The subject of football has always been a hot topic around Covenant Christian High School. Athletic director Andy Gossel said he would constantly get questions from feeder middle school students and parents if it would ever add football.
So Covenant Christian officials spent 18 months investigating it and have decided to add football as its 18th sport for the fall of 2014. Gossel said the search for a coach will begin immediately. The announcement was made at Covenant Christian's basketball game Saturday night.
"It (isn't because) our enrollment numbers are going down or we need to fill the building, it was (because) we were having good feeder school families or churches that support us say, 'Hey, we'd love to be there, but my son loves to play football,' " Gossel said.
Gossel said he talked to many different schools, including Lutheran and Speedway, about what it takes to start and run a program.
"The biggest thing that stuck out to us is every single person, formally or informally, said football, more than any other sport, is a community builder within your school," Gossel said. "It can have the potential for the greatest impact on your student body, culture and community within your school."
Gossel would like to get a coach hired to by early spring to allow 18 months to get the program in place. The plan is play off-campus initially. Gossel said the school is developing long-term facility plans for many of the outdoor sports, including football. The school also needs time to raise funds for start-up costs.
Covenant Christian, which has a current enrollment of 330, would likely be a Class A school in football. The Warriors are not currently in a conference, but Gossel said officials are open to the right opportunity. All interested coaching candidates can apply under the staff link on www.covenantathletics.org.
Superconference plans on hold, for now
It appears that a "superconference" involving schools from the Hoosier Crossoroads Conference and Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference is not in the plans, at least for the near future. As reported on Friday, the HCC will sever ties with Lafayette-area schools Lafayette Jefferson, Harrison and McCutcheon for the 2014-15 school year. Brownsburg principal and HCC president Bret Daghe cited distance to Lafayette and related cost of transportation, weekday travel times and increased marketing opportunities to centralize the conference to the Indianapolis metropolitan area were factors in the decision. Meanwhile, the new-look HCC - made up of Avon, Brownsburg, Fishers, Hamilton Southeastern, Noblesville, Westfield and Zionsville - will explore the possibility of adding an eighth school, but won't be a requirement moving forward. The new alignment will allow the HCC schools to play nonconference football games, paving the way for attractive matchups such as Carmel-Hamilton Southeastern and Ben Davis-Avon. The HCC was locked into playing all nine of its games against other league schools. The MIC recently added Pike and Lawrence Central to replace Terre Haute South and North. The other six MIC schools are Ben Davis, Carmel, Center Grove, Lawrence North, North Central and Warren Central.
Westfield's Anderson out
The Westfield girls basketball team (8-1) beat Zionsville 39-30 on Saturday, leading scorer Jenn Anderson being sidelined with a shoulder injury. Coach Shane Sumpter said Anderson's status is up in the air for Thursday's game with visiting Avon, but hopes she can return to action this week or next.
"I think it's short-term," Sumpter said of the injury. "I'm not sure when she suffered it, maybe against Lafayette Jeff (Nov. 28) or Lebanon (Dec. 1), it's something that has been nagging her. It seemed to take a turn for the worst so we sat her out last week in practice and game."
Anderson, a 6-3 senior who will play at Indiana University next season, leads the Shamrocks with a 17.5 average on 66.3 percent shooting and 7.9 rebounds. Junior Kayla Brown averages 13.9 points. The next highest scorer is junior Taylor Davis at 5.9.
"Hopefully, we can get some other kids some confidence when (Anderson) is out," Sumpter said. "We had to play without her a little this summer when she had an injury. We're coming along nicely and hopefully we'll continue to get better."
Mount Vernon senior outfielder Troy Montgomery has signed to play baseball at Ohio State. Montgomery hit .460 with 19 stolen bases last season. . . . Greenwood centerfielder Alex Krupa has signed to play baseball at Indiana University. Krupa batted .527 with 33 runs batted in while earning a spot on The Indianapolis Star's Super Team as a junior. . . . Lawrence Central senior diver Reed Dillon, who placed 11th in the state meet last season, has signed a letter of intent to compete at Northwestern.
Mishawaka sophomore Anna Rohrer, the 2012 Indiana girls state cross country race winner, captured the girls title at Foot Locker Cross Country National Finals in San Diego race in 17:25 on Saturday. West Lafayette senior Bobbie Burgess placed ninth. . . . Indianapolis Public Schools will add a cricket program this winter. The IPS teachers will learn from Indiana Youth Cricket Association staff in the winter, and it will be encouraged as an after-school activity in the spring.