Rivals Become Roommates

Will Smithey has been lifelong friends with Blake Chitwood.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 7.46.36 AM“We first met each other in first grade when we sat by each other on the bus, our dad’s were already friends because they played on a men’s softball team together,” Smithey said.

 

Smithey and Chitwood quickly developed a friendship because of their love for baseball. They both proved to be among the best at an early age in little league, and Chitwood’s dad created an all-star team when they were in 2nd grade including Chitwood and Smithey. When they were in 5th grade, they no longer played little league baseball and put their efforts into travel baseball, coached by Chitwood’s dad.  Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 7.47.24 AM

 

“In 7th grade we won the USSSA Tournament, which is made up of all of the teams in the Midwest, and we also won the Lynzfield Tournament of Champions in Illinois,” Smithey said.

 

Their travel team played in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennesseee, South Carolina, and Florida as well for tournaments.

        After finishing their middle school career’s Chitwood decided to attend Roncalli High School, for the first time since 2nd grade they would compete against each other.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 7.48.09 AMThis year Chitwood starts at left field for Ronacalli and Smithey is the Trojan’s catcher. On opening day Center Grove played Roncalli who is ranked in the top 10 in the state. Smithey smacked a solo homerun on his first at bat of the season, and the Trojans won 4-2. Smithey and Chitwood both received offers to play baseball at the University of Indianapolis, they have decided to room together and continue their careers as teammates once again.

 

Track Season Begins with a Bang

(no pun intended)

Both the boys and girls track teams competed in the indoor MIC meet at the University of Indianapolis last night. The girls team finished in second place behind Warren Central while the boys finished in 4th. Freshman J.T Hodges turned on the jets in the last 400 meters of the 2-mile race to earn a 1st place finish in the 3200 meter run.

“J.T Hodges stole the show tonight by winning the 3200 coming right out of middle school; he’s definitely a welcomed addition to the CG track team,” Principal Doug Bird said.

Junior Grant Mason also scored big points in the 60-meter dash, finishing second with a time of 6.97.

“I got a Personal Record tonight; the MIC is home to some of the greatest athletes in the Indiana. I’m proud to be one of the bunch,” Mason said.

The boys sprinting relays showed promise for indoor state and the upcoming outdoor season. The 4×200 meter relay team consisting of  Russ Yeast, Mason, Zak Smith, and Jackson Hohlt finished 1st. Also, the 4×400 meter relay team including Logan Bontrager, Mason, Smith and Hohlt placed 2nd.

For the girls, Senior Alysha Cheek placed 1st in the shot-put with a throw of 37’3. Rachel Chan started off the season by placing 4th in the 3200 meter run, with a time of 11:58.31; a personal record by 20 seconds. Kylie Falcone helped the team by placing 2nd in pole vault with a personal record of 9’6”.  Falcone also ran on the 4×4 relay team that placed 1st with Olivia Rassel, Ashley Wheat and Julia Riley.

“It’s a different mindset, you have to learn a new strategy. Running on a relay team you can never give up no matter how hard it gets,” Falcone said.

The indoor MIC was just one meet that can qualify individuals and relays for the Indoor State Championships on March 26 at Purdue. The fastest 24 times in each event will compete for the indoor state title.

 

 

Panthers and Broncos to Face Off in Superbowl 50

Feb. 7 marks the 50th Super Bowl. The AFC champion Denver Broncos (14-4) will square off against the NFC champion Carolina Panthers (17-1) at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco, with kickoff scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The Broncos are coming off of a stellar defensive performance against defending Super Bowl champions New England Patriots, winning the AFC Championship 20-18, while the Panthers are coming off of two dominant performances over the Seattle Seahawks 31-24 and the Arizona Cardinals 49-15. With Cam Newton leading the way for Carolina against the relentless Denver defense, it is sure to be a Super Bowl for the ages.

 

The Panthers are in the midst of their most successful season in franchise history with a nearly perfect record. They won 14 straight games before falling to the Atlanta Falcons, 13-20. Since then they have won three games in electrifying fashion. Quarterback Cam Newton is considered by most to be the best player in football today, and is the favorite to win the MVP. He has thrown for 3,837 yards, 35 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while also rushing for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns. Newton’s top target is tight end Greg Olsen who has 1,104 receiving yards and seven touchdowns; he also has speedy receiver Ted Ginn with 739 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns this year. Carolina’s offensive attack also includes their workhorse running back Jonathan Stewart who has rushed for 989 yards and six touchdowns this season.

 

The Broncos have had, yet again, another successful season full of big wins. However their leader and quarterback Peyton Manning has had perhaps his worst statistical season in his career. Granted he only played in 10 games, he passed for 2249 yards, nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions. This past season has not resembled the Peyton Manning of previous years, but he has been able to get the job done so far with the help of his defense. Denver’s defense is considered by most the best in the league, holding opponents to just 18.5 points per game. Their defense features outside linebacker Von Miller who has 11 sacks, along with inside linebackers Brandon Marshall and Danny Trevathan who both have recorded over 100 tackles, and cornerback Aqib Talib with three interceptions this season.

 

These teams match up very interestingly, considering they have opposite strengths. The Panthers average 31.2 points a game while the Broncos only allow 18.5. Where the Panthers have been underrated is their defensive production, they still only allow 19.2 points per game to their opponents. The Broncos only score about 22.2 points a game, and this is where they look weaker as an overall team. In order for Denver to win, Manning must put up points one way or another to keep up with Newton. I think Denver can trust their defense to limit Newton and the Panthers to under 30 points. In order for the Panthers to prevail, they must protect Newton and mix up their offensive plays to keep Denver guessing. The Broncos defense needs to do everything they can to frustrate Newton, which means sacks and interceptions.

 

My Prediction: Panthers 27, Broncos 17

The game will come down to strategy and execution. Who will show up to win? We’ll find out Sunday, Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Football Bye Week

Last week, the football team beat Avon 35-34 in double overtime to win the semi-state championship. The Trojans were down 20-17 with 2 minutes left in the game when quarterback Joey Siderewicz drove the Trojans down the field in a hurry-up offense with no timeouts left. Senior Quinton Stirsman came up with two huge first down receptions on a 4th and 6 and a 3rd and 17 to keep the drive going. Going into the shotgun set, junior Titus McCoy ran hard up the middle to help move the Trojans into field goal range with 5.8 seconds on the clock. The game was now on the shoulders of the Trojans kicker senior Nathanael Snyder who calmly stepped onto the field and nailed a 34-yard field goal to tie the game at 20-20 and send it into overtime.

          

The Trojans started with the ball at the 10-yard line and scored in two plays, both McCoy runs. Avon answered with a Brandon Peters touchdown pass to tight end Matt Moore, sending the game into double overtime. With the first possession in the second overtime, the Trojan defense toughened, forcing Avon to go for it on 4th and 1. Peters barely crossed the goal line on the quarterback keeper but the PAT was good, giving Avon a 34-27 lead and placing the pressure back on the Trojans’ offense. However, it took only one play for McCoy to walk into the endzone untouched behind seniors Jovan Swann and Cameron Tidd, who were playing on the opposite side of the ball in the “jumbo package.” After the touchdown, Siderewicz immediately signalled for CG to go for two in an attempt to win the game, and after a Trojan timeout, the offense lined up for the game-winning attempt. Running behind Swann and Tidd, McCoy dove into the endzone, winning the game for CG and sending the Trojans to the state championship game.

 

 The team will face the Penn Kingsmen, who defeated Carmel 16-10 last weekend, on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 7:05 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium for the class 6A State Championship.

 

This week the Trojans have a bye week. Classes 1A-5A are playing their semi-state games tonight because there are 64 teams in those classes and only 32 in the 6A class. The Trojans are using this week to recover from the hard fought Avon game and are using the extra time to prepare for Penn.

 

With two weeks to prepare for the state title game, the team chose to practice this past week with no contact, wearing only helmets and no pads. This allowed players to stay fresh and to focus on the mental aspects of the game and learn their assignments for Penn. The players have spent extra time icing, getting treatment on injuries, stretching before and after practice and watching film. Next week the team will have a normal week of practice, including practicing at Lucas Oil Stadium on Thanksgiving Day and Friday morning. Expect the Trojans to be fresh and ready to go next week, as they embark on their quest for the school’s second football state championship.

Football Team to Play for Semi-State Championship

Feature Photo By Jessica Kelly

The top-ranked Trojans (12-0) are playing for their fifth consecutive semi-state tonight hosting the No. 6 Avon Orioles (10-2). The Trojans are look to capture the program’s first semi-state championship since the 2008 team that was eventual state champions. For the football program, semi-state games have not been widely enjoyed. Each of the past 5 final fours that the team has contended for, they have come up short.  The program theme this season is “One More Game,” meaning that they want to finally overcome semi-state and have the opportunity to play in the state championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Trojans are firing on all cylinders this week coming off an imposing 24-13 win over a tough opponent, and MIC rival No. 5 Warren Central. Avon is also feeling confident after knocking off No. 3 Cathedral last week 37-34 in double overtime. They showed that they are a team with heart, and will fight to the very end. The Orioles are lead by one of the top recruits in the state, senior quarterback #18 Brandon Peters, a University of Michigan commit. This season Peters has thrown for 2,803 yards and 35 touchdowns. His presence in the pocket and strong arm makes him a threat to throw it deep on any play, and make precise accurate throws to his receivers. Look for him to target senior receiver #15 Andrew Griffin, and also senior tight end #80 Matt Moore. The Orioles also have two running backs they go to, junior #31 Bryant Fitzpatrick and junior #3 Corey Dupriest.

Despite injuries on both sides of the ball, the Trojans have kept rolling. The offense is averaging 34 points a game and the defense is holding teams to only 13 points per game. Titus McCoy always finds a way to get the job done on offense with 1537 rushing yards, and 22 touchdowns this season. Expect the offensive line to be aggressive all night long to give McCoy, Jackson Hohlt, and Tristan Clark running room to move the chains and make big plays. The key for the offense to win is to attack the Orioles relentlessly for a full game, control the clock, limit turnovers, and to convert on short 3rd and 4th downs.

The Trojan defense is considered by most, one of the best in the state, but they face a tough test; the top quarterback in the state. Avon has arguably the best air attack in the state, and Peters will be throwing bullets all over the field. The key for the defense is the defensive backs;  the defensive coverage and deep ball responsibilities mean everything tonight. Cornerbacks Tyler Pence, and Blake Moran, and safeties Connor Steeb and Logan Bontrager will have to play their best games yet to break up balls and make big tackles. Also look for the Trojan defensive line to shut down Avon’s run game. The line is led by seniors Jovan Swann and Cameron Tidd, who plan on pressuring Peters big problems.

The Trojans have been waiting anxiously all year for a chance to avenge their devastating loss in last year’s semi-state game. Now it’s time for them to show how hard they have worked, and how bad they want it.

Football Team to Play for Regional Championship

The football team looks to win their 5th regional championship in a row tonight against the Warren Central Warriors. The Trojans (11-0), played WC (8-3) the first game of the season and won in a 42-38 shootout.

The Trojans were down 21-35 in the third quarter and rallied as a team to come back and win. Warren has won their last three games, including an impressive 28-21 win over St. Xavier (Ohio HS football powerhouse) and a 54-10 win over Southport last week. WC is still ranked 5th in the state because of the strength of their schedule; their only other losses were to Carmel and Colerain (another Ohio powerhouse).

The Warriors offense is one of the most complicated in the state because of their ability to change into multiple formations and because they are so successful running and passing the ball. WC is led by senior running back and slot receiver Jay Coe. Don’t let his 5’5, 160 lbs frame fool you. Coe has rushed for over 1000 yards this season and has 700 receiving yards with 27 total touchdowns. His speed in the open field makes him a threat to score on every play. The Warriors junior quarterback Zach Summeier has also had an impressive season with over 2000 passing yards and 13 touchdowns and has also rushed for over 300 yards and 6 touchdowns.

The key for the Trojans offense is to play fast with lots of energy to keep up with the scoring of Warren Central. In order to win, the Trojans must also be able to have a balanced attack running and throwing the ball. The last time they played, senior quarterback Joey Siderewicz was a perfect 8-8 passing with 152 yards and 2 touchdowns.  The offensive line must play their best game yet in order to win. Look for guards John Richardson and Nick Davis to open up holes for running backs Titus McCoy and Jackson Hohlt to run wild.

The key for the defense is to stop Jay Coe and put consistent pressure on Zach Summeier. Watch for defensive backs Connor Steeb and Tyler Pence to make big tackles and keep up their suffocating pass coverage. And look for Jovan Swann, Cameron Tidd, and Dan Root on the pass rush to force bad throws and to come up with big sacks. The conference rivalry and history between the two teams will make this an exciting, passionate game; the Trojans will be fighting for a chance to play at home one last time and to be one step closer to their ultimate goal.