WEST TERRE HAUTE —
As I’ve stated in this space before, I don’t like change.
Somehow I’ve learned to use the Internet, Facebook and a cell phone over the last 15 years, but most changes I try to avoid because I tend to think the old-school way of doing things is better.
OK, who stole my typewriter? I want it back now!
Seriously, we’re all forced to make adjustments when society and life situations evolve.
On that note, West Vigo High School senior Alicyn Woodward makes adjustments about as well as anybody I’ve met recently.
Two years ago, for example, Woodward batted right-handed for the Vikings’ softball team. But in the summer of 2009, she was convinced that she would hit more effectively as a lefty.
So she moved to the other side of the batter’s box and her 2011 offensive statistics indicate it was the correct decision.
“I was a power hitter right-handed,” Woodward explained. “But when I switched travel teams to the one I’m on now [in the summer], they told me that with my speed, I should be left-handed and I’d be quicker out of the box.”
Before West Vigo’s game at North Vermillion on Friday, Woodward owned a .554 batting average with 24 runs scored and 28 stolen bases this season.
Usually occupying the lead-off spot in the Vikings’ lineup, she posted at least three hits in five of their first 16 games, including a 3-for-3 performance in a loss to Terre Haute South last week.
“Before my junior year, I played around with [batting left-handed] but didn’t really think I’d ever switch,” Woodward recalled. “I like it now.”
“She’s fast,” West Vigo coach Cherish Easton said as she started to rattle off Woodward’s attributes on offense. “She can put the ball in play. She’s smart. She knows the game. She has experience with the game. She’d do anything to help the team. If I needed her at catcher, she’d get back there at catcher and she’d do a good job.”
Beating out bunts has become one of Woodward’s trademarks since she transformed into a lefty. That’s probably because she lays the ball down with pinpoint accuracy and — as Easton mentioned — she runs fast for a high school girl.
South coach Steve Woerner thinks she is one of the best high school bunters he’s seen in recent years.
“There are a couple good bunters who play for Ben Davis in the MIC [Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference],” he noted, “but Alicyn and Haley Chambers up there at Riverton Parke are the two best I’ve seen.”
Easton described Woodward as a triple-threat hitter.
“She can bunt, she can slap and she can hit,” Easton said. “A lot of teams aren’t quite sure where to play her [defensively] because if they move in one direction, she’s going to do something else and still get on base.”
Back to the subject of “change,” Woodward showed her commitment to the team by going from a full-time center fielder to serving as West Vigo’s No. 1 pitcher in 2011, even though she hadn’t pitched regularly since doing it for a 14-and-under summer team a few years ago.
“I’m definitely not the best pitcher,” she admitted with a chuckle. “I love pitching. It’s fun. I like to be in control of the game the whole game. I’m not the best, but I work at it.”
Woodward still excels as a center fielder when she’s not pitching. In fact, that’s what she’ll do when she goes to Olney Central College to play next season.
“I never have any doubts with Woody in the outfield,” Easton emphasized. “She’s quick. She’s not afraid to dive after the ball. She has a good arm. I love to see when runners want to test her and she gets them out.”
Woodward chose Olney Central for a variety of reasons.
“I like Nick Short as a coach and I like how he sets up everything,” she mentioned. “I liked the school when I went there [for a visit] and it’s not that far from home.”
“I definitely think she can be a significant college player,” Easton added. “She’s going to turn some heads. She’s going to be a key player for Olney.”
But for now, Woodward is focused on getting West Vigo turned around from a 6-10 start (1-2 in the Western Indiana Conference).
“It does get frustrating,” she said about losing so often. “It’s real frustrating when we have the game on the line and we know we can win or we’re ahead and we make silly, mental errors and physical errors. That puts us behind, then we lose all focus and we’re out of the game.”
Easton said Woodward has remained a positive influence on the team, despite her frustration with losing.
“Alicyn has a really good mental game,” the Vikings’ coach noted. “So she sets a good example for the other players.”
Asked about the team’s goals for the rest of the season, Woodward didn’t hesitate to answer.
“We hope to win conference and win as many games as we can from here on out,” she stressed.
For Woodward and the rest of the Vikings, that would be the most fun change of all.
David Hughes can be reached after 4 p.m. by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4224; by e-mail at email@example.com; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.
WEST TERRE HAUTE —
As I’ve stated in this space before, I don’t like change.
- High School
Bertoli, Morris named Tribune-Star's Fall Sports Athletes of the Year
In some ways, the 2013 Tribune-Star Fall Sports Athletes of the Year are similar to the 2012 winners — identical in one case.
But even though Terre Haute South distance runner Jackson Bertoli is a repeat winner of the fall award, his path to it was a lot harder, and perhaps even more rewarding as a result.
And as Shelbi Morris of Northview inherits the honor from former volleyball teammate Brylie Riddell, she too had a different path that was rewarding, as the Knights became regional champions for the first time since 1984.
Tribune-Star's all-Wabash Valley fall prep teams chosen
All-Wabash Valley teams
Boys cross country
Jackson Bertoli, Terre Haute South, Runner of the Year, Fall Sports Athlete of the Year
This time don't use your head
My personal suggestion is leather helmets.
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North girls win at Sullivan
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North gets past Knights in boys basketball
With a huge size advantage on the program roster, you wouldn’t need to be Dr. James Naismith to figure out Northview’s strategy Tuesday night against a much shorter Terre Haute North team in boys high school basketball.
Pound the ball inside.
That plan worked well early on, as the visiting Knights bolted out of the gates to an early advantage.
The Patriots hung tough, though, and thanks to some clutch play off the bench from Braxton Poore and Andrew Farmer in the second quarter, delivered a knockout punch from which Northview could never recover.
North used a balanced scoring attack and an almost flawless floor game to record an easier-than-expected 68-43 victory.
Vikings prevail over South Vermillion
Hayden Corenflos was not the tallest player on the court Tuesday night, but he was always close to the rim while leading West Vigo to a 50-36 victory over visiting South Vermillion in boys high school basketball inside the Green Dome.
Corenflos scored 21 points without taking a shot from outside the lane in the Vikings’ second win of the season.
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Sullivan led most of the way in high school boys basketball Tuesday night to win its second game of the season, defeating Shakamak 77-44.
The Arrows used a 5-0 run to take a 9-4 lead and had a 17-9 advantage after one period. They led 36-20 at the intermission and took a 52-28 lead into the fourth quarter.
Metro: Indiana Hall of Fame lauds two Wabash Valley athletes
Two players from the Wabash Valley have been named members of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team that will be honored in March. Tony McGee and Kenny Rowan are members of the honor team.
Today’s prep basketball games
Northview is at Terre Haute South and South Vermillion is at West Vigo
West Vigo shows its youth in loss to Owen Valley
It was a game that confirmed his fears, coach Joe Boehler said Saturday night after his West Vigo team lost 67-51 in its Western Indiana Conference boys basketball opener to visiting Owen Valley.
“I think our young team showed up tonight,” Boehler said. “We did not handle success very well.”
Terre Haute South can't match 'great' Mooresville team
Terre Haute South did very little right Saturday night at Mooresville, while the host Pioneers did very little wrong in an 89-54 victory over the visiting Braves.
Rady passes Sharpe to move into second on all-time victory list
Cloverdale coach Pat Rady, who resides in Terre Haute, climbed to No. 2 on Indiana’s all-time victory list for boys high school basketball Saturday morning when his Clovers got past host Greencastle 60-56 in the semifinals of the Putnam County Classic tournament in McAnally Center.
Consistent effort helps Terre Haute North hold off Robinson
After falling behind 14-2 after one quarter, Robinson’s Maroons bounced back to make it a game at Terre Haute North on Saturday night.
The Maroons cut the gap to 39-33 late in the third quarter, but a crucial turnover led to a 3-pointer by North and the Patriots went on a 65-50 win.
South girls fall to Indy North Central 67-46
Indianapolis North Central used 3-point shooting and defense to prevail in Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference girls high school basketball Saturday, defeating Terre Haute South 67-46.
The Panthers got off to an 8-0 start in the early-afternoon contest played in the South gym and outscored the Braves 20-9 in the final frame to get even for the season at 3-3 and even in the conference at 1-1.
Sister act: Elkins pair have helped West Vigo get off to 4-1 start
Heading into tonight’s home game against Owen Valley, the West Vigo girls basketball team is one win from equaling last season’s total for victories. The 4-1 Vikings are led by post players and sister duo Lexus and Shyanne Elkins.
Rady could break tie with Sharpe today
Longtime boys basketball coach Pat Rady has a chance to pass the legendary Howard Sharpe for No. 2 on Indiana’s all-time victory list today when his Cloverdale Clovers play Greencastle at 10 a.m. in the first game of the postponed Putnam County Classic at Greencastle.
New dates when available
- Vigo County basketball matchups
Study looks at effects of concussions
Austen Cummings sits in class and can’t remember what he’s supposed to focus on. He doesn’t have a learning disability or an attention disorder. The Homestead High School sophomore suffered two concussions in the span of two months while playing football. The concussions have caused Cummings to blank out in class, at times for almost a half-hour.
Even high-rated helmets may not protect players
Two studies this year highlight the tough choices and conflicting information that parents and coaches face when trying to protect football players from head trauma.
PREP ROUNDUP: West Vigo girls basketball cruises past Sullivan
Lexus Elkins poured in 15 points, Shyanne Elkins contributed 13 and McKenzie Little added 11 to lead the host Vikings over Sullivan 57-40 in Western Indiana Conference action Tuesday night inside the Green Dome.
Terre Haute South girls hold off Northview's surge
A funny thing happened on the way to a Terre Haute South blowout victory Tuesday night at Northview High School. The Knights fought back and nearly pulled out a win.
Three-point baskets by Kennedy Williams and Lauren Perrelle and free throws by Kylie Fendrick and Lauren Hambrock preserved a 53-50 win for the Braves over the Knight.
Casey beats Terre Haute South with last-second layup
On many nights during this high school basketball season, the shots are going to fall for both Casey and Terre Haute South and both teams are going to look really good.
Tuesday was not one of those nights.
Former North Central inducted into Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
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Matchups set for wide-open Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic field
Sometimes the ping-pong balls used to draw the high school basketball pairings for the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic have a wisdom all their own, and that seemed to be the case Tuesday at Terre Haute North.
Metro sports: ISU women play today at No. 15 LSU
Indiana State’s women finish a three-game road swing by playing nationally ranked LSU at 12:30 p.m. today at Baton Rouge.
Tonight’s prep basketball
Casey at Terre Haute South
PREP ROUNDUP: North Central falls at home to Eastern Greene
Eastern Greene’s Camden Sego popped in 18 points to lead to a 67-42 home loss for North Central in SouthWestern Indiana Athletic Conference boys high school basketball Saturday night.
- More High School Headlines
- Bertoli, Morris named Tribune-Star's Fall Sports Athletes of the Year