With all the brackets scored for the opening three rounds leading up to Thursday's regional semi-final battles, some other "DDD March Challenge" contestants deserve mention.
One of the top scores for the first three rounds belonged to Rob Knefelkamp, who totaled 61 points. Unfortunately, Rob liked Duke to take it all, so he's out. Kevin Ripley and David Miller (of Monroe) totaled 57 points, and picked Duke.
As is a monthly custom, the Decatur Rotary Club hosted three Bellmont Middle School athletes for a dinner on March 17 at the Back 40 Junction.
Swimmers Connor Ross and Reagan Burry and wrestler Quinton Ganaway were treated to a meal and given certificates for being named March Athletes of the Month by the Decatur Rotary Club.
Rotary Club member Penny Parrish presented the three students with certificates.
Jim Fuelling picked both Butler and Marquette to be in the Sweet 16, the only such picker so far (more sheets to be checked) in the Decatur Daily Democrat March Challenge NCAA picking contest. He scored 54 points in picking Ohio State.
Josh Fisher and Chester Smith totaled 57 points and both took Kansas. Samantha Macklin did well early and earned 57 points ... but had Texas as the champ.
Yvonne Raudenbush, a longtime Duke fan, has 54 points and her Blue Devils, and Moss Whitright as the same number and Duke.
Adams Central's Derek Roe took the USA Indiana Folkstyle State 125-pound championship this past Saturday, emerging from a field of 22 wrestlers. He scored four wins to go with an opening round bye to earn the championship.
In the second round, Roe knocked off Alex Mix of DeKalb (wrestling club) 10-0, then the Adams Central state streeter knocked off Anthony Schoettle of the Center Grove Wrestling Club, 9-3.
With approximately half of the huge stack of "March Challenge" brackets still unchecked (by tomorrow), there have been some interesting trends, including a strong showing from the "Fox" family.
Middle schooler David Fox (AC) has rolled up 64 points to lead the way so far, scoring 36 points on the East-West side of the bracket. He picks Kansas over UConn for the title. David is 15 points ahead of dad, Dave, who likes Ohio State.
The numbers don't lie!
Adams Central junior Maverick Baumer hit 58 percent of his two-point shots and averaged 15.4 points per game for the Jets this past season. Sophomore Dalton Combs hit 48 percent of his two-pointers and scored 10.6 points per game. Both were named first team All-ACAC in boys basketball Monday.
South Adams junior Dustin Wanner, was also named to the first team.
The Fort Wayne Midget Komets went on a four-game tear at Kalamazoo last weekend and captured the National Junior Prospects Hockey League championship showdown for 16-under teams.
The big final weekend closed out the season for the Tier 1, AAA junior league.
Bellmont High School junior Brian Hakes is a defenseman/left wing for the Fort Wayne team. Cody Rice, a Norwell student, is one of the team's goaltenders and had a spectacular 44-save performance in Sunday's championship game.
At last week's Bellmont wrestling banquet, 23-year head coach Brent Faurote noted that senior John Mahlan and junior Brooks Faurote became the first two Bellmont wrestlers to follow their fathers to state this past season.
John qualified for the IHSAA State Wrestling finals at 160 pounds and finished his career at 79-32. His dad, Chris (upper left) was a three-time state placer, winning the 185-pound title in 1979. He was a state runner-up in 1978 and placed third at 177 pounds in 1977. He went 112-10 in his career.
Former Bellmont state runner-up Travis Jauregui is preparing for his first spring high jump season with the Indiana University Men's Track Team.
Jauregui completed indoor competitions recently. Travis cleared over 6'9" last June to earn second place in the state boys high jump competition at the Indiana track and field complex.
"I'm learning a whole new technique," noted Jauregui.
Bellmont won the recent Northeast Hoosier Middle School Conference Wrestling Tournament, piling up 16 placements and 332.5 points to beat Indian Springs by 20 points.
Taking titles for Bellmont were: Jordan Amacker at 95 pounds, Brett Baker at 155, and heavyweight Jacob Wooster.