County spikers, golfers in swing of seasons
Putnam County’s volleyball teams feature a good combination of returning veterans and promising young players looking to make an impact at the varsity level.
In golf, some teams have been battling low numbers and injuries, but scores have been improving as the players become more experienced.
Here is a look at each team after a few weeks of matches:
• Greencastle — The Tiger Cubs return the 2016 Banner Graphic Putnam County Player of the Year in senior Maggie Meyer, as well as juniors Jalyn Duff, Jada Amis and Mckenzie Woodall.
Sophomore Allison Stevens played varsity more than half of the season last year.
New to the varsity are junior Ivy Wright, sophomore Macy Clark and freshman Lilly Meyer.
“We have great leadership from our senior [Maggie] this year,” Greencastle coach Maggie Walters said. “She holds herself and her teammates to very high standards and does a nice job of setting the tone for hard work and determination.”
Despite having a young roster, Walters likes the experience they have gained in the past.
”We have a strong core of returners that will help the younger ones along,” she said. “Jalyn Duff was able to run a 5-1 as a sophomore last year, so she has a strong understanding of the offense and how to connect with her different hitters.”
Walters noted that Maggie Meyer and Woodall bring a lot of experience and leadership to the team’s defense.
“The two of them are fun to watch together,” she said. “Ivy Wright and Lilly Meyer are our outside hitters this year. They do a nice job of reading the opponent’s side of the court, and we’re looking forward to these two being an integral part of a more versatile offense this season.”
Walters also likes the height that Amis, Stevens and Clark bring to the net.
“They do a nice job of making smart out-of-system plays,” she said.
• North Putnam — Bonnie Osborn is a first-time varsity coach.
The Cougars return just two players from last year’s varsity roster, and have just two seniors this year in Tryston Lyons and Raven Gant.
Sophomore Bradi Gierke was an all-county player last year.
“The rest of my team is juniors and mostly sophomores,” she said. “Our season got off to a great start with a win against South Vermillion that took five sets. That game was followed by tough losses to Riverton Parke and Covenant Christian.
“During our Early Bird Tournament we were able to get wins against Attica and Crawfordsville, but lost against Mooresville.”
Osborn knows the season will be a “learning year” for both herself and the team.
“However, this group of girls have a strong desire to not only play the game, but to play it well,” she said. “They are all hard workers. I am excited to see where we can go this year and in the future. “
Osborn likes the potential her team has.
“The positive about having a young team is we get to work together for the next two years,” she said. “Also, having Jessica Neild return as the JV coach is a tremendous help to me and the girls.”
• South Putnam — Rachelle Custis returns for her second year in charge of the Eagles, and has seen progress this week with a 2-2 performance in the Eagle Invitational on Saturday and a win over South Vermillion on Tuesday.
“I am very proud of the girls for playing with heart and not giving up after losing the first two varsity sets,” she said after the South Vermillion win. “We came together as a team and made key plays. It was great seeing the energy and the enthusiasm escalating from the players and our supportive fans throughout the night.
“The girls deserved this win,” coach Custis said.
Senior Miranda Bieghler and junior Caitlin Capps have been two of the team’s leaders, and both were all-county selections last year.
• Cloverdale — Traci Scott returned to the bench this year to replace Kathy Moore.
Senior Justyce Monnett and juniors Hannah Rady and Tori Combs were all chosen for the all-county team last year.
Senior Kiley Shedron and sophomores Kenzie Stoltz and Hailey Thomas also gained valuable varsity experience last year.
The Clovers were 3-2 going into Thursday’s match at West Vigo, with wins over Southmont, South Vermillion and Cascade and losses to Danville and Clay City.
• Greencastle — Veteran coach Steve Paquin took over the Tiger Cub girls’ program this fall and has a five-player roster.
Senior Macey Masten was an all-county player last year, while senior Rose White played last season and classmate Marin Nally is making her golfing debut.
Junior Bailey Shuee and freshman Molly Ramey are other newcomers.
• North Putnam — Senior all-county performer and 2016 regional qualifier Taylor Dixon is the most experienced Cougar returner.
Sophomore Abby Simmerman performs for both the Cougar golf and volleyball teams and has been the second-leading scorer most nights.
Freshman newcomers Brittany Bonificius, Haylee Greene, Nyiah Goff, Grace Timm, Madyson Williams are adjusting to high school golf, and some are playing for the first time ever.
• Cloverdale — Kyle Walter is the new Clover coach, taking over from Matthew Langdon.
Abby Walker and Hannah Nichols are returning all-county players for the Clovers. Sophomore Sammie Shrum has also had several good rounds for the Clovers.
• South Putnam — Kevin Metz has three seniors in Reagan Ladd, Anna Carrington and Alex Fanning.
Sophomores Leighla Hazlett and Kate McCammack have one year of experience under their belts.
Freshmen Drew Steffy and Kortnee Starks round out the squad.
Putnam County volleyball, golf rosters
(Grade listed when available
Cloverdale – (Varsity) Annika Whitlock 12, Hannah Rady 11, Justyce Monnett 12, Hailey Thomas 10, Morgan Goss 10, Kassie Wade 10, Kenzie Stoltz 10, Anne Marie Williams 12, Tori Combs 11, Haley Smith 10, Maci Jones 10, Kiley Shedron 12; (JV) Lindsey Minton 9, Aubrey Branigan 9, Alexa Wynia 9, Tiffany Wainscott 9, Ashlynn Basore 9, Skylynne Lowe 9, Haley Smith 10, Kacey Shedron 10, Autumn Lewellen 9
Greencastle – (Varsity) Jada Amis 11, Carmen Bridges 9, Macy Clark 10, Jalyn Duff 11, Lilly Meyer 9, Maggie Meyer 12, Allison Stevens 10, Shay Baker-Watson 9, Delaney Wright 9, Ivy Wright 11, Mckenzie Woodall 11 (JV) Lizzy Hamilton 9, Mia Rios 9, Allison Scott 9
North Putnam – (Varsity) Bella Zarate 11, Bradi Gierke 10, Trystan Lyons 12, Dana Tennis 10, Clarissa Gibson 10, Kinzey Young 11, Raven Gant 12, Abby Simmerman 10, Shelby Mason 11, Olivia Denny 11, Baylee Osburn, Olivia Haste 10 (JV) Abby Poynter 9, Sara Roberts 9, Nycole Porter 9, Kiara Murdick 9, Taylor Louk 9, Haylee Greene 9, Brynn Neace 9, Maddie Lawler 9, Alley Angermeier 9
South Putnam – (Varsity) Grace Burdge, Chloe Custis, Aubrey Hill, Caitlin Capps, Masey Chambers, Miranda Bieghler, Brionna Egold, Drew Bratcher, Saydee Proctor, Bree Mahoney-Sutherlin, Brianna Robinson (JV) Eva Hubbard, Abby Teipen, Karlie Maynor, Sammi Jones, Gracie Nees
Cloverdale – Hannah Nichols, Abby Walker, Arianna McCracken, Libby Dominguez, Gayle Baugh, Sammie Shrum
Greencastle – Macey Masten 12, Rose White 12, Marin Nally 12, Bailey Shuee 11, Molly Ramey 9
North Putnam – Taylor Dixon 12, Abby Simmerman 10, Brittany Bonificius 9, Haylee Greene 9, Nyiah Goff 9, Grace Timm 9, Madyson Williams 9
South Putnam – Reagan Ladd 12, Anna Carrington 12, Alex Fanning 12, Leighla Hazlett 10, Kate McCammack 10, Drew Steffy 9, Kortnee Starks 9