue High School team in Washington after her father became head baseball coach at the University of Washington.
Cal-Irvine Coach Molly Goodenbour likes the intelligence and versatility of Meggs.
“Kelly is a good combo guard who can play the one or the two,” Goodenbour said. “She is a coaches’ kid who is smart and relentless.”
n Coldren likes new Sycamore — Indiana State softball coach Brenda Coldren is looking forward to adding Terre Haute North senior Danielle Ketner to her program next year.
“Danielle is a very well-rounded athlete that we will look to utilize at a number of positions,” she said. “She has a tremendous up-side and has the potential to make an impact once she adjusts to the college game.
“With Danielle’s athleticism and work ethic, she will make an outstanding addition to the Sycamore softball program and I am excited that Danielle has chosen Indiana State to continue her career.”
n Daugherty sidelined — Terre Haute South grad Brooke Daugherty had ACL surgery Oct. 2 — her third ACL surgery and the second on her left knee. An e-mail from her father said she is progressing with her rehab, but it is doubtful she will be able to play before the season is completed. Her goal is to get her knee as healthy and to have a productive and fun final season next year, her senior year in school.
n Spud a Gagliardi finalist — DePauw senior quarterback Spud Dick is among the final four candidates for the 2009 Gagliardi Trophy as the outstanding Division III football player.
Dick, who was named one of 10 finalists two weeks ago, was the top player selected from the South Region. He joins Union (N.Y.) College senior quarterback John Peters, Augustana (Ill.) College senior offensive tackle Blaine Westemeyer and Monmouth (Ill.) junior quarterback Alex Tanney.
The National Winner will be announced on Tuesday, and the recipient will be presented with the trophy on Thursday as part of the festivities leading up to the Division III National Championship game played in Salem, Va., on Saturday.
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches and coaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at email@example.com.
TERRE HAUTE — Many people rate intelligence, besides the obvious need for skill, as one of the most desirable qualities for a baseball player.
- College Report
College report: Valley softball pair help Ball State start off with 12-2 record
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.
College Report: Valley pair square off in softball pitching duel
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.
College Report: Mahurins playing major role for Indiana Wesleyan
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.
COLLEGE REPORT: Former WRC football standouts playing key roles for No. 1 Mount Union
It’s a huge jump from the Wabash River Conference, one of the smallest leagues that plays high school football in Indiana, to Division III national powerhouse.
But two Wabash Valley standouts have made that leap and are significant contributors for top-ranked and defending national champion Mount Union (Ohio).
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
Jeffrey Turner hopes a couple of years at junior college will do for his basketball career what it did for Derek Shouse.
COLLEGE REPORT: Watson, Seliger move on in strength and conditioning careers
Three members of the Indiana State athletics strength and conditioning staff, including two from Terre Haute, have advanced their careers and moved on to other opportunities.
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.
Longtime Butler assistant stays loyal to new job
Matthew Graves waited patiently for nine years as a member of the Butler men’s basketball staff for his chance to be a head coach.
COLLEGE REPORT: Several Valley standouts busy with baseball
Several of the Wabash Valley area standouts now in college baseball are busy with summer league teams.
COLLEGE REPORT: Kentucky baseball star Reed earns All-SEC
Kentucky sophomore baseball standout A.J. Reed of Terre Haute South Vigo High School earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors in voting by the league coaches for the recently completed season.
- COLLEGE REPORT: Wabash College All-American relay team has TH flavor
Catching up as the school year winds down
Odds and ends from here and there as the school year quickly winds down. For starters, high jumper Nick Jaeger of Terre Haute South was named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s male track & field newcomer of the year:
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.”
COLLEGE REPORT: Valley prep athletes getting ready for next level
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.
COLLEGE REPORT: Conferences honor Valley softball players
Several Wabash Valley area college softball players have been honored by their respective conferences for outstanding play this spring.
COLLEGE REPORT: Jake Newton makes big impact for Lincoln Trail College
Jake Newton had a long time between playing in competitive basketball games, a span of about 18 months, and used the frustration from that long dry spell to produce a stellar freshman season for Lincoln Trail College this winter.
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.
COLLEGE REPORT: Spring newcomers making marks
Several freshman baseball and softball NCAA Division I players from the Wabash Valley have already made immediate impacts at their new schools, while others are waiting for their turns to shine.
COLLEGE REPORT: A.J. Reed named third-team preseason baseball All-American
Two-way sophomore standout A.J. Reed was one of three University of Kentucky players named third-team preseason All-America by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
COLLEGE REPORT: Sponsler honored after big week for Wabash men's hoops
Wabash College freshman Ross Sponsler of Terre Haute North was named the North Coast Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the period ending Jan. 6.
COLLEGE REPORT: North grad Hughes finds success after facing preseason adversity
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.
COLLEGE REPORT: Valley’s women’s college hoops players start strong
Several women’s college basketball players from the Wabash Valley have gotten off to good starts this season on the hardwood. Highlights:
COLLEGE REPORT: Mayhew, Mascari provide fall highlights
Several dozen Wabash Valley athletes enjoyed successful fall seasons collegiately in cross country and tennis this year.
COLLEGE REPORT: Former North teammates start strong in college
Former Terre Haute North teammates Ross Sponsler and Matt O’Leary made their college basketball debuts last week and had outstanding initial performances.
- More College Report Headlines
- College report: Valley softball pair help Ball State start off with 12-2 record