In his 15-plus years coaching football at Columbus East, Bob Gaddis has won 162 games and a state championship.
But this season, Gaddis began noticing a little bit of a disconnect between his varsity and his scout team players. It wasn’t an adversarial issue but rather a case of the sets of players not knowing each other as well as he wanted to see.
“Getting better all season is not just the varsity guys,” Gaddis said. “When the scout team guys come out here, they have to practice hard for them to get better and for our team to get better. It’s a long season for our young guys, and I want to make sure that they understand that we appreciate them.”
So last week, Gaddis had team members meet in small groups for a few minutes before and after each practice. The groups had to consist of two seniors, two juniors, and two-to-four sophomores, and each day, the group had to be different.
Besides the players’ names, and positions, players shared something else about themselves to their teammates.
“We’re building more of a team,” senior linebacker T.C. O’Neal said. “You get to know more about an individual than their name and what they play.”
Gaddis always has said that the strength of East football is the “team,” and he wanted to make sure they don’t take that for granted. He doesn’t want the players just going through the motions and not respecting their teammates.
“I think it’s really good for the younger guys especially because there’s no better people to bring them up than the senior class and the older kids on the team,” senior center Harry Crider said. “It’s a great learning experience for us and the younger kids. It teaches us how to lead, and it teaches them what this program is about.”
Golfers set for sectional
Girls golf sectional action will take place beginning this weekend. The nine area schools will be spread across four sectionals, with three of those taking place on Saturday and one on Monday.
Fourth-ranked Columbus North, along with Columbus East and South Decatur, will play in Saturday’s Greensburg Sectional at Greensburg Country Club. Those teams and Greensburg will be in the top pairing group that tees off from 9:15 and 9:51 a.m.
Jennings County will play in the Madison Sectional, which begins at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Sunrise. Trinity Lutheran is in the Bedford North Lawrence Sectional, which starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Otis Park.
Brown County and Edinburgh will play in the Bloomington North Sectional, which begins at 8 a.m. Monday at Indiana University Golf Course.
The top three teams, plus the top three individuals not on advancing teams, advance to regional action on Sept. 24. The state finals are Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at Prairie View in Carmel.
North is East’s top seed
No. 23 Columbus North is the No. 1 seed for the East Division and will play the West’s No. 2 team in the semifinals of the Conference Indiana boys tennis tournament Saturday at Terre Haute North or Terre Haute South.
Pairings and locations were not able to be determined until after Wednesday night’s Bloomington North-Bloomington South and Perry Meridian-Southport matchups.
No. 10 Bloomington North is the tourney favorite.
Olympians, Panthers to meet
Columbus East will visit Jennings County at 5 p.m. Monday in the opening round of the Hoosier Hills Conference boys tennis tournament.
The winner and loser will play Wednesday at the winner and loser between Jeffersonville and Bedford North Lawrence. Both the Olympians and Panthers will again be on the road for their placement-round matches Sept. 23.
Columbus North and Columbus East have rescheduled events that have been rained out in the past couple of weeks.
The Columbus North at Southport boys soccer game has been rescheduled for Monday. Both the varsity and JV games will start at 6 p.m.
The Batesville at Columbus East girls soccer game has been rescheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 22.