Former Panthers coach leads Southridge into state finals

A day after Columbus East plays in the IHSAA Football State Finals, a former area coach who took his lumps against the Olympians for five years will get a chance to coach on the state’s biggest stage.

Scott Buening, who coached at Jennings County from 2009-12, will lead Southridge (12-2) into the Class 2A final against Woodlan (12-2) at noon Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium. He is 47-15 in his fifth year with the Raiders.

“As a coach, you always hope to get the opportunity to coach in a state game, but there’s a lot of excellent coaches and good teams who don’t make it,” Buening said. “So it’s a humbling experience from that regard.”

The 41-year-old North Decatur and Hanover College graduate spent a year as an assistant at Evansville Harrison and seven years as an assistant at East Central. He then went 12-28 in four years at Jennings County, with the best season being a 5-5 campaign in 2011.

Buening is thankful for athletics director Mike Broughton and principal Tim Taylor for giving him his first head coaching job.

“I’m very thankful for my time there at Jennings County,” Buening said. “It’s always hard to get that first job and to get somebody to believe in you and believe in who you are. I have a lot of great friends that I’ve stayed in touch with that I coached with or taught with and got to know through the community. It was a great experience, and it’s certainly been a big part of my growth as a coach and as a person.”

Meanwhile, another former area head coach will be on the sidelines for a state title game this weekend as an assistant.

Former Brown County coach Danny Tieken is an assistant at Eastern Greene, which will make its first state final appearance on Friday. The Thunderbirds (11-3) will face Pioneer (14-0) in the Class A title game at noon Friday.

Locals make All-State

Two boys and one girl from Columbus have been selected to this year’s Indiana Soccer Coaches Asssociation All-State third team.

Columbus East senior Eli Newell and Columbus North junior Alex McGill are on the boys third team. Columbus North senior Liz Tynan made the girls third team.

North junior Tanner Johnson is a girls honorable mention selection.

Quarterback named MVP

Junior quarterback Trenton Kelley has been selected MVP of the Columbus North football team.

Other awards went to Jaylen Flemmons (most valuable offensive back/receiver), Logan Abbott (most valuable offensive lineman), Nick Tungett (most valuable defensive lineman) and Brigham Kleinhenz and J.D. Harris (most vaulable linebacker/defensive back).

Kleinhenz also won the Bull Dog Award. Damon Hunter won the John Skobel Scholarship, and Matthew Hartman won the Tom Orr Award.

Ables won the JV Bull Dog Award, and Carter Ward won the Freshman Bull Dog Award. Cody Ruble won the Freshman Scholar-Athlete Award.

Libero selected MVP

Junior libero Maddy Sebahar has been named MVP of the Columbus North volleyball team.

Agustina Fainguerish won the Bull Dog Award. Other awards went to Gabby Genth (most improved), Sidney Roese (Jolie Crider Award for upperclassman mental attitude) and Jalynn Reardon (Casey Cooley Award for underclassman mental attitude).

Roese, Fainguersch and Sebahar were recognized as team captains.

Kate Whaley and Andrea Corbeels were named junior varsity co-MVPs, and Nadia Lomax was named JV most improved. Alexa McKinley was named Freshman MVP, and Kathryn Rayburn was named Freshman most improved.

Seniors win MVP honors

Seniors Charlie Allen and Arig Tong have been named MVPs of the Columbus North boys and girls cross-country  teams.

Sam Horak won the boys Bull Dog Award. Olivia Morlok claimed the girls Bull Dog Award.

Spencer Sherlock, Abel Spalding and Peyton Shelton were recognized as boys team captains. Kirsten Ballard, Madelyn Sanders and Tong were recognized as girls team captains.

Eagles to host benefit game

The Brown County girls basketball team will host a benefit at its game against Mitchell on Tuesday night.

The team is seeking monetary donations to help Felicia Velez, a mother of three who is battling terminal brain cancer. The team also is seeking sponsors to help pay for T-shirts and items for a silent auction/raffle.

Anyone interested in helping can contact coach Matt Roberts at mroberts@browncountyschools.com or 812-345-2774.

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