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Perfect close to high school sports season

I’m not sure there could have been a better way to put the 2013-14 high school sports season to rest than the drama that unfolded at the boys’ golf state tournament.
Here they were, Corydon Central’s Mitchell Frederick and Timothy Wiseman coming down the stretch, hovering near even-par as contenders for a state title. The duo were confident they would be at the top in their first appearances at the collection of the state’s best golfers.
In the end, they signed respective scorecards to fifth-place finishes. I signed my scorecard as well, to a top-notch way to end the school year.
While the summer so far has been filled with World Cup excitement, the prep season had its own soccer highlights.
Destined for Indiana University, Cory Thomas made defenders look silly at times while setting scoring records with the Corydon Central boys’ soccer team. There were a few key firsts in soccer as well: Lanesville boys’ and North Harrison girls’ programs winning their first postseason games in history.
Also in the fall, the Lady Panthers’ senior duo of Payton Windell and Reagan Mosley helped power the Corydon Central volleyball program to 20 wins.
On the cross-country path, Ashton Bosler continued her dominance in the area, winning regional and making a bid to state.
Keeping pace on the boys’ side, Daniel Fleace reached the state meet in cross country along with an appearance in the spring in track and field.
Breaking unwanted streaks, North Harrison’s football program won its first sectional game since 2005. Heading into his third season as head coach, Mark Williamson has the Cougars going in the right direction, ending the 2013 season winning four of their last six games.
It’ll be a change at the football helm at Corydon Central as Darin Ward moves over to rival Charlestown as head coach while veteran Hall of Famer Mike Spencer fills the void with the Panthers.
The winter sports season saw plenty of excitement on the basketball floor. How about the 1,000-point scorers in Harrison County? Put South Central’s Kelsey Miller, North Harrison’s Kendra Lambert and Cory Smith in there along with Corydon Central’s Marie Rothrock and Bronson Kessinger. All impressive careers with the highly-touted Kessinger set to return for his senior campaign.
The Panthers had a big year on the boys’ side, winning a share of the Mid-Southern Conference title and capturing the usually elusive PSC Holiday Classic.
Echoes of ‘BPN’ still ring in my ear to close the hoops season.
A truly incredible run through the Borden Sectional (mind you, the 2013 state champion Braves) by Lanesville landed the Eagles a title. They had to soar over much taller and longer teams put on the floor by Christian Academy of Indiana and Rock Creek Academy to snare the hardware. It took teamwork and unselfishness to get the job done.
On the wrestling mat, Bailey LaHue was once again impressive for Corydon Central. In his junior campaign, he reached the second day at the state meet for the third consecutive year. An injury, however, ended his dream of standing atop the podium at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Teammate Mason Kaufer got his first taste of state competition, reaching the meet in his sophomore season in the light-weight division. Expect both, along with a few other Panthers’ grapplers to contend once again.
In the pool, Bailey Seitz rolled in the 50-yard freestyle sprint at sectional to become the first North Harrison swimmer to earn a bid at the state meet.
Reaching the ultimate meet in swimming isn’t easy; it’s either win your sectional race or meet a qualifying time.
Speaking of state appearances, the spring season featured several making the bid in track and field. Corydon Central’s Sidney Capelle logged a 13th-place effort in the 300-meter hurdles. The sophomore was also part of the Lady Panthers’ 1,600-relay team that appeared at the IUPUI track. Capelle was joined by Kaitlin Salomon, Jordan Dagenhart and Keeley Martin for the exchanges.
On the diamond, there were plenty of home runs in softball. As a team, North Harrison clubbed 26, led by Kenedy House’s nine dingers to help bring the young Lady Cats’ lineup to a 17-win season.
Corydon Central wasn’t far behind in the HR total, hitting 18. In what felt like the old Mark McGwire vs. Sammy Sosa home-run total battles, Payton Windell closed with nine for the Lady Panthers.
In baseball, South Central does what South Central does lately: win sectionals. For the fourth straight year, the Rebels lifted the sectional trophy.
They had to avenge a regular-season loss to Borden in the opening round before defeating rival Lanesville and New Washington for the prize.
To close the season, the Corydon Central golf team continued to dazzle. All season long the Panthers dominated on the links, setting benchmarks for team scores and winning matches and tournaments.
Facing the toughest regional in the state, the Panthers just missed sending the entire team to state. Fortunately, Frederick and Wiseman qualified as individuals and clearly showed that the Panthers belonged with the best.
It was undoubtedly a tremendous sports season. Many athletes have graduated with several going on to play at the college level.
While I plan on taking a break this summer to watch the World Cup, the start of the 2014-15 fall season isn’t that far away.
It’s time to relax and enjoy the summer before more championship journeys commence in August.