It’s a transition year in 2013 for the proud Linton Miner football program.
The best quarterback in school history — Austin Karazsia, as well as a huge group of successful classmates — has graduated. And coach Steve Weber — 128-29 in the past 13 years at Linton — took the head coaching job at Bedford North Lawrence.
Linton will entrust the program to alumnus Brian Oliver, who has spent 15 years as an assistant coach with the program. He’ll hope to keep Linton, ranked No. 3 in the preseason coaches poll, among the state’s top Class A teams.
“It’s very exciting for me and my family to take over this program that I’ve been a part of for all these years,” Oliver said.
Oliver has two options at quarterback to replace Karazsia, senior Dane Rupska (6-2, 245) and senior Beau Eaton (6-1, 185).
While the strong-armed Karazsia allowed Linton to toss the ball around the field to the tune of 3,328 yards and 42 touchdowns last season, the Miners will “get back to our roots,” Oliver said.
“We’re making adjustments to abilities. We’re still going to be a spread,” Oliver said.
The two quarterbacks bring different abilities.
“Both bring different aspects. Dane’s a big boy, he can run, a tough runner. He’s got decent speed, a good arm. Beau can run as well, more composure in the pocket,” Oliver said.
The running backs will be fullback Austin Hale (5-9, 170), co-captain Zane Hayden (6-0, 175) and sophomore Mitch Eberhardt (6-1, 180).
“Mitch and Zane are two guys with really good speed,” Oliver said. “Austin Hale is a powerful runner, extremely good leg power.”
Oliver likes the ability and depth of his offensive line.
Starters are likely junior left tackle Zach Johnson (6-5, 240), left guard Dylan Morris (6-3, 230), center Zach Riddell (6-3, 205), right guard Cody Van Winkle (6-0, 205) and right tackle Indiana Miller (6-1, 225). Wyatt Franklin (5-11, 260), Chandler Willard (6-0, 210) and Braxton Lannan (6-0, 250) will also contribute.
Trent Vowell (5-11, 180) and Paul Goodman (6-0, 180) are the Miners’ tight ends, with Eaton playing wide receiver along with Kurtis Cox (5-9, 150).
The Miner defense will be led by Vowell, Goodman and Hale at outside linebacker, while Rupska, Van Winkle and Jace Herdon (5-8, 185) are the inside linebackers.
Morris, Riddell and Miller are the defensive ends, with Franklin, Jace Brewer (6-0, 300), Chandler and Johnson rotating at defensive tackle.
Eaton, Eberhardt and Cox play cornerback, while Hayden and sophomore Pierce Jackson (6-0, 165) are the safeties.
Everyone on the roster has been working hard all offseason to maintain the program’s success, Oliver said.
“I know being a part of the program, it’s important to keep it going,” Oliver said. “The kids know the tradition of Miner football so they’re working hard. That’s very important to them.”
Linton’s schedule has become more difficult with Sheridan replacing Union.
The perennial game against West Vigo is at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Miners’ toughest Class A sectional opponents are likely to be Perry Central and North Daviess.
It’s a transition year in 2013 for the proud Linton Miner football program.
- High School
Prep roundup: Bennett, Edwards boost W.Vigo baseball
Derrick Bennett went 2 for 4 and clouted a two-run homer in the sixth inning and Zach Edwards chalked up his first varsity pitching victory and also went 2 for 4 to help West Vigo defeat visiting Paris, Ill., 11-5 in high school baseball Wednesday evening.
Western Indiana Conference to expand to 12 schools
The long-rumored merger between the Western Indiana Conference and the five remaining high schools in the West Central Conference has become reality.
Late last week, the seven WIC principals and five WCC principals voted 12-0 to approve the new alignment.
“We now have 12 schools in the WIC,” proclaimed outgoing Sullivan principal David Springer, who’s serving as WIC president for the 2013-14 school year.
Busy Patriots get past Casey 7-1 in prep softball
Terre Haute North began a busy week of high school softball Tuesday, defeating Casey 7-1 at North.
The Patriots now are 6-3 and will take on Clay City, ranked second in the Class A poll, on Thursday in another home game.
PREP ROUNDUP: West Vigo baseball, softball pick up WIC victories
West Vigo won its Western Indiana Conference high school baseball opener at South Vermillion, scoring two seventh-inning runs and holding off a Wildcats’ rally.
Wabash Valley high school basketball players of the year: Their career numbers tell only part of the story
One of the prouder people in east-central Illinois, as the Tribune-Star awards its 2013-2014 high school basketball Player of the Year awards, is probably Barry Wolfe.
Vikings open busy week with victory
West Vigo defeated Shakamak 13-9 in a high school softball game played in cool, rainy conditions Monday evening at West Vigo.
Prep roundup: Yeryar's five hits lift Shakamak
Brett Yeryar went 5 for 5 with two doubles and drove in six runs to lead Shakamak to a 18-4 high school baseball victory Monday at North Central.
Terre Haute track and field athletes shine at Patriot Invitational
The Terre Haute North and Brown County girls and boys came out winners Saturday in the Patriot Invitational Track and Field Meet at Terre Haute North High School.
Prep roundup: North girls tennis beats ranked teams
Terre Haute North knocked off two state-ranked teams — No. 12 Fort Wayne Canterbury and No. 13 Delta — on its way to capturing the Delta Invitational championship for girls high school tennis Saturday.
Herrin's pitching effort leads South to win over Northview
When two good high school baseball teams get together, each using one of its better pitchers, the margin for error figures to be slim, and some defensive plays that weren’t made were the difference Friday evening as Terre Haute South beat Northview 7-1.
Stout home run sparks South softball at Sullivan
Terre Haute South junior Mariah Stout made her father proud and helped her team win its eighth game of the season at the same time Friday evening.
With the previously flat-looking Braves trailing host Sullivan 1-0 with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the second inning, Stout woke up her dugout mates by hammering a McKenzie Pirtle pitch over the fence in left-center field for a score-tying home run.
Terre Haute North baseball cruises past Warren Central
Terre Haute North swept a high school baseball doubleheader against Warren Central on Friday night by scores of 14-1 and 10-4.
PREP ROUNDUP: Sollars, Morrison lead West Vigo softball to win
Kaitlyn Sollars had a double, triple and four runs batted in and winning pitcher Leah Morrison contributed a pair of triples and a double to lead visiting West Vigo over Riverton Parke 14-1 in high school softball.
West Vigo baseball wins in rout
When Brandin Behringer drove in his first run Thursday evening, it gave West Vigo a short-lived lead in nonconference high school baseball.
The remainder of the Viking senior’s RBIs came four at a time in the bottom of the fourth inning, his grand-slam homer capping the second of consecutive seven-run innings that sent his team to a 15-3 win over visiting North Vermillion.
Prep roundup: Vikings get big hits to beat North Vermillion on softball diamond
The West Vigo softball team improved to 4-3 for the season with an 11-4 victory over North Vermillion on Thursday.
Leah Morrison busted the game open with a three-run double in the Vikings’ seven-run fourth inning.
Kenzie Little chipped in with a two-run triple in the sixth and Hannah Harden tossed a complete-game for the pitching win.
Prep baseball: Northview beats top-ranked Shakamak
Damon Bass pitched a three-hit shutout and struck out seven to lead Northview to a 7-0 high school baseball victory over Shakamak.
The visiting Knights blew open a tight game against Class A’s top-ranked team with a four-run seventh inning.
Austin Butts and Jake Harden combined for six hits for Northview.
PREP ROUNDUP: North girls tennis wins 5-0 at Plainfield
Terre Haute North’s girls tennis team swept its opening match of the high school season as it defeated Plainfield 5-0 on Wednesday.
AMEY TAKES AIM: Loss of Coach Bennett leaves hole in Marshall
My email box is a little less busy now, and there’ll be a familiar face missing on basketball trips to Marshall in the future.
Roncalli fights past North Central in extra innings on way to Braves Bash title
Roncalli became a three-time Gold Bracket champion of the sixth annual Braves Bash high school softball tournament at Terre Haute’s Miss Softball America complex Saturday night by defeating Evansville Mater Dei 7-1 in the title game.
The 12-team round-robin tournament, which started Friday evening with three pools, and concluded with bracket championships Saturday night.
Sullivan enjoys record golf day at Northview Invitational
Sullivan and No. 1 player Nathan Pirtle were top finishers in the Northview Invitational for high school boys golf teams played Saturday at Forest Park.
TH North loses to McCutcheon, beats Harrison (West Lafayette)
Terre Haute North bounced back from a big loss to host McCutcheon to defeat Harrison (West Lafayette) in a pair of high school baseball games Saturday.
The Mavericks defeated the Patriots 17-7 early Saturday, but North beat the Raiders 9-4 later in the day.
West Vigo baseball drops first two in Center Grove Classic
West Vigo hammered the baseball all over the field and had a double-digit lead through three innings early in the week at Seeger before rain washed it out short of a complete game.
TH South sweeps MIC baseball doubleheader
Justin Jenkins and Timmy Herrin led visiting Terre Haute South to a sweep of a Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference high school baseball doubleheader Saturday at Indianapolis North Central.
Opening their final MIC season, the Braves won the opener 9-6 and the nightcap 8-6.
Braves Softball Bash a 'premier' early-season tournament
The Braves Softball Bash has grown to 12 schools in 2014, with high school teams looking to gauge their early-season progress against quality competition.
The host Braves have put together a solid 3-1 start that includes a doubleheader sweep of Casey, Ill., a newcomer to the field along with West Vigo.
Golf season gets going Saturday with Northview Invitational
Most high school boys golf teams in the area will get the season started Saturday in the Northview Invitational at Forest Park.
New players will be in the lineups for many of the teams. Sullivan and Greencastle are the leaders in returning players.
PREP ROUNDUP: Allen homers in North softball win
Jazmine Allen had her first home run of the season and she and Conner Nelson combined for five hits and four RBIs as Terre Haute North defeated Sullivan 8-1 on Thursday in nonconference high school softball.
PREP ROUNDUP: South offense leads Braves to dominant win over Lincoln
Justin Jenkins had three hits and Jacob Johnson and Zach Donnelly drove in four runs apiece as Terre Haute South rolled to a 15-2 high school baseball victory Wednesday at Vincennes Lincoln.
Terre Haute North tops Sullivan, falls to Class A No. 1 Shakamak
Class A No. 1-ranked Shakamak got a big pitching performance and big hits from Braxton and Brett Yeryar Tuesday night while beating Terre Haute North 5-2 at Don Jennings Field.
Prep roundup: West Vigo softball wins in 4 1/2 innings
Charity Lane, Shelby Edington, Baylee Waters and Leah Morrison each had two hits and Lane knocked in three runs to lead West Vigo past visiting Turkey Run 13-2 in a run-rule high school softball game that went 4 1/2 innings Tuesday.
Terre Haute South cruises to Braves Bash title
Terre Haute South knew it had a deep pitching staff going into the 11th annual Braves Bash baseball tournament and that proved to be true. But the Braves’ offense surprised everyone but the players Saturday as South won two 10-run-rule games en route to the championship.
South defeated Mount Vernon 10-0 Saturday morning and capped the championship with a 14-4, come-from-behind victory over Munster in the finale.
- More High School Headlines
- Prep roundup: Bennett, Edwards boost W.Vigo baseball