Anderson looks to contend this spring

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Rob Hunt, The Herald Bulletin, Anderson, Ind.
·4 min read
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Mar. 23—ANDERSON — Baseball, softball and track-and-field are usually strengths for Anderson in the spring, and a year away for these sports should not change that.

The Indians baseball team was gutted by the graduation of many of its top performers of 2019 but returns a top arm and is still well coached.

The softball Indians are in a different situation, with no key graduations from what was going to be a very young team in 2020. Most of the players got a year of travel experience, which should help Anderson challenge at Madison County and sectional time.

The Madison County track favorites might still reside in Pendleton, but look for the Indians to challenge once again this year with Curtis Lewis being one athlete who could provide some postseason excitement.

BASEBALL

Head Coach: Adrian Heim; 2019: 16-11; Key Losses: Brayden Waymire, Jackson Stephenson, Cameron Pratt, Kole Johnson, Colton Eldridge, Cameron McGlothlin, Gavin Barron, Mike Stewart, Caleb Richardson, Logan Wilhoite, Andrew Bliss; Expected to Return: Tristen Brooks, Isiah Allen, Weaver James

Outlook: After a dip in the win-loss percentage in 2017, Anderson baseball rebounded with winning campaigns in 2018 and 2019 before COVID ended the chances for a strong group of seniors to keep that run alive. Brooks (5-4, 2.68 ERA) and Allen (.283, HR) will provide senior leadership for a team lacking in varsity experience.

BOYS GOLF

Head Coach: Joe Nadaline; 2019: 2-9; Key Losses: Gavin Huffman; Key Returning Players: Landon Alumbaugh, Simon Bell, Dalton Green, Luke Bush

Outlook: "This season will be about just trying to improve every day in practice and, most of all, just have fun," Nadaline said.

GIRLS TENNIS

Head Coach: David Ellis; Key Losses: Hannah Maze, Nicole Tupling.

No further information was provided.

SOFTBALL

Head Coach: Rebecca Cronk (3rd season); 2019: 12-9; Key Losses: Shelby Wright, Emma Kelley, Kerrigan Huffman, Allyson Partlow, Jalin Smith, Shelby Southerland, Shelby Brinker; Key Returning Players: Christina Ziuchkovski, Alyssa Milburn, Hannah Peckinpaugh, Tamara Hendricks, Jada Bliss, Lauryn Williams, Kaytlynn Weir, Kyrstin Luyet, Kelsey Boyer, Brylee Flanigan, Jaydeyn Lasley; Newcomers to Watch: Annabelle Beckham, Amaya Collins, Alyssa McGinnis, Madison Sexton, Ally Allen, Allison Stephenson, Asia Fisher, Mariyah Summitt, Briana Carter, I'Leigha McKenzie; Potential Breakout: Ziuchkovski, Bliss

Outlook: "I think we've got a chance at having a great season," Cronk said. "Even after missing last season, we have a solid group of girls who have played with each other before and have more experience under their belt. We are an older team than we were two years ago, and I think that will help us. We would love to have another winning season, but we are going to take it one game and practice at a time. We are all ready to get back on the field and have a season."

TRACK AND FIELD

Head Coaches: Cary House (Boys, 22nd season), Linda Williams-Boyd (Girls, 25th season); 2019: Madison County Runners-up; Key Losses: Staisha Hamilton, Kelayjha Fleming, Antwanae Whigham, Desiree King, Daizah Graham; Key Returning Athletes: Curtis Lewis, Bradlee Thomas, Demaurion Menifee, Ricky Wong, Dawaan Baker, Anya Stevens, Hope Howard, Alonna Williams, Makyra Dixon, Kaylie Vaughn, Adriana Ayala; Newcomers to Watch: Jawuan Echols, Chris McKeller, Zoey Allen, Lailah Adams, Bry'Asia Peoples, Melana Higgins, Rachel Wehlage, Kaliyah Armstrong, Ja'ryeah Harrison, Timerah Golden, Reality Golden, Kimberly Price; Potential Breakout: Stevens (300 hurdles)

Outlook: "Given the past year, we're grateful to have a track season," House said in an email. "Staying healthy and having fun will be our first priorities. Our numbers are good (20-30), so we'll eventually find those diamonds in the rough and get competitive."

"First of all, with the hybrid schedule and virtual school, it is hard to get the girls to come out," Williams-Boyd said. "Our numbers are low this year. The main goal is to stay safe and have a successful track season. We have the potential to place in the top four at sectional. Also, we have the potential of getting a few of the girls to regional and state. The girls have been working hard in practice. I can't wait to see how well they do in the track meets."

Contact Rob Hunt at rob.hunt@heraldbulletin.com or 765-640-4886.