Times Sports Editor
Cooler weather and the crack of helmets and pads is a sure sign that the fall sports season has gotten underway and with it, college athletics.
The Clay County area has produced several athletes who are beginning a new year of competition at colleges around the country.
As the Northview football program has gained in the win column, its stature amongst college recruiters has risen as well. During the last several years, the Knights have sent players into the collegiate ranks to make their marks.
Joe Evinger is one of the former Knights, who currently has had the most success following his high school career.
The 6'7, 340 lb. offensive lineman begins his sophomore year as a starter at the College of the Canyons junior college in California. The team began the season as the Preseason No. 1 ranked team in the country and opened the year with a 54-14 trouncing of Antelope Valley.
After posting a 9-3 record last year, Evinger is one of 16 returning starters this year. Offensive co-ordinator Don Fellows believes that Evinger's presence on the line is a big reason for the team's success.
"Joe Evinger is a full time starter for us the last 2 years, and is one of our best players," said Fellows. "He has done an unbelievable job over the past year-and-a-half. He is one of the biggest reasons we currently are ranked number one in the country. He has multiple Bowl Championship Series offers from colleges across the country."
Matt Crooks, Dayne Upperman and Jered Timm are currently on the roster while Jamie Bays suffered an injury and sits out this season for the Indianapolis school.
Marian evened its mark at 1-1 on the year following a 28-14 win over William Penn on Saturday at Pike High School.
Crooks is a sophomore place kicker for Marian while Timm is listed as a freshman wide receiver and Upperman is a freshman defensive lineman.
No stats were available for the former Northview athletes though Crooks was listed on the participation list for the contest.
At Indiana State, former Northview quarterback Broc Miller has made the transition to wide receiver for the Sycamores and is listed on the two-deep lineup.
Miller is a redshirt freshman this season.
In the volleyball ranks, former Northview standouts, Kaley Huffman, Ashley Hull and Brianne Arvin are playing collegiately.
Hull is a freshman with Lakeland College in Mattoon, Ill.
She had three aces and two kills as Lakeland improved to 2-0 in the Great Lakes Athletic Conference and 2-6 overall.
At IUPUI, Huffman has saw action in two games this season and she has a kill for the Jaguars, who are currently 5-2 overall.
For Arvin, a Stephens College sophomore, no statistics are currently available for the 2008 season.
In cross country, Emily Pugh opened her junior season with the Indiana State Sycamores with the annual Sycamore Pride Intrasquad/Alumni race.
Pugh finished eighth overall in the four-kilomter event, running a time of 16:00.44.
Indiana State begins the regular season on Friday when the Sycamores travel to the Bradley Invitational.
Northview also has a soccer alumni that has continued her career in college.
Abby Birkey is a freshman at Grace College for the currently 0-3 Lancers. Birkey has not seen action to this point of the season.
The fall softball season has also begun for several Clay County players.
Former teammates at Clay City, Chelsee Gerber and Angie Camp faced off against each other when Saint Mary-of-the-Woods took on Camp's Olney Central Blue Knights on Monday afternoon. Northview's Traci Sanders was also on the field with the Blue Knights.
At Indiana State, sophomores Stephanie Jonson and Brittaney Searing travel to Evansville for tourney play on Saturday with the Sycamores.
Also in Illinois, Kayla Raderstorf and her Rend Lake Warriors have gotten their fall season underway, going 1-2-1 at the John A. Logan Classic ending August.