The local sports year in review
Note: The News-Dispatch/Herald Argus is listing its top local sports stories of 2018. The stories are not ranked in a particular order.
The passing of an icon
Dave Krider, whose name and face were synonymous with La Porte High School athletics, died July 4 at the age of 79. Krider was the sports editor for the La Porte Herald-Argus for over 28 years and was the author of four books. He was inducted into eight halls of fame, including basketball, baseball and sports writing for the state of Indiana. He is the only high school sports writer to be named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame. Krider also sponsored LaPorte High School’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes for and was inducted into its Hall of Champions in 2017.
Marquette girls win hoops state
The expectations came with the group as they arrived at Marquette as freshmen. After reaching the regional that year and semistate in 2017, the Blazers girls basketball team captured the 2018 state title in Class A, downing Vincennes Rivet 38-31 on Feb. 24 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Top-ranked Marquette (27-2) was led by Sophia Nolan with 12 points and seven rebounds despite Nolan and her twin sister Emma (eight points, seven rebounds) both being limited by foul trouble. Claire Salyer provided nine crucial points off the bench with Ally McConnell contributing five rebounds and three steals. Morgan Crook handed out six assists and she and Emmery Joseph played all 32 minutes.
City football goes back to semistate
On the heels of its first Class 5A regional championship, the Michigan City football team made it to the semistate for the second year in a row, crushing Concord 62-21 after blowouts of Munster and La Porte earned them the sectional title. The Wolves, who won eight games in a row following a 2-2 start, lost to New Palestine 35-10 in the semistate. Lyric McFarrin starred at running back, after not taking over the starting spot until week five. Bryce Hayman piloted a balanced offense that had a seven-game stretch in which it scored at leats 49 points. Mr. Football finalist and Purdue recruit Chase Triplett headlined a fierce defense that limited eight opponents to 14 or fewer points.
Git-tin ’er done
Unheralded entering the cross country season after finishing 102nd in the New Prairie Semistate as a junior, La Porte’s Mitchell Gits burst onto the scene as a senior, winning the regional there after a second-place finish in the sectional. Gits qualified for state, where he earned all-state honors with a 17th-place showing at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute. He capped his prep cross country career by running for Team Indiana at the Mideast Meet of Champions in Kettering, Ohio.
Armstrong keeps soaring
The Indiana high school high jump state champion as a senior at Michigan City, Daniel Armstrong continued his high-flying ways at Marquette University. His personal-best leap of 7 feet, 2 1/2 inches on Dec. 7 at Wisconsin-Parkside gave him the second-best height in the nation for the indoor season and ranked him second all-time for the Golden Eagles. Armstrong, as a junior, is already a two-time Big East indoor and outdoor champion in the event.
Girls hoops hotbed
In addition to Marquette’s state title, four La Porte County girls basketball players signed NCAA Division I national letters of intent. La Porte’s Riley Ott is bound for Purdue Fort Wayne, while Michigan City’s Hannah Noveroske inked with Xavier and Marquette’s Nolan twins, Emma and Sophia, committed to St. John’s. Noveroske was a Core Six Junior All-Star with the Nolans and Ott all being selected to the North Junior team.
Landmark season for City girls golf
It was a season of firsts for the Michigan City girls golf team. The Wolves won the school’s first sectional in the sport, doing so in dramatic fashion by edging Culver Academies 352-353 at Beechwood. Freshman Taylor Skibinski was medalist, carding an 82. City finished seventh in the Lafayette Jefferson Regional, where Lia Thomas shot an 81, then prevailed in a playoff to become the first Wolves girls golfer to advance to the state finals tournament. La Porte’s Maddie Fleshman, New Prairie’s Jordan Winter and South Central’s Chloe Ryan all reached the regional level.
MC beats LP in baseball
How rare was it? Rare enough that anybody associated with Michigan City baseball couldn’t remember the last time it happened. On May 15, the Wolves knocked off rival La Porte, which has long dominated them in the sport, 4-3 in nine innings. Bryce Hayman knocked in the winning run, setting off an celebration unprecedented in the program’s history. The Slicers turned around and blanked City 10-0 the next day, but the moment will be long remembered in M.C.
Life decision for Sharpe
La Porte football coach Dave Sharpe resigned following the 2018 season, a year that included the death of his infant son Jacob on June 4 of dural sinus thrombosis and arterio-venous fistulas, a rare brain disorder. Sharpe announced his resignation Nov. 20, indicating that the family will move to the Indianapolis area after the school year to be closer to Riley Children’s Hospital, who they are collaborating with on the Jacob Sharpe Foundation. Sharpe was 26-17 in four seasons with the Slicers. He indicated plans to continue in teaching and coaching.
State track medals aplenty
Michigan City’s Keyshawn McGill headed a strong La Porte County showing in boys track with a pair of eighth-place finishes (200-meter dash and high jump) at the state finals in Bloomington. McGill, who also competed in the long jump, cleared 6-6 in the high jump and ran 21.99 seconds in the 200. Wolves teammate Ryan Stefanko took fourth in the shot put with a heave of 59-3 1/2. La Porte’s Tyler Bensz captured a long jump medal with a distance of 22-9 1/4. In the girls meet, the Slicers’ Katerina Shuble earned sixth inthe 800 with a run of 2:13.94.
Other notable moments
* In volleyball, New Prairie made an improbable run to the Class 3A semistate, while Michigan City was 4A runner-up and South Central won a Class A title.
* South Central won Class A baseball and softball sectionals.
* New Prairie edged La Porte and blanked Michigan City to win a boys tennis sectional.
* Marquette freshman Rose Pastoret won the individual singles sectional and regional in girls tennis to advance to the state finals. Pastoret won her quarterfinal match before bowing out in the semifinals.
* La Porte wrestlers Skyler Gomez and Kyle Simpkins qualified for the state finals. Gomez placed third in the East Chicago Semistate at 126 pounds, while Simpkins finished fourth at 220.