By CHUCK LANDIS – firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Owen Perkins, Oak Hill, football-wrestling-baseball
The Chronicle-Tribune’s top athlete for 2015-16, Perkins qualified for his second IHSAA wrestling state finals in three years at heavyweight and went as Oak Hill’s first ever semistate champion. The junior lost his first state match in the waning moments 4-3 to a South Bend Washington wrestler who went on to finish in fourth place. Perkins finished 32-3 and is on pace to surpass Travis Davenport’s all-time match wins record. In football, Perkins was a force at left guard and made coaches’ Class 2A all-state after helping the Eagles to a 11-1 season.
2. Kaylan Williams, Marion, soccer-swimming-track
As the county’s only track and field state qualifier, Williams ran away with the C-T’s top spring athlete honor. The senior was a sectional long jump champion and third at regional to earn a spot at state, where she finished 14th overall. Williams’ best sport is soccer and she collected 30 goals and 18 assists in leading the Giants to a 16-4-1 record and regional runner-up finish. She will attend Division I New Hampshire to play soccer.
3. Luke Elliott, Eastbrook, football-wrestling
The C-T’s top winter athlete, Elliott placed fourth in the 185-pound weight class at the IHSAA state wrestling finals and finished his senior season 40-4 with sectional and regional championships. Elliott placed second at semistate and earned a state finals berth. In football, Elliott rushed for 1,377 yards and 25 touchdowns, including a school record six in one game, and led the Panthers to an 11-1 season.
4. Vironnica Drake, Marion, soccer-basketball
Athletically gifted, Drake put everything together in the pitch and basketball court as a senior and helped both teams to successful seasons. Drake was named C-T girls’ basketball player of the year after averaging 20.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds for the Giants. She was instrumental in the Giants’ first NCC girls’ basketball championship since 1981, converting a game-winning layup at the final buzzer sounded in the semifinal victory over Muncie Central. In soccer, Drake scored 13 goals for a regional runner-up team. She will play basketball at Grace College.
5. Margo Hornocker,Oak Hill, Cross country-basketball-track
Hornocker clearly established herself as the county’s top girls’ distance runner in her sophomore season. She earned the C-T’s top fall athlete honor after becoming the only county athlete to qualify for the IHSAA state cross country finals. In the postseason Hornocker finished second at sectional, fourth at regional and 20th at semistate, qualifying for state as an individual. This spring, Hornocker was a sectional champion in the 800 and 3,200 meters and won four events at the Grant Four invitational.
6. Reggie Jones, Marion, basketball
Jones was the driving force behind the Giants’ march to an eighth boys’ basketball state championship. After a foul-plagued first half, Jones triggered the comeback that lifted Marion past Evansville Bosse in the state championship game, finishing with 25 points, eight rebounds and four assists. The senior garnered all-NCC first team and all-state honorable mention honors. The C-T’s boys’ player of the year, Jones will play for Division I Western Michigan of the Mid-American Conference.
7. Sloane Stewart, Madison-Grant, Volleyball-basketball-track
The 6-foot-1 Stewart made her presence known for successful Argylls volleyball and basketball teams. Stewart was a dominant middle hitter for the 26-9 sectional volleyball champions and regional runner-up. In basketball, the sophomore was C-T all-county after averaging 7.4 points and 10.2 rebounds for a 15-8 sectional runner-up team. Stewart also participated in track for the first time and won the high jump at the Grant Four meet.
8. Christian Livingston, Oak Hill, football-basketball-baseball
Livingston was a key contributor on three successful Eagles teams in his senior season. He came out for football and produced 629 total offensive yards while intercepting two passes and forcing a fumble on defense. As a starting guard for the Eagles’ 23-4 regional runner-up basketball team, Livingston averaged 13.0 points and 3.6 assists. He concluded the year contributing on the mound and with the bat for a Class 2A state-ranked team, finishing 7-3 with a 1.22 ERA and batting .329 from the leadoff spot.
9. Sabrina Porter, Marion, Cross country-swimming-tennis
While tennis is Porter’s most accomplished sport, the senior also was the top runner for the cross country team and competed at semistate as an individual entry. Porter played singles on four straight NCC and sectional championship teams and finished her career with 85 match wins. She made All-District 4 and coaches all-state honorable mention and participated in the North/South Senior All-Star Cup. Cross country highlights included all-NCC, a ninth in the sectional meet and 12th in the regional. Porter will play tennis at Indiana Wesleyan University.
10. Jenessa Hasty, Oak Hill, Cross country-basketball-softball
One of two freshmen to make the Top 25 list, Hasty found success in cross country, basketball and softball in her first year of high school. Hasty finished fourth at sectional just behind older sister Brooke Hasty and 10th at regional, helping the Eagles to runner-up finishes in both meets. She became the starting point guard for the basketball team and averaged 5.4 points and 1.9 assists for a 19-win team. In the spring, Hasty batted .438 and knocked in 26 RBIs for the softball team and made all-CIC and all-CIC first team.
11. Maddi Evans, Madison-Grant, Volleyball-basketball-softball
Standing 5-feet tall, Evans found a way to dominate hitters in the postseason and pitched the Argylls to a Class 2A final four appearance. The sophomore finished 11-6 with a 1.99 ERA and batted .394 with 12 doubles, one home run and 29 RBIs to earn the C-T’s softball player of the year. Evans often started in the backcourt for the basketball team and averaged 5.4 points and team-best 2.2 assists. She was a back row player/defensive specialist for the regional runner-up volleyball team.
12. Courtney Haynes, Eastbrook Volleyball-basketball
Haynes was the top offensive player on Panthers volleyball and girls’ basketball teams but has chosen to pursue a new sport – rowing – in college. The senior led the basketball team to its first sectional title since 2008 and a 19-6 season, averaging 15.1 points and 6.2 rebounds to earn all-CIC and all-county first team honors. She played all-around in volleyball and led the team in kills. Haynes accepted an offer from Eastern Michigan of the Mid-American Conference to join its rowing team.
13. Caleb Maggard, Oak Hill, Football-basketball-baseball
Maggard helped three Eagles teams achieve Class 2A top 10 rankings during his senior season. The 6-foot-6 Maggard contributed 10.3 and 7.4 rebounds for a 23-4 team that came within seconds of the 2A state tournament final four. In football, he was the leading receiver with 19 catches for 324 yards and two TDs, and he batted .313 for the sectional runner-up baseball team with 12 RBIs. Maggard will attend International Elite Prep Academy, Atlanta, to sharpen his basketball skills.
14. Peyton Watson, Eastbrook, Football-track
Putting his quick feet to good use, Watson helped the Panthers football and track and field teams to successful seasons. The senior rushed for 1,179 yards and 10 TDs, and he was a deep receiving threat averaging 41.8 yards on four catches with three scores. In track, Watson helped the Panthers win their first conference meet since 1982 along with a Grant Four title and sectional runner-up finish. Watson won three events at CIC and long jump champion at Grant Four.
15. Jerod May, Mississinewa, Tennis-basketball
The No. 1 tennis singles player and leading scorer for the boys’ basketball team, May had a breakthrough sophomore year culminating with a 31-point performance in the sectional semifinals. May made 11-of-12 shots against Heritage and led the Indians to the sectional finals. As a tennis player, May posted a 17-5 record and earned All-District 4 honors. He averaged 14.3 points and 4.0 assists for the basketball team.
16. Cody White, Oak Hill, Basketball-golf
White wrapped up an impressive prep career this spring by winning CIC and Grant Four medalist honors for a fourth straight year. Marion’s Braden Drook deprived White of a fourth sectional medalist after winning a one-hole playoff. During his senior year, White tied the school 18-hole individual scoring record (67) and helped the Eagles obtain a top 20 state ranking. He fell just short of qualifying for a second state finals and now moves on to compete collegiately for Division I Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne.
17. J.C. Herring, Oak Hill, Cross country-wrestling-track
A transfer from Marion, Herring added further depth to a strong Eagles team and became one of three wrestlers to qualify for the IHSAA state finals. The junior won sectional and regional titles and took fourth at semistate. Herring finished 35-5 after losing his first round state match, but he did add Grant Four and CIC meet titles. He started running for the first time and qualified for regional in cross country and track.
18. Savannah Leas, Madison-Grant, Basketball-track
The junior missed out on qualifying for the IHSAA state finals in the shot put by one inch after winning the event and the discus at the Northwestern Sectional meet. Leas had been unbeaten in the two throws until the regional with Grant Four and CIC titles. In basketball, Leas was the leading scorer and No. 2 rebounder on a 15-win Argylls team that finished in a four-way tie for the CIC title and was an all-county performer.
19. Erica Ford, Oak Hill, Swimming
The Eagles’ record-setting senior swimmer competed in three events at the IHSAA state meet: the open 50-yard freestyle and 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams. Ford set the 50 freestyle school record of 23.80 seconds and finished fourth at sectional, while the 400 freestyle that also included Khloe Price, Serena Clock and Emma Travis turned in a school record 3:43.06 and received a callback for the state meet.
20. Travis Davenport, Oak Hill, Football-wrestling
Four-year wrestling standout Davenport made it to the state finals in his senior year after twice having his season end at the semistate level. Davenport finished 45-5 this season and is the Eagles career record holder for match wins. In addition, he won his first sectional title and won a third Central Indiana Conference title. He also was a contributor on defense for the Eagles’ 11-1 football team.
21. Brennan Butche, Mississinewa, Cross country-track
The freshman runner made a great first impression after winning the sectional cross country meet in 16:08, then followed up with a third place at regional and an individual entry to the semistate. Butche also finished first at three invitationals – Marion (small school race), Taylor and Oak Hill. This spring, Butche turned in the county’s fastest times in the 1,600 and 3,200 during the regular season and was 1,600 champion in the Grant Four and CIC meets.
22. Erika Foy, Mississinewa, Volleyball-basketball-softball
Foy stepped up during his sophomore year and made vital contributions in three sports. She began the year helping the Indians’ state-ranked volleyball team to a 30-4 season with CIC and sectional runner-up finishes, ranking third in kills and fourth in total blocks. In basketball, Foy made all-county after averaging 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds for a 15-win team, the Indians’ most successful season since 2003. She then moved on to softball where she was the No. 1 pitcher and earned all-county honors.
23. Tyler Fairchild, Oak Hill, senior, Baseball
Completely recovered from April 2014 Tommy John surgery, the senior had an unforgettable senior baseball season with a 9-0 record and zero earned-run average, allowing one run (unearned) over 60 innings. Fairchild also was among the county’s top hitters with a .405 batting average, five home runs and 27 RBIs and earned C-T player of the year honors. He was selected to play in the coaches’ Indiana North-South All-Star series.
24. Savannah Hart, Oak Hill, Cross country-diving-track
In her sophomore year, Hart competed in the IHSAA state diving finals and advanced to the cross country semistate and track and field regional meets. Hart finished 19th in the state diving competition after placing fifth in her second straight regional appearance. She won the 3,200 meters at the Grant Four Invitational track meet and in sectional ran on a first-place 3,200 relay team. Hart was a key part of CIC, Grant Four champion cross country teams, and the Eagles were runners-up at sectional and regional.
25. De’Andre Hodge, Marion, Football-wrestling
Hodge never wrestled until his junior year but was a quick study and as a senior advanced to the IHSAA state finals. Along the way, Hodge finished runner-up to C-T Athlete of the Year Perkins in the sectional, regional and semistate, and all were extremely close matches. Hodge finished with a 42-7 record and plans to wrestle and play football at Manchester College following a semester at Ivy Tech.