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2016 Stories




Pete Trgovich ‘Under Fire’ After Indiana Tournament Game

IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox statement

(3-15-17) Why was East Chicago (Indiana) Head Coach Pete Trgovich upset after the Cardinals 61-59 double overtime loss to Warsaw in the first game of Saturday’s (March 11th) IHSAA Class 4A Michigan City Regional semifinals?

Deontay Bonaparte getting called for a foul on Kyle Mangas with 2.1 seconds left. Warsaw had thrown a pass the length of the floor and there was a scramble for the ball.


After the game comments from East Chicago Central Head Coach Pete Trgovich

“Let the kids determine the outcome of the game. What is the consequences for the officials? Nothing. They should be embarrassed. The IHSAA should be embarrassed. For two years, I’ve come here and they haven’t had one (black) official. That is wrong.”

“Officals were cheating us , I feel the IHSAA should know what is going on with these officials.”

“The call at the end of the game, that is what is wrong with the IHSAA. No one evaluates those officials, and they come out and give us that kind of a referee.”

“I can’t evaluate a game like that. Our kids couldn’t do anything. It was so blatant who the officials wanted to win. The IHSAA doesn’t have any checks or balances on these guys. They just move on to the next game.”

Trgovich resigned on Tuesday (March 14th).

Trgovich  was a star on East Chicago Washington  1971 state championship team. He played for John Wooden at UCLA and won two NCAA national championships. While coaching at East Chicago Central he went 75-24, winning four sectional championships and the 2007 state championship. He resigned after winning the state title and accepted the head coach position at Indiana University Northwest, where he coached from 2007 to 2010. He came back to Central in 2015. Trgovich was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

‘Hang On Sloopy’ Here Comes Union City

The McCoys – Hang On Sloopy (Shindig)


(2-22-17) Union City is a unique community, the main street is the Ohio-Indiana stateline border. Both communities share the street, but they both have their separate identities as communities.  The Ohio kids go to Mississinawa Valley High School, while the Indiana kids attend Union City High School.  Everyone knows that the McCoy’s are from Union City, their song ‘Hang On Sloopy’ is the song that the Ohio State Marching Band has has adopted as the theme for the Buckeyes.

Now Union City has the excitement of possibly picking up the Indiana Class A State Championship this weekend. The Indians who are ranked #8 (24-4) will play #1 Wood Memorial (27-1)  for the state championship Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

It’s almost the girls version of ‘Hoosiers’ after the Indians hung on for a dramatic double-overtime win over (Michigan City) Marquette Catholic in the State Semistate game 69-64. Union City 5’1 PG Justiss Cantu had a game to remember scoring 36 points to make it possible. Thanks to that win the Indians are now just one win away from making school history with a State Championship.

The Indians Head Coach Sarah Black, a 2001 Union City graduate and all-time winningest coach, reflects on the trip to Indianapolis.  She told Pal-Item this week:

“It still seems so surreal. We kept telling them, when the sectional starts, we have seven games and this many practices and every day we count down practices and we count down games, and now we’re down to three practices and one game and this is a reality for them.”


Coach Norman Dale:

Five players on the floor functioning as one single unit: team, team, team – no one more important that the other.

The Indians show why a team needs to have balance, 6’1 Senior Courtney Wise is the school’s career scoring leader,  6’0 Senior Baylee Hartman holds the Union City rebound record, 5’5 Senior Kora Kerns is the all-time leader in steals and 5’7 Senior Kelsey Zimmers is the all-time 3-point leader.

This season will be longed remembered on both sides of the Stateline.  The Indians have left a mark on their community.

Union City Indiana and Ohio


# Name Position Gr. Ht

  • 2 Justiss Cantu PG Jr. 5-0
  • 3 Kora Kerns G Sr. 5-5
  • 4 Ellie Kerns G Jr. 5-1
  • 10 Courtney Wise F Sr. 6-1
  • 11 Kelsey Zimmers SG Sr. 5-7
  • 12 Mackenzie Green PG Fr. 5-3
  • 14 Kahlee Dowler G Jr. 5-7
  • 20 Baylee Hartman F Sr. 6-0
  • 22 Sophia Spence F So. 5-8
  • 30 Reagan Hoggatt PG, SG So. 5-2


Union City Girls Basketball 2016-17 Season

11/5 @ Southern Wells 45 – 36 Win
11/11 Seton Catholic 87 – 17 Win
11/15 Jay County 69 – 47 Loss
11/18 @ Northeastern 66 – 39 Win
11/19 South Adams 52 – 31 Win
11/25 @ Union County 61 – 31 Win
12/3 @ Richmond 41 – 26 Win
12/7 Centerville 68 – 42 Win
12/10 Randolph Southern 47 – 45 Win
12/13 Winchester Community 59 – 56 Win
12/16 @ Cambridge City Lincoln 44 – 39 Win
12/17 @ Campbell County (TN) 58 – 42 Loss
12/21 Tri 55 – 40 Win
12/28 Liberty Christian 56 – 48 Win
12/29 Morristown 39 – 29 Win
12/29 Hauser 55 – 30 Win
1/6 Winchester Community 55 – 52 Win
1/7 Monroe Central 52 – 38 Loss
1/13 @ Monroe Central 56 – 38 Loss
1/18 @ Mississinawa Valley (Union City, OH) 56 – 28 Win
1/21 Wapahani 58 – 45 Win
1/24 @ Ansonia 54 – 43 Win
1/27 Hagerstown 41 – 24 Win

2/3 Tri 70 – 45 Win
2/4 Randolph Southern 54 – 42 Win
2/11 Tri-Central 53 – 41 Win
2/11 Riverton Parke 59 – 39 Win
2/18 Marquette Catholic 69 – 64 (2OT) Win

Jay County’s Huey Named SSN Wrestler of the Week

Kyndel Huey of Jay County

This week’s SSN Wrestler of the Week is Jay County’s Kyndel Huey. Huey helped to make Indiana Girls High School Wrestling History, placing  3rd at 106 lbs in the first ever Indiana HS Girls Wresting State Finals held at Hamilton Heights this past Friday.

Huey pinned Emma Mensendiek of Columbus East,  to earn third place.

Huey advanced to the State Finals after taking 1st place at Regionals.

Indiana High School Girls Wrestling State Finals Results

HS Girls – 106
1st Place – Markaela Pugh of Hamilton Heights
2nd Place – Willoe Cunnington of Daleville High School
3rd Place – Kyndel Huey of Jay County
4th Place – Emma Mensendiek of Columbus East
5th Place – Amelia Pellman of Salem
6th Place – Leah Partin of Madison Consolidated
7th Place – Jaylyn Lawrence of Madison Consolidated
8th Place – Ruthie Satchell of Lafayette Jefferson

3rd Place Match
Kyndel Huey (Jay County) won by fall over Emma Mensendiek (Columbus East) (Fall 2:51)

Jay County’s Kyndel Huey – 3rd place at State


Bowman Academy Gets IHSAA ‘Tournament Suspension’


The Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) announces that it is suspending immediately the eligibility of Bowman Leadership Academy from all IHSAA state tournament series events in all sports and is placing its membership on probationary status.


The Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. announces that it is suspending immediately the eligibility of Bowman Leadership Academy from all IHSAA state tournament series events in all sports and is placing its membership on probationary status.

Bowman Leadership Academy, located in Gary and first admitted to the Association as a member school in2006, is one of 410 voluntary members who subscribe to uphold the by‐laws and policies of the Association.

This decision comes as a result of meetings conducted by the IHSAA Executive Staff with the Bowman Leadership Academy administration on Monday, January 9 and correspondence received since that meeting as well as discussion with members of the IHSAA Executive Committee. Numerous violations recently discovered, the repeated history of non‐compliance by the boys basketball program and the previous lack of institutional control exhibited by the school over its entire athletic program have led to the following determinations:
1. The Bowman Leadership Academy’s eligibility for all Indiana High School Athletic Associationtournament series participation is suspended immediately.

2. The Bowman Leadership Academy membership with the IHSAA is now placed on probationary status for the remainder of the current calendar year and the entire 2017‐18 school year. During this period, the school will not participate in any IHSAA tournament series events. Additionally, an IHSAA staff member shall be assigned to the school as a mentor. The school and the mentor shall meet seasonally to ensure compliance of all IHSAA by‐laws, policies and procedures. Violations of any IHSAA by‐laws, policies or procedures during the probationary period may result in expulsion from membership with the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc.

3. A student participated in a contest representing Bowman Leadership Academy while not enrolled in the school. This is a violation of Rule 12‐1. The boys basketball contest between Bowman and Tindley of Indianapolis shall stand as a forfeit to Tindley. Bowman shall notify Tindley of this violation.

4. A student has expired his high school eligibility under the provisions of Rule 12‐2. That student is ineligible at any IHSAA member school. The boys varsity basketball contests against Gary Roosevelt, Crown Point and Tindley shall be forfeited by Bowman Academy. Bowman Academy shall notify each school of this forfeiture.

5. A student is declared ineligible under Rule 17‐7.4 due to the provision of false information regarding the transfer report. All eight boys varsity basketball contests where this student was a participant are hereby forfeited. Bowman Academy shall notify each school of these forfeitures.

6. A student is declared ineligible under Rule 18‐1 (Minimum Course Enrollment and Grades for Participation). The student may attain eligibility on the certification date established by the school provided he meets the minimum provisions of Rule 18‐1.

7. A student is declared ineligible until a transfer report has been filed and ruled upon by the IHSAA. All contests where the student was a participant shall be forfeited. Bowman Academy shall notify each school of these forfeitures.

8. A second student is declared ineligible until a transfer report has been filed and ruled upon by the IHSAA. All contests where the student was a participant shall be forfeited. Bowman Academy shall notify each school of these forfeitures.

9. A student is declared ineligible under the provisions of Rule 20‐2 (Past Link). All contests where the student was a participant shall be forfeited. Bowman Academy shall notify each school of these forfeitures.

10. A student participated in more than five quarters during a single session vs. 21st Century Charter School – Gary. The varsity contest against 21st Century Charter School – Gary shall be forfeited. Bowman Leadership Academy shall notify the school of this forfeiture. All quarters participated in by the student shall count toward the maximum number of quarters allowable during the season.

11. Bowman Leadership Academy participated in a contest against Pickerington High School Central from Ohio. This contest was contested without a signed contract executed by the member school. This contest shall be forfeited and Bowman Academy shall notify Pickerington High School Central of this forfeiture.

12. Bowman Leadership Academy has violated the provisions of Rule 50‐5 of the IHSAA by‐laws by overscheduling contests for the boys basketball team. It is noted that the school has amended their current schedule to achieve compliance with the provisions of Rule 50. The 2017‐18 boys basketball schedule at Bowman Academy shall be reduced by one contest to not exceed 21 games and no tournament or 19 games and one tournament.

13. Any interscholastic coach in any sport at Bowman Leadership Academy that has not met the requirements of Rule 7‐1.4 is hereby suspended immediately. This is a health and safety issue for the student athletes as well as a liability consideration for the member school. Records reflecting successful completion of mandatory course work must be forwarded to the IHSAA prior to any coaching activity from this point forward.

The school may continue to field athletic teams and compete in regular season contests during this probationary period but will not be entered in any state tournament competition. Principal Sarita Stevens, Athletic Director Arthur Haggard and Assistant Athletic Director Jerae Protho‐Guider are commended for their cooperation in this investigation and their sincerity in correcting these egregious and unfortunate circumstances in the future.

Principal Stevens commented in a letter to Commissioner Bobby Cox:

“The current Thea Bowman Leadership Academy staff will remain transparent as evident in our self‐imposed sanction letter and corrective actions plan that was submitted to your office on Tuesday, January 10th, 2017. We openly admitted to the violations and started at the moment of discovery, working aggressively to correct the problems and implement systems to avoid reoccurrences. We are determined to take Thea Bowman to a level of high integrity in all extra‐curricular programs offered to our students. This starts with building an athletic program that is student‐centered and held to all of the standards of IHSAA.”

Commissioner Cox commented:

“Sarita Stevens is an educator of high character and standards. Ms. Stevens
along with her administrative team are committed to correct these very unfortunate outcomes and take Bowman Academy to new levels. I am confident with her dedication and the assistance of the IHSAA staff, the athletic department will rise above these disappointments and thrive as a beacon of learning for their community.”


Bellmont’s Shaw Named SSN Wrestler of the Week


(1-3-17) Bellmont Junior Braiden Shaw is this week’s SSN Wrestler of the Week. The Junior, wrestling at 285 lbs,. took third place this weekend in Mishawaka at the Al Smith Classic.  Shaw won the third place match over the Cavemen’s Alex Faulkner in a 4-3 decision. With the win Shaw moved to 18-4 on the season.

The Junior is presently rated by Indiana Mat as the the #5 wrestler in the Ft. Wayne Semi-State and 13th in the State.

2016 Al Smith Classic Wrestling Invite

285 Results

1st Place – Jessie Lawson of Carroll (Ft Wayne)
2nd Place – Brandon Streck of Merrillville
3rd Place – Braiden Shaw of Bellmont
4th Place – Alex Faulkner of Mishawaka
5th Place – Robert Samuels of Lawrence North
6th Place – Gio Murillo of Portage
7th Place – Nick Conner of Elkhart Central
8th Place – Erik Contreras of Goshen

1st Place Match
Jessie Lawson (Carroll (Ft Wayne)) 27-2, Sr. over Brandon Streck (Merrillville) 17-1, Jr. (Fall 3:54).

3rd Place Match
Braiden Shaw (Bellmont) 18-4, Jr. over Alex Faulkner (Mishawaka) 17-4, Jr. (Dec 4-3).

5th Place Match
Robert Samuels (Lawrence North) 23-4, Sr. over Gio Murillo (Portage) 13-8, Sr. (Dec 3-0).

7th Place Match
Nick Conner (Elkhart Central) 21-4, Jr. over Erik Contreras (Goshen) 21-4, Sr. (Fall 3:34).

Championship Round

285 Champ. Round 1 – Braiden Shaw (Bellmont) over Dillon Estepp (Warsaw Community) (Fall 1:12)
285 Quarterfinals – Robert Samuels (Lawrence North) over Braiden Shaw (Bellmont) (Dec 6-2)
285 Cons. Round 5 – Braiden Shaw (Bellmont) over Erik Contreras (Goshen) (Dec 7-5)
285 Cons. Semis – Braiden Shaw (Bellmont) over Gio Murillo (Portage) (Dec 3-2)