FEATURED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Allen Plunkett, South Putnam

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Allen Plunkett has high hopes for the South Putnam basketball team this year.
Banner Graphic/JOEY BENNETT

Allen Plunkett is a senior at South Putnam and participates in cross country, basketball and golf.


Banner Graphic: How important are sports to you, and what have you learned from sports?

Allen Plunkett: “Sports have always been a big part of my life. They teach you respect and leadership and a lot of other things you can use in other parts of your life without you knowing it.”

BG: You have played a lot of different sports. Which one is the hardest?

AP: “The hardest, skill-wise, would be basketball. You have to work all the time to excel at basketball. I’m running cross country this year. Mentally and physically, that is the hardest sport I’ve ever done. It’s been a great experience for me. I love Mr. [Brandon] Welti, the coach, and the team. I am having fun, and I didn’t think I would have fun. It has turned out to be good. I have actually cut my time by four minutes from our first meet, and that’s pretty good.”

BG: For someone who probably didn’t like to run, how did you choose cross country?

AP: “I’m solely doing it to get in shape for basketball. Last year, I didn’t do a sport but I told myself I was going to focus on basketball keep myself in shape by playing a lot of basketball. I didn’t hold myself accountable at all, and I told myself this year I had to do something to stay in shape.

BG: You had played football in the fall your freshman and sophomore years. What led to your switch?

AP: “I got a concussion in a game during my sophomore year, and that was the biggest thing that took me away from football. I was out for about six weeks. That took away from a few basketball things that I couldn’t go to because I had a concussion. I wanted to play basketball, and I thought I might get hurt again in football.”

BG: You also played golf last spring. What was that like?

AP: “I did it just to learn the game, and by the end of the season I learned I loved golf. It was one of the hardest sports skill-wise that I’ve taken on. It is so tough to hit that ball, and they make it look so easy on TV. It’s insane. I’m going to play again this year. I wanted to start getting better at it and morph my game a little bit. I’m looking forward to that too. I wanted to learn how to play so I can do it when I’m older. When I’m 40 years old, I’m not going to be taking my boss to the gym to play one-on-one; we’ll be going to the golf course. I know it can help with other things besides just the sport itself.”

BG: Besides cross country, basketball, golf and football, have you played any other sports?

AP: “I used to play baseball, but I quit playing in fifth grade. I just couldn’t hit the ball. It was so frustrating. I like watching the game, but I just couldn’t play it.”

BG: You have started in basketball since you were a freshman. How do you think that sport has gone for you at South Putnam?

AP: “I got thrown into the lineup as a freshman, and no one really knew too much about me. I had a pretty successful freshman year. My sophomore year, everyone started figuring it out and I had kind of an off-year. Last year, I got into a little bit better of a groove and played better. Maturity and all-around experience helped with that. This year is going to be even better. We are going to be starting five seniors who have all played varsity since we were freshmen. This year as a team I think we’re going to have a successful year.”

BG: Is there pressure on your senior class, not having had a winning record yet and knowing this is your last chance?

AP: “Definitely. We all know it, but we’re all going to battle through it and do well. We are put in a good spot to win games.”

BG: What are your plans for after high school?

AP: “I definitely want to go to college to study business or sports management and play basketball, but I don’t know where. I am looking at Bethel, Urbana, Anderson, DePauw and Wabash but I have no idea right now.

BG: What else do you do at school besides study and play sports?

AP: “I am in the Spanish Club, and I’m the president of the National Honor Society. I am a teacher’s assistant for the guidance office. I am in the PIE coalition, and I like to be in the cheer block for other sports.”

BG: What things do you do when you’re not at school?

AP: “There isn’t a lot, but I like to hang out with Thomas [Fanning], Lane [Watson] and the guys. I love watching movies. ‘Pearl Harbor’ is my favorite. It’s kind of a chick flick, but I like it. I like scary movies too. I like to watch ‘Dancing with the Stars’’ and ‘The Bachelor’. I also like ‘Hawaii Five-O’. I just finished season eight on Netflix this summer. I like to listen to country music. It’s just what I like. I like how the artists tell stories through their songs.”

BG: Do you have any pets?

AP: “I have three dogs. A German Shepherd named Jazz, a Yorkapoo named Flash and a Huskimo named Moby. Jazz is my dad’s dog, Flash is my mom’s dog and Moby is mine. He’s my cuddle buddy, and we sleep together every night.”

BG: What is your greatest fear?

AP: “Spiders. I haven’t been bitten by one, but they just terrify me. I will freak out if I ever get bitten by one.”

BG: What are your favorite and least favorite foods?

AP: “My favorite is pizza, thin crust Chicago style. My least favorite is spinach. My mom always tried to get me to eat it, but I just can’t. She used to show me Popeye cartoons, but that didn’t do it.”

BG: What is something you have never done before that you would like to do someday?

AP: “I always wanted to skydive, and I did that last summer with my sister, dad and 86-year-old grandpa. Next I would like to do bungee jumping base jumping. Skydiving was amazing. I loved the rush, and that feeling of falling. I thought I was going to be nervous, but I wasn’t until the door opened and the green light came on.”

BG: Are you a good student?

AP: “I have a 3.8 GPA. I’m 14th in my class of about 86 people, and I’m pretty proud of that. It’s pretty hard sometimes to play so many sports and get everything done, but I manage. I know it’s important. You have to be really good with time management.”

BG: Describe your overall South Putnam experience.

AP: “South is an amazing school. It’s been great, and it goes by as fast as they said. I’m the one about to put on the cap and gown and graduate. I’ve loved every second of it. Coach Welti has a great class, and coach [Greg] Dean and Mr. [Brian] Gardner have both helped me with many things.”