Tag Archives: Brownstown Central

Here’s 2023 IHSAA tournament so far by the numbers

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

It’s down to the “Elite Eight” in each of the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s four baseball classes.
Under the new tournament format, there were one-game regionals and this Saturday, June 10, teams will vie in four-team semistates for the right to play at the State Finals at Victory Field in Indianapolis either Friday, June 16 or Saturday, June 17.
There were no first-time sectional champions this year. The program that had gone the longest without hoisting the trophy until doing it in 2023 was Winchester. The Golden Falcons’ other sectional crown came in 1986.
Tops in sectional championships among teams still alive in the postseason are Class 3A’s Evansville Memorial (32), 3A’s Andrean (31), 1A’s Shakamak (28), 4A’s Penn (24), 4A’s Lake Central (22), 4A’s Center Grove (21), 1A’s Lafayette Central Catholic (19), 3A’s Norwell (19), 4A’s New Palestine (18), 4A’s Homestead (17), 4A’s Brownsburg (16), 4A’s Castle (16), 4A’S Hamilton Southeastern (16), 1A’s Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian (16), 1A’s Barr-Reeve (14), 2A’s Mitchell (11), 3A’s Heritage (10) and 2A’s Westview (10).
3A’s Tri-West Hendricks, Class 2A’s Brownstown Central, Covenant Christian, Mitchell, Westview and Winchester and Class 1A’s Greenwood Christian Academy were first-time regional champions in 2023.
Among teams still playing, 3A’s Evansville Memorial (18), 3A’s Andrean (16), 1A’s Lafayette Central Catholic (16), 1A’s Shakamak (15), 4A’s Penn (12) and 1A’s Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian (10) has won the most regional crowns.
Vying for their programs’ first semistate crown will be 4A’s Castle, 3A’s Franfort and Tri-West Hendricks, 2A’s Brownstown Central, Covenant Christian, Mitchell, Westview, Winchester and 1A’s Greenwood Christian Academy, Marquette Catholic and Rising Sun.
1A’s Lafayette Central Catholic (10), 3A’s Andrean (9), 1A’s Shakamak (8) and 4A’s Penn (5) are leaders in semistate championships won among teams still in the hunt.
Ranking semistate teams by past state titles: Andrean (8 — 2005, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2022; all at 3A), Lafayette Central Catholic (8 — 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2022; all at 1A), Penn (5 — 1994, 1997, 2001, 2015, 2022; first two single-class; last three in 4A), Evansville Memorial (3 — 1978, 1989, 1993; all in single-class), Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian (3 — 2005, 2005, 2006; all in 1A), Norwell (3 — 2003, 2007, 2013; all in 3A), Heritage Christian (2 — 2009, 2010; both in 2A), Shakamak (2 — 2008, 2014; both in 1A), Brownsburg (1 — 2005; 4A), Hamilton Southeastern (1 — 2019; 4A), Lake Central (1 — 2012; 4A) and New Palestine (1 — 2004; 3A).

IHSAA SEMISTATES
(June 10, 2023)
North

Class 4A at LaPorte (Schreiber Field)

G1: Homestead (19-9) vs. Hamilton Southeastern (19-14), 10:30 a.m. CT

G2: Penn (19-8) vs. Lake Central (27-4), 1 p.m. CT

Championship: G1 winner vs. G2 winner, 7 p.m. CT

Tournament Trail
Homestead: Huntington North Sectional — Columbia City 5-0, Huntington North 1-0, Fort Wayne South Side 10-0; Plymouth Regional – DeKalb 10-0.
Hamilton Southeastern: Carmel Sectional — Westfield 5-2, Noblesville 3-1; Lafayette Jeff Regional — Lafayette Harrison 4-0.
Penn: Northridge Sectional — Concord 11-0, Northridge 1-0, Goshen 10-0; LaPorte Regional – LaPorte 6-2.
Lake Central: Munster Sectional – East Chicago Central 20-0, Munster 11-0, Hobart 16-2; LaPorte Regional — Valparaiso 3-0.

Class 3A at Oak Hill

G1: Heritage (19-7) vs. Frankfort (19-12), 11 a.m. ET

G2: Andrean (26-6-1) vs. Norwell (23-7), 2 p.m. ET

Championship: G1 winner vs. G2 winner, 8 p.m. ET

Tournament Trail
Heritage: Garrett Sectional — Angola 4-3, Leo 11-5, Concordia Lutheran 6-4; South Bend Clay Regional — East Noble 13-1.
Frankfort: Northwestern Sectional — Northwestern 3-1, Western 2-1; Lafayette Central Catholic Regional — Mishawaka Marian 11-7.
Andrean: Griffith Sectional — Rensselaer Central 12-2, Hanover Central 7-5, Boone Grove 9-3; Plymouth Regional — New Prairie 9-4.
Norwell: Oak Hill Sectional — Mississinewa 4-1, Peru 5-1, Bellmont 14-0; Oak Hill Regional — New Castle 12-2.

Class 2A at Kokomo (Municipal Stadium)

G1: Westview (19-8) vs. Illiana Christian (22-9), 11 a.m. ET

G2: Winchester (15-11) vs. Delphi (21-10), 2 p.m. ET

Championship: G1 winner vs. G2 winner, 8 p.m. ET

Tournament Trail
Westview: Westview Sectional — Churubusco 11-1, Eastside 12-9, Central Noble 6-0; South Bend Clay Regional — Fort Wayne Bishop Luers 6-0.
Illiana Christian: Whiting Sectional — North Newton 16-0, Whiting 14-0, Hammond Bishop Noll 11-1; Griffith Regional — Hebron 18-0.
Winchester: Lapel Sectional — Frankton 3-0, Lapel 1-0; Logansport Regional — Eastern (Greentown) 3-2.
Delphi: Delphi Sectional — Clinton Prairie 11-1, Carroll (Flora) 2-0; Lafayette Jeff Regional — Bremen 10-2.

Class 1A at Lafayette Jefferson (Loeb Stadium)

G1: Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian (12-12) vs. Marquette Catholic (9-9), 11 a.m. ET

G2: Wes-Del (21-8) vs. Lafayette Central Catholic (22-11), 2 p.m. ET

Championship: G1 winner vs. G2 winner, 8 p.m. ET

Tournament Trail
Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian: Fremont Sectional — Fort Wayne Canterbury 9-1, Lakewood Park Christian 8-4; Logansport Regional — Southwood 4-1.
Marquette Catholic: Tri-Township Sectional — Westville 11-5, Tri-Township 14-4, Triton 1-0; Griffith Regional — Morgan Township 4-3.
Wes-Del: Anderson Prep Sectional — Southern Wells 8-1, Cowan 4-3, Daleville 2-1; Oak Hill Regional – Blue River Valley 9-2.
Lafayette Central Catholic: Lafayette Central Catholic Sectional — Attica 13-0, Covington 7-2, Fountain Central 13-0; Lafayette Central Catholic Regional — Rossville 9-0.

South
Class 4A at Plainfield

G1: New Palestine (23-9) vs. Castle (24-6), 11 a.m. ET

G2: Center Grove (27-3) vs. Brownsburg (16-12), 2 p.m. ET

Championship: G1 winner vs. G2 winner, 8 p.m. ET

Tournament Trail
New Palestine: Mt. Vernon (Fortville) Sectional — Muncie Central 9-0, Pendleton Heights 1-0, Mt. Vernon 2-0; Mooresville Regional — Cathedral 4-2.
Castle: Evansville Reitz Sectional — Evansville Harrison 5-1, Evansville North 6-2; Castle Regional — Jeffersonville 4-0.
Center Grove: Mooresville Sectional — Bloomington South 4-1, Greenwood Community 16-0; Jasper Regional — Columbus North 4-2.
Brownsburg: Brownsburg Sectional — Plainfield 2-1, Avon 13-9, Terre Haute North Vigo 12-2; Mooresville Regional — Franklin Central 4-1.

Class 3A at Southridge (League Stadium)

G1: Indianapolis Bishop Chatard (18-10-1) vs. Tri-West Hendricks (23-6), 11 a.m. ET

G2: Silver Creek (23-7) vs. Evansville Memorial (20-8), 2 p.m. ET

Championship: G1 winner vs. G2 winner, 8 p.m. ET

Tournament Trail
Bishop Chatard: Bishop Chatard Sectional — Guerin Catholic 4-2, Hamilton Heights 12-1; Morristown Regional — Beech Grove 7-2.
Tri-West Hendricks: Crawfordsville Sectional — Crawfordsville 1-0, Western Boone 11-1, Lebanon 1-0; Park Tudor Regional — West Vigo 11-2.
Silver Creek: Madison Sectional — Charlestown 3-0, Scottsburg 9-5; Floyd Central Regional — Connersville 1-0.
Evansville Memorial: Evansville Bosse Sectional — Evansville Bosse 7-1, Gibson Southern 10-3, Princeton 4-0; Jasper Regional — Southridge 1-0.

Class 2A at Mooresville (Pioneer Field) 

G1: Covenant Christian (14-15) vs. Brownstown Central (24-8), 11 a.m. ET

G2: Mitchell (26-6) vs. Heritage Christian (17-15), 2 p.m. ET

Championship: G1 winner vs. G2 winner, 8 p.m. ET

Tournament Trail
Covenant Christian: Cascade Sectional — University 2-0, Cascade 5-1; Loogootee Regional — Cloverdale 13-1.
Brownstown Central: Austin Sectional — Brown County 11-0, Milan 1-0, Austin 4-2; Floyd Central Regional – Providence 7-3.
Mitchell: Mitchell Sectional — South Knox 3-2, Linton-Stockton 7-6, Sullivan 6-4; Mitchell Regional — Perry Central 7-1.
Heritage Christian: Park Tudor Sectional — Irvington Prep 10-0, Park Tudor 12-2; Park Tudor Regional — Hagerstown 3-2.

Class 1A at Jasper (Ruxer Field) 

G1: Shakamak (15-10) vs. Rising Sun (17-16-1), 11 a.m. ET

G2: Barr-Reeve (27-3) vs. Greenwood Christian Academy (15-12-1), 2 p.m. ET

Championship: G1 winner vs. G2 winner, 8 p.m. ET

Tournament Trail
Shakamak: White River Valley Sectional — North Central (Farmersburg) 6-2, Clay City 12-5; Mitchell Regional — Bethesda Christian 4-3.
Rising Sun: Shawe Memorial Sectional — Shawe Memorial 13-3, Henryville 3-2, Trinity Lutheran 7-0; Loogootee Regional — Borden 6-5.
Barr-Reeve: North Daviess Sectional — North Daviess 9-0, Loogootee 7-1; Castle Regional — Evansville 10-0.
Greenwood Christian Academy: Morristown Sectional — Indianapolis Metropolitan 24-0, Indianapolis Lutheran 6-2; Morristown Regional — North Decatur 10-0.

All-Time Titles (with most recent if before 2023)
Class 4A
Sectionals

Homestead (17 — 2022)
Hamilton Southeastern (16 — 2019)
Penn (24 — 2022)
Lake Central (22 — 2022)
New Palestine (18 — 2022)
Castle (16 — 2019)
Center Grove (21 — 2021)
Brownsburg (16 — 2022)

Regionals
Homestead (4 — 2015)
Hamilton Southeastern (6 — 2019)
Penn (12 – 2022)
Lake Central (8 — 2014)
New Palestine (7 — 2014)
Castle (9 — 2018)
Center Grove (7 — 2016)
Brownsburg (6 — 2005)

Semistates
Homestead (1 — 2008)
Hamilton Southeastern (1 — 2019)
Penn (5 — 2022)
Lake Central (1 — 2012)
New Palestine (1 — 2004)
Castle (0)
Center Grove (1 — 1996)
Brownsburg (2 — 2005)

Class 3A
Sectionals

Heritage (10 — 2015)
Frankfort (14 — 2019)
Andrean (31 — 2022)
Norwell (19 — 2022)
Bishop Chatard (13 — 2021)
Tri-West (8 — 2018)
Silver Creek (12 — 2022)
Evansville Memorial (32 — 2022)

Regionals
Heritage (4 — 2015)
Frankfort (2 — 1968)
Andrean (16 — 2022)
Norwell (8 — 2021)
Bishop Chatard (8 — 1997)
Tri-West (1 — 2023)
Silver Creek (4 — 2022)
Evansville Memorial (18 — 2016)

Semistates
Heritage (1 — 2007)
Frankfort (0)
Andrean (9 — 2022)
Norwell (3 — 2013)
Bishop Chatard (1 — 1973)
Tri-West (0)
Silver Creek (1 — 2018)
Evansville Memorial (10 — 2005)

Class 2A
Sectionals

Westview (10 — 2014)
Illiana Christian (2 — 2022)
Winchester (2 – 1986)
Delphi (8 — 2022)
Covenant Christian (5 — 2018)
Brownstown (3 — 2016)
Mitchell (11 — 2006)
Heritage Christian (10 — 2022)

Regionals
Westview (1 — 2023)
Illiana Christian (2 — 2022)
Winchester (1 — 2023)
Delphi (3 — 2021)
Covenant Christian (1 — 2023)
Brownstown (1 — 2023)
Mitchell (1 — 2023)
Heritage Christian (4 — 2010)

Semistates
Westview (0)
Illiana Christian (1 — 2022)
Winchester (0)
Delphi (1 — 2010)
Covenant Christian (0)
Brownstown (0)
Mitchell (0)
Heritage Christian (2 — 2010)

Class 1A
Sectionals

Blackhawk Christian (16 — 2021)
Marquette (4 — 2007)
Wes-Del (6 — 2011)
Lafayette Central Catholic (19 — 2022)
Shakamak (28 — 2022)
Rising Sun (9 — 2022)
Barr-Reeve (14 — 2022)
Greenwood Christian (4 — 2016)

Regionals
Blackhawk (10 — 2016)
Marquette (2 — 2004)
Wes-Del (2 — 1990)
Lafayette Central Catholic (16 — 2022)
Shakamak (15 — 2022)
Rising Sun (2 — 2013)
Barr-Reeve (3 — 1998)
Greenwood Christian (1 — 2023)

Semistates
Blackhawk Christian (2 — 2006)
Marquette Catholic (0)
Wes-Del (1 — 1990)
Lafayette Central Catholic (10 — 2022)
Shakamak (8 — 2021)
Rising Sun (0)
Barr-Reeve (1 — 1998)
Greenwood Christian (0)

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Second-year head coach Higgs has Brownstown Central in regional

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Brownstown Central — in its second season with Duane Higgs as head coach — has just won the third sectional baseball title in school history.
The Braves beat Brown County 11-0, Milan 1-0 and Austin 4-2 to win the 2023 IHSAA Class 2A Austin Sectional.
Junior Ethan Garland (6-2) was the winning pitcher against Brown County and Austin with the sectional title game being a two-hitter. In the semifinals against Milan, senior Carson Darlage (6-0) tossed a 15-strikeout one-hitter.
As is BC athletics championship tradition, a fire truck ride and pep rally followed.
“It was cool and the kids had a blast,” says Higgs, who is now preparing Brownstown Central (23-8) to meet Providence (25-3) in a one-game Class 2A regional at 11 a.m. ET Saturday, June 3 on the grass at Floyd Central. The winner moves on to semistate, where four teams will play three contests June 10 for the right to be in the 2A state championship game.
Darlage (.481) plays center field and Garland (.402) shortstop when not on the mound.
Others in the BC mix are senior Ethan Fultz at designated hitter, junior Trent Lowery at first base and pitcher, junior Quentin “Chick” Tiemeyer at second base, sophomore Dalton Reedy at catcher and pitcher, sophomore Pierson Wheeler at third base and a quartet of freshmen — catcher Grayson Cassidy, left fielder Preston Garrison, right fielder Lane Pendleton and utility man Jaxson Johnson.
Recent BC graduates in college baseball include Ethan Davis (Marian University/Frontier Community College) and Jake Pauley (College of DuPage).
Higgs says he sees collegiate potential for three-sport standout/left-hander Darlage (who plans to attend Purdue University), Garland and Lowery.
Brownstown Central (enrollment around 480) is a member of the Mid-Southern Conference (with Austin, Charlestown, Corydon Central, Eastern of Pekin, North Harrison, Salem, Scottsburg and Silver Creek).
Besides Austin, Brown County and Milan, Hauser, South Ripley, Southwestern (Hanover) and Switzerland County is in the sectional group with Brownstown. The Braves’ previous sectional crowns came in 1982 and 2016. Former head coach Steve Schrink won 482 games.
Higgs is a 2003 graduate of Franklin County High School in Brookville, Ind., where he played for Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Jim Hughes (who died in 2018) and Clark Sherwood.
“Coach Hughes is in the Hall of Fame for a reason,” says Higgs, who remembers the discipline and accountability stressed by the coach. “He ran a great program. That baseball field (which now bears his name) was his baby.
“(Sherwood) taught a lot about the game and fundamentals.”
Higgs’ BC assistants are Kyle Williams, Austin Greene (Brownstown Central Class of 2016) and Nigel Myers (Class of 2015).
Brownstown Central feeders include a middle school program for seventh and eighth graders plus Brownstown Baseball Association, the traveling Brownstown Impact and other travel organizations.
Higgs earned a Kinesiology degree from Indiana University in 2009.
He was a middle school Physical Education teacher in Bedford schools for nine years.
In 2022-23, he taught Engineering, Business Math, Credit Recovery, Physical Education and Health. He is slated to teach Business Math, P.E. and Health in 2023-24.
Prior to Brownstown Central, he was an assistant baseball coach at Bloomington South 2008-13, head coach at Paoli 2014-15 and assistant at Bedford North Lawrence 2016-21. He also coached in the Zach McClellan-led Demand Command travel ball organization 2011-21.
Higgs and girlfriend Mackenzi have a son — Hatcher (3).

Brownstown (Ind.) Central High School’s 2023 Class 2A sectional baseball champions.

Jones measuring what Eastern Musketeers can do

BY STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Eastern High School in Pekin, Ind., is less than two months away from its 2023 baseball season.
While also assisting with the school’s varsity boys basketball team, Lincoln Jones is getting ready for his second season as head baseball coach.
During the fall IHSAA Limited Contact Period, Jones had high school and junior high athletes in simulated game-like situations. He recorded things like first-to-time, stolen base and POP times and exit velocity off the tee.
“We wanted to get measurable data points so we could see that growth or lack there of,” says Jones. “Sometimes it’s just as motivating to see a lack of growth compared to your peers as it is to see your numbers jump.
“Numbers speak to the kids today. They resonate.”
Eastern (enrollment around 420) is a member of the Mid-Southern Conference (with Austin, Brownstown Central, Charlestown, Corydon Central, North Harrison, Salem, Scottsburg and Silver Creek).
The Musketeers are part of an IHSAA Class 2A sectional grouping in 2023 with Clarksville, Crawford County, Paoli and Providence. Eastern has won four sectional titles — the last in 2012.
Eastern players began throwing Feb 2. A Limited Contact Period devoted an hour to throwing and an hour to hitting. Most of the weight training takes place during the school day.
Jones, who teaches at EHS, says the participation across Eastern athletics is in a down cycle. The Musketeers wound up with 13 players in the program at the end of the 2022 baseball season and none of them were seniors.
The only player gone from that group — Martin Lewen —  transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
It was not usual for four or five freshmen to be in the starting lineup. The bulk of the expected returnees for 2023 will be in the Class of 2025.
“We’re spending some time down at our youth levels — the fifth through eighth grade ranks,” says Jones. “We’re trying to drive some interest there and get our numbers back to where you’d like to see them in the 24 range where you could split into a JV and varsity on a given night and send 12 both ways.”
Jones has the Musketeers employing a “pressure offense.”
“We’re probably not going to have a bunch of guys hitting the ball out of the yard and you can’t really rely on that year in and year out. I want to put pressure on the defense and put the ball in-play, bunt the ball, steal bases. We want to have high (Baseball) I.Q. guys who can read situations like dirt ball reads. You can really take advantage of the next 90 feet.
“Defensively, you don’t have to make the flashy plays. If you field the ball that comes to you and catch the ball that’s in the air you’re going to have success.
The metric that Jones tracks for moundsmen is 67 percent strikes.
“My pitching philosophy has always been ‘9 vs. 1,’” says Jones. “There’s nine guys on defense vs. one hitter. You’re at an advantage if you can get it across the plate and give your defense a chance to do some work.”
Faith plays a major part in why Jones is a coach.
“Baseball is cool,” says Jones. “Ultimately, it’s an avenue to teach kids and have an impact. From a great picture, my biggest mission is to make Jesus known.”
Jones’ 2023 assistants are Mike Lawson with volunteers Rick Snelling, Shane Miller and Landon Snelling.
Eastern plays and practices on-campus on Larry Ingram Field. The facility is named after the longtime coach. Three years ago, the infield was resurfaced and leveled. A turf halo was placed around the plate area.
“The field is kind of unique,” says Jones. “It’s cut into the side of a hill. People sit on the berm to watch the game. It drains pretty well.”
There is a junior high baseball program in the Eastern community. Seventh and eighth graders play in the spring and summer.
Younger players learn the game at East Washington Baseball/Softball Association.
Recent Eastern graduates who went on to college baseball include the Class of 2020’s Rhett Pennington (Greenville University) and the Class of 2021’s Snyder Pennington (Franklin College) and Cauy Motsinger (Vincennes University).
Jones is a 2011 graduate of North Harrison High School in Ramsey, Ind., and played four years of baseball, four years of basketball and three years of tennis. The Cougars head baseball coach was former University of Southern Indiana player Gregg Oppel.
“He instilled a work ethic in us that was second to none,” says Jones of Oppel. “He brought that old school grit. He was more discipline-oriented and wanted to make his presence known. He was an authority figure.
“I learned a lot in my four years under him.”
Bart Bigham coached Jones on the tennis court and was also his junior varsity basketball coach.
“My coaching style probably mimics his more closely than anybody else,” says Jones. “I always appreciated the way he handled his business. He was very laid-back and mild-mannered. He expected you to get your work done. That’s the environment I work well under. I was going to push myself more so than any coach was going to push me.”
Jones played baseball at Franklin (Ind.) College for head coach Lance Marshall. Grant Bellak (now head coach at Hanover, Ind., College) was an assistant. Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Phil Webster was Grizzlies pitching coach Jones’ freshman year. Former Vanderbilt University/Libscomb University player Richie Goodenow was in that role for his sophomore through senior seasons.
After earning a Business degree from Franklin in 2015, Jones worked for four years at his father’s shop — Jones Machine & Tool — while also coaching at North Harrison. He was with junior high basketball and baseball teams and then baseball squads at the high school.
He earned transition to teaching certification online from Taylor University and taught and coached on former college roommate Brent Ingram’s staff at West Washington before going to Eastern and assisting Jeff Pennington for one season before taking over the Musketeers program.
On the boys basketball side, Jones has coached the eighth grade and junior varsity and is now a varsity assistant to Ray Weatherford.
Lincoln and wife Dallas (a University of South Carolina graduate) were wed in 2017 and had their daughter — Raleigh — in 2020. The couple met while she was doing an internship with the 2014 Louisville Bats. The Jones family has long been Louisville Redbirds/Bats season ticket holders.

Lincoln Jones (24).
Lincoln Jones (24).
Dallas, Lincoln and Raleigh Jones.
Dallas, Lincoln and Raleigh Jones.

Alum Reister emphasizes ‘little things’ with Henryville Hornets

BY STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Henryville (Ind.) Junior/Senior High School’s uniforms say “Hornets.” But first-year head baseball coach and alum Cody Reister wants “guys that have the dog in them.”
“We want to be tough defensively and on the base paths — someone that executes all the time,” says Reister (Class of 2013). “That’s our focus. Everyone can hit to some extent, but not everyone can do the little things well.”
Reister played for and coached with Jeff Schroeder who led the Henryville for 27 seasons.
As a student and player at Hanover (Ind.) College — where pitched for Panthers coach Shayne Stock (the 6-foot-3 right-hander was 6-1 out of the bullpen as a senior) — Reister would help out Schroeder’s Henyrville teams when he could.
Reister was born in Jeffersonville, Ind., and moved from Salem, Ind., to Henryville in second grade. He played American Legion baseball for Doc Boyd’s Scottsburg Post 234 team and later Ricky Romans’ Floyds Knobs Post 42 squad.
After graduating HC in 2017 with a History degree, Reister came home and became a middle school science teacher and to coach in the boys basketball and baseball programs.
As Henryville approaches the start of official practice March 14, Reister sees six or seven players with mound potential.
During conditioning, his players have been throwing footballs to build up arm strength.
A year ago, Reister worked almost exclusively with pitchers and catchers.
“We threw a ton of fastballs and change-ups,” says Reister. “It’s just as effective as anything if you can do it correctly.”
The competitor in Reister would not have been receptive to the pitch count rule (1 to 35 pitches requires 0 days rest; 36 to 60 requires 1 day; 61 to 80 requires 2 days; 81 to 100 requires 3 days; and 101 to 120 requires 4 days) when he played. But the coach in him understands.
“It puts you in-tune with development and what you’re guys can do,” says Reister. “I understand the reasoning for it.”
Reister, who is assisted by Henrville classmate Bailey Hall as well as Tim Hawkins, expects have have 12 or 13 players in 2022.
“We’re pretty light this year,” says Reister. “We have a bunch of kids in middle school. Hopefully we get them to continue on (with baseball).”
As a feeder system, there is Henryville Youth Sports (wee-ball to 12U) and Henryville Elite (a teams for Grades 6-8 not affiliated with the school that plays in the spring and summer).
The Hornets play on a diamond located on the west side of campus.
“Our field is very, very nice,” says Reister of the facility with Bermuda grass in the infield.
Henryville (enrollment around 300) is a member of the Southern Athletic Conference (with Borden, Crothersville, Lanesville, New Washington and South Central (Elizabeth).
Other non-conference foes include Brownstown Central, Charlestown, Clarksville, Corydon Central, Orleans, Paoli, Perry Central, Providence, Rock Creek Academy, Salem, Seymour, Scottsburg, Silver Creek, Southwestern (Hanvover) and Trinity Lutheran.
In 2021, the Hornets were part of an IHSAA Class 2A sectional grouping with Austin, Clarksville, Crawford County, Eastern (Pekin) and Providence. Henryville has won six sectional titles — the last in 2008.
March 2 marked 10 years since a EF4 tornado caused extensive damage to Henryville, killing one person and destroying the schools.
Rise Above Mental Health/Illness is a podcast hosted by Henryville senior athletes Caleb Lehaceanu, J.D. Michael and Tyler Orberson. The latest episode was dedicated to the tornado. Senior Sam Gilles, who was inside the elementary on that unforgettable day in 2012, was a podcast guest.
Reister is to be on the student-led podcast in the near future.
To follow the Hornets, see the Henrville High School Baseball page on Facebook.

Cody Reister.
Henryville (Ind.) Junior/Senior High School’s baseball field.

Wichman raises interest, expectations for Scottsburg Warriors

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Brian Wichman has helped Scottsburg (Ind.) High School to many baseball successes since taking over the Warriors program.
When he came on board prior to the 2018 season, Scottsburg had not had not posted a record above .500 since 2004 and high school players were not involved in travel ball in the summer.
“We had to get back to the basics and get people interested in ball,” says Wichman. “I’ve tried to really push kids toward travel ball.”
Wichman’s Warriors went 15-13 in 2018, regressed to 9-19 in 2019 with a young squad (there were only two seniors and one junior), missed the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic then sported 19-10 mark in 2021 bolstered by the senior and sophomore classes.
There were 22 players to take on varsity and junior varsity schedules.
Scottsburg (enrollment around 770) is a member of the Mid-Southern Conference (with Austin, Brownstown Central, Charlestown, Clarksville, Corydon Central, Eastern of Pekin, North Harrison, Salem and Silver Creek).
In 2021, the Warriors were part of an IHSAA Class 3A sectional grouping with Brownstown Central, Charlestown, Corydon Central, Madison Consolidated, North Harrison, Salem and Silver Creek (the 2021 host). Scottsburg has won six sectional crowns — the last in 1996.
Scottsburg plays on Warrior Field, an on-campus facility that was laser-graded four years ago and has Bermuda grass.
“It looks really good, especially when we get to May,” says Wichman.
Feeder systems include Scott County Youth League (T-ball through 12U) and a middle school team of seventh and eighth graders that play schools in the MSC and Hoosier Hills Conference.
Wichman, who teaches engineering and welding classes and is involved in Project Lead The Way at Scottsburg, has extensive coaching experiences at the high school and travel ball levels.
His first season was as a Columbus (Ind.) East High School assistant in 1995 while he was doing his student teaching. Wichman graduated from Ball State University with an Industrial Technology degree. He played baseball for one season (1991) at Indiana University Southeast before transferring to BSU.
Wichman served as an assistant at North Harrison High School in Ramsey, Ind., in 1996 and 1997 and helped at Columbus (Ind.) North High School in 2007.
From 2004-14, he ran the Indiana Blazers travel organization and coached for the Indiana Prospects in 2015 and 2016.
Brian and wife Cathy have four sons and all played for the Blazers and other travel teams, including the Indiana Prospects, Cincinnati Flames
Evansville Razorbacks and Indiana Bulls, as well as at Columbus East.
Left-handed pitcher Brian “B.T.” Wichman (Columbus East Class of 2013) was at Murray State University, Gulf Coast Community College and the University of Indianapolis. Peyton Gray, a 2014 Columbus East graduate now in the Kansas City Royals organization, was a high school and GCCC teammate.
Defensive back/catcher Christian Wichman (Columbus East Class of 2014) went to Thomas More University in Crestview Hills, Ky., for football and baseball then transferred to play baseball at the University of West Georgia (Carrollton, Ga.).
Defensive back Noah Wichman (Columbus East Class of 2016) played football at Taylor University in Upland, Ind.
Infielder Jonah Wichman (Columbus East Class of 2019) was on the baseball team at Butler University in Indianapolis in 2020 and 2021 and has transferred to St. Charles Community College (Cottleville, Mo.).
The past two summers, Brian Wichman has been an assistant in the College Summer League at Grand Park — in 2020 with head coach Joe Thatcher’s Park Rangers and in 2021 with head coach Kevin Christman’s Moon Shots.
A 1990 graduate of Seymour (Ind.) High School, Wichman played one varsity season for Owls coach Bob Bowman.

Brian Wichman (Eyes Of The Heart Photography)
The Wichman family (from left): Noah. B.T., Cathy, Brian, Christian and Jonah.
The Wichmans (from left): First row — Cathy and Brian; Second row — Noah, B.T., Jonah and Christian.
Cathy and Brian Wichman.
Brian and Cathy Wichman.
Cathy, B.T. and Brian Wichman.
Brian, Jonah and Cathy Wichman.

Hannon builds relationships with Paoli Rams baseball

By STEVE KRAH

http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Aaron Hannon was drawn to coaching because of the coach-player relationship.

Hannon enjoyed that as a baseball catcher at John Adams High School‘ in South Bend, Ind., with head coaches Joel Reinebold (now at South Bend Clay) and Scott Sherry (now at Whiteland) and assistant John Huemmer (now at Mishawaka).

“They built that relationship with me,” says Hannon, who is heading into his sixth season as head baseball coach at Paoli (Ind.) High School  in Orange County and is also the defensive coordinator for Rams football. “All three are examples of people who are building people and not just players.

“They took the time to develop kids.”

Hannon played football at Hanover (Ind.) College for Wayne Perry, a man who took the same approach to coaching. 

“He found it just as important to mentor and mold young men and as make football players,” says Hannon. “I respect him and everything he did for me.”

Hannon, who graduated from Adams in 2001 and Hanover in 2005, is emphasizing fundamentals with his Paoli baseball players while building a sense of trust.

“If you can’t do the basic things it’s going to be difficult,” says Hannon. “When we build those relationships, I can ask things of them and they are willing to go the extra mile.

“When they are comfortable, they can have conversation with you that they can’t have when you keep kids at a distance.”

Hannon wants his young athletes to discover the reason for doing things in a certain way.

“Why are we doing this?,” says Hannon. “We have to understand the why.

“The fun part as a coach is seeing the kids take ownership once they understand what’s going on. It’s not just adults pulling the strings.”

Hannon is assisted in 2021 by Springs Valley Junior-Senior High School graduate Chris Meehan and Forest Park Junior-Senior High School alum Jaxon Cronin.

“As coaches, we don’t take things for granted,” says Hannon. “We don’t assume the kid knows something. I think the kids appreciate that.

“We want to make sure we’re all on the same page and in the same flow.”

Hannon wants his players to shoot him straight and he returns the favor.

“You have to be honest,” says Hannon. “Kids respect honesty.”

The same concepts — honesty and communication — are at work for Hannon as a fifth grade math teacher at Throop Elementary in Paoli.

“Feedback is huge,” says Hannon. “Kids can tell you things you had no idea was going on.

“It’s just important for me to listen to what that kid is saying.”

Paoli (enrollment around 430) is a member of the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference (with Crawford County, Mitchell‘, Orleans, Perry Central, Springs Valley and West Washington).

The Rams are part of an IHSAA Class 2A sectional grouping with Eastern Greene, Linton-Stockton, Mitchell (the 2021 host), North Knox and South Knox‘. Paoli has won eight sectional crowns — the last in 1995.

Aside from conference and sectional games, the Rams are slated to play Eastern (Pekin), Scottsburg, Shoals, Northeast Dubois, Brownstown Central, Henryville, Lanesville, North Harrison and Cannelton. The Rams are to take part in the May 15 Les Page Classic at Loogootee (which also features Princeton Community and Tecumseh).

Paoli play its home games on a lighted on-campus diamond called Trinkle Field. It is named in honor of Ken Trinkle, a Paoli native who pitched for the New York Giants and Philadelphia Phillies in the 1940’s and served as a corporal in the U.S. Army during World War II.

The high school program is fed by seventh and eighth graders who play and practice in the spring on Trinkle Field.

Paoli Youth Diamond Sports serves players age 4 through sixth grade at Paoli Community Park.

With Hannon coaching football and many athletes involved in football, cross country and tennis in the fall, most off-season baseball team activities started after Christmas break.

Of 23 players in the program, one is a senior. With COVID-19 taking away the 2020 season, the last time three of those players appeared in a varsity game was as freshmen in 2019.

“We’ll have lots of competition and varying lineups to see what are best combination is,” says Hannon. “I’m excited. It’s been very fun group to worth with so far.”

Seven seniors graduated in 2020, including current Indiana Tech reserve squad player Aron Busick

Aaron and wife Terri Hannon have four children — Michael (17), Tyler (13), Kalyn (11) and Beau (3). Michael Hannon is currently on the Paoli track team. Tyler Hannon plays junior high baseball. Kalyn is involved in elementary volleyball and then goes to youth softball. Beau Hannon is enjoying being a part of it all.

Aaron and Paoli graduate Terri met at Hanover, where she was on the softball team. 

Aaron and wife Terri Hannon have four children — Michael (17), Tyler (13), Kalyn (11) and Beau (3). Michael Hannon is currently on the Paoli track team. Tyler Hannon plays junior high baseball. Kalyn is involved in elementary volleyball and then goes to youth softball. Beau Hannon is enjoying being a part of it all.

Aaron and 1999 Paoli graduate Terri met at Hanover, where she was on the softball team. 

Aaron Hannon (Paoli baseball coach)

LaDuke offers life lessons to Floyd Central Highlanders

BY STEVE KRAH

http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Casey LaDuke grew up around Floyds Knobs in southern Indiana and played baseball and football at Floyd Central High School.

Along the way he decided he’d like to be a head coach in one of those two sports.

The opportunity came first in baseball. After earning his Industrial Technology degree at Ball State University, LaDuke spent one year teaching and leading the baseball program at Springs Valley Junior-Senior High School in French Lick, Ind. 

Bill Pierce, his baseball coach at Floyd Central, let him know about a teaching and coaching opening at Floyd Central and LaDuke came home. After a few years as an assistant, the 1984 FCHS graduate has led the Highlanders on the diamond since 1999.

LaDuke also spent about 15 years on the Floyd Central football staff — most of those with Ron Weigleb, a man he had been a wide receiver, kicker and punter for as a player (LaDuke played one season at Kentucky State University before transferring to BSU, where he decided on an education path as a junior and graduated in 1990).

“He’s my big influence as a coach,” says LaDuke of Weigleb. “Some of the things he instilled into the football program we try to do with the baseball program — things like discipline, responsibility and keeping kids accountable. There’s more to it than just playing the game.”

It’s the life lessons that last.

LaDuke appreciated how Weigleb created a family atmosphere. When his coaches went to a clinic, the wives came along and everyone got close.

Dora LaDuke, a 1986 Floyd Central graduate and former Highlander athlete, died after a long battle with Leukemia in 2012 at age 45. Casey and Dora’s daughter, Sydney, is now a senior Elementary Education major at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany.

Floyd Central is in the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corporation (along with New Albany High School) and serves Floyds Knobs, Galena, Georgetown and Greenville. Locals like to say Floyds Knobs is on the “hill” overlooking New Albany in the “valley.”

Built in 1967, FCHS was formerly called Floyd Central Junior-Senior High School until the opening of Highland Hills Middle School in 2004.

Floyd Central (enrollment around 1,900) is a member of the Hoosier Hills Conference (with Bedford North Lawrence, Columbus East, Jeffersonville, Jennings County, Madison Consolidated, New Albany and Seymour).

Bedford North Lawrence, Jeffersonville, Jennings County and New Albany all have turf on their home diamonds. 

Floyd Central plays at spacious Highlander Field.

“It’s one of the biggest fields at the high school level,” says LaDuke. “It’s one of the best natural surface fields in the area. We take pride in it.”

LaDuke, his assistants and players have put in many hours maintaining the field.

“It’s my place to get away,” says LaDuke.

The FCHS sports complex includes two fields each for baseball, softball and soccer next to a stadium used for football and track and field.

Tennis courts are less than a mile away at the middle school, which has club baseball with two eighth grade squads feeding the three at the high school — varsity and two junior varsity teams.

LaDuke says 72 players signed up for fall activities. About 60 participated in tryouts this spring, leaving about 45 players.

The coach says the numbers going into tryouts were higher since cuts were not made prior to the 2020 COVID-19 shutdown and loss of season and many of those players came out again in 2021.

Highlander Youth Recreation sponsors baseball teams from age 5 to 13.

Floyd Central is part of an IHSAA Class 4A sectional grouping with Bedford North Lawrence, Jeffersonville, Jennings County, New Albany (the 2021 host) and Seymour. The Highlanders have won 13 sectional crowns — the last in 2015.

The 2013 squad was ranked No. 1 in the state. The Highlanders lost to Jeffersonville in the Bedford North Lawrence championship game.

Tell City, Fort Wayne Carroll, South Dearborn, Corydon Central, South Spencer, Owensboro (Ky.), Castle, St. Xavier (Ky.), Columbus North, Trinity Lutheran, Lanesville, Brownstown Central, Evansville North, Evansville Mater Dei, Providence, Seymour, Charlestown, Heritage Hills, Bloomington North, Bloomington South and Clarksville are also on the 2021 slate.

LaDuke’s main 2021 assistants are Floyd Central graduates Jamie Polk and Chris Hogan. With a hiatus as head coach at North Harrison High School in Ramsey, Ind., Polk has been with LaDuke since he took over the Highlanders. Hogan came on board about three of four years in.

Seniors Evan Goforth (Indiana University) and Casey Sorg (Bellarmine University in Louisville) have made college baseball commitments. Caleb Slaughter has drawn collegiate interest.

Tristan Polk is planning to attend Marian University in Indianapolis to play quarterback on the football team.

There are many recent Floyd Central graduates on college baseball rosters, including Philip Archer (Southern Illinois University), Alex Lozado (University of South Florida), Max Meyer (Indiana State University), Jon Cato (Bellarmine), Adam Spalding (Bellarmine), Joel Archer (Oakland City, Ind., University), Joe Harrington (Oakland City), Daly Skees (Hillsdale, Mich., College), Blake Barrett (Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Ill.) and Josh Gross (Glen Oaks Community College in Centerville, Mich.).

“I take pride in helping kids find schools,” says LaDuke.

He notes that college coaches — particularly at the NCAA I level — are reaching out to players at earlier and earlier ages while recruiting on the travel ball circuit.

Says LaDuke, “Coaches don’t like it, but that’s what their competitive is doing so they have to do it to keep up.”

Casey LaDuke

Fessel wants North Harrison Cougars to ‘Win The Day’

By STEVE KRAH

http://www.IndianaRBI.com

“Win The Day.”

It’s a phrase that Kevin Fessel has tied to his role as head baseball coach at North Harrison High School in Ramsey, Ind.

“We want to win in baseball, but we also want to be good people,” says Fessel, a 1996 North Harrison graduate. “I’m coaching young men to be husbands and fathers.

“Do what’s right even when no one’s watching.”

An assistant to Cody Johnson for three seasons, Fessel took over the Cougars program for the 2019 season. 

Of course, the 2020 schedule was taken away by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was kind of heart-breaking,” says Fessel. “I contacted schools in Harrison and Crawford counties to see if they wanted to put together a Senior Day. We had a date set. Then there were more stipulations and no visitors were allowed on-campus.

“It was even more of a gut punch.”

A member of the North Harrison Class of 2020 — Dawson Howell — did go to Vincennes University to play baseball. Colin Higdon (Class of 2021) has committed to Franklin (Ind.) College.

Other Cougars to move on to college ball include 2019 grads Justin Deatrick (Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo.) and Jake Harley (Kentucky Wesleyan College) and 2018 grad Max Flock (Vincennes U.).

During fall and winter workouts, North Harrison players have worked on their glove work — back hands, forehands etc. There’s been plyo-ball and core work. They’ve also gotten into the school’s hitting facility to polish their mechanics. 

“We got outside as much as we could,” says Fessel. “We did long toss and get our arm strength.

“With missing last year, I feel we got put behind the 8-ball.”

Once things opened up again in the summer, a few of Fessel’s players got to play travel ball. But the majority of them did not see game action on the diamond though there was some practice in July.

“It was just fun to be outside more than anything,” says Fessel. “We were getting re-connected. It felt like we couldn’t see them for the longest time.”

During the shutdown, Fessel and his players stayed in-touch through group chats. To keep the boys’ minds sharp, he coach offered scenarios from the baseball case book. He’d ask, “What’s the call on this?”

“I was testing their I.Q. and keeping them baseball-minded,” says Fessel. “We were trying to keep upbeat and stay ready during that COVID time. Then they shut it all down. 

“A lot of (players) shut down themselves and I really worried about them.”

North Harrison (enrollment around 700) is a member of the Mid-Southern Conference (with Austin, Brownstown Central, Clarksville, Corydon Central, Eastern of Pekin, Salem, Scottsburg and Silver Creek).

The Cougars are part of an IHSAA Class 3A sectional grouping with Brownstown Central, Charlestown, Corydon Central, Madison Consolidated, Salem, Scottsburg and Silver Creek. North Harrison has won nine sectional championships — the last in 2015.

Fessel’s 2021 assistant coaches include Tony Waynescott (varsity), John Miller (junior varsity) and volunteers Chris Koutsoubos and Micah Napper.

North Harrison plays its games on campus on a field that’s dimensions are larger than many high school facilities — 320 feet down the foul lines, 365 in gaps and 390 to dead center field. 

“We don’t see a lot of home runs,” says Fessel, who says baseballs used in 2021 will need to be approved by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE).

Fessel says the Cougars’ field is expected to see a new wind screen this spring.

A middle school club baseball team is part of North Harrison’s feeder program. Ideally, there are enough players for separate seventh and eighth grade teams who play in a league filled with Hoosier Hills Conference feeder schools.

Since the middle school shares the same field with the high school, there is a movement to get a Pony League diamond built at the North Harrison Cal Ripken complex. The youth league for Grades K-6 tends to have about 220 participants.

Fessel played baseball for Danny Schmidt and football for Chuck Walker — both still North Harrison teachers.

Both men set an example about work ethic.

“Danny was one of those guys who were there all the time,” says Fessel. “He worked hard. That stuck with me.

“He did it for the players.”

Walker saw Fessel go on to play football at the next level at Franklin College, where he played two seasons for Mike McClure and two for Bill Unsworth.

It was at Franklin that Fessel met Michelle Knoll. The couple will celebrate 20 years of marriage in July and have three children — Brody (16), Bryce (13) and Abigail (9). 

North Harrison sophomore Brody Fessel is likely to be the Cougars’ starting catcher in 2021. He is also a varsity basketball player and football manager. Seventh grader Bryce Fessel plays football, basketball and is on the middle school baseball team. Third grader Abigail Fessel plays softball.

At LaPorte (Ind.) High School, Michelle was a batgirl for Hall of Fame coach Ken Schreiber

Since earning his History degree from Franklin and teaching certification at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Kevin has been an educator and football coach. 

He taught for nine years at Highland Hills Middle Schools (part of the Floyd Central system) and is in his sixth year at North Harrison Middle School, where he teaches eighth grade U.S. History. 

Fessel was on the varsity football staff at North Harrison 2000-08 — the last five assisting Jason Mullis. The 2009 season was spent with Brian Glesing at Floyd Central for coaching at Floyd Central Middle School 2010-14. In 2015, he returned to North Harrison. His primary responsibility on Mark Williamson’s staff is defensive line.

Kevin Fessel is the head baseball coach at Northern Harrison High School in Ramsey, Ind.

Hester takes the wheel for Charlestown Pirates

By STEVE KRAH

http://www.IndianaRBI.com

A familiar face is now in charge of the Charlestown (Ind.) High School baseball program. 

Brian Hester, a 1987 Charlestown graduate who served nine seasons as an assistant to former head coach Ricky Romans (who led CHS baseball for 17 years) and the past five with Southern Indiana Rawlings Tigers travel organization, is now leading the Pirates on the diamond.

“Ricky has an amazing passion for the game,” says Hester, who came back on board at Charlestown in December. “He loves the game. He studies the game.”

Hester played high school baseball for Mike Hall.

“He was caring with his players,” says Hester. “I could go to him for anything I needed.

“He’s one of the reasons I started teaching and got into coaching.”

After one season playing for Rick Parr at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Hester concentrated on his studies. He is now a Robotics teacher at Charlestown Middle School after beginning his professional life as a mechanical engineer. He also serves on the Charlestown City Council.

Hester calls Parr one of the greatest hitting instructors he’s ever been around.

The former Boston Red Sox minor leaguer had a knack for breaking down the swing and bringing out the best in a hitter.

“Coming out of high school I was mainly a pull hitter,” says Hester. “He opened up my eyes to using the whole field and being a multi-faceted hitter.

“He was one of the very first guys I heard talk about letting the ball travel deep into the (strike) zone.”

Hester says that by letting the ball travel, the hitter can see it a little deeper and can still generate bat speed and power to the opposite field while opening up the defense.

Another coach to have an impact on Hester is Larry Owens, who played for rival Jeffersonville (Ind.) High School and Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Don Poole when Hester was playing and is now head baseball coach at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky. The two have since worked the same camps.

“Larry is charismatic and has a contagious baseball mind,” says Hester.

Hester, who followed his baseball playing career, by traveling all over the country competing in top-flight slow pitch softball tournaments, has his Charlestown players competing during IHSAA Limited Contact Period winter workouts.

“We compete internally all the time,” says Hester. “I have a good group of (10) seniors who love hard work and competing.”

Hester has been getting his Pirates to understand what it means to have love and passion for the game and and enjoying being on the team.

“A lot of that comes from Larry Owens,” says Hester.

Expecting around 24 players in the program this spring, Hester and assistants Bryan Glover, Tony Kailen, George Roberts and Brady Hester will lead a program in varsity and junior varsity competition. Of the five coaches, only Kailen is not a Charlestown graduate.

The site of the Pirates baseball field is the same that Hester knew as a player, but the facility was totally overhauled almost a decade ago.

The former practice football field was turned into a softball field and now baseball and softball share not only a hitting building but a walkway and common area with a concession stand between the two diamonds.

“There’s great energy for our games,” says Hester. 

Charlestown (enrollment around 715) is a member of the Mid-Southern Conference (with Austin, Brownstown Central, Clarksville, Corydon Central, Eastern of Pekin, North Harrison, Salem, Scottsburg and Silver Creek).

The Pirates are part of an IHSAA Class 3A sectional grouping with Brownstown Central, Corydon Central, Madison Consolidated, North Harrison, Salem, Scottsburg and Silver Creek. Charlestown has won two sectional titles — 1999 and 2009.

Non-conference games on the 2021 schedule include Borden, Christian Academy of Indiana, Jennings County, Lanesville, New Washington, Perry Central and South Central (Elizabeth).

Invitees to the May 15 Charlestown Invitational include Boonville, Lebanon and Providence.

While Hester was a Charlestown assistant he helped establish middle school baseball. Not affiliated with the school system, games are played during the spring. This year, Hester expects one team of sixth, seventh and eighth graders. 

Another feeder for CHS baseball is Charlestown Little League

There is no travel organization solely-dedicated to Charlestown players and Hester would like to see that change. 

Greater Clark County Schools includes Charlestown and Jeffersonville. Silver Creek School Corporation is nearby.

Recent Charlestown graduates on college baseball teams include right-handed pitchers Andrew Snider (Morehead, Ky., State University) and Drew Fifer (Frontier Community College in Fairfield, Ill.).

Two current seniors — right-handed pitcher Eric Wigginton (Spalding University in Louisville) and utility infielder Matthew McCoy (Hanover, Ind., College) — have made college baseball commitments.

Two others from the Class of 2021 weighing their options are catcher Nathaniel Kimbrell and right-handed pitcher Jacob Glover.

Ronni Hester, Brian’s wife, is in retail management. Brian and Ronni have three sons — Brady (22), Dalton (18) and Boomer (13) plus one grandson. Dalton Hester is a Charlestown senior. Boomer Hester is a seventh grader who plays football, basketball, wrestling and baseball with the middle school team and the Rawlings Tigers.

Brian Hester, a 1987 Charlestown (Ind.) High School graduate, is now head baseball coach at his alma mater. He was a Pirates assistant for nine years on the staff of Ricky Romans and coached the past five with the Southern Indiana Rawlings Tigers travel organization.

’21 season is Schroeder’s 27th leading Henryville Hornets

By STEVE KRAH

http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Lining up schools that are bigger and ones with traditionally-strong baseball programs is the way Jeff Schroeder has built his schedule at Henryville (Ind.) Junior & Senior High School for years and its paid dividends.

makes us better playing tougher competition,” says Schroeder (pronounced SHRAY-der), who is heading into his 27th season leading the Hornets. His teams have won 13 Southern Athletic Conference titles and six IHSAA Class 1A sectional crowns (the last in 2008). 

The 2021 Hornets are part of an IHSAA Class 2A sectional grouping with Austin, Clarksville, Crawford County, Eastern (Pekin) and Providence

Henryville (enrollment around 350) counts Borden, Crothersville, Lanesville, New Washington and South Central of Elizabeth as SAC rivals. 

Conference teams play each other one time each. That suits Schroeder because he can beef up the Hornet slate.

In 2021, non-conference games include 4A’s New Albany (as part of the Stan Szajko Invitational) and Seymour and 3A’s Brownstown Central, Charlestown, Corydon Central, Scottsburg and Silver Creek as well as 2A’s Paoli and Southwestern (Hanover) and 1A’s Orleans and Trinity Lutheran.

Prior to 2020-21, Henryville, Borden and Silver Creek were in the same school district. There’s now the Borden-Henryville School Corporation and Silver Creek School Corporation.

Schroeder, who was an assistant to Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Gary O’Neal while doing his student teaching at Madison Consolidated in 1992 led led the Hornets from 1993-2012 and came back in 2014, emphasizes a commitment to the Henryville program.

“You should be putting forth your best effort everyday,” says Schroeder. “To be successful in life you have to work hard. 

“You shouldn’t expect a hand-out. That’s a life lesson.”

Assisted by Brian Consley and Cody Reister (a Henryville alum who pitched at Hanover College), Schroeder expects to have 21 or 22 players to play varsity and junior varsity schedules.

With many playing soccer or tennis in the fall, only a handful participated in fall IHSAA Limited Contact Period workouts. Since the winter window opened Dec. 9, there have been more practicing while some have been busy with basketball.

Schroeder appreciates the multi-sport athlete who can develop a variety of skills while still competing.

Henryville plays its games on-campus. The field was renovated in the fall of 2011. A devastating tornado hit the school and community in the spring of 2012.

“That was a bad situation,” says Schroeder. “Everything you know is gone. They school is demolished. What is going to happen next? We didn’t know what direction we were going to take.

“It took the work of lot of people to put things back together and got things looking good again.”

With much effort, the Hornets were able to take the diamond that year.

“It’s really nice,” says Schroeder. “I’ll put our baseball infield up against any around.”

Bill Miller, who was a very successful coach at Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Louisville, Ky., ran Mid South Baseball until his death in 2018 and his company — a frequent vendor at the IHSBCA State Clinic each January — did the laser grading at Henryville.

The high school program is fed by Henryville Youth Sports, which hosts baseball for ages 3/4 and 5/6 and grades 1/2, 3/4 and 5/6 in the summer and separates seventh and eighth grade junior high teams in the spring.

Schroeder has a number of former players who are now parents and coaching at the youth league and junior high levels.

“They teach these kids the things I expect so they’re not totally lost when they get to high school,” says Schroeder.

Besides Reister, another recent Henryville graduate to move to on college baseball is all-state catcher Luke Stock. The son of Lance Stock and grandson of IHSBCA Hall of Famer Wayne Stock was at Vincennes University.

Current Henryville junior left-hander Dawson Hope has been drawing collegiate interest.

Schroeder is a graduate of Jennings County High School in North Vernon, Ind. (1984) and Indiana University Southeast in New Albany (1988). He earned a Secondary Education degree with an emphasis on Language Arts in Grades 5-12 and currently teaches Junior and Senior LA classes at Henryville.

His high school coach was Bob Howe.

“He was very direct with players,” says Schroeder of Howe. “If he had something on his mind that was bothering him, he was going to tell you.”

That was the same kind of hard-nose approach taken by Jeff’s father Don Schroeder as a long-time baseball and basketball coach at Jennings County. 

“You’d better play hard for (my father) or you weren’t going to be on the team,” says Jeff Schroeder.

The elder Schroeder coached Howe.

Jeff Schroeder played one year for Dennis Bohr and three for Rick Parr at IUS.

He describes Bohr as a carefree guy who are also very competitive. Schroeder learned much about the game from Parr, who played in the Boston Red Sox organization.

Jeff’s wife, Jenny, was head softball coach at Henryville for a decade and earned much success. The couple has four children — Floyd Central High School graduates Haley (25) and Braden (21) and Silver Creek students Isabel (16) and Olivia (15). The two youngest girls are cheerleaders. Isabel also runs cross country and track.


The Henryville (Ind.) High School baseball field was renovated in the fall of 2011 then came a devastating tornado in the spring 2012 and the facility needed a lot more work for the Hornets to play there.
Jeff Schroeder is the head baseball coach at Henryville (Ind.) Junior & Senior High School.