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Closing out 2009 in sports

It is time to start another decade in the coming days. I figured we could take a look back at 2009 and relive some of the highlights of what made the sports year one of the best. Here is a quick glimpse to some of the impressive accomplishments some of our area athletes and teams put together. Apologies to David Letterman’s top 10 list; I opted for the ‘no particular order’ option.
North Harrison boys’ cross country and harrier Tyler Byrne
The North Harrison boys’ cross country team put on a show during the fall season. The Cougar harriers rolled through sectional and regional competition and finished second by a point in the semi-state race. At the state finals, the Cougars finished fifth as a team, earning medalist honors and its best showing in school history. Among the Cougars, senior Tyler Byrne went undefeated during the season until finishing fifth at state. After the season, Byrne competed at the national level, earning high marks around the country.
SC wins another basketball sectional
For the sixth time in the last seven years, the South Central girls’ basketball team cut down the nets after winning a Class A sectional title. This time around, the Lady Rebels cut them down on their home court after defeating Borden, 55-50, in February. South Central’s Shelby Miller was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. The Lady Rebels then reached the regional finals after beating Wood Memorial, 47-29. No. 1 Vincennes Rivet eliminated the Lady Rebels with a 55-44 win in the final.
NH rolls through hoops sectional
The North Harrison girls’ basketball team put together 21 wins during the 2008-09 season. No victory was bigger than the 58-35 effort against rival Crawford County in the Class 3A sectional final in Corydon on Feb. 14. It marked the first sectional title for the program since 2003. The team featured six seniors who played significant roles on the team. In the championship, Wynn Shroyer scored 17 points and Kayla Lambert had 15. In the regionals, a last-second shot lifted Vincennes Lincoln over the Lady Cats, 53-51.
Bussabarger, Byrne, Austin make track and field state finals
A trio of area athletes made their way to Indiana University for the track and field state finals. North Harrison was well represented by Tyler Byrne, who finished fifth in the 1,600-meter run and 20th in the 3,200. Byrne wasn’t the lone Cougar to reach state. Alan Austin finished 12th overall in the discus throw. Also making state was Meghan Bussabarger from Corydon Central. She finished eighth in the high jump and took 14th in the 100-meter hurdles.
Panther football enjoys turnaround
The Corydon Central football team enjoyed a turnaround season this past year. Darin Ward returned to coach the Panthers to a 7-4 mark, improving on a one-win season the year prior. The regular season included four shutout wins (North Harrison, Clarksville, Eastern and Tecumseh). The game that got everyone believing was the Sept. 4 win over Brownstown Central. The Panthers lost a close one to Charlestown on Sept. 25, 6-0, keeping the Mid-Southern Conference title at bay. The Panthers eventually lost to Class 3A No. 7 Indian Creek, 13-8, in the sectional semi-finals.
CC softball completes 3-peat
Winning sectional in softball seems to be second nature to the Corydon Central softball program. In the spring, coach Kim Briscoe’s team won its third consecutive Class 3A sectional title by shutting out Silver Creek, 2-0, in the championship game on its home field. Pitcher Jenna Keinsley and the Lady Panthers didn’t allow a run in the three sectional games played. Corydon Central bowed out of post-season play in the regional.
Hutchinson makes wrestling state tournament
Corydon Central’s Chris Falardo and Ryan Hutchinson, who were seniors, brought home individual sectional champion honors by pulling out top honors in tough wrestling matches at the Jeffersonville Sectional in January. Hutchinson, wrestling at 135 pounds, ended up carrying that success into a state finals berth by placing fourth at semi-state. Hutchinson and Falardo were joined by Matthew LaHue and Jackson Fowler as semi-state qualifiers.
Corydon Central girls’ golf team makes history
The Lady Panther golf team may not have the fire-power to keep up with Floyd Central on the links, but Corydon Central’s girls reached a huge goal in September when they moved on to a regional. Coached by Richard Clipp, the Lady Panthers carded a team score of 381 to finish second at the Floyd Central Sectional. With the finish, the Lady Panthers made their first appearance as a team at a girls’ golf regional. Senior Heidi Zimmerman finished third at the sectional with an 82 and made her third appearance at regional. The team failed to make state, and Zimmerman was one stroke away from advancing as an individual.
Honorable mention
Corydon Central boys’ soccer team upsets New Albany in regular season for a big win in the program’s young history; youth league baseball fields dedicated and named May Field after father and son, Pinky and Milt May, respectively, held professional careers after growing up in Southern Harrison County; Corydon Central coach Kim Briscoe is inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame.