10 sports moments that defined the 2021-22 school year for Bedford, Mitchell, Orleans

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Over the course of a school year, there are moments so big that they serve as landmarks in retrospect. Championships are won, records are broken, hot streaks change the course of a season.

Between Bedford North Lawrence, Mitchell and Orleans, there were so many amazing accomplishments between August and May. Here are some of the biggest and brightest, ones that will serve as landmarks in our memories for years to come.

BNL football four of six

Bedford North Lawrence's Brye Lewis (4) breaks a tackle during the game with Seymour on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
Bedford North Lawrence's Brye Lewis (4) breaks a tackle during the game with Seymour on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.

After a pair of setbacks to start things off, the Stars put together a strong stretch through the heart of the season. They went from 0-2 to 4-4 quickly, taking down Jeffersonville, Seymour and Jennings County in back-to-back weeks, and then Madison in their last home game of the regular season.

That hot streak helped them double their 2020 win total and though they fell to Columbus East and Seymour in back-to-back weeks to close the season, it was still a good way to open Derrick Barker's tenure as head coach at Bedford North Lawrence.

Flashback: Brye Lewis leads Bedford North Lawrence football on the road against Seymour

Mitchell volleyball ends sectional title drought

Maddie Robertson raises the sectional trophy after Mitchell defeated Christian Academy on Saturday.
Maddie Robertson raises the sectional trophy after Mitchell defeated Christian Academy on Saturday.

It had been quite some time since the Bluejackets lifted a sectional trophy, 15 years in fact. They thought that 2020 was their year, but they ultimately fell against Henryville in four sets on their home floor in the sectional title match. They made up for it in 2021 by outlasting Christian Academy in a five-set classic on the road.

It was a milestone that was years in the making as head coach Scott Saunders and his seniors had been building to the moment since they arrived at Mitchell four years ago.

Flashback: Mitchell volleyball team wins first sectional title in 15 years

Mitchell girls' basketball goes undefeated in PLAC

Mitchell seniors Lilly Zeeks (left), Taylor Duncan (11), Jordyn Sarver (1) and Maddie Robertson group hug after clinching an outright conference title in the final regular season game of their careers.
Mitchell seniors Lilly Zeeks (left), Taylor Duncan (11), Jordyn Sarver (1) and Maddie Robertson group hug after clinching an outright conference title in the final regular season game of their careers.

Mitchell's girls' basketball team came so, so close to winning a conference title during the 2020-21 season, only to falter right at the end to let rival Orleans take the crown. Provided another opportunity this past season, Mitchell didn't misstep.

The Bluejackets throttled the Bulldogs 49-24 led by 12-point efforts from Jordyn Sarver and Mylea Slone to become undefeated, undisputed Patoka Lake Athletic Conference champions.

Flashback: Mitchell girls' basketball caps off undefeated conference run with win over Orleans

Troy Pritchett retires, Kevin Kling hired as Mitchell football coach

Mitchell head coach Troy Pritchett speaks with his team at the end of a preseason practice.
Mitchell head coach Troy Pritchett speaks with his team at the end of a preseason practice.

After concluding the eighth season of his tenure at Mitchell, Troy Pritchett finally felt it was time for him to step away from the sidelines. The Springs Valley alumnus had managed to rebuild the Bluejackets' football program to a place where it was competitive, a tough task given where it was when he took over, and decided it was time to hand the reins to somebody new.

Flashback: Troy Pritchett retires after eight seasons as Mitchell's head football coach

That new coach turned out to be Kevin Kling, a former head coach at Triton Central who posted a 20-11 record between 2008 and 2010.

More: After extensive search, Mitchell hires new varsity football coach

BNL girls' basketball takes 11th sectional title in a row

Bedford North Lawrence's Chloe Spreen, center, is congratulated by Karsyn Norman (21), and Mallory Pride (22) after making a key defensive stop on Jennings County's Juliann Woodward with several seconds left in the fourh qaurter. The play iced the sectional championship for BNL, who won 38-36.
Bedford North Lawrence's Chloe Spreen, center, is congratulated by Karsyn Norman (21), and Mallory Pride (22) after making a key defensive stop on Jennings County's Juliann Woodward with several seconds left in the fourh qaurter. The play iced the sectional championship for BNL, who won 38-36.

It's become a regularity for the Bedford North Lawrence girls' basketball program to win championships by this point, but that doesn't mean that they should be taken for granted. The Stars had to grind out a 38-36 victory over Jennings County to lift the trophy and keep their streak alive this season, moving on to regional where they beat Castle before falling in the title game.

Karsyn Norman had 14 points, three rebounds and four steals against Jennings County while Chloe Spreen had 13 points, four rebounds, four steals and two blocks to help fuel the Stars to victory.

Flashback: Bedford North Lawrence girls basketball wins 11th straight sectional title

Orleans boys' basketball stuns Loogootee at sectional

Ian Hall springs up for a jump shot against Loogootee.
Ian Hall springs up for a jump shot against Loogootee.

In recent years, Sectional 63 has featured perhaps the best boys' basketball competition in the state thanks to Barr-Reeve, North Daviess, Loogootee and Orleans all being participants. This year's tournament kept the tradition alive.

Orleans was handed a difficult draw, having to play the host Lions in a first-round game, and it looked like the Bulldogs might crumble early. Loogootee jumped out to a 12-0 lead that got cut to 15-6 by the end of the first quarter, then 26-19 at halftime. Ultimately the Bulldogs forced overtime and then took down Loogootee 49-45.

Ian Hall made a statement in the win, taking over for long stretches of the game on his way to a career-high 29 points on 10-15 shooting from the field and 8-9 shooting on free throws.

Flashback: Orleans boys' basketball tangles with Class 1A No. 3 Loogootee in Sectional 63 classic

Dawson Glassco, Ben Seitzinger pursue greatness for Mitchell baseball

Dawson Glassco wraps his arm around teammate Ben Seitzinger after the first baseman saved him from committing a throwing error with a nice pick against Linton.
Dawson Glassco wraps his arm around teammate Ben Seitzinger after the first baseman saved him from committing a throwing error with a nice pick against Linton.

Over the course of the spring, baseball fans around the area were entertained by a pair of Bluejackets going tit-for-tat at the plate, racking up hits and sending their batting averages through the roof. Dawson Glassco, a senior, and Ben Seitzinger, a sophomore, became one of the most dangerous tandems around by tormenting opposing pitchers to the tune of .534 and .512 batting averages respectively.

Flashback: Mitchell baseball's Dawson Glassco, Ben Seitzinger chasing history at the plate

Glassco's mark wasn't just the best on the team for Mitchell this season, it was the best in Mitchell baseball history, serving as one of the crowning achievements in his storied career. He also made his way into the PLAC recordbook as a senior and helped the Bluejackets to their first conference title in quite some time in the process.

More: Dawson Glassco makes history with record-setting season at the plate for Mitchell baseball

Xavier Alston wins regional title for Orleans track and field

Orleans' Xavier Alston strides out after outpacing Bloomington South's Murry Ross-Harman to win the 400-meter dash at the 2022 Bloomington North Boys' Track and Field Regional.
Orleans' Xavier Alston strides out after outpacing Bloomington South's Murry Ross-Harman to win the 400-meter dash at the 2022 Bloomington North Boys' Track and Field Regional.

Smaller schools like Orleans don't typically spawn the sort of athletes it takes to win at the highest levels of sports like track and field, but every once in a while a truly special athlete will come through. The Bulldogs have one of those in Xavier Alston.

Only a sophomore, the lanky youngster ran his way to a regional championship in the 400-meter dash, knocking off a bunch of older competitors in a race typically owned by stronger veteran runners.

More: Bedford, Orleans, Paoli Springs Valley send athletes to boys track finals

BNL softball topples Castle for regional title

The BNL softball team celebrates following the final out of the victory over Castle to claim the crown at the Castle Regional Tuesday night.
The BNL softball team celebrates following the final out of the victory over Castle to claim the crown at the Castle Regional Tuesday night.

The Stars were one of the best teams in the state coming into the season, remained one of the best teams in the state throughout the season, and finished the season as one of the best teams in the state — quite the task. They proved their merit in the state tournament, not only taking a sectional title, but traveling to play Castle in a true road game for the regional crown and winning that as well.

Ava Ratliff and Carsyn Alvey each homered in the bout while Aliza Jewell and Carlee Kern also drove in runs and Annie Waggoner put the Knights' offense into a stranglehold, allowing just one run in a complete-game, 10-strikeout win.

More: Bedford North Lawrence softball earns right to play host at semi-state

BNL's Zane Thompson finishes sixth at State Finals

Zane Thompson receives his medal after finishing sixth in the 300-meter hurdles at the 2022 IHSAA Boys' Track and Field State Finals.
Zane Thompson receives his medal after finishing sixth in the 300-meter hurdles at the 2022 IHSAA Boys' Track and Field State Finals.

Zane Thompson made improvements this season after reaching the State Finals in 2021 and they showed in his second trip to the final meet of the year. The junior earned himself a place on the podium alongside Indiana's best in the 300-meter hurdles by finishing sixth in the race with a time of 38.27 seconds.

The result was quite an accomplishment, but will only push Thompson on to greater things as he prepares for one last state tournament with the Stars in 2023.

More: Bedford North Lawrence's Zane Thompson medals at state finals, area athletes excel

Contact Times-Mail sports reporter Auston Matricardi via e-mail at amatricardi@tmnews.com or on Twitter at @amatricardiTM.

This article originally appeared on The Times-Mail: 10 sports moments that defined 2021-22 for BNL, Mitchell, Orleans