Three area teams were ranked in the Associated Press preseason poll, including Bloomington South at No. 3 in Class 5A.

The Panthers are coming off three straight 11-win seasons and have won sectional championships in each of those campaigns. Three junior all-state players return on offense: quarterback Gavin Yeskie, receiver Chris Bomba and running back Kristian Pechac.

Bloomington North was not ranked in the top 10 but was also receiving votes in Class 5A.

Linton, state title winners in Class 1A last year, debuted at No. 5 in Class 2A in the AP poll. The Miners finished last season 15-0 but move up to Class 2A this year because of the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s postseason success factor.

Eastern Greene also cracked the top 10. The Thunderbirds came in at No. 10 in Class 1A; they are the reigning sectional champions after beating West Washington in the sectional final last season. West Washington came in at No. 9 in the AP’s first poll of the season.

Bloomington South’s Jonathan Dodrill, Bloomington North’s Parker Lucas and Elaina Walls and White River Valley grad Abby Denham all won titles at the USTAF’s Region 7 track and field meet at DeKalb, Ill. last weekend.

Several other area athletes, some with the Indiana Track Club and White River Valley TC, also qualified for the national meet, which will take place in Lawrence, Kan. July 24-30, via their top five finishes.

Dodrill made it to nationals in three events in the boys’ 17-18 age group, winning the hammer throw (153-10) and taking second in discus (164-3) and fifth in shot put (49-10). North’s Garrett Ramsey was fourth in pole vault (12-1 1/2).

The 17-18 girls saw Walls take the discus (119-9) and hammer titles (124-3) while the Ball State-bound Denham ruled in javelin (109-4).

In the 15-16 boys, Lucas took the hammer throw (117-11),  while also finishing seventh in the javelin (105-1) and ninth in shot put (37-10 3/4). North’s Zach Merritt was fourth in the shot (42-4 3/4). WRV’s Tanner Denham was fourth in javelin (112-3), while Joe Records was fifth in the 2,000 steeplechase (7:18.17) and seventh in the 3,000 (10:18.90).

South’s Jordan Monson placed fourth in the 400 hurdles in the girls’ 15-16 bracket in 1:06.77 and was 10th in the 100s (17.33).

In the 11-12 girls, Bloomington’s Hadley Lucas took fourth (59-4) in discus while WRV’s Becca Robbins was fifth (57-2) and ITC’s Dale Gordillo was sixth (55-4). Robbins was also  seventh in shot put (23-5 1/2).

And in the 9-10 boys, Adis Hamidovic took fifth in javelin (45-7) and eighth in shot put (14-8).

Conference Indiana and the Circle City Conference have formed an alliance in football that will kick off in 2018.

It’s a partnership that helps alleviate scheduling worries for Conference Indiana, which received word this year that Franklin Central and Perry Meridian would leave for other conferences in 2018-19. Franklin Central joined up with the Hoosier Crossroads Conference, and Perry Meridian left for the Mid-State Conference.

Bloomington South and Bloomington North remain in Conference Indiana with Southport, Columbus North, Terre Haute South and Terre Haute North. Circle City will bring Bishop Chatard, Brebeuf Jesuit, Covenant Christian (Indianapolis), Guerin Catholic, Heritage Christian and Roncalli into the fold as potential opponents in football.

A game against a Circle City opponent will not count toward a Conference Indiana team’s league record, and vice versa. Last school year was the Circle City Conference’s inaugural season with only four teams. Heritage Christian joins the league in ’17-18 and Covenant Christian will become a member in ’18-19.

In a statement, Terre Haute South athletic director Brian Mancuso, the current conference president, said football scheduling was “a source of concern” for athletic directors.

“This new alliance is a win for both conferences as it will provide a source of scheduling stability and possibly provide intriguing matchups,” Mancuso said. “We look forward to developing and rekindling relationships with the Circle City Conference schools.”

Bishop Chatard athletic director Mike Ford said this was a “public-private schools athletic alliance that is attractive for providing each of our schools with new competition and hopefully long-term rivalries.”

While Conference Indiana is made up of four Class 5A schools and two from Class 6A (Columbus North and Southport), the Circle City Conference is made up of small schools: three Class 3As (Guerin Catholic, Bishop Chatard, Brebeuf Jesuit), a Class 1A (Covenant Christian), a Class 2A (Heritage Christian) and Class 5A Roncalli (which just moved up from Class 4A).

Bloomington South will play conference rival Columbus North at Lucas Oil Stadium as part of a doubleheader at the NFL facility.

Ray Compton, the event’s organizer, has confirmed that the Bloomington South-Columbus North will be the second game at Lucas Oil on Oct. 6. Kickoff is scheduled for around 8 p.m. Another game is slated for 5:30 p.m., but that matchup has yet to be determined.

Bloomington South-Columbus North has been an important Week 8 game of late. The Panthers are 14-0 in Conference Indiana play the last two years, and the Bull Dogs are 11-3. Last year, Bloomington South handed Columbus North its only loss in CI play, 42-28, to clinch an outright title.

South is just one of many local teams to utilize the Colts’ venue for regular season games. Bloomington North played Columbus East at Lucas Oil in 2012. Western Indiana Conference rivals Edgewood and Owen Valley faced off in Indianapolis in 2013.  And in 2016, Linton played North Vermillion in another set of games organized by Compton.

The Panthers last played at Lucas Oil in 2011, matching up with Southport.

Bloomington South offensive lineman Garrett Hickman announced late Monday he will play college football at Indiana State.

Hickman, who will be a senior in the fall, is the second Panther to commit to Indiana State in 2017. Tommy Richardson, a 2017 grad, committed to ISU shortly after South alum Curt Mallory was hired as head coach.

Hickman did not play much of his junior season because of an offseason knee injury, but the 6-foot-2, 280-pound lineman proved strong at the point of attack when he reentered the lineup in Week 8 versus Columbus North. South averaged 226 rushing yards per game on the year, and that number increased to 301 yards per outing in four postseason games.

South heads into 2017 having won regional titles two of the last three seasons. Hickman is one of several top offensive seniors slated to return for South, along with quarterback Gavin Yeskie, running back Kristian Pechac and receiver Chris Bomba.

Here’s a look back at all the H-T’s spring athletes of the year…


2009: Josh Collier, Edgewood, Sr. (hitter)

Jim Hurt, North, Sr. (pitcher)

2010: Kevin Swango, South, Jr. (hitter)

Joey Forney, South, Jr. (pitcher)

2011: Matt Newman, Edgewood, Sr.

2012: Caleb Baechtold, South, Sr.

2013: Colby Stratten, North, Sr.

2014: Gage Rogers, South, Sr.

2015: Cole McNeely, South, Sr.

2016: Nick Wright, South, Sr.

2017: Connor Morton, Edgewood, Sr.


2009: Casey Deal, North, Sr.

2010: Ian Shoup, North, Jr.

2011: Carey Walsh, North, Sr.

2012: Clayton French, Linton, Jr.

2013: Quinn Smith, North, Sr.

2014: Ian Bailey, North, Sr.

2015: Tanner Shapiro, South, Soph. and Joe Weiler, South, Soph.

2016: Joe Weiler, South, Jr.

2017: Joe Weiler, South, Sr.


2009: Audrey Ernst, Edgewood, Sr.

2010: Stephanie Fougerousse, Linton, Sr.

2011: Mena Fulton, South, Fr.

2012: Mena Fulton, South, So.

2013: Mena Fulton, South, Jr.

2014: Mena Fulton, South, Sr. and  Olivia White, South, Jr.

2015: Olivia White, South, Sr.

2016: Kenzey Ridge, North, Jr.

2017: Kenzey Ridge, North, Sr.


2009: Y-Lan Khuong, South, Jr.

2010: Y-Lan Khuong, South, Sr.

2011: Kate Bode, North, Sr.

2012: Denise Azcui, South, Fr.

2013: Denise Azcui, South, So.

2014: Denise Azcui, South, Jr.

2015: Denis Azcui, South, Sr.

2016: Anna McCoy, North, Sr.

2017: Carolina Lopes, North, Sr.


2009: Joe Holahan, South, Sr. (track)

Ben Stancombe, South, Sr. (field)

2010: Max Tuttle, North, Sr. (track)

Gabe Hull, South, Jr. and Drew Volz, South, Jr. (field)

2011: Dylan Allen, Brown County, Sr. (track)

Gabe Hull, South, Sr. and Drew Volz, South, Sr. (field)

2012: Carl Smith, South, Sr. (track)

Onyi Afoaku, North, Sr. (field)

2013: Jordan Huntoon, South, Sr. (track)

Deakin Volz, South, So. and Alex Olson, South, Jr. (field)

2014: Grant Stamm, Linton,  Sr. (track)

Deakin Volz, South, Jr. (field)

2015: Delvon Wilson, North, Sr. (track)

Deakin Volz, South, Sr. (field)

2016: Evan Franklin, South, Sr. (track)

Will Hopkins, South, Sr. and Logan Calvin, North, Jr. (field)

2017: Kaleb Budde, South, Sr. (track)

Logan Calvin, North, Sr. (field)


2009: Nicole Lucas, South, Soph. (track)

Victoria Ison, North, Soph. (field)

2010: Nicole Lucas, South, Jr. (track)

Hannah Ciasto-Poor, South, Jr. (field)

2011: Nicole Lucas, South, Sr. (track)

Hannah Acton, South, Jr. (field)

2012: Olivia Ashba, Edgewood, Jr. (track)

Michaela Hull, South, Sr. and Hannah Acton, South, Sr. (field)

2013: Olivia Ashba, Edgewood, Sr. and Alex Warzyniak, South, Jr. (track)

Micaela Hazlewood, Linton, Jr. (field)

2014: Trinity Clements, North, Jr. (track)

Michaela Hazlewood, Linton,  Sr. (field)

2015: Megan Grabowski, South, Jr. (track)

Emily Brady, Brown County, Sr. (field)

2016: Megan Grabowski, South, Sr. and Gracie Heeb, North, Sr. (track)

Sarah Wieligman, North, Sr. (field)

2017: Grace Williams, North, Jr. (track)

Maddy Fields, Brown  County, Sr. (field)