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Raider Basketball Looks to Be a Surprise in Sectionals

John Strohl

Months before the basketball season started, there was a buzz that the Harrison boy’s basketball team could win their first sectional title since 1999.

Now, no one is talking about them, but they are poised to surprise some people.

The Raiders returned four starters from last year's squad that finished 13-11.

Unfortunately, two of the starters got injured before the season started.

Senior Jakub Hall has been dealing with a back injury since winning the state soccer title and leading the team in goals.

Hall finally returned to the court in January, coming off the bench scoring nine points in his debut.

The impact the 6-foot-3 Hall had on the floor could be seen immediately, as the Raiders are 8-1 when Hall plays.

Also in his senior year, Bobby Dearing has been dealing with a wrist injury since the season started.

Throughout the season, it was unsure if Dearing would be able to return to the court this season.

Dearing returned for the final two games of the regular season, where had 16 points against a 17-6 Marion team and added 12 more against Hamilton Heights on Senior Night.

“Those guys certainly help us overall because they are talented and give us added size and athleticism,” said head coach Mark Rinehart.

With these two players, that buzz of doing some damage in sectionals is coming back.

“There is definitely a new wave of excitement with our team, knowing that we have everyone ready to play,” said senior guard Austin Dunwoody. “Obviously with sectionals this week the energy is already high, but this increases it even more.”

With the loss of Dearing and Hall, it proved that this Harrison team will have some depth as many role players have had to step up.

“The one thing that can get overlooked a little bit in our situation is how well our other role players have played as we have been able to get Bobby and Kubi healthy,” said Rinehart. “Guys like Miguel Munoz and Jordan Walters have been very consistent the second half of the year, and it has played a big role in our success as a team.”

Along with Munoz and Walters, perhaps the biggest surprise of Harrison’s season has been the emergence of Jordan Walters’ older brother, senior Calvin Walters.

Walters played in 18 games last season but only scored 17 points.

This season, Walters was thrown into a starting spot and is now averaging 8.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 45 percent from the field and 39 percent from the 3-point line.

The consistency of senior Alex Bauer can also be overlooked as Bauer averages almost 8 points a game, is second in total rebounds and is tied for first in assists on the team.

Offense has not been that large of a problem for the Raiders this season especially when you have Benito Munoz on your team.

The senior eclipsed the 1,000 career points mark this season to go along with averaging 20.1 points and shooting 40 percent from the field.

Defense has been a focal point this week as the Raiders take on seventh-ranked Zionsville, led by Purdue commit, Isaiah Thompson, brother of current Purdue senior point guard, P.J. Thompson, tonight.

“Zionsville is really long and athletic so rebounding will be huge,” said Dunwoody. “On defense, we have to contain Thompson and not the big guys get easy looks inside. On offense we have to constantly be moving the ball and find the gaps in the zone.”

As the tournament brings a lot of pressure to teams, Rinehart believes his team is capable of not cracking under pressure as the continue the same approach as they have all season.

“We have talked all season about a simple approach to the process,” said Rinehart. “Our continuing goal has been to ‘Win the next game.’ I believe that approach works very well in the postseason because nothing else really matters. If we don't accomplish that goal, the season will end. The challenge is to be prepared but at the same times keep things pretty simple so our guys can just play.”

Although Harrison is not the favorite to win this sectional, anything can happen in March.


Raiders Wrestling beat Lafayette Jeff Broncos, See Success Under New Head Coach

John Strohl

Raider wrestling defeated the Lafayette Jeff Bronchos Wednesday night by a score of 60-6 on senior night.

After the departure of head coach Scott Van Der Aa, Harrison hired Johnny Henry, who has been an assistant for the Raiders.

“I am beyond excited to be the new head coach and to build on the success the Harrison

wrestling program has experienced in previous years,” said Henry. “I enjoy working with the athletes daily. It is an honor to be trusted with this program, especially after all of the hard work and lasting impact Coach Van Der Aa made during his time here.”

Henry has experienced success so far this season as the Raiders are 17-1, with the only loss coming from a very good Merrillville team. This early success may be foreshadowing what the Raiders will do in the postseason; the Raiders have a streak of seven consecutive sectional championships and six consecutive regional championships.

But with any season, there will be challenges along the way.

“Keeping everyone healthy,” said Henry. “It is a long season, and it is hard for our wrestlers to go all year without experiencing a physical injury or mental burnout.”

Senior Donnie Crider (220 pounds) was a state qualifier last year, but will face a new challenge this year as he will be wrestling with a torn ACL, which he tore during football season. However, the ACL is almost healed as he has been treating it for a few months.

Despite his injury, Crider has yet to lose this season along with teammate Trey McCartney.

Crider has been to state for two consecutive years while McCartney made it to state during his sophomore season.

This team has different feeling around it than years past.

“We work together as a family,” said Henry. “We are very supportive of one another and build each other up.”

Leadership will be a great strength this year, as the Raiders have 11 seniors rostered. “They have more experience and confidence than we have seen in the past,” said Henry. “The seniors rotate as captains so that all are able to experience a leadership role and continue to develop leadership skills. We have many incoming freshman this year that we are looking forward to fostering into great leaders in their years to come on the team.”

Many incoming freshman is right ‒ 20 to be exact.

The next contest for the Raiders will be the McCutcheon Invitational, where they are the favorites to win.


College Basketball Preview: Player, Conference Rankings and Championship Predictions

John Strohl

Top Incoming Freshman

5. Collin Sexton, Alabama

Although Sexton has yet to be cleared by the NCAA to play, he still makes the list. Sexton is one of the most explosive players in the country with an amazing passing ability. Sexton plays like Eric Bledsoe or Russell Westbrook, fast, great off the dribble, but needs work on the perimeter shot. Also akin to Westbrook, Sexton plays with a certain ferocity and is known for his trash talking.

4. Trevon Duval, Duke

Like Sexton, Trevon Duval is another very explosive player. Their games are very similar ‒ both are lacking a jump shot and both play above the rim. What puts Duval above Sexton is the fact that he is playing on a far better team than the Crimson Tide

3. Deandre Ayton, Arizona

Ayton has the skill set of a guard but the body of a center. He is a physical specimen that shoots 3s quite well. Last season, Arizona had a stretch big in Lauri Markkanen but physically more imposing and a lot more agile. Porter and Bagley may receive more hype right now, but Ayton could ultimately have the better career in the NBA.

2. Michael Porter Jr., Missouri

Both Bagley and Porter could be first on this list, but Porter has a little more to his game. Porter plays both the 3 and the 4 and can do just about everything on the court. He is similar to Paul George in terms of size and length, in addition to a skillset that includes shooting, passing, and defense.

1. Marvin Bagley, Duke

Bagley edges Porter on the list the same way Duval edged Sexton ‒ Bagley will play on a higher stage every single night. Bagley will be what Duke thought Harry Giles would be last year ‒ an elite scoring presence down low with great rebounding ability. He may not average 20 a night, due to the fact Duke has so many other weapons. One thing is for sure, Bagley will be consistently getting double-doubles and will be a top 3 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.


Top Returning Players


5. Grayson Allen, Duke

Allen is widely regarded as the most hated player in college basketball today, but the kid can play. His sophomore season was stellar, but he had a rough junior season due to injuries and suspensions by way of tripping opposing players mixed in with throwing temper tantrums like a 7-year-old who did not get his way. Allen is the lone veteran on the Blue Devils this year meaning he will have to grow into a leadership role for Duke to excel even more than it would.

4. Jalen Brunson, Villanova

Brunson is a top candidate to win this year’s Wooden Award in his final season at Villanova. Filling the shoes of Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins will be tough, but nothing Brunson cannot handle as he is now the top dog on the Wildcats this year. Brunson excels at shooting from the perimeter but really flourishes when attacking the rim. Look for him to be the best point guard in the nation.

3. Allonzo Trier, Arizona

Although Trier was ineligible to play the first half of last season, his incredible second half earned him a spot at number 3. Trier is a natural scorer but saw nice improvement in rebounding and passing last season. Trier will need to take more of leadership role this year due to Rawle Alkins being out with a foot injury for part of the season.

2. Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame

Colson is not your stereotypical center that is usually stands at about 7 feet tall. Colson stands around 6-foot-6 tall with a tremendous wingspan and still puts up amazing numbers. Last season, Colson finished the season averaging 17.2 points and 10.4 rebounds a game. Colson is good in every facet of the game. Surprisingly, Colson was a real threat from beyond the arc last season shooting 43.8 percent from three. Do not be surprised if you see Colson and the Irish playing in early April.

1. Miles Bridges, Michigan State

Bridges is undoubtedly the best player in the country. To most people’s surprise, Bridges decided to stay in East Lansing for another season making the Spartans one of the top teams in the country. Bridges was one of the few bright spots on the team last year, averaging 16.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks a game.


Top Conferences


3. Big East

Top Tier: Villanova, Butler, Seton Hall, Xavier

Mid: Georgetown, Marquette, Depaul, Providence

Low: St. John’s, Creighton

2. Big Ten

Top Tier: Michigan State, Purdue, Minnesota

Mid: Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Maryland, Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State

Low: Illinois, Nebraska, Rutgers

1. ACC

Top Tier: UNC, Duke, Notre Dame, Louisville, Virginia, Miami

Mid: Syracuse, NC State, Pitt, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Wake Forest

Low: Clemson, Boston College


Final Four and National Championship Prediction


4. Xavier Muskiteers

Xavier will be able to give Villanova a run for their money this season during Big East play. Trevon Bluiett is in the early consideration for national player of the year after deciding to drop out of the NBA draft pool. Xavier is always a threat come tournament time, so it would not be a surprise to see this team in the Final Four with all of the veteran leadership it possesses..

3.) Wichita State Shockers

Wichita State is returning every starter from last year’s team that lost to Kentucky by three points in the round of 32. Landry Shamet is an elite scorer and is a top 20 player in the country and Shaq Morris is force to be reckoned with in the post. It would not be a shock to see the Shockers make a deep run in this tournament. Head coach Gregg Marshall always seems to have his teams prepared for the spotlight.

2. Arizona Wildcats

The Wildcats are an easy favorite to win the Pac 12 this season. That is due to their big 3 ‒ Allonzo Trier, Deandre Ayton, and Rawle Alkins. The only thing keeping the Wildcats from winning it all is a lack of defense. This team is filled with offensive weapons but defense will need to be the focal point to have any tournament success.

1. Michigan State Spartans

With the return of Miles Bridges, Tom Izzo will end up winning his second National Championship ‒ the first coming in 2000. The team holds two future lottery picks in Bridges and freshman Jaren Jackson. The Spartans are complete in all areas. Bridges, Jackson and Nick Ward will be one of the best frontcourts in the nation while Cassius Winston and Josh Langford will run a solid frontcourt.


With a Victory at Semi-State, Raiders Soccer Has Their Eyes on the Prize

John Strohl

Kokomo Municipal Baseball Field played host to a slew IHSAA semi-state soccer games Saturday. You could sense the nerves the second you set foot in the stadium as a 3A semi-state game between Penn and Noblesville was in overtime before Harrison faced Goshen. The tension continued to rise for Harrison fans as the game was slated to start at 5 but was delayed due to Penn and Noblesville going into a PK shootout, where Penn won on their final attempt.

Once the game started, the nerves were still high,  but Harrison’s boys soccer team seemed unfazed.

Sophomore Jerrick Mennen eased the tension after he headed the ball past Goshen’s goalie off a set piece from Max Miller, Harrison soccer’s version of John Stockton as Miller holds the all-time assist record for the program.

While on the topic of breaking records, Jakub Hall added to his single-season goal record by scoring his 40th goal of the season with 9:12 remaining, crushing the dreams of Goshen after Hall mimicked Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous goal celebration.

Calvin Walters and the defense notched another clean sheet, although Goshen had its share of shots.

Walters continues to prove why he is the best goalie in the state by posting six saves, which has him at 91 for the season, while only allowing 13 goals in 22 games.

As for the Raiders’ next opponent, they will take on the Castle Knights from Newburgh at Carroll Stadium on the campus of IUPUI at 6 p.m. Saturday for the state title. Castle defeated No. 4 North Central after a goal coming from a free kick near midfield with eight seconds left to punch their ticket to the state finals.

Harrison last reached the State Finals two years ago, only to lose 4-0 to Center Grove.

“In 2015, making it to state was the goal, and once we made it, it felt as if we had accomplished our goal,” said senior captain Pete Newton.

This year feels different for the Raiders.

“This year, winning state is the goal,” said Newton. “So it’s a great feeling to get to state, but we do not feel like our work is completed yet.”

Many of this year’s starters played in that 2015 State Finals game, whereas Castle has not made a trip to Indianapolis since 2000.

“We know what to expect and what’s at stake,” said Walters, another senior captain. “It’s also the last year for the majority of us, so there are no second chances.”

Although Walters played behind Kyle Bugay two years ago, he has performed exceptionally well in high pressure situations the entire season.

A week ago, Walters had an incredible showing at regionals where both games went to PKs.

Walters stopped two PKs in the first game against Warsaw and had another against Hamilton Southeastern, ultimately sending the Raiders to semi-state.

Just as they were in Kokomo, the nerves will be back Saturday, only a lot stronger.

“Nerves are a part of the game, and it kind of drives you,” said Newton. “It’s just a matter of being willing to just go out there and play and have fun.”

Harrison has one advantage on their side that not any other team has in the state has: the House of Clouse, Harrison’s soccer student section named after head coach Bryan Clouse. Most teams the Raiders have faced this season would probably say it is like they have a 12th player.

The rowdy members of “The House,” will use a roster to find the names of opposing players and start to play mind games with them.

The more hyped up the House gets, the more hyped the team gets, and the more hyped the team gets, the more hyped the House gets.

Both the team and the House will look to be in full force on Saturday.

This team of Raiders have been focused on a blue ring since the end of last season after a crushing loss in semi-state. Now, they have a chance to bring Harrison its first state title in any sport since 1995.


2017 MLB Postseason Breakdown

Jack Gillespie

Now that the Wild Card game for both leagues have decided the final spots, the eight teams featured in the 2017 MLB Playoffs have been determined. Now that the final month of 2017 baseball is upon us, it is time to analyze the teams that had what it takes to make it this far.


Boston Red Sox (93-69, AL East Champions)

In a year that broke the record for most home runs hit by MLB, the Red Sox have been a strange exception to the trend of teams slugging more than ever. Boston is ranked last in the American League in home runs and 14th in slugging percentage. While they do lack in power, they have made up for it with aggressive baserunning, an extremely solid bullpen, and having one of the greatest starting pitchers in the game on their side in Chris Sale.

The clashing of Boston and their small ball offense and Houston, home of the best offense in the MLB, will test how effective the Sox’s run production will be in the playoffs, but more importantly to see if an extremely talented starting rotation with very limited postseason experience will be dependable in the case that the run support does not show up.


New York Yankees (91-71, AL Wild Card Winner)

This isn’t the free-agent flooded Yankees team that has become sort of a standard for the franchise in the 21st century. Rather, stars that rose through the farm system like Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge have carried New York to its first postseason appearance since 2012 in a year that should’ve been dedicated to a rebuild. If each of these young phenoms manage to produce consistently past their early years, we may have another Yankees renaissance on our hands in a couple of years. But for now, the Yankees have their hands full in the ALDS against the Cleveland, arguably the best team in the AL.


Cleveland Indians (102-60, AL Central Champions)

Last year, the Indians were able to cruise through the playoffs, arriving to the World Series with only one total postseason loss among their series against the Red Sox and the Blue Jays. But in the end, it was the Cubs that won it all. This year may just be the year where Cleveland breaks their 88 year long World Series win drought, because this Indians team has only improved since 2016. With a spotless roster and incredible momentum out of the regular season, this is Cleveland’s World Series to lose.


Houston Astros (101-61, AL West Champions)

Before the Dodgers and the Indians got their time in the spotlight during the regular season, it was the Houston Astros that ruled baseball in early into the regular season. They had a few bumps in the road during August, but they returned to their dominance in September and will most likely continue it during the postseason. With the insane production it has received out of newly-acquired Justin Verlander in its already solid rotation, and the insane offense it brings to the table, Houston has what it takes to go deep into the playoffs. However, if the Astros want that chance to go all the way, they will most likely have to go through the Indians. If we do get the chance to see the two titans of the American League face off, it will not only be quite the spectacle, but it will present each team with their greatest challenge yet.


Washington Nationals (97-65, NL East Champions)

Washington’s rise to greatness since 2011 has been a joy to watch unfold. However, while star after star have risen in the nation’s capital, when it comes to the postseason the Nationals have failed to produce. There are signs that point toward both the team’s success and failure this year. The good: the team had their best regular season since 2012, and that’s with quite a long period in the middle of the season where a lot of the team’s biggest hitters were injured. The bad: Bryce Harper has gotten minimal action since returning from injury and there is no solid confirmation that Cy Young contender Max Scherzer will be able to pitch in the NLDS. Washington still have ace-tier pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez ready to go, but any team left without a guy like Scherzer is going to hurt.


Chicago Cubs (92-70, NL Central Champions)

Now that the 98-year drought is over, the main goal of the Cubs in this postseason is to prove that last year’s World Series win won’t be a one-time thing. There has been regression this year, especially in the pitching, but to say that the Cubs have no chance of making a dent in the playoffs may be selling them short. Key position players such as Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant have replicated the success of their 2016 seasons and Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks have still provided decent numbers. However, if guys like Jon Lester are not able to return to the dominance they showed during the 2016 regular and postseason, producing the same results will become much more unlikely.


Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58, NL West Champions)

If this were being written in July, there would be no doubt that the Dodgers would be the favorites to win the World Series. However, even if the last two weeks saw the team return to winning ways, the 11-game losing streak to kick off September did not bring much hope.

The Dodgers are still one of the better teams heading into the playoffs. Run support is able to be provided by nearly every position player, and Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood and Rich Hill still have the ability to be one of the best 1-2-3 punches in the majors.


Arizona Diamondbacks (93-69, NL West Champions)

Of all of the teams that claimed a Wild Card spot, the Arizona Diamondbacks have the most potential to go deep into the playoffs. While their offense was already solid enough in the first half, saw a massive upgrade when the acquired J.D. Martinez at the trade deadline. In his 62 games with the D-Backs, he hit 29 home runs, including four in one game. But even this improved offense doesn’t match up to the stellar starting rotation Arizona has amassed of recent after a subpar 2016. Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray have been absolutely stellar, and Zack Godley, Patrick Corbin and Taijuan Walker have been solid enough to make Arizona’s starting rotation one of the most consistent out there.

While the Diamondbacks have their work cut out for them in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Arizona won the regular season series against L.A. 11-8, so the winning record difference between the two teams might not mean as much as it seems at face value.  

Raider Soccer Ready to Score a Blue Ring

John Strohl

The Harrison Boy’s soccer team has had an incredible 2017 campaign, posting a 13-1-2 record and topping off the season with a 2-2 draw against 16th-ranked Carmel.

The Raiders showed their depth against Carmel with three starters ‒ John Roop, Thys Call, and Daniel Madren ‒ out due to injury.

Harrison’s one loss came from rival McCutcheon on Aug. 29 with a score of 4-3, just a day after the Raiders became the No. 1-ranked team in the state.

That game served as a turning point, and coach Bryan Clouse’s team has not looked back since.

“We realized that there were a couple of things we needed to work on as a team which we worked on and fixed at practice for the next couple of weeks, and that we needed to take every game seriously, which we have also done since that game,” said senior goalkeeper Calvin Walters, who recently committed to the University of Chicago to continue his soccer career.

They have played great since that game, as they have a record of 9-0-2, the two draws coming from Carmel and No.10 Lake Central.

Harrison got its revenge on the Mavericks after beating them 4-1 in the North Central Conference championship.

This senior class has a 75-7-7 record over the past four years. That is an outstanding .915 winning percentage.

Most of the games this season have consisted of the Raiders starting 10 seniors in the 11-man starting lineup with sophomore Jerrick Mennen being the lone underclassman.

Seniors Riley Hogan and Alex Bauer have bolstered this year’s team as they have decided to join the team for their last year of high school.

Hogan plays forward and currently has seven goals and nine assists on the season, while Bauer is a defender who has stolen the ball 22 times, as well as tacking on one goal.

Most of the attention go toward Harrison’s ability to score the ball with Hogan, Call, Jakub “Kubi” Hall, and Max Miller.

Hall has had a season for the ages, netting 33 goals this season which has broken the school record and is currently sitting at 15th in the nation for goals and 14th in the nation for total points.

Miller and Call are the two best passers on the team with a combined assist total of 26, while Hogan has nine and Hall has seven.

Many of the seniors have been playing soccer together long before they began their high school career.

“It’s been a long time,” said senior Pete Newton, who holds the title of captain along with Walters and Madren. “We have been close ever since youth soccer, and it helps with team unity. All the guys are willing to help each other, and it just feels like a family. It’s been an honor to play with some of my best friends.”

After losing in semi-state in 2014, losing in the state championship in 2015, and losing in semi-state last season, Harrison and its 15 seniors are looking to make a huge run in this year’s state tournament which starts in the sectional tournament against Logansport at the Berries’ home field with the Raiders already defeating the Berries once this season, 11-0.

“The goal for the tournament is to cut down on mistakes every game so that when we get to our ultimate goal of winning the state championship, we are playing the best soccer of our season, which hopefully earn us the championship.” said Walters.

A state championship is the only thing this team will be satisfied with.

“We want to win it.” said Newton. “We’ve been around a blue ring for three straight years, anything except winning state would feel like a let down.”

The past three seasons have given this group of Raiders a plethora of experience.

“The last four years have been a blast.” said Newton. “We’ve learned how to win as a team, and how to come back from tough losses as a team. We have used each experience as a learning opportunity and especially learned how to get it done in the postseason. We are all ready for this postseason and I wouldn’t want to do it with any other team. I love these guys.”

Win or lose, the 2017 Harrison Raider soccer team will be one of the best the school has seen and possibly has ever seen.

It also goes without saying that this group of soccer seniors will be one of the best, if not the best senior classes that Harrison has ever had go through their soccer program.

Harrison Raiders Look to Improve on 2016 Season

John Strohl

Raider football is looking to improve on the 2016 season in which the team shared the NCC title with crosstown rival McCutcheon and Kokomo.

In 2017, Harrison wants to win sectional, as well as retaining the NCC title.

Head coach Terry Peebles expects a much a better team this year compared to last season’s team due to the large senior class.

“We have 22 seniors so many of the kids that were successful last year are a year older with more experience,” said Peebles, who is entering his fourth year as Harrison's head coach.

With that experience comes leadership.

“We had seven players receive over 30 votes for captain this year so the senior group is doing a great job of leading as a whole,” said Peebles. “It is not one or two guys. It is a large group, which is very nice to see.”

One of those captains is senior tackle Drew Zeltwanger, who was named to last year’s junior All-State team.

“It is very humbling to me that my team considers me a leader, and with that comes a challenge and a responsibility to continue to lead even through difficult times,”  said Zeltwanger, who was also an honorable mention for the Class 5A All-State team.

The Raiders have been practicing all summer and are hoping it will all pay off this season.

“We’re working pretty hard. We’ve got a special senior group this year, and we know it, so we’re all pushing each other to be better,” said Zeltwanger.

Harrison opened up the season with a 22-7 loss to reigning 5A State Champion Westfield.

In week 2, the Raiders defeated Class 2A No. 10 Western Boone by a score of 17-12, as Harrison’s defense only allowed three points.

Senior linebacker Butch Knox lead the team with 15 tackles with two of them being a tackle for a loss. Knox was a member of the junior All-State team and an honorable mention for the 5A All-State team.

Through these first two games the team is healthy, but the passing game is struggling.

“We are completing less than 50 percent of our passes after the first two games,” said Peebles. “If we don’t get that up into the mid-60s, we likely will have some problems when playing defensive teams that stack the defensive line of scrimmage.”

Harrison has been rolling with senior Jonathan LaGuire and junior Andrew Jensen as quarterbacks this season, with LaGuire seeing most of the snaps.

“Our QBs, Andrew Jensen and Jonathan LaGuire, have only been part-time in the past.” said Peebles, who currently holds an 18-15 record with the Raiders. “Both of them have the ability to be really good players. When one of them becomes more reliable in the passing game, I think that is when this team will really excel and play well.”

LaGuire will most likely start this week’s game against the Logansport Berries, but expect Jensen to see some time under center.

LaGuire has played running back most of his football career but transformed into a quarterback last season, splitting the snaps with Jackson Vanderweilen.

Harrison has throttled the Berries in their past three meetings by a combined score of 119-27.


September MLB: Race to the Playoffs

Jack Gillespie

That time of the year again has arrived ‒ September baseball. It’s the final chance for teams to either solidify their lead in their division, fight for that lead, or squeeze into one of the two Wild Card spots for some chance at the playoffs. In 2017, we’re witnessing a lot of extremes in a lot of races ‒ whether it be the Dodgers’ close proximity to the all-time record for the most wins in the regular season or the absolutely frustrating madness that is the AL Wild Card race. So now that we are only 31 days away from the end of the regular season, it’s about time to look at all of the playoff contenders this year, whether they be shoo-ins or the teams holding onto those October dreams by a string.


Boston Red Sox

Record: 76-58

August Record: 18-9

Sox fans had a reason to be nervous in July: the offense was doing absolutely no favors for the pitching staff, giving them next to no run support. August has been an entirely different story. The additions and thriving of star prospect Rafael Devers and trade deadline acquisition Eduardo Núñez seems to have sparked Boston's small-ball offense. The solid rotation is finally getting the run support they deserve.


New York Yankees

Record: 71-62

August Record: 14-15

So Aaron Judge’s second half performance has been a massive disappointment after the insanity that was his first half. Pitchers eventually learn how to pitch to newcomers. It happens. But as long as other key contributors such as Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, continue to turn in quality performances, the Yanks can hold onto that Wild Card spot. Even if the Judge does not rise in the meantime.


Baltimore Orioles

Record: 68-66

August Record: 17-12

Over the last third of August, the Orioles showed just how easy it is to gain some major traction in the madness that is this year’s AL Wild Card Race. After a so-so first 20 games of the month, a seven-game winning streak that included the Seattle Mariners and the Boston Red Sox, who were on a red hot streak before said sweep, brought Baltimore only a few games back from the second Wild Card spot. Even if they’re starting pitching is some of the worst in the American League, a solid set of offensive powerhouses (Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Adam Jones) and a grade-A have kept the O’s in the race by a thread.


Cleveland Indians

Record: 76-56

August Record: 19-9

This Indians team looks prime for redeeming themselves after losing a 3-0 game lead in last years World Series. Corey Kluber, the only other AL starter giving Chris Sale serious competition for the Cy Young Award, and Carlos Carrasco are the stars of the strongest rotation in the AL and young position players like Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor are providing on the offensive side of things.


Minnesota Twins

Record: 70-63

August Record: 20-10

Even if they don’t make the playoffs, the Twins still deserve the Most Improved Team Award. The transition from basement dwellers with a 59-103 record to legitimate playoff contenders exceeded all expectations. August has been their best month all season and with a multitude of <.500 teams populating their upcoming schedule, so there’s no reason to believe they will not continue to succeed.


Houston Astros

Record: 80-53

August Record: 11-17

Houston’s spot in the playoffs is all but confirmed; their insane 60-29 first half made sure of that. However, the disappointing skid they’ve gone through in August has woken people up from that pre-All Star Break fantasy. There is still hope for a resurgence in the last month of the regular season; Jose Altuve is still the leader in the AL MVP race, the offensive weapons around him are still extremely promising, and Dallas Keuchel has come through with some quality starts after a rough return from injury. The last-minute trade for former Tigers superstar Justin Verlander could be the trigger for a rebound within this last month until the playoffs.


Los Angeles Angels

Record: 69-65

August Record: 18-10

Is the return of Mike Trout the only reason for the resurgence of the Angels playoff dreams? Probably; he is the best player in baseball, after all. But that would discredit success stories like Andrelton Simmons. But in reality, aside from Trout and Simmons, the Angels are more than the sum of their parts. Very few players on the roster have stats that are begging for MVP or Cy Young Award votes, but the results are there.  


Washington Nationals

Record: 81-52

August Record: 18-11

It is insane that Washington has not only held their own but continued to dominate as the list of injured stars continues to grow. Adam Eaton, Ryan Madson, and Bryce Harper have yet to receive a specific return date, so possibilities of at least one missing some postseason time hangs over the team. But even with the loss of one of the best players of the game, remaining key players, surprise contributors, a terrifyingly good starting rotation and a massively improved bullpen still make the Nationals a team to be feared. Imagine what that team would look and play like with everyone healthy, which looks like the situation we might get with the playoffs.


Miami Marlins

Record: 66-67

August Record: 17-11

Of all the teams that would stand as one of the better playing teams in the 2nd half, the Marlins are one of the most unexpected. Though a lot of that momentum may be coming from Giancarlo Stanton’s insane August, a month in which he has hit so many home runs (18, to be exact), that the discussion of whether he’ll be breaking the record for most home runs hit by a non-roided player has been making traction. Add in a stellar season from Marcell Ozuna and solid seasons from Dee Gordon and Christian Yelich and you’ve got a team making the comparatively tamer NL Wild Card Race more interesting, as well as showing some great promise for 2018 if something is done about the average starting rotation during the offseason.

Chicago Cubs

Record: 73-60

August Record: 17-12

Ever since the beginning of the 2nd half, the Cubs have been on the edge of a 2nd half breakthrough. Things started off wonderfully with a 13-3 record in July after the All-Star Break, but then comes the much more grounded 17-12 August. The downtick in pitching quality from 2016 to 2017 is most likely the culprit. Jon Lester went from a 2.44 Earned Run Average (ERA) in 2016 to 4.37. John Lackey went from 3.35 to 4.98. Kyle Hendricks went from 2.13 to 3.45. If the Cubs want to keep that NL Central title and prove that they are here to stay as a force in the MLB, their key pitchers must return to anything close to their 2016 form.


Milwaukee Brewers

Record: 70-64

August Record: 15-11

One great thing about the 2017 Brewers is that they aren’t carried by one super-player ‒ they’re the anti-Angels. Travis Shaw might be having a very strong debut season with the Brewers and Corey Knebel might be one of the more dominant relief pitchers in the NL, but no player towers over the others. Though that might be a double-edged sword when consistency won’t cut it in the playoffs, and it especially won’t fly when there’s a three-game deficit to make up in the Wild Card race.


Los Angeles Dodgers

Record: 91-41

August Record: 17-10

The Dodgers have be dominant in a degree that hasn’t been seen in a long time, and they will most likely continue to dominate. Their Clayton Kershaw-less starting rotation is still the most dominant in the National League. Their offense is firing on all cylinders thanks to the likes of NL Rookie of the Year frontrunner Cody Bellinger, underdog story of the year Justin Turner and a worthy sophomore season from 2016 Rookie of the Year Corey Seager. There are next to no holes in their smooth-sailing ship. The question is if it’ll stay that way through the postseason and lead to the first Dodgers World Series win since 1988.


Arizona Diamondbacks

Record: 76-58

August Record: 16-13

It would only make sense that Zack Greinke’s return to form after a so-so debut D-Backs season would run in tandem with the team’s return to playoff contention. Though that isn’t the only thing contributing to the team’s success. Their starting rotation is the one of the only ones in the MLB that can rival the likes of the Nationals and Paul Goldschmidt continues to be one of the best, most consistent players in the game.


Colorado Rockies

Record: 72-61

August Record: 12-15

The Rockies played many of their games in the infamously hitter-friendly Coors Field, so of course the team has its share of offensive giants, specifically RBI machine Nolan Arenado and NL Batting Average leader Charlie Blackmon. But credit is due for the starting rotation, most of whom only have 1-2 years in the MLB to their name, for holding down the fort in a home stadium that is a death sentence for pitchers. Whether they hold off the horde of NL Central teams and keep that second Wild Card spot may depend on that young rotation staying solid throughout a high-pressure September.

Boy's Golf Team Drives for Another Successful Season

John Strohl

The Harrison boys golf team looks to continue to build on its post-season success the last two years into the finish of the 2017 season.

In 2016, the Raiders won regionals and qualified for state for the second year in a row.

After an 11th-place finish in 2015, Harrison finished seventh in 2016.

The team plans on retaining the NCC Championship along with its sectional and regional championship.

Though the Raiders lost key 2016 core players like Grant Brettnacher, Jack Newton, and Tanner Skiles, players like Cole Bradley, Neil Hart, Pete Newton, and William Long have stepped up.

Bradley won the individual state championship in 2015 and is looking to win a second state championship in his last season before he starts his career on the Purdue University golf team next season.

With Bradley’s experience comes leadership.

“I try to have the best attitude I can, and I try to be a team player and treat everyone well,” said Bradley. “I also help some guys with their game.”

The team has put in quite a bit of work to get ready for the season despite some early season obstacles.

“Despite the lack of practice time on the range, because of the weather, the team is working very hard as they try to take their negatives and make them into positives,” said head coach Dave Schneider.

Throughout the winter, the team has been using Purdue’s indoor golf facilities for practice.

Freshman Nic Hoffman has made a strong impact on the team this year as he has been shooting near the top of the team in nearly every match or invitational so far.

The Raiders got off to a great start by beating 15 other teams in the Harrison Invitational with a score of 319 and Bradley shooting a 73 and being a medalist.

A week later, the red hot raiders won the Twin Lakes Invitational with a score of 316 and Bradley again shooting an amazing 73 and winning medalist honors.

Harrison also won a three-way meet between two local teams in Twin Lakes and Central Catholic.

Most recently, the team slid a little but still finished in sixth with a score of 340 at the Midwestern Classic at Lake Central that had a slew of good teams that competed.

Bradley continued his consistent shooting by scoring 73 for a third time this season.

While the invitationals are great to win, they gave the team experience for the post season tournaments.

“It really just helps get us ready for competition and pressure,” said junior Pete Newton. “It’s more experience in getting us ready.”

Intramural Basketball Coming to an End

Rachael Lehman

Intramural Basketball is a way that some students can represent themselves without playing basketball for the team at Harrison. Playing a high school sport is a very big commitment, so if students want to still play without all of the pressure, they can play for an intramural team.

Many students get involved in this competition.

“When we have free time,” Pete Newton said, “we do a lot of team bonding and fun stuff together.”

They meet every at 7:30 on Saturday mornings to play games on a round-robin schedule. The organizers of these games set up who is playing who and keep track of the results.

They play two 15-minute halves with a running clock. All of these games are just practice rounds until they get into the single elimination tournament, which began February 11.

“The tournament,” Newton said, “is all that matters.”

Newton said that “phenomenal ball movement is pretty much all our offense is, but we also run a motion offense that allows us to do whatever we want.”

The final four tournament included the teams Purple Rain, DOFH, Goodwill Hunting, and Ortman Rising Stars. The winners were the Ortman Rising Stars.

Adam Menard, from the winning team, said, “We had a goal before the season that we wanted to win every single game in order to clinch the (No.) 1 seed for the tournament.”

The Ortman Rising Stars include Derek Riffert, Brandon Knipp, Adam Menard, Konnor Wilson, Trey Cochran, Trevor Hewitt, Cole Bradley, Neil Hart, Max Hanas, Eliot Champion, and Dylan Levesque.

“Most of the game, it was really close,” Menard said. “At one point, it looked like we were going to let it slip away.”

In the end, the games were getting very intense and there was a lot of pressure put on these teams.

Most of the students that play in this are very competitive, and this tournament is the biggest accomplishment they will have for a long time.

“Winning this tournament was an awesome feeling of accomplishment, and that is something I will never forget,” Menard said.

Goalie Keeps Harrison Lacrosse Defensive

Sam Arvin

In 2014, lacrosse became a club at Harrison that was looking to muster support.

One player who has been there since its founding is senior Michael McKee.

McKee plays a singular position on the team: goalie.

Many know the task of the goalie, and in lacrosse it is essentially the same.

McKee uses a lacrosse stick with a larger head than other players on the field to block balls from entering the net. If all else fails, McKee will try to absorb the painful blow from the lacrosse ball with his body.

“The way I became a goalie was by volunteering our first year,” said McKee. “ I’ve continued to play goalie because I enjoy playing it, and I know I can always improve. This position requires leadership, focus, and skill and I feel that I have these attributes. Not having to run sometimes is an added bonus.”

As the goalie, McKee does need to be a leader and he gets to lead alongside his father, one of the head coaches.

McKee decided to capitalize on the situation.

“Having my dad as a coach motivates me in all situations,” said McKee. “I know what he expects of me, and I can push myself to that level. It is also easy to talk to him about the needs of or suggestions for the team any time of the day.”

McKee loves the sport of lacrosse so much ‒ he has played in the offseason as well for different lacrosse clubs.

One club he plays for is True Lacrosse Indiana.

True Lacrosse’s mission “is to spread the game of lacrosse throughout the entire Midwest and onto areas of the country where lacrosse has not been fully embraced.”

McKee, his teammates, and his coaches all feel this way, and that is why they play lacrosse and continue to support the lacrosse community.

The Harrison lacrosse team often has to travel long distances to reach their scheduled games, and this is because not enough nearby schools have competitive lacrosse teams.

Now in 2017, beginning its fourth season as a club sport, lacrosse at Harrison sees itself expanding into an official team sport.

“I feel that lacrosse should be an official team sport,” said McKee. “The student body has started to show more support for the program, and I think this year will be the test for whether the sport will be supported by the school.”

Although McKee will not be around after graduation to see the program expand, he will continue to play lacrosse.

McKee has verbally committed to play lacrosse at Beloit College in Wisconsin.

McKee and many others recognize that lacrosse “is a growing sport and is supported by the community.”

Harrison Boys Swimming Smashes Record and Advances to State

John Strohl

The Harrison boys swimming team is sending nine swimmers to the state meet this weekend at the IUPUI Natatorium.

The Raiders have swimmers in four different events.

The 200 Medley Relay with Sam Arvin,Luke Johnson, John Roop, and Noah Javens, the 200 Freestyle with John Roop, the 200 Freestyle Relay with Joseph Fraseur, Luke Johnson, John Roop, and Noah Javens, and the 500 Freestyle with John Roop.

Although the 200 Medley Relay team finished in second at sectionals last weekend, they still managed to break the school record with a time of 1:37.94.

“Last year the Medley Relay team missed the school record by 0.01 seconds, and it feels great to help the relay this year finally break the record.” said senior Sam Arvin. “It is exciting knowing what potential we have going into state.”

Junior Noah Javens described the feeling as “crazy thinking about, but it is pretty cool too.”

The 200 Medley Relay team is ranked 21st in the state, while the 200 Freestyle Relay team is ranked 25th.

Standout junior John Roop is ranked in both of his individual events.

Roop comes in as 9th in the 200 Freestyle and 17th in the 500 Freestyle.

Roop has now made it to the state meet three consecutive years and is competing in four events this year, the most a swimmer can do.

Going to state means so much to each swimmer but it means the most to senior Joseph Fraseur who is swimming in the state meet for the first time in his career .

“It means that four years of hard work have paid off and that buying into the training system and trusting my coaches worked.” said Fraseur. “I’m very excited for the state meet to be able to swim with my friends/teammates and compete at the highest level of high school sports while also celebrating my swimming career at HHS.”

State preliminaries are Friday February 24th and the top 16 in each event will advance to the state finals on Saturday.

Boys Basketball Senior Night Shoots for a Good Cause

Nick Connors

The Harrison boys basketball team takes the court for Hoops for Hope action tonight against Marion at 8 p.m.

Harrison is currently 4-4 in conference play and a win in this game would be a huge boost of momentum.

“We would finish over .500 in the conference for the first time in a long time, so yes this game would be a big boost in confidence,” said senior Brock Butler.

The Hoops for Hope game is a game that is bigger than basketball. It is such a big stage for the players.

“I think the biggest thing for our players is that they get to realize that they are participating in a game that is a part of a much bigger thing than just themselves,” said Coach Rinehart. “Hoops for Hope has become a community-wide event that has helped a huge number of people and created some unbelievable memories.”

Marion is 10-10 overall, as well as 4-4 in the league, which will test Harrison’s abilities Friday night.

“Marion will be a tough opponent and they cannot be overlooked,” said junior Alex Bauer. “Every NCC game is huge for us.”

Benito Muñoz and Jack Matthew lead the team in points per game with 17.2 and 14.2 respectively.

Bobby Dearing and Jakub Hall also average double digits per game, posing a troublesome offense.

The only thing that Harrison lacks is the height for defense, but the potent offense makes up for the lack of height.

Even with all this power, it will still be a tough game for the Raiders as Marion will be looking to light up the scoreboard and not allowing Harrison any easy baskets.

“Marion is one of the most athletic and highest scoring teams that we will face all season,” said Coach Rinehart. “They will press us for 32 minutes regardless of the game situation or score.”

The atmosphere of the Hoops for Hope game will not be helping either team as the stands will be electric and more intense than any other game this season.

“The amount of people that come to support this cause makes it amazing, plus it's about more than just basketball which makes it even more exciting,” said Bauer.


Harrison Fall Athletes Commit to Collegiate Careers

Sam Arvin

The percentage of high school athletes who continue their athletic careers in college is incredibly slim, and that margin becomes even more miniscule as athletes move onward into a professional career in their respective sports or their respective studies.

Not many receive the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level, and it is a great pride for high schools to have star athletes continue to compete and play in college.

February 1 was a big day for three Harrison senior, varsity athletes.

Cade Bishop, an outside linebacker and defensive end for the Raider football team, signed to the Division I Valparaiso University.

Lexi DeCamp, a midfielder for the Lady Raider soccer team, signed to the Division I University of Northern Alabama.

Evan Phillips, a defensive midfielder for the Raider boys soccer team, signed to the Division II University of Indianapolis.

Bishop was given attention by multiple colleges and universities, but ultimately chose Valparaiso University.

“They showed the most genuine interest in me, and it was an opportunity to play DI college football,” said Bishop.

Bishop attributes his success to his parents and coaches, giving him the help and support he needed both on and off the field.

Although much of his focus will be on the field, the rest will be on his major in Actuarial Science.

Education is vital in the college athletics experience, and most student-athletes don’t squander their opportunity.

According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, 82 percent of Division I athletes are earning their degrees and overall, college student-athletes graduate at a higher rate than average college students.

DeCamp and Phillips, both devoted to the game of soccer, have separate paths in their soccer and academic careers.

DeCamp will trek to Alabama to study Business and Culinary Arts.

Phillips, who played for the Raider soccer team that was 2015 2A State Runner-Up, plans to major in International Business and most likely minor in Photography.

However these separate paths maintain interwoven roots of inspiration.

“There have been a lot of people over the past 10 years who have unselfishly spent a lot of time helping me to be a technically and tactically sound soccer player, but probably the two most important people have been my parents,” says Phillips. “Without my parents, none of my success would have been possible.”

DeCamp attributes her success to her parents and coaches as well.

“Playing in college has been a dream of mine ever since I was 4 years old, and the fact that it is coming true is so overwhelming,” said DeCamp. “I am so thankful for everyone who has been by my side through it all and I can’t wait to see where my college play will take me.”

College is where young adults make genuine memories and priceless life experiences that will help them develop into a responsible, contributing member of society.

This journey of self-discovery can be traced back to high school and throughout college, and with luck, students will take advantage of the opportunities that come their way.

“My favorite high school sports memories are those of the games when we came together on the pitch and achieved something special as a team,” says Phillips. “The feeling in those moments after the whistle blew, standing exhausted on the pitch, victorious with my teammates, is what I will always remember the most, and it’s that feeling that motivates me to want to continue on with soccer in college so that I’ll have the opportunity to have those same experiences again but on a bigger stage.”

Super Bowl LI, An Offensive Shootout

John Strohl

Super Bowl LI is looking to be a high scoring affair with two of the league's best offenses going head to head.

The legendary Tom Brady leads the New England Patriots against Matt Ryan and his Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons lead the league with 58 TDs this season with the Patriots finished in third with 51 TDs, although Brady missed the first four games of the season due to the Deflate-gate suspension.

On the other side of the ball, the New England defense only allowed 250 points all season which is a league low while Atlanta has struggled at times this season on defense.

Julio Jones is arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, and he will have likely MVP quarterback Matt Ryan throwing the ball to him.

Ryan has thrown a TD to 13 different receivers this season, something no other quarterback has done before.

The Pats’ defense might struggle trying to deal with the Falcons two-headed monster in the backfield.

Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have been tearing up defenses all season.

The running back tandem can not only run the ball, they can both catch the ball well out of the backfield and Coleman will come out of the backfield and line up as a slot receiver.

Even with all these offensive weapons for Atlanta, New England has the best quarterback to ever play the game running their offense. 

Tom Brady.

Brady has played in seven Super Bowls and won four of them.

The Patriots also one of the best, if not the best coaches of all time with Bill Belichick.

Belichick has been with Brady throughout his career when Brady was a sixth round draft pick out of Michigan in the 2000 draft.

The Pats can not solely rely on Tom Brady to lead them to victory.

LeGarrette Blount will need to have a big game.

Atlanta’s defense has allowed around a 105 rushing yards a game which is plenty enough for Brady & Co. to secure a fifth Super Bowl win.

While Atlanta’s defense may not be the best, they are still good.

Atlanta has an elite pass rusher within Vic Beasley who has recorded 15.5 sacks this season and veteran pass rusher Dwight Freeney, who only has three sacks, but still gets enough pressure on the quarterbacks to cause mistakes.

The Falcons secondary is not too shabby either with the likes of cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford as well as the safeties, rookie Keanu Neal and the Purdue product Ricardo Allen.

Rookie linebacker Deion Jones leads Atlanta with tackles this season with 75 solo tackles and 33 assists.

It will be interesting to see how Belichick and Matt Patricia will try to slow down the monstrous Julio Jones.

Will they put Malcolm Butler on Jones? Will they double team Jones with Logan Ryan and Eric Rowe and put Butler on Mohamed Sanu?

Whatever the answer is, New England needs to find a way slow Jones down or it will be very hard to win.

The key for Atlanta is to pressure Brady as every team that has beat Brady in the Super Bowl has gotten a lot of pressure on him.

Atlanta has succeeded at pressuring opposing QBs as they are one of the more aggressive defenses in the NFL.

The Falcons have blitzed on 36 percent of their plays this postseason and 44.9 percent during the regular season which ranked second behind Denver’s outstanding defense.

This game could go either way very easily but the Falcons defense will determine the outcome of the game.

Kyle Shanahan and his offense will have one last hoorah before he heads off to San Francisco and the way their defense has played of late should be enough for the team to hold on and defeat the New England Patriots and win the team's first ever Super Bowl.

Prediction: Falcons 38 Patriots 34

Harrison Wrestling Wins Third Straight Conference Title

John Strohl

The Harrison Raider wrestling team has now won the NCC championship for three consecutive years.

Since joining the conference three years ago, Harrison has yet to be knocked off the top of the conference despite a close call this time around with the always tough Jeff Bronchos team.

The Raiders edged the Bronchos 213.5-200 with Cody Betourne (125), Owen Conklin (145), Myles Krintz (170), and Donnie Crider (220) all winning an individual championship for their weight class.

With it being so close in the dual-meet with Jeff, head coach and NCC coach of the year, Scott Van Der Aa knew it would be close.

Van Der Aa believes hard work has pushed the team to this point.

“With the work ethic our wrestlers have and the time they are willing to commit to improving both during the season and out of the season, it has really helped our program to continue to have great success,” said Van Der Aa. “Other schools have kids working hard and putting in time as well, but I always remind our wrestlers that to be the best, they must outwork the rest.”

The Raiders plan to keep the momentum going into this weekend as they will have to wrestle in one of the toughest sectionals in the state.

“Preparing for sectional is slightly different than preparing for the NCC as we do a lot more individual work leading up to sectional with a specific focus on each individual wrestler's opponent and each individual wrestler’s skills,” said Van Der Aa.

Harrison is looking to claim its sixth consecutive sectional title on Saturday and its seventh consecutive regional title on February 4.

Girls Swimming Hunts Down Conference and Sectional Titles

John Strohl

The Harrison girl’s swimming team is off to a successful start to the 2016-17 campaign.

The Raiders are currently 7-0 with a fifth-place finish in the Western Invitational.

Head coach Kristen Trella is in her 12th season as head coach and is returning plenty of letterwinners from last year’s team that finished 13-0 and that were North Central Conference champions.

The Raiders plan to work hard, yet have fun while doing it.

“I think the goals for the team this season would be to have fun and swim fast,” said senior Kadie Grundy, who swims the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle. “Yes, we want to win but in order to win you must want to put in the work that is needed, and in order to put in work, we have to have a fun and encouraging atmosphere. As a team, we hope to go undefeated as we have done in the past and keep the NCC title for sure.”

Winning the NCC title again this year will not be as easy.

The Raiders have lost two good divers in Mariah Ireland and Ryan Wierenga.

Wierenga did come back to help out and manage the diving team.

Harrison also lost a great swimmer in Silvia Lawson-Vilches due to graduation.

With the loss of these three, some NCC meets will be really close, making it harder for the Raiders to win yet another conference title.

The Raiders are also planning on winning a sectional title, which they have not been able to do in recent years due to Zionsville’s dominance in the tournament.

The girls have put in a lot of work this past offseason in hopes to achieve this goal.

“We have a lot of girls who do club year round, and we have preseason (to prepare),” said Jessie Murawski, who is a senior. “Both groups work really hard to stay in shape and prepare for the incoming season.”

The preseason can be really hard on the team due to the strenuous workouts.

“Sometimes preseason feels even harder than the actual season, so I’d say the team works their butts off,” said Murawski.

Harrison is hoping the hard work and the depth of the team will push the Raiders to their goals.

Depth is something the team has more of this year than last year.

“This year’s team has more depth than last year’s team, I would say,” Grundy said. “Almost all of our varsity athletes have returned. This year’s team has a ton of individual talent which helps a team grow a ton.”

Girls Basketball Has New Ambitions With New Coach

Nick Connors

The Harrison girls basketball team looks toward a new season this week, as it played its first game on Tuesday, November 1 against Attica.

The Raiders destroyed Attica in a 69-35 win with Sydney Jacobsen leading the scoring with 17 points, while Olivia Stansbury was close behind with five three-pointers for 15 points.

With this great start, the Raiders hope to make improvements all around in the team.

“Our team goals this year are to win the J&C tournament, have a winning record, and have a successful post-season,” said senior Riley Meyer.

The team is also playing with a new coach this year that can help them get to that winning season.

Coach Amie Anthrop has her eyes on a strong season and to get far in the J&C tournament or maybe even win a championship.

“I think the biggest goal is try to improve every single day,” Anthrop said. “If we can accomplish this, then other things will be in our grasp.”

Some key players to this year's girls team will be Jacobsen, Meyer, and Stansbury.

Jacobsen plays varsity basketball despite being only a freshman and majorly contributed to the team's win on Tuesday.

“It’s tough being a freshman on varsity,” Jacobsen said. “I definitely have to compete for my spot. The girls are very nice and welcoming to me. I have had a great time on the team so far.”

The girls team this year looks to be a great improvement since last year with stronger work ethic and better team chemistry.

Our work ethic is much higher, we are much more motivated, and our potential is much higher,” said Meyer. “We have more confidence and a better mentality than we have had in previous years.”

The team chemistry has been outstanding with this team, as they are all close friends.

With such strong team chemistry the team should could propel themselves to a winning season and get far in the J&C tournament.

Harrison Wrestling Works Towards Consecutive Championship Wins

John Strohl

The Raider wrestling team looks to kick off another very successful season Saturday in the Anderson Invitational.

Harrison wrestling has won the NCC championship the past two years, in addition to claiming five consecutive sectional championships and six consecutive regional championships.

They plan on continuing these streaks, as well as breaking the record for most wins in a season ‒ 39 wins.

The team is very similar to last year’s team with each weight class having a lot of depth.

Ninth-year head coach Scott Van Der Aa knows this team is willing to work hard and continue being successful due to what he saw at the end of last season and in the offseason.

We have had a large group of wrestlers that have lifted weights three days a week since the end of last season,” said Van Der Aa. “We have also had huge numbers at each of our off-season workouts.”

Juniors Trey McCartney (113 pounds) and Donnie Crider (220 pounds) were both state qualifiers last year, and they are expecting their domination on the mat.

Freshman Sam Hein is in the lineup at 106 pounds, replacing Sidney Shoop, who moved at the end of last year.

Van Der Aa is expecting Hein to have quite the impact as a young wrestler.

Junior Luke Pfeiffer has also broken into the starting lineup wrestling at 160 pounds in his second year.

Pfeiffer was home schooled up until his freshman year.

The junior’s only experience with wrestling prior to joining the team was when he and his brother Isaac, who is a freshman at Harrison, would wrestle each other back on their family farm.

“I wanted to do wrestling because I wanted to try a new sport and some guys on the team said I would be pretty good so I gave it a shot,” said Pfeiffer.

Pfeiffer is expecting to make an appearance in semi-state this season as well as having a big impact in the team's success during the regular season.

“There is a good group of guys that have been working hard all summer ‒ in the weight room and on the mat,” said Pfeiffer. “That group is going to make a statement this season.”

Hard work and dedication will drive the Raiders deep into the postseason.

“The work ethic and commitment that our teams have had in the past have turned this into a great program and that will continue to be the key to success,” said Van Der Aa.

Without any seniors in the starting lineup, and around 10 returning starters, the Raiders should have success for not only this season but years to come as well.

Boy's Soccer One Step Closer to State

Nick Connors

The Harrison Boy’s soccer team continue their dream run of a season with a win in the regional finals.

Harrison won against Hamilton Southeastern 2-1 with goals from Max Miller and Mohammed Ayad and an assist from Alex Webb.

This regional final win has been the narrowest win this tournament with next closest game being a win against Frankfort 7-1.

The raiders hope to copy lasts years run in a victory in semi-state to put them through to state where they can get a chance for redemption.

The team this year is looking stronger than ever and has a good chance of winning the semi-state final and going on to state.

“We’re really excited for semi-state,” said junior midfielder, Thys Call. “The game against Hamilton Southeastern was a tough one we got a few bumps and bruises but we will be back and ready for semi-state.”

Harrison plays Concord in the semi-state final on Saturday, October 22 at 12 pm.

Harrison stays undefeated with a record of 19-0-1 for this season while Concord sit at a record of 16-3-1.

“Our goal from the beginning of the season is to go to state,” said Call. “Every team from here on out is a really good team. There is not going to be any easy moments, we can’t allow any slip-ups.”  

Harrison looks forward to a tightly contested game Saturday with hopes of moving on to state.