The fall sports season is well underway amongst teams around the state and the Western Indiana Conference is shaping up for some excellent battles for championships as the season progresses.
The first conference crown was decided on Saturday at Forest Park Golf Course as Greencastle won its first WIC title in the 18-hole match. The Steve Paquin-coached squad shot a 346 to top Indian Creek by 14 strokes. The five-player Tiger Cub squad includes three first-year players. Greencastle’s Macey Masten was second overall on the individual leaderboard with a round of 81 as Indian Creek’s Lauren Parsley was the winner with a 78.
Northview carded a 446 to place 11th in the tournament.
In the high school volleyball ranks, the Northview Knights have designs on returning to the top of the WIC leaderboard after Sullivan claimed the crown last season. Northview reached the semi-state last season before losing in the opening round to New Palestine at Jasper to finish a 30-8 overall season. The Knights are off to another strong start at 6-2 after splitting matches in the Avon Invitational over the weekend. Northview defeated Richmond and Perry Meridian before falling to the host Orioles and a strong Franklin Community squad. Avon is currently nationally ranked by USA Today and Franklin boasts an 9-1 record this season.
The Knights and Golden Arrows square off Sept. 7 for early supremacy in the WIC West Division. Sullivan holds a 7-2 mark this season heading into Tuesday’s match against Terre Haute South. Sullivan’s lone defeat this season was in four sets to an 8-2 Vincennes Lincoln squad. The match will be the Knights’ first WIC bout while Sullivan topped Greencastle 3-0 in its first conference tilt.
The battle on the soccer pitch will be another interesting one to watch with rapidly improving Northview squads gearing up to host Greencastle on Thursday evening.
The boys and girls’ matches will begin at 5 p.m. at Northview High School and the Tiger Cubs will bring talented sides into the fray.
The Greencastle boys are ranked 18th and are coming off a 2-0 win over 23rd-ranked Danville. The Tiger Cubs have opened up with a 4-0-1 mark
The Northview boys have opened with a 3-1 record heading into Tuesday’s road match at Mooresville. Undoubtedly, the Knights will have their hearts set on a better result than a 6-0 road loss last year.
Logan Wright leads the Knights with five goals and 12 points this season with both Sam Gentry and Luke Everhart adding three scores.
The Northview girls have opened with a high flying offense and take on a 3-1 Greencastle squad looking to rebound from a 6-8 record last season. The Tiger Cubs were 3-1 winners on their home turf against the Knights last season. However, the Knights have already surpassed their two-wins from last season and bring a 3-1 record into the match. Four Knights have already scored at least four goals this season. The youthful side has scored six goals apiece in their last two wins and will get a strong test from the traditionally strong Tiger Cubs led by junior Erin Thomas, who has six goals in 2017. Freshman Kennedy Trigg has a goal and two assists in three matches.
West Vigo has the early edge in boys’ tennis after knocking off Northview 4-1 this week. The Vikings have a 2-0 mark with a 4-1 win over South Putnam already to their credit. The Tiger Cubs have started 1-0 by sweeping all five matches with Sullivan and host the Knights on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
This week’s football slate should provide some early information and the front runners for the division title race.
Sullivan captured the cross-over championship with a 63-42 shootout win over Indian Creek last season during a 10-2 campaign. The only blemishes were to state champion Linton-Stockton (48-7) and in the sectional title game 63-35 to Evansville Memorial.
Northview would like to erase the memory of last year’s 35-12 loss to the Golden Arrows and will get a chance to do that on the road Friday night at 7 p.m.
The Knights lost their season opener 35-14 to Terre Haute North, but came back in style with a 56-0 romp over Edgewood last week. Meanwhile, Sullivan couldn’t quite avenge their 2016 loss to the rival Miners, but battled to the wire before losing 30-28.
While Sullivan graduated star quarterback Trey Powell, who passed for 3,200 yards and 37 touchdowns, junior QB Jack Conner has performed well in his stead. Also departed via graduation is running back Trevor Magill, who ran for over 1,000 yards. Conner has averaged just shy of 250 passing yards per game and has also piled up 200 rushing yards this season.
The Knights counter with a strong rushing attack paced by junior MJ Shelton, who has averaged 8.8 yards per carry over 27 attempts (238 yards). Northview has averaged 7.1 yards per carry as a team and 210 yards per game.
Fellow Western Division foe, Greencastle, has a 2-0 record this season after topping Crawfordsville and Cloverdale, but should get a test against West Vigo Friday night. The Vikings are 1-1 overall after beating the Athenians. In the Eastern Division, resurgent Brown County is riding high with a 2-0 record and has averaged 33.5 points over the two wins. The Eagles have topped Western Division foe South Putnam (21-14) and Edinburgh (46-14) and are 2-0 for the first time since 2011.
In the other Western Division match-up, South Putnam (1-1) and North Putnam (0-2) face off in Bainbridge.