It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
And honestly, something I hope we never have to experience again.
First a math lesson.
Out of our six Montgomery County basketball teams, only North Montgomery’s girls won a sectional game. That would put the maximum number of total games played for each team combined at 134. Our schools played a total of 106 games (100 if you account for head-to-head).
In the first two months of the season, more games were being canceled or postponed than being played — A realistic game total seemed to be no higher than 10-15 games.
Most of the season it was parents and close relatives only at sporting events. Even no spectators at the swimming and wrestling sectionals. I could hear a pin drop during radio broadcasts.
I felt for the grandparents, fans, and student athletes. It was difficult for all. After spring sports were canceled, fall athletics pressed on with fans and very little interruption — only to have COVID-19 create chaos this winter.
But they made it, and they’ll all be better for it, I’m positive of it. The character from our athletes was flawless, the sportsmanship some of the best I’ve ever seen, and the best part was the level of success never wavered.
Our local student athletes didn’t change their hard working habits just because COVID-19 gave them an excuse to, and their success this winter proved that.
Southmont enjoyed one of its best girls’ basketball seasons in recent memory, winning its first 10 games of the season. For a second-straight year the Mounties have enjoyed a successful senior class. In swimming Megan Scheidler qualified for the swim state finals.
Scheidler was joined by Crawfordsville junior Alyx Bannon and a flurry of North Montgomery swimmers, including senior Sidney Campbell. Athenian sophomore Trinity Deck was a state qualifier in diving.
In boys’ basketball Crawfordsville’s Jesse Hall gave us our latest 1,000-point scorer, and was there anyone harder to guard in the Sagamore Conference than Ty Lynas? Southmont had its first winning season since 2018.
Crawfordsville and North Montgomery’s girls’ basketball teams along with North Montgomery boys’ faced more COVID-19 obstacles than any other teams in the area, yet never wavered with their intensity and drive to improve as a team. Each were playing their best basketball of the season at the end.
While the IHSAA conducted state tournaments as normal as possible this winter, there were still some differences — mainly the lack of fans.
There was no screaming at the boys’ swim state finals, when Crawfordsville was represented in nine of 11 events plus Eli Reeves in diving and Southmont’s Trent Jones.
I don’t think I missed anything more this winter than the cheers that normally hail from the stands at Bankers Life Fieldhouse during the wrestling state finals.
Southmont’s Riley Woodall made it a decade long sreak of Montgomery County wrestlers qualifying for the state finals, and it will be a postseason run that I’ll never forget.
I want to thank all the coaches, athletes, and especially the athletic directors for allowing us to continue to cover athletics during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our coverage wouldn’t have been possible without the access you granted us, and you all made it well worth our time. I’m very grateful for that.
And thank you to Bob Cox, Codey Emerson, Lori Poteet and Jeff Nelson along with many others who helped with our coverage. I believe we had a successful winter because of all your hard work.
See you at the ball diamond!
Jared McMurry was born and raised in Montgomery County and is the Sports Editor of the Journal Review. He can be reached by email at email@example.com and by phone at 765-918-8656. Follow him on Twitter @jaredmac26