I attended my first IHSAA cross country semi-state last Saturday (Oct. 24) when I made the trek down to Shelbyville for the event held at Blue River Memorial Park.

MOUNT SUMMIT — After the team reached the Final Four of the Class A IHSAA girls basketball tournament last February, it is no wonder that fans’ expectations for the 2020-21 Blue River Valley High School girls basketball team are sky-high.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Just a few hours after winning her first River States Conference Player of the Week award, Indiana University East freshman and 2020 Hagerstown High School graduate Jessica Swimm added a national honor to her volleyball resume.

One-half of the tournament field is gone in Indiana high school football Class A through 4A after last weekend’s opening round of sectional play, and all of Class 6A and almost all of Class 5A gets started this Friday.

I really would have liked to have covered one of our local high school volleyball teams in its regional championship match last Saturday night, but it was not to be.

Sports editor’s note: The Courier-Times ran a story about Saturday’s Shelbyville cross country semi-state in Tuesday’s newspaper, but only one photo appeared with it. This story provides a deeper perspective from the New Castle side and includes several more photos from that meet.

SHELBYVILLE — The further one advances into an IHSAA tournament, the tougher the competition gets, and our local cross country runners found out how true that is at Saturday’s semi-state at Shelbyville’s Blue River Memorial Park.

CHARLOTTESVILLE -- In the rain and wind, footing was hard to find for Shenandoah Friday night. But in the mud, the Raiders dug deep to find something intangible. A trait immune to weather conditions. The sheer will to win.

KNIGHTSTOWN—To say that game conditions at Don Willard Field were unusual would be an understatement. To paraphrase W. C. Fields – “the weather was not fit for man nor beast.”

SHELBYVILLE – When the New Castle High School football team traveled to Shelbyville back on Sept. 11, its 55-0 win over the host Golden Bears was the Trojans’ largest shutout victory in 87 years.

Back in 1995 and 1996, the New Castle High School wrestling team finished runner-up in the IHSAA state finals and those banners hang proudly in the Fieldhouse.

MUNCIE — The Ball State University football team will open the delayed 2020 season with back-to-back 7 p.m. kickoffs on CBS Sports Network. Game times and television assignments for the early part of the MAC schedule were revealed earlier this week.

New Castle High School girls cross country runners Sydney Mathews (954) and Lydia Harvey (953) stay with runners from Centerville and Union County during the first mile of the 5K girls race at the Connersville sectional Oct. 10. Mathews and Harvey are running as individuals in today’s Shelby…

MIDDLETOWN — Henry County high school girls basketball looks to be quite good again this season, and Shenandoah is one of those teams expected to excel during the 2020-21 campaign provided COVID-19 doesn’t get in the way.

After qualifying from Saturday’s Rushville regional, the entire New Castle High School boys cross country team, two Trojan girls, and a pair of boy runners from Hagerstown have prepared all week for this Saturday’s Shelbyville cross country semi-state held at Blue River Memorial Park.

Fifty years ago this week (Oct 22-23) was Teachers’ Association, the “fall break” for students in the New Castle Community School Corporation back then (1970).

This is the time of the season that most fans of high school football look forward to the most—the start of the IHSAA tournament, beginning with opening-round sectional play.

LEWISVILLE — Like New Castle, the Tri High School girls basketball team is having to contend with quarantines due to COVID-19 issues as practice for the 2020-21 season starts officially.

The list of victims from COVID-19 continues to grow, and it isn’t just the people who have died from it or the people who currently are suffering by contracting it.

Sports editor’s note: All of these sports briefs, plus several photos, were scheduled to appear in Tuesday’s edition of the newspaper but did not due to lack of space. All are in today’s edition.

According to IHSAA rules and regulations, Monday (Oct. 19) was the first official day of practice for the 2020-21 girls basketball season, and New Castle Head Coach Molly Swift and her staff certainly took advantage of it.

RUSHVILLE — On Saturday, the New Castle High School girls and boys cross country teams traveled south for the Rushville regional on the grounds of Rushville Middle School.

PARKER CITY – The Shenandoah High School football team, competing without several starting players, turned the ball over four times to host Class A No. 10 Monroe Central Friday night and fell 28-7 to the Golden Bears in the championship game of the Mid-Eastern Conference.

All good things usually come to an end, and that’s what happened to the New Castle High School volleyball team in Saturday’s second semifinal match of Class 4A Sectional 9.

GREENFIELD — The New Castle High School football team battled host Greenfield-Central Friday night for fifth place in the Hoosier Heritage Conference in the regular season finale for both teams.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — After watching her team drop a regular season match to Hagerstown in September, Knightstown volleyball Head Coach Shanna Smucker said her team was intimidated by the past success of the Hagerstown program before the match ever started.

I’m really happy that I’m back to work as sports editor of this newspaper even though I was paid more money while I was drawing unemployment compensation during my five-month furlough.

KNIGHTSTOWN — The Knightstown High School boys soccer team will try to accomplish Saturday what it failed to do in 2019 – win a Class A regional championship.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The old adage that what happens during the regular season has no meaning when tournament time rolls around certainly was true in the opening round of volleyball Class 2A Sectional 41 Tuesday night.

For the first time in a while, no local area high schools won a volleyball conference championship in the regular season just completed, but a trio of local teams finished second.

KNIGHTSTOWN — After 80 minutes of regulation and 14 minutes of overtime, nothing was decided in Saturday night’s boys soccer championship game of Class A Sectional 42 between Centerville and host Knightstown at Don Willard Field.

Players and coaches of the Knightstown High School boys soccer team are all smiles as they pose with the trophy and one of the soccer sectional balls they received after defeating Centerville 4-2 on penalty kicks to win Saturday night’s championship of Class A Sectional 42 at Don Willard Fie…