News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 2, 2013

College Report: People with Valley ties getting up-close look at top-ranked Crimson Tide

Joey Bennett
Tribune-Star correspondent

TERRE HAUTE — 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.

The lefty punted 13 times for a 45.1-yard average, including three downed inside the 20-yard line, four of more than 50 yards, one for a touchback and three for fair catches. For the season, Hughes ranks second in the Atlantic Coast Conference for most punts and most yardage. He’s also seventh in average yards per punt.

Where did this Chic-Fil-A season tipoff game against Alabama take place? The Georgia Dome, of course, home of Miles’ Georgia State Panthers.

The former ISU coach and his team will get to see the No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide in action this Saturday at Tuscaloosa, Ala., from the other sideline. The 0-4 Panthers enter as a 57-point underdog after nearly pulling off their first win of the season last week — an overtime loss to FCS squad Jacksonville State.

Even in college football, it’s a small world.

Bits and pieces — Terre Haute native Cam Cameron has gotten the Louisiana State offense in high gear this season, as the Tigers have averaged 42 points per game under their new offensive coordinator and have scored at least 35 in every game.

The Tigers suffered their first loss of the season Saturday to No. 9 Georgia.

• Freshman Calvin Blank of Terre Haute North is sitting out this season as a redshirt at Ball State, while classmate Austin Lewis has played in four of five games at linebacker for Western Michigan. Lewis has four solo tackles, four assisted tackle and one tackle for loss for the Broncos.

• Terre Haute North grad Steve Englehart has led Florida Tech to a 1-3 record in its first-ever football season, after two years of getting the program put together. The Panthers defeated Stetson 20-13 in Englehart’s first game, but have lost three straight since.

• It was a battle of brothers with Wabash Valley ties Saturday as Stanford met Washington State in college football.

Tavita Pritchard is the running backs coach for Stanford, while his brother Tana is a linebacker for WSU. They are sons of former Terre Haute resident Kelli (Miller) Pritchard.

Tana, a 6-3, 220-pound redshirt sophomore, had seven solo and 11 assisted tackles (two for losses) — but Tavita and the Cardinal easily won the game 55-17.

• Former Indiana State baseball and football standout Lucas Hileman has landed his first job, serving as an assistant softball coach at ISU under Shane Bouman.

• The University of Southern Indiana women's golf team recently finished in a tie for first in the Midwest Shootout hosted by Maryville University.

USI was led by senior Kaelyn Lingenfelter, who won the tournament with a two-day 146 (76-70). The second-round 70 is a career best for Lingenfelter, whose previous best was 75.

She is the daughter of former Terre Haute South player Lyle Lingenfelter.

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 by email at