By DYLAN MALONE
Without any games going Friday night I decided to bring out a rare Friday column.
That’s the good news (or bad depending on who’s reading this).
The bad news is that I am writing this because Bellmont lost to Norwell the other day. They would have been the only game going on Friday in the semi-finals of the sectional at BHS. As it stands, Heritage and Norwell will renew an old rivalry with Eastbrook and Whitko duking it out in the other semi-game to determine Monday’s championship match-up.
There are just a few sports teams in Adams County still hanging on marking the end of the spring season. School is out and the summer is here but there are several seniors who would like to extend their school experience a few more weeks. I can’t even do Bellmont’s track team any justice, either.
It should have tipped off the writers in Fort Wayne when Bellmont won the indoor version of state track. Runners like Alexis Harvey have gotten no respect from Allen County even when the senior blows away the competition in big time races. It trickles all the way down to the underclassmen as well with the freshman like Bailey Beery just picking up the tricks of the trade right out of the gate. The Squaws have the best shot we may see in awhile to make serious noise at the state level.
Both Bellmont and South Adams are out of the running in baseball and softball while Adams Central is enjoying their time still playing and hope to be playing in June.
The Braves and Squaws had very similar seasons as they both seemed to be rebuilding years. Coach Fawbush tried all season long to get his team to show that aggression at the plate that last year’s regional winning squad had but as it seemed to be coming to fruition at the end of the year the Braves ran into the Norwell Knights, the team that looks a lot like the Braves did last year and may make just as much noise.
The good news is that next season Bellmont will see a lot of competition for varsity spots with several promising underclassmen playing well for that reserve squad that lost just four games and won the Whitko tournament.
The Squaws are equally as blessed. With only 18 girls in the entire program, things could only get better. Bellmont will have a few more freshman from an up-and-coming talented class come out for the team next season likely creating enough room for a JV.
The large number of girls on the varsity squad simply aided in giving valuable experience to the girls who stuck it out for a year and will return next year. Like the Braves, the softball team will be a lot deeper next season.
As for South Adams, the boys’ team had a similar situation as Bellmont losing several key seniors. The players that did play varsity were mostly newcomers and it was not until mid-season that the Stars started playing really solid baseball. They met their end at the hands of Bishop Luers but it will be the last time anyone in 2A will have to worry about the Knights as they move to 3A in all sports next fall. Sorry Bellmont, it’s your problem, now.
The Starfire girls were something to watch this season as well. In the second year of truly talented underclassmen ruling the show, the Stars had one of their most successful season in recent memory. They had a little trouble producing against Eastside and it cost them in sectional play but coach O’Dell is really onto something in Berne. Watch out for the Lady Stars next season. They return many key players and will be fantastic.
That leaves AC baseball and the Lady Jets. Both are still alive, the Lady Jets already sectional champs. Adams Central has to be favored to win as well but they have to top Churubusco and then likely Luers, a team they played extra innings against earlier this year in a shootout and won.
The Jets have lived off of their offense all season long with sluggers up and down their lineup. Returning their entire core of pitchers from last season has helped also with Isaac Luginbill leading the way as the ace.
The test will be which team will show up against the Eagles. When the Jets played 'Busco in a doubleheader earlier this season, the first game was a 1-0 contest and the second game was an AC blowout. The first was the morning game and a sleepy Jets' offense was bailed out by a Matt Schwaller walk-off homer.
Different guys have stepped up for AC all season long but it will take a team effort to win the sectional as every team is pitching their ace against the Jets and should they get past the Eagles the Monroe Men will likely face Luers in the nightcap. Should be a great day of Memorial Day baseball...