August 23rd, 2013
SOUTH WHITLEY ‚ÄĒ ‚ÄúSome people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ is a quote by well-known basketball star Michael Jordan.
His words are mirrored in the actions of residents in South Whitley. When economic downturn took the town through a dark time, groups of community residents came together to see that the town of South Whitley be revived.
Town Council President Tony Starkey has a front row seat to the growth and energy now buzzing through the small town.
SYRACUSE ‚ÄĒ With just eight seniors on his team, first-year Whitko Head Coach Josh Mohr knew his young Wildcats would be tested in their opening football game at Wawasee.
The test came early when Warrior Clayton Cook snagged the opening kickoff and ran it back for a touchdown, giving Wawasee a lead in the opening 13 seconds ‚ÄĒ a lead it would never relinquish.
Wawasee, under the leadership of another first-year head coach, Josh Ekovich, went on to post a 42-20 win ‚ÄĒ its 12th in the last 16 meetings with Whitko.
COLUMBIA CITY ‚ÄĒ Columbia City‚Äôs Parks Department is exploring its options regarding the area of Kids Dreamland, West Van Buren Street.
Parks Director Mark Green said the condition of the playground, that is several years past its lifespan, is continuing to deteriorate.
‚ÄúSome of the problems are becoming unrepairable,‚ÄĚ Green said. ‚ÄúThe playground is beyond its years.‚ÄĚ
Green said a wooden playset has a 15-year lifespan ‚ÄĒ Kids Dreamland has surpassed the 20-year mark.
WARSAW ¬≠‚ÄĒ Size matters. Columbia City Eagle Head Coach Randy Hudgens summed up the opening football game Friday when he said, ‚ÄúOur margin for error is not very big when we play a 6A team.‚ÄĚ
For the Eagles‚Äô errors ‚ÄĒ an interception returned for a touchdown, an 82-yard punt return, a lost onside kick, and another interception deep in their own territory ‚ÄĒ all added up to a 33-14 season-opening loss to the homestanding Warsaw Tigers.
‚ÄúNear-misses on offense and just-misses on defense are not things we can afford to do when we are a smaller-roster 4A school,‚ÄĚ Hudgins said.
FREMONT‚ÄĒ Churubusco‚Äôs football team opened the 2013 season with a dominating victory over Fremont.
‚ÄėBusco beat its conference-rival 56-0 in the first game for Paul Sade as head football coach.
With such a dominating performance, Sade said the team did well in every aspect of the game.
‚ÄúWe came out and we played fast and we were focused and we executed, really in all three phases of the game,‚ÄĚ he said.
COLUMBIA CITY ‚ÄĒ While Columbia City‚Äôs Fire Department already planned to hire a new employee next year, Thursday morning, officials mulled the idea of hiring a second full-time fireman.
The option came up after a federal grant that will pay for two years of a new firefighter‚Äôs salary became available ‚ÄĒ but it‚Äôs more problematic than simply hiring another fireman.
The CCFD wants to add another firefighter to the department at the beginning of 2014, but if awarded the grant, funds may not be available until later in the year.
COLUMBIA CITY ‚ÄĒ As the long-term effects of concussions in football have hit the national newsstands, Columbia City High School is working hard to protect its gridders.
Every Eagle football player has been educated about concussions, and players underwent a baseline concussion test before taking the field this fall.
COLUMBIA CITY ‚ÄĒ Not every freshman class has a smooth transition into the sports realm from middle school ‚ÄĒ but this season, Columbia City‚Äôs cross country runners do.
Jason Matteson, who has coached cross country for Indian Springs Middle School for the last three years, is one of two new assistant coaches at Columbia City High School this season.
‚ÄúHe really helped coach these guys as eighth graders,‚ÄĚ Columbia City Head Cross Country Coach Bob Fahl said. ‚ÄúWe brought him up here as a follow through. He‚Äôll be a big asset to us.‚ÄĚ
COLUMBIA CITY ‚ÄĒ While winning games are always the goal, Columbia City‚Äôs girls volleyball team has another priority ‚ÄĒ the classroom.
Every junior and senior on the Lady Eagles‚Äô squad is a member of the CCHS National Honor Society. Last season, the girls volleyball squad had one of the top grade-point averages in the school.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôre very well-rounded girls,‚ÄĚ Columbia City Head Coach Trish Hinen said.
Even during the busy fall season with late nights and practices, Hinen said the girls‚Äô grades hardly waiver.
‚ÄúWe do grade checks every Friday,‚ÄĚ Hinen said.
SOUTH WHITLEY ‚ÄĒ The result from the opening night performance was not what Head Coach Gary Sims had in mind.
At home to kick off their 2013 soccer campaign, the Whitko Lady Wildcats fell behind early and never recovered as the Cougars from Central Noble came away with a 7-3 win.
Following the contest, Sims was having a difficult time putting into words his disappointment.
‚ÄúWe are way better than this,‚ÄĚ Sims said. ‚ÄúTonight, we ran a lot, but we didn‚Äôt play soccer.‚ÄĚ