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WRITER: Reggie Hayes

Snider's defense must regain bearings for postseason run

When a high school football team succeeds at the yearly rate of the Snider Panthers, it's going to attract some nitpickers. So let’s nitpick. The unbeaten, Class 6A No. 2 Panthers are giving up way too many points lately if they’re planning to make a long postseason run. Consider this nitpicking to be constructive criticism, the kind of criticism that can lead to improvement and a passion to get those ...

Saint Francis cornerback Willy Cole becomes a name to remember

He's listed as Wilmer Cole on the roster, but he prefers everyone call him Willy. Considering how well Cole has been playing at cornerback for the No. 1 University of Saint Francis Cougars, this is an important distinction. Willy Cole is definitely making a name for himself. Through six games, Cole, a junior cornerback, has 30 tackles (17 solo) with two interceptions, four passes broken up and six passes ...

St. Charles football puts extra fun into winning

The impetus for this story is the St. Charles winning streak, 38 games over four-plus years with all different groups of eighth-grade football players. The reason for the streak comes down to fun. Coach Sam Talarico Jr. won’t stand for any of his players not enjoying the game of football. It’s work, yes. It’s hard work, yes. It’s demanding, yes. But he refuses to let it be a chore. “I really ...

When Luck finally returns, Colts should turn him loose

Andrew Luck won’t play again this week, so Indianapolis Colts fans sigh and wonder if Luck will – or should – return this year. Given the mediocre state of the 2-3 Colts, some on social media suggest the Colts should consider holding Luck out even if he becomes fully healthy. Write 2017 off as a loss, regroup and plan ahead. I understand frustration with a lack of Luck, but that’s a terrible ...

Peyton Manning's return a salute to personal connections

INDIANAPOLIS – Peyton Manning's view whenever he visits his old home will forever be sweet. Manning can look up outside Lucas Oil Stadium and see his new statue. He can look up in the end zone and see his name in the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor. He can look up in the stands and see a sea of No. 18 jerseys, yet none on a player's back on the field. Those are some sweet honors. There was one more, even ...

Saint Francis football awaits word on injured receivers

After surviving an upset scare, the No. 1 University of Saint Francis football team heads into this week hoping for good news from the training room. The Cougars’ leading receivers, sophomores Rocky James and Dan Ricksy, were both sidelined as Saint Francis beat Concordia 35-18 on Saturday at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium. Their status is uncertain for 6-0 Saint Francis’ trip to Siena Heights (4-2) at 7 p.m. ...

Top-ranked Saint Francis pushed to the limit in win

Don't be fooled by the 17-point final margin. The No. 1 University of Saint Francis football team was pushed to the limit in winning its sixth straight game. Saint Francis beat No. 20 Concordia 35-18 on Saturday at Bishop D'Arcy Stadium, but the game was very much in doubt late in the fourth quarter. Gavin Gardner's 28-yard field goal (his third of the game) with 6:56 left put Saint Francis up 21-18 and the ...

East Noble's defense makes a goal line statement

KENDALLVILLE – East Noble stuffed the run. There are other reasons why the Knights are tied for first in the Northeast 8 Conference today, but nothing proved bigger in their 42-21 win over previously unbeaten New Haven on Friday than when they stopped Antwone Washington just outside the goal line. New Haven trailed 21-14 early in the third quarter, and had driven to a fourth-and-goal at the East Noble ...

A walk to remember: Injured Saint Francis player Qamari Hassan visits team

Qamari Hassan stood up from his wheelchair and walked onto the field Thursday in one had to be one of the most inspiring athletic feats ever at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium. Hassan, a University of Saint Francis freshman football player, left the same stadium in an ambulance Aug. 25 after suffering a spinal cord injury while making a tackle during practice. He was initially paralyzed from the neck down. “But we ...

When Peyton talks, people listen and build statues

Peyton Manning does nothing unprepared, so if he speaks, even for 30 seconds Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, it'll be worth a listen. The Indianapolis Colts' statue of Manning will be unveiled at 3 p.m. Saturday outside the stadium. He has joked he thought you had to be dead for such an honor, not 41 years old. But that is the House That Peyton Built, and a statue seems more than appropriate. If Manning had ...

Column: As Luck improves, clock ticking on Colts' return to contention

Andrew Luck is 28 years old. While there are no set peak years in an NFL quarterback's career (see: Brady, Tom), Luck's entering the neighborhood. I'd give Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard two more years to put the best possible team around Luck and take advantage of a three- to five-year window for the highest potential to capitalize on Luck's career. The clock ticks on Super Bowl or ...

North Side's Mike Brevard rises from hard times to head coach

North Side football coach Mike Brevard's viewpoint sets him apart. Then it spurs him into action. Brevard has seen things others haven't seen. He sees things others can't see. Let's go one step further: He sees things others can't imagine. And it puts him in a unique position of influence, to take his view and help others bring it all into focus. “I always tell him he's an old soul,” Brevard's mentor ...

Snider flexes its muscles in win over Spartans

The Homestead Spartans are the second-best high school football team in Fort Wayne and Snider dropped 52 points on them. Let that sink in. This Snider team, now 5-0 after beating previously unbeaten Homestead 52-31 on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium, proved itself to be, in a word, overwhelming. The Class 6A No. 3 Panthers have everything: speed, size, strength, coaching and, perhaps most ...

REGGIE HAYES: Coach-player bond remains as Cameron Newbauer, Darby Maggard move on

Cameron Newbauer sits in the women's basketball head coach's office at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., in late March, talking with guard Darby Maggard. He doesn't know it yet, but he's 45 minutes away from a call that will rock his world. Newbauer takes pride in developing strong relationships with his players, mentoring them, befriending them, running the extra mile beyond simply coaching them. He ...

Indiana school looks to unique, proven coach for turnaround Jerry Hoover hired to turn around program on long losing slide.

There are facts and there are stories, and the fact is new Blackford High School boys basketball coach Jerry Hoover is 82 years old.This story is so much more than an eyebrow-raising fact.This story is about the importance of Indiana high school basketball in a small town, a man's love for the game, his invaluable wisdom and his devotion to family. Throw hope in there, too. Especially hope. It's quite a ...

DeKalb legend's retired number lives on Carroll sophomore carries on family's baseball tradition

The day Carroll High School catcher Hayden Jones landed the No. 24 jersey as a freshman last year, he took his uniform up to his grandparents' house.He couldn't wait to show his grandpa.Bill Jones always wore No. 24 during an illustrious 27-year career as DeKalb High School baseball coach that included 612 wins, 15 sectional titles, three regional titles, two semistate titles and the 1980 state ...