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R. Stuart Dickson '47 Culver Academies Golf Course rated among Indiana's top private courses by Golfweek's Best 2023

R. Stuart Dickson ‘47 Culver Academies Golf Course in Culver was ranked among the top five private golf courses for Indiana by Golfweek's Best Private Courses 2023.

 

The list of the top private golf courses layouts was judged by Golfweek's international panel of raters, with hundreds of members continually evaluating courses, rating them based on a point basis of one to ten. 

 

The five courses that made the list for Indiana were private and don't accept a daily fee or resort play. Nestled in-between Lake Maxinkuckee and the Culver Woodcraft Camp, R. Stuart Dickson ‘47 Culver Academies Golf Course provides a nine hole course and is home to the boys and girls golf teams and the Academies' community.

 

According to the Culver Academies athletic website, the course was constructed to challenge competitive golfers and rewards excellent shot-making skills, as well as provide a superior facilities for novice golfers to improve their abilities. The Culver golf course also includes a practice area complete with a driving range, short game areas and putting green, as well as a new Golf House. Student-athletes are also offered a state-of-the-art indoor golf simulators on location for use during cold Indiana winters.

 

The course was created nearly a century ago by noted Golden Age golf architects William Langford and Theodore Moreau. Langford and Moreau were renowned in the golfing history for inventive uses of Midwestern landscapes as their canvas for truly challenging courses.

 

It was restored in 2015 by Bobby Weed Golf Design, who added unique, modern, previously hidden features. 

 

 

Westfield's  Chatham Hills, Carmel's Crooked Stick Golf Club, Newburgh's Victoria National, and  Ft. Wayne's Sycamore Hills were the other four in their top ratings for Indiana. 

IHSAA Executive Committee amends Four-Class Proposal, Tournament Success Factor adjusted

During its final meeting of the 2022-23 school year today, the IHSAA Executive Committee approved a rule that changes the way schools are classified in four-class sports.

The Executive Committee voted to amend the original rule proposal from the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (IIAAA) that would have changed how schools were classified in four-class sports by using fixed enrollment figures. Instead, by a 13-4-1 count, the Committee opted to maintain a percentage-based system and adjusted it to a 20-25-25-30 ratio.

Beginning with the next reclassification cycle, Class 4A will include the largest 20% of schools, Class 3A will be the next 25%, Class 2A the next 25% and Class A the smallest 30% of schools. Since 1997-98, the rule has required equally distributing schools (25%) among the four classes.

“The Board of Directors recognized the concerns brought to us by the IIAAA which were the enrollment gap in Class 4A and the smaller schools that were being moved up to a larger class without a significant enrollment change due to new member schools joining the Association,” said IHSAA Commissioner Paul Neidig. “This change also addresses a desire for schools to be in the same class in baseball, basketball, softball, and volleyball but it also give us an opportunity to adjust those percentages in the future if necessary.”

The next two-year reclassification cycle begins with the 2024-25 school year with the certified enrollment figures reported to the Indiana Department of Education from the upcoming school year being used. Those will be released next winter. Additionally, classifying the four-class sports will be based on the entire membership total and not only those schools participating in a given sport effectively keeping sectional alignments similar across each sport.

The original proposal had been submitted by Neidig on behalf of the IIAAA but had been tabled by the Board of Directors for further study at its May 1 meeting and was brought back for action at today’s meeting.

Tournament Success Factor

Two proposals affecting the Tournament Success Factor (Rule 2-5) that had been tabled in May were also brought back for action.

A proposal from board member and Barr-Reeve Principal Jeff Doyle was approved after being amended. New language requires that a school’s performance and points accumulated in a two-year span will be looked at annually beginning in 2024-25. Currently, points accumulated in a specific two-year window determine whether a team moves up or stays up one or more classes.

Going forward, data from the previous two years will be reviewed and considered annually before making a determination.

A proposal from Yorktown Principal Stacey Brewer that called for schools that were playing in a higher class to drop down a class if they accumulated three points or less and those scoring four or more points to remain in that higher class, failed to receive support.


Lucas Oil Stadium will be multi-purpose venue for NBA All-Star 2024

The NBA All-Star 2024 Host Committee announced  that State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 17.

As one of the most anticipated events during NBA All-Star, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night brings together many of the league’s brightest stars to showcase their skills in AT&T Slam Dunk, the Starry 3-Point Contest, and the Kia Skills Challenge. The 73rd NBA All-Star Game will be held on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
10,500 tickets will go on sale to the public for $24, $49, and $79 on July 24. Fans in Indiana will have the first opportunity to buy and should sign up to receive more information about the on-sale process at Pacers.com/AllStar2024. Additionally, the Host Committee will purchase and distribute 2,400 tickets free of charge to local partners, community groups, and non-profits.
“State Farm All-Star Saturday Night is one of the most exciting and entertaining nights in all of sports, and holding it at Lucas Oil Stadium, one of football’s most iconic venues which was also thoughtfully designed for basketball events, enables us to make it more accessible than ever to our community,” said Rick Fuson CEO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “This focus on community is one of the ways that will make NBA All-Star 2024 in Indianapolis so special and unique, and I am grateful to our friends and partners at the NBA and the Capital Improvement Board for working with us to make this possible.”
The Host Committee also announced that, thanks to the generosity of IndyGo, the Indianapolis Foundation, and donors to the Indy Championship Fund, IndyGo buses will be free for all riders for the duration of NBA All-Star 2024 from Feb. 15-18. Buses will offer extended service, ensuring that riders will have easy transportation home following downtown events. The Pacers Bike Share, operated by the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, will also be free during the four days of NBA All-Star 2024.
“Between two top-tier sports venues, four days of free public transit, and one of the most walkable downtowns in America, NBA All-Star has never been more accessible or fan-friendly,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “It’s no surprise. When it comes to hosting large events, Indianapolis does it like nobody else.”
In addition to hosting one of the most beloved annual All-Star events, the use of Lucas Oil Stadium allows organizers to maximize this versatile downtown facility for fan engagement. NBA All-Star Saturday Night festivities will take place on the south end of the stadium, with roughly 35,000 seats surrounding the court, while the north end will be used for concerts and performances. More details on those events will be shared at a later date.
“We are thrilled to bring State Farm All-Star Saturday Night to Lucas Oil Stadium, where the event will be enjoyed by more fans than ever before,” said Kelly Flatow, Head of Events, NBA. “We appreciate the incredible collaboration from the NBA All-Star 2024 Host Committee and the Capital Improvement Board to bring this to life, further helping us realize our vision in building an inclusive and fan-first NBA All-Star 2024.”
The walkability and connectivity of downtown Indianapolis help make the city ideal for hosting large events of this kind. For decades, city and state leaders have invested in downtown sports amenities that are both world-class and convenient for fans and visitors, and the proximity of Lucas Oil Stadium to Gainbridge Fieldhouse, the Indiana Convention Center, and other key locations will make the NBA All-Star 2024 experience as fan-friendly and community-centric as possible.
"NBA All-Star and All-Star Saturday Night exemplify how our community comes together to celebrate our venerated sport of basketball with exciting and affordable events, and we can't wait to welcome fans to Lucas Oil Stadium for the activities we're hosting, said CIB Executive Director Andy Mallon. “I am grateful to IndyGo and Pacers Bike Share for offering free transportation for those wanting to make the trip from the Fieldhouse to the Stadium, and for those who haven't visited the Stadium in a long time or who are ready to make their first visit, NBA All-Star Saturday Night is the perfect time to check it out."

Tecumseh over Caston to repeat as 1A softball state champs

Junior Natalie Feather emerged as Tecumseh’s No. 1 pitcher right about the time the defending Class 1A champions took off. 

It was not really a coincidence. 

Tecumseh (25-9) reinforced its spot among the softball elite in the state of Indiana by rolling to a 6-0 win over Caston in the title game at Bittinger Stadium. 

Feather tossed a four-hit shutout and added a gargantuan, two-run home run to cap the scoring in the sixth inning giving coach Gordon Wood’s program its fifth state championship in its 10th state-title-game appearance. The number of championships is the third-most in state history, while the appearances are the second-most. 

“One thing I will say,” Wood said during the post-game celebration, “this NEVER gets old … and you can use never in all-capitals. Our strength of schedule really helped us prepare us for the post-season.” 

After beating South Central (Union Mills) a year ago, the Braves started the 2023 season 8-8. Certainly, a schedule that featured several 4A schools, a couple of out-of-state clubs and the likes of 2A champ North Posey and defending 4A champ Roncalli contributed to that mark. 
Wood, however, came into the season needing to find a top pitcher. 

“We had nine starters back and only lost our No. 1 pitcher,” he pointed out. “We struggled with pitching throughout the year and we didn’t know who our No. 1 was until the last week of the season.”

Up stepped Feather. She came in to the final with an 11-2 record and a 3.07 ERA in 100 innings pitched. Leading up to the title game, she had allowed just four runs in Tecumseh’s five tournament games, including three shutouts. 

“I just started hitting my spots a lot better,” Feather said after her performance in the title game, where she finished with four strikeouts, only one walk and not allowing a runner past second.

The only inning in which Feather faced real trouble came in the fifth inning. While protecting a 1-0 lead, Caston (22-5) put the first two runners on. Feather, however, bore down and got the final three outs on two strikeouts and a fielder’s choice. 

“Natalie started pitching instead of throwing,” Wood said of Feather’s emergence. “She worked on her changeup and started hitting corners. You saw that today.” 

Gettting out of that jam clearly swung the momentum to the Braves.

Senior Katelyn Marx tripled in the third inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Taylor Ash for the 1-0 lead. In the fifth, Marx doubled in pinch runner Keeley Wingerter (who stepped in for Feather who had singled with one out). Ash then reached on an error and both Marx and Ash scored on a double by Jenna Donohoo for a 4-0 lead.

In the sixth, Feather put the game out of reach by clubbing her homer with Payge Johnson scoring ahead of her. 

“I don’t think I’ve ever hit a ball that hard,” Feather said of the blast to left-center. “I just knew we needed more runs and that’s what I had to do.” 

Caston, making its first-ever state finals appearance in any sport, brought along a large crowd, but went home empty-handed. 

“Unfortunately, we just didn’t string any hits together,” Comets coach Jon Burks said. “We hung in there, but they got the hits they needed and we didn’t.” 

Marx finished with three hits for the winners. 

Caston’s Kinzie Mollenkopf earns Mental Attitude Award

  Photos - Caston Athletics Twitter

At the conclusion of the game, Kinzie Mollenkopf of Caston High School was announced as the recipient of the Mental Attitude Award for Class 1A Softball. 

The award is annually presented to a senior participant in the state finals who best demonstrates mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability and is nominated by her principal and coach.  

Kinzie is a member of the Athletic Leadership Team and a part of the National Honor Society. She is also on the Parliamentary Procedure Team and the President and reporter for Future Farmers of America. Athletically, she is the 2023 Hoosier North Conference MVP and a North All-Star Selection for District 1.  Besides softball, she also participated all four years with the Comets’ volleyball and basketball teams.

Kinzie is the daughter of Stephanie and Blake Mollenkopf of North Logansport, IN and will attend Huntington University to study Agricultural Business.  

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance presented a $1,000 scholarship to Caston High School in the name of Kinzie Mollenkopf. She becomes the first Caston student-athlete to receive an IHSAA mental attitude award in any sport.


IHSAA softball preview: 1A, Caston vs Tecumseh

The IHSAA has released the previews for the upcoming softball state finals.

 

On Saturday, eighth-ranked Caston (22-4) plays for the school's first ever state title in any sport.  The opponent is top-ranked and defending state champion Tecumseh (22-9). The Braves are trying to join Center Grove, Roncalli and New Palestine as the only softball programs with as many as five state titles.

 

The game is scheduled for 4:30 pm Saturday at Purdue's Bittinger Stadium.

 

IHSAA preview link

https://www.ihsaa.org/sites/default/files/documents/2022-23%20Softball%20Preview.pdf

Block party Wednesday to celebrate Caston softball championship appearance

Caston will make its first appearance in a state finals athletics event this Saturday.

 

#8 Caston (22-4) will play top-ranked Tecumseh (24-9) in the 1A softball state championship on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

 

To celebrate, a block party is set for Wednesday in the Caston parking lot.

 


Caston to play top-ranked Tecumseh for 1A softball state title.

The eighth-ranked Caston Lady Comets claimed the Frankfort softball semistate championship and a berth in Saturday's 1A state championship.

Saturday's championship saw Caston get by #4 Cowan, 5-3. Kinzie Mollenkopf got the win pitching 6 1/3 innings, striking out 7, walking 2, and allowing 6 hits. Mollenkopf went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI on a double and single.

 

Photo  - Caston Athletics Twitter

 

Macee Hinderlider had an RBI triple. Addison Zimpleman drove in a run with a double. She also pitched 2/3 inning in relief for the final two outs.

Alexa Finke had an RBI sacrifice bunt.

In the semifinal, Caston blanked Kouts, 9-0. Mollenkopf pitched a one-hit shutout, striking out 13.

Isabel Scales went 3-for-4, with 5 RBI on a homerun, double, and a single.

Kylee Logan had an RBI single. Addison Zimpleman went 2-for-4 with 2 singles.

The Lady Comets (22-4) will play #1 Tecumseh (24-9)  at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The game will be played at Bittinger Stadium at Purdue University.

 

 


 

Keranko runs personal best 800 at state finals

RJ Keranko turned in a personal best at the Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex at Indiana University.

 

Keranko's 1:57.91 in the 800 meters at the state finals earned the Rochester track athlete  a 19th place finish.  That was five spots above his seeding going into the day at #24.


Rochester golf advances with second place sectional finish

Rochester's second place golf sectional finish will send the Zebras to the regional.

 

The Zebras shot a 327, second only to Twin Lakes' 299. Rensselaer Central finished third with a team score of 342.

 

Logansport, 355, and Winamac, 377, rounded out the top five of the 11-team field.

 

Rochester was led by John McLochlin who fired a 76 for an overall individual finish in fourth place.  The other top five golfers were all from sectional champ Twin Lakes topped by Leo Dellinger with a 70.

 

Andrew Strasser (79) also shot below for 80 for Rochester.  Noah Riffle finished with an 81.

 

The top three teams who post a team score and top three low individuals excluding those individuals who advance with a team get to advance on to the regional.

 

Among the three individuals advancing without a team is Caston's Colby Pugh.  Pugh shot an 86.  Teammate AJ Dague was just off the pace with an 88.

 

As a team, Caston shot a 409 to finish in seventh place.

 

 

 

 

Northwestern named TRC member in wake of North Miami departure

The official announcement of the departure of North Miami from the Three Rivers Conference left a vacancy in the ever-changing conference landscape.

 

Well, for a few hours.

 

It appears Northwestern (Howard Co.) will leave the Hoosier Conference to join the TRC to begin the 2024-25 season.

 

Northwestern has been a Hoosier Conference member since joining from the dissolving Mid-Indiana Conference in 2015.


Another TRC departure as North Miami to join HNAC

North Miami has become another school that has chosen to change athletic conference affiliation.

 

It was officially announced by a letter submitted by the conference that North Miami is leaving the Three Rivers Conference to join the Hoosier North for the 2024-25 season.

 

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Fair and 32 F at Rochester Fulton County Airport, IN

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