North football, baseball teams to meet on hardwood

The Columbus North football and baseball teams are getting together for a fun and competitive night — over a game of basketball.

The teams will meet on the court at 7 p.m. Saturday in Memorial Gym. Tickets are $5, with proceeds benefiting the two programs.

"It’s kind of for bragging rights and a little fundraising opportunity," North baseball coach Ben McDaniel said. "We’re going out to win. We accept it a challenge, and it’s going to be fun for everyone involved."

Each team will have 12 players. Rosters are still being finalized.

The game will be played under high school basketball rules.

"It’s just an opportunity to raise some money and also have some fun and build camaraderie within the programs," North football coach Tim Bless said. "There’s going to be a scoreboard on, so I’m sure competitive juices will be flowing."

Bless and his varsity staff will be in Orlando this weekend for the USA Football national convention. So freshman coach Ray Gipson will coach the football team on Saturday.

"That’s good for the football program because he knows a lot more basketball than I do," Bless said.

Junior Mitchel Collier, who played basketball as a freshman and sophomore, will captain the football team.

Current members of the North basketball team won’t be able to play. So the football team won’t have Trenton Kelley, and the baseball team won’t have Reese Harmon to throw out there. Both are starters for the Bull Dog hoops squad.

"I do have (6-foot-5 junior) Casper Clark in my back pocket," McDaniel said. "He didn’t play basketball this year. We have a ton of guys that played in middle school."

Crusaders headed to state

The Columbus Christian boys and girls basketball teams will play in the Indiana Christian Schools Athletic Association State Tournament Saturday at Faith Christian School in Lafayette.

The Crusader girls (14-7) will play Horizon Christian in the semifinals at 10:30 a.m. Granger Christian will play the Northwest Region winner at 9 a.m., and the girls championship will be at 3 p.m.

Horizon Christian beat Columbus Christian 56-32 on Jan. 18 and 55-27 on Feb. 8.

"It’s good that we’ve played them before, so we know what to expect," Columbus Christian girls coach Kay Jones said. "We just have to play smarter, and that’s what we’ve been working on during practice. We know that we have to be consistent, we have to be aggressive, we have to come out fighting. Our defense has to be very aggressive. We’ve been working on our defense, working on what they’re going to give us. Just going out there giving it our all until that last buzzer goes off in the fourth quarter."

The Crusader boys (11-16) will face Bloomington Lighthouse Christian Academy in the semifinals at 1:30 p.m. Clinton Christian will play the Northwest Region winner at noon, and the championship game will be at 5 p.m.

Lighthouse beat Columbus Christian 77-64 on Jan. 8. Junior C.J. Reed scored 41 points in that game, but senior and leading scorer Conner Emily was limited to four points after spraining an ankle in the Crusdaers’ previous game.

"I like how we match up with Bloomington," Columbus Christian boys coach Kevin Roth said. "I think we can play with them. With a healthy Conner Emily, and C.J. played well against them, I really like our chances."

North girls soccer coach resigns

Derek Stewart, who has been head coach of the Columbus North girls soccer team the past seven years, has resigned.

Stewart led the Bull Dogs to four sectional titles in his seven years and regional championships in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, North made the state’s final four in Class 3A.

Prior to taking over as head coach in 2012, Stewart was an assistant on the 2010 team that was state runner-up in the final year of one-class soccer and on the 2011 team that reached the state’s final four in Class 2A.

North athletics director Jeff Hester is in the process of searching for a new coach.

Locals make All-District

Four seniors from Columbus have been selected to this year’s Hoosier Basketball Coaches Association All-District team.

Columbus East’s Matt Frost and Drew Johnson and Columbus North’s Trenton Kelley and Patrick McKinley made the 10-player squad for District 3, which is comprised of 13 counties in East Central Indiana.

East golf to have callout

New Columbus East boys golf coach Jarrod Pennycuff will hold a boys golf callout meeting at 5:30 p.m. today in The Chamber room at the school.

The meeting is for all interested players and their parents.