Olympians football coach approaching milestone

Only eight coaches in the history of Indiana high school football have won 300 games.

Friday night, Bob Gaddis can become the ninth.

The Columbus East coach is 299-134 in 38 years at six schools. He will go for No. 300 Friday when the Class 5A No. 2 Olympians host Bedford North Lawrence in the sectional semifinals.

“It’s a pretty humbling milestone,” Gaddis said. “I just means I’ve been fortunate enough to coach for a long time and have a lot of good players.”

Gaddis also credited his wife of 39 years. Karen Gaddis has been with him every step of his coaching career.

That career didn’t exactly begin with a bang. He went 2-18 in two years at Tri-County, then 2-8 in his first year at South Putnam. But he turned that around and went on to make stops at Danville, Pike and Evansville Reitz before coming to East in 2001.

“That was a really smart thing that I was able to do — apply for this job,” Gaddis said. “It’s been a great place to coach.”

Gaddis began as teacher at East before becoming Dean of Students for two years. He was the school’s athletics director from 2005-15.

Gaddis, who is 181-34 in his 17th year with the Olympians, ranks fourth on the state’s active coaches wins list.

“I just want to win the next one,” Gaddis said. “When it’s all said and done, it’s something that I’ll look back on and be appreciative that I’ve been in the game that long.”

Olympian a state finalist

Columbus East senior Lizzy Frazier was a girls state finalist for this year’s Wendy’s High School Heisman Award.

Frazier runs cross-country and track, swims and is a cheerleader for the Olympians. She follows former East three-sport athlete Cortney VanLiew, who was a national finalist last year.

Claire Thompson was the school winner for Columbus North. The senior is a three-time state champion in gymnastics and also is a cheerleader.

Clayton Underhill and Hannah Ashby, both of Washington Catholic, were the boys and girls state winners.

Bull Dogs make All-State

Columbus North seniors Isaac Jackson and Ben Mathew have been named second-team All-State in doubles by the Indiana High School Tennis Coaches Association.

Junior Kevin Lin and sophomore Joey Zhao are honorable mention singles selections. The four Bull Dogs earlier had been named to the All-District 8 squad.

Brown County’s Abe Oliver made the Academic All-State first team. Honorable mention selections include North’s Mathew, Chris Ruble and Akshaya Sabapathy; Hauser’s Jacob Johnson and Sam Meek and Trinity Lutheran’s Matthew Stuckwisch.

North also was named an All-State Academic Team.

Runners earn academic honors

Four local runners have been named to this year’s Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Academic All-State first teams.

Columbus North seniors Evan Porter and Spencer Sherlock and Columbus East junior Garrett McGaha are on the boys squad. East’s Frazier is a first-team girls selection.

North seniors Abel Spalding and Drew Thompson and juniors Sam Horak and Rishi Poludasu and East junior Jared Baker made the boys honorable mention list.

Meanwhile, four other East seniors have made Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association honorable mention Academic All-State teams in other fall sports — Jenny Bastian, Elena Leddy and Morgan Martindale in girls soccer and Lily Shelp in girls golf.

East wrestlers compete

Three Columbus East wrestlers claimed top-four finishes in the Grappler Fall Classic in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Junior Cayden Rooks finished third at 125 pounds, and senior Graham Rooks took third at 135. Senior Dawson Combest was fourth at 140.

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.