Alumni association names scholarship after former coach

For the past couple of years, some of John Hinds’ former gymnasts have been thinking of a way to honor their former coach.

Those gymnasts, along with Bull Dog Alumni Association director Hedy George, came up with the idea of a scholarship. So they have started the John W. Hinds Tradition of Excellence.

“It’s kind of been in the works for awhile, and Hedy approached me about it,” former Columbus High School gymnast and current Columbus North co-coach Bob Arthur said. “We didn’t move quite as quickly as we wanted to, but we finally got our heads together and got this done.”

Hinds led Columbus to 13 state championships in the 17 years that boys gymnastics was contested. He also led the Bull Dogs to three boys and one girls state runner-up finish and coached 47 individual state champions. In 2015, Hinds was inducted into the Indiana Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

A one-time $500 or $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a Columbus North senior athlete who is in good standing, has at least a 3.0 grade point average and plans to attend a two- or four-year college. Preferences will be given to gymnasts and/or students planning to major in education. Additional criteria include high moral character, exemplary sportsmanship, dedication to their sport and outstanding work ethic.

The John Hinds Tradition of Excellence selection committee also may provide grants to athletic or acdemic teams that demonstrate Hinds’ tradition of excellence, based on needs and resources available.

Arthur said about $1,500 has been raised for the scholarship fund. The goal is $10,000 to $20,000.

Central AD gets Madison job

Joe Bronkella received a birthday present this week when he landed his first high school athletics director position.

Bronkella, who turned 39 on Tuesday, was named AD at Madison High School on Monday. He has held that position at Central Middle School since 2011.

“I’ve been trying to get this opportunity for the last couple of summers and finally got this opportunity with Madison,” Bronkella said. “I’ll get to see a lot of familiar faces when I travel to the road games in Columbus.”

The Anderson native was AD at Anderson Southside Middle School in 2002-03. He went to Okeechobee (Florida) as an assistant football coach and freshman basketball coach from 2003-05 before coming to Columbus in 2005.

In Columbus, Bronkella was assistant coach for Northside Middle School boys basketball and Central track and girls basketball. He also was an assistant football and baseball coach at Columbus East before taking over the Central AD job.

Bronkella plans to begin taking steps to relocate his family to the Madison area.

Fall sports set to begin

The 2017-18 IHSAA sports season kicks off Friday with the first official day of girls golf practice.

Girls golf matches may begin Monday, and two local teams are taking advantage. Columbus East and Columbus North will play in the Bloomington South Invitational at Bloomington Country Club.

That same day, practice may officially begin in the other seven fall sports. Contests in volleyball, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls cross-country and boys tennis may begin Aug. 14. Football scrimmages are Aug. 11, and the first football games are Aug. 18.

North to host Blue-White Night

Columbus North will host its Blue-White Night Aug. 5 to showcase its fall sports teams.

There will be a meeting for parents of all fall sports athletes at 5 to 5:45 p.m. in the gym. Individual team meetings, at the discretion of team coaches, will be from 6 to 6:30 p.m. in rooms to be determined.

The boys and girls soccer teams will have a demonstration from 6:30 to 7 p.m on the football field. The volleyball team will scrimmage from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the gym.

The football team will take the field for warm-ups for a scrimmage at 7 p.m. Cheerleaders will be introduced at 7:15 p.m., and the football scrimmage begins at 7:30 p.m.

The boys and girls cross-country teams will have a 1,600-meter run at halftime of the football scrimmage, which will be at about 8 p.m.

All-sports passes for the 2017-18 school year will be available beginning at 6 p.m. A family pass, good for four family members, will be available for $200.