Girls tennis opens sectional tournament against Franklin Grizzlies

Emma Red | Staff Writer

The girls tennis team opens sectional play tonight at 4:30 p.m., taking on Franklin, a team they beat 3-2 just last week to win the county title. Last year, when moved away from CG’s defeated Franklin 5-0 at the indoor facility.

  “We’ll be playing Franklin as a team during our first round, and its important that we win,” Abby Hoard ‘20 said. “A loss means we are out of the state tournament, so we’ve been having some really focused practices in preparation.”

  Previously this season, the team has placed second at both the Zionsville Invite and the MIC tournament, finishing as runner up behind No. 7 Zionsville and No. 3 Carmel.

  “Our key to success is confidence in ourselves and believing that we can win a match,” Hoard said. “You always have to take a deep breath and just remember the hard work that you’ve put in.”

  Franklin is coached by Rusty Huges, a former college tennis coach with numerous “Coach of the Year” awards under his belt. Under his guidance, Franklin has had recorded seven 5-0 wins this month alone.

  “We’ve trained really hard and prepared specifically for teams that we know will be tough to beat during the tournament,” Hoard said. “We just have to be prepared and believe in ourselves.”

  “We want a lot of momentum going forwards into these state tournaments,” Jenna Boha ’20 said. “Last year and the year before we made it to state, and since we’ve been so aware and focused on our games with Franklin, I have a positive outlook about the tournament.”

JV track teams close out season with final home meet

Claire Schultz | Staff Writer

Click on the pictures to learn more about each athlete at last night’s meet. 

Girls softball looks to avenge last season’s loss and reclaim county title

Kennedy Bader | Staff Writer

After losing to Franklin Community in the 2018 county tournament, the softball team is hungry to avenge their loss this year when they begin county tournament play tonight. Many were shocked last season when the team was upset, ruining their undefeated season.

“The Franklin Community game of county is so important because we lost to them last year in county, so it’s a big game to get revenge and earn our county title back this year,” pitcher Abby Herbst ‘19 said. “The hardest aspect of the game will definitely be hitting off of their pitcher; they have a really strong pitcher so making adjustments will be hard.”

So far this season, the team is 16-3 and has accomplished many goals; one being their 15-2 run-rule win against Cathedral. However, this season has been different because of a coaching change that led to a new atmosphere for winning.

“We have focused on the process more than the outcome and how we respond to certain situations,” starting shortstop Piper Belden ’19 said. “Coach Coleman pushes us to improve mentally; she doesn’t care about the outcome as long we are bettering ourselves as players.”

Franklin Community is led by sophomore pitcher Izzy Harrison, who has an ERA of 0.92. This means that she allows around .92 runs per game to be scored on her. Harrison paired with junior Baylee Parker who has a .512 batting average creates a threat for both aspects of the game.

“I think we have been well preparing ourselves throughout the season and through facing many different types of pitching,” Jillian Ransdell said. “If we do that, we will really excel.”

With a win against Franklin Community, the team gains the momentum that will help them finish the season and continue on for their postseason matchups.

“We all just need to be super confident in not only each other but ourselves as well, and we will do great,” Jillian Ransdell ‘20 said.

Senior ends tennis regular season, prepares for Air Force Academy

Ben Greller | Staff Writer

When senior Ellie Strube steps on the tennis court tonight for her Senior Night match against Bloomington South, it will be her final regular-season tennis competition since she’s decided not to play in college.

For the next four years, Strube, the Trojans No. 1 singles player, will be attending the United States Air Force Academy. She was recently admitted after passing an extreme physical test and showing high ability academically.

When Strube steps on campus in Colorado, she will be surrounded by mostly men. At The Air Force Academy, men make up 79 percent of the enrollment.

“I understand the difference because there is the stigma that men are more strong and they can fill more jobs,” Strube said. “I still feel like there are many things girls can do there and jobs they can fill.”

The Air Force Academy comes with many rules and structures that their cadets must adhere to. For example, cadets must wait until their first-class year to have a television in their room. They must wait until their second-class year to have most electrical appliances, but a third-class cadet may have a coffee pot.

“I guess I’ve always like a structured environment so I don’t mind knowing exactly what I am supposed to do and when I need to be places,” Strube said. “Like they tell you what to wear and I like that stuff so it won’t really bother me much because I know at the end it will be worth it.”

However, Strube has not always been interested in serving in the military.

“I would say my freshman year I didn’t want to serve in the military,” Strube said. “My dad has been in the army for 36 years and we kinda talked about it again my sophomore year and I started to think I could see myself doing that.”

After graduation from the academy, Strube will either owe five years of service or 10 years in total doing flight school. Strube is not positive which route she will go or what she will major in.

“I’ve considered serving until retirement, but we will just see how I like everything and I will decide then,” Strube said.

Strube will be graduating Center Grove as a member of the Top 20 for the class of 2019. She also played tennis at Center Grove, and if she didn’t get into The United States Air Force Academy, she would have gone on to play tennis at either Indiana Wesleyan or Wright State University.

Trayce Jackson-Davis named Indiana Mr. Basketball

Ben Greller | Staff Writer

On Sunday, May 5, Trayce Jackson-Davis became the first player from Center Grove to win Mr. Basketball. The Mr. Basketball award is given to the most outstanding basketball player competing for an IHSAA school. Jackson-Davis finished with 179 out of 302 votes, with the votes coming from high school coaches and media members.

Jackson-Davis is just the third player from Johnson County and the first in 78 years to win the award. Prior winners were George Crowe of Franklin in 1939 and John Bass of Greenwood in 1941. Jackson-Davis joins a group with high-end names such as Glenn Robinson, Rick Mount and Eric Gordon.

“Just being on the same level as guys like Greg Oden, Kris Wilkes, and Kyle Guy is honestly a blessing,” Jackson-Davis said.

Jackson-Davis will also become the 28th player who has won Mr. Basketball to go on to play for Indiana University, joining the ranks of recent winners Cody Zeller, Jordan Hulls, Erica Gordon and Jared Jeffries.

“It’s a blessing joining such an elite group of players like Steve Alford, Damon Bailey and Romeo Langford is really amazing,” Jackson-Davis said.

At the beginning of his freshman year, winning the title seemed more of a far-off thought than a goal.

“It was a goal that Coach Hahn and I talked about, but it was mostly just a thought,” Jackson-Davis said. “It didn’t truly become a reality until my junior season. Coming in as a freshman, I did a lot of back to the basket post work, but I have grown into a very versatile forward with a lot of potential and upside.”

Head Coach Zach Hahn has seen Jackson-Davis’s development into the best player in the state first hand.

“The improvements he made physically and skill wise over the last four years is a testament to his hard work and what we do in our program,” Hahn said.

Jackson-Davis also credits the people surrounding him.

“I think that my parents and siblings were a huge reason why I succeeded,” Jackson-Davis said. “Also my teammates and my coaches really helped me along the way.”

Jackson-Davis will leave Center Grove as the program’s all-time leader in points, rebounds and blocks. As well as winning the Mr. Basketball title, Jackson-Davis was selected as a McDonald’s All-American, selected as a Jordan Brand All-American, voted the MIC’s most valuable player twice, recognized as a USA U-18 team member, and earned multiple All-County awards.