Over the past two years, Columbus North athletics director Jeff Hester has overseen multiple facility upgrades at the school and seen his teams win multiple state championships.
Hester was honored last year with the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Administrator of the Year award. This week, he added another honor by being named the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Association District 4 Athletic Director of the Year.
“I would say it’s probably more humbling than anything just because there’s a lot of really good athletic administrators in our district,” Hester said. “It’s a nice award not only for me, but our whole athletic department.”
Now in his eighth year at North, Hester has seen the Bull Dogs win state titles in boys and girls cross country, boys soccer, boys golf, girls basketball and gymnastics. The boys golf, girls basketball and gymnastics championships have come in the past two years.
Also in the past two years, Hester has overseen upgrades to the seating areas at the football field: a new playing floor and lower-level bleachers; updated lighting, sound system, scoreboards and locker room facilities in Memorial Gym; new bleachers; a refinished floor in the auxiliary gym; new wrestling mats; and a renovation to the Charles “Chick” Newell Natatorium.
Those projects came on the heels of the building of varsity and JV baseball and softball diamonds at Southside Elementary.
Hester also has brought several special basketball events to North, including Indiana All-Star junior-senior games in 2014 and 2015, the Harlem Globetrotters and Micah Lancaster’s “I’m Possible” Basketball Camp.
A graduate of Elwood High School and Indiana University, Hester received a master’s degree from Akron in 1999. He coached middle school boys and girls basketball, high school boys and girls tennis, was an assistant high boys and girls basketball coach, assistant AD and AD at Heritage Christian from 1999 to 2008 before coming to North.
Athletes make indoor finals
Several Columbus North and Brown County athletes have qualified for Saturday’s Hoosier State Relays, the unofficial state indoor track and field meet.
Brown County will compete in the small-school division, which will begin at 8 a.m. at Purdue’s Lambert Fieldhouse. North will be in the big-school division, which begins at 2 p.m.
North senior Katrina May is tied for the No. 2 seed in the big-school girls pole vault. Junior Rachel Brougher and senior Sierra Lax are seeded 10th and 11th in the 3,200 meters, and the Bull Dogs are seeded 10th in the distance medley relay and 21st in the 4×800 relay.
North junior Mitchell Burton is seeded fourth in the boys long jump. Senior Ben Rankin is seeded 13th in the 3,200, and the Bull Dogs are seeded 11th in the 4×200 relay and 16th in the distance medley relay.
In the small-school division, the Brown County boys are seeded second in the 4×800 relay and sixth in the distance medley relay.
Brown County junior Elly Wertz is seeded third in the long jump and 19th in the 60, and senior Jalynn Stanford is tied for 16th in the high jump. The Eagle are seeded fourth in the 4×400 relay, sixth in the 4×200 relay and seventh in the 4×800 relay.
Players win ‘Griddys’
Two Columbus players won “Griddys” from the Indiana Football Digest Sunday at the Indianapolis Colts complex.
Columbus East senior linebacker Sam Dwenger was one of 25 players honored on the Big School All-State team for Classes 4A-6A. Columbus North junior running back Mitchell Burton was named to the Prime Time 25.
The Prime Time 25, which features the state’s top juniors, will be on the cover of this year’s Indiana Football Digest.
Sophomore named MVP
Sophomore Andrew Chapman has been named MVP of Columbus North’s wrestling team.
Other special awards went to senior Alex Davidson (Bull Dog Award), junior David Redding (Larry Perkinson Mental Attitude Award), freshman Dallin Anderson (Brandon Shehan Award as team’s most outstanding freshman) and sophomore Brigham Kleinhenz (most improved).
Chapman also won the award for most pins with 27. Sophomore Isaiah Peetz was honored for most takedowns with 106.