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WRITER: Reggie Hayes

REGGIE HAYES: Who sits where in Purdue football's Crowded House of Quarterbacks?

Purdue University has long boasted the nickname “Cradle of Quarterbacks.” This season, it's the “Crowded House of Quarterbacks.” Seven quarterbacks are on the Boilermakers’ roster for 2018, led by two legitimate starters in Elijah Sindelar and David Blough. Coach Jeff Brohm has said he’ll let the competition play out between those two, as both return from injuries. Is this too much of a good ...

Fort Wayne's Rod Smith celebrates Dallas Cowboys opportunity and being teammates with brother Jaylon Smith

Rod Smith never tires of talking about playing alongside his brother on the Dallas Cowboys, especially when they return to the familiar faces and embraces of their hometown. It’s a great story, older brother Rod scraping and clawing to find a spot on an NFL team and then having that team, the Cowboys, turn around and draft his not-so-little brother Jaylon. The two were in Fort Wayne on Friday to host their ...

Purdue guard Carsen Edwards named top returning NCAA March Madness basketball player by NCAA.com's Andy Katz

Purdue University junior guard Carsen Edwards had a bit of pressure put on his shoulder Thursday by NCAA.com's Andy Katz. Edwards was named as the top returning player in college basketball by Katz in a social media video for NCAA March Madness. “He’s got a chance to be the national player of the year,” Katz said. “He’s going to be the guy everything funnels through for the Boilermakers and he can ...

REGGIE HAYES: Former South Side High School and Indiana Tech athlete Chauntiel Smith charges into male-dominated sports agent career

Fearless was the first word that came to mind when I met Chauntiel Smith. It’s a sports trait, ingrained over the years as she excelled at South Side High School and then became an NAIA championship track-and-field athlete at Indiana Tech. The best athletes have it, this willingness to forge ahead, undeterred by the odds or outsiders' doubts. Smith needs that fearlessness even more now. Two years ago, at ...

REGGIE HAYES: Five essentials for this to be the year for Indiana University football

There are still two months until the Indiana University football team kicks off its 2018 season with a trip to Florida International. But the ebullience coach Tom Allen spreads everywhere he goes increases the anticipation. Maybe this is another case of false hopes. Maybe this is the pre-reality period where IU football fans start thinking about 9-2 records and warm weather bowl games, only to receive a cold ...

Purdue University football coach Jeff Brohm making major strides in recruiting

Purdue University football coach Jeff Brohm’s recruiting pitch must be pretty persuasive. Brohm’s 2019 recruiting class is now at 20 players after landing two players from Texas last weekend (tight end Garrett Miller and defensive lineman Sulaiman Kpaka) and one from California on Tuesday (long snapper Nathan Weneta). Rivals.com ranked Purdue’s current class No. 17 in the country this week, and third ...

Five major University of Saint Francis football records in sight for Cougars stars

As the University of Saint Francis gears up for a run at its third-straight NAIA football championship, the Cougars' best players will have some records in sight. Running back Justin Green already holds nine schools records, including career rushing yards, but some big ones are on the horizon for his senior season. Meanwhile, linebackers Piercen Harnish and Eric Dunten also have some marks to tackle, and ...

REGGIE HAYES: Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith gives back with Active Science program at Jackson R. Lehman Family YMCA

Jaylon Smith’s resume includes Dallas Cowboys football player, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and a few dozen other titles. The one that stands out when he returns to his Fort Wayne home: Kid at heart. Smith ate lunch with high program achievers and ran through an afternoon of outdoor fun Friday to celebrate the YMCA’s Active Science with Jaylon Smith program designed to combat childhood ...

COST OF CHANGE: Purdue Fort Wayne athletics invests significant time, money in branding switch

The change from IPFW to Purdue Fort Wayne comes with some tangible cost to the athletic department. That expense is highest in the short term for an obvious reason. The athletic teams will need new uniforms and practice gear with “Purdue Fort Wayne” at the heart of the new black, gold and blue color scheme. According to athletic director Kelley Hartley Hutton, it will cost close to $200,000 for the ...

Carroll High School's Hayden Jones named 2018 News-Sentinel Baseball Player of the Year

The last four years, Hayden Jones donned his gear and slid behind home plate as catcher for the Carroll High School baseball team. It was a comfortable spot. Jones called pitches, calmed pitchers, threw out would-be base stealers and, when the inning broke, took his turn at bat, rapping out line drives and homers. He’s about to become a little uncomfortable, and this is a good thing. Jones, the 2018 ...

Houston Dynamo defender, Fort Wayne native DaMarcus Beasley helps open futsal courts at Packard Park

DaMarcus Beasley signed autographs, posed for photos and spent a lot of time smiling Thursday afternoon at Packard Park. Beasley, the only four-time member of the United States World Cup men’s soccer team, was in town for the opening of Beasley Courts, a futsal court at Packard Park on the south side of his Fort Wayne hometown. “This is probably the most honored and excited I’ve ever been about any ...

REGGIE HAYES: Indiana University running back Ricky Brookins' GoFundMe for manager reflects coach Tom Allen's team culture

Indiana University running back Ricky Brookins knew he’d tapped into something bigger than football when even some Purdue people showed their support. Brookins started a GoFundMe account in late April to support IU football manager Matt Stauder, who is battling cancer. Then he and his running backs teammates started spreading the word. The initial goal was $2,000, but Brookins soon realized that was too ...

Lloy Ball wins Fort Wayne's Favorite Olympian for long international volleyball career

I would have voted for Lloy Ball, too, as Fort Wayne’s Favorite Olympian, a designation he earned by logging nearly half the votes in our weekly News-Sentinel.com poll. My reasons are rooted in performance and sentimentality – two of the greatest partners in sports. For pure performance, it’s hard to deny a man who served as a setter for four United States Olympic teams, setting a mark as the only male ...

PHOTO GALLERY: Former Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Trai Essex returns to familiar field for camp at former Harding High School

Trai Essex brought out his second Super Bowl ring, the one representing the Pittsburgh Steelers' record sixth championship, to wear at his annual football camp. It’s a reminder of what’s possible, even for a kid from Fort Wayne, if the work ethic and desire are strong enough. Essex, who lives in Indianapolis, returned to his old stomping grounds at the former Harding High School (now junior high) for his ...

REGGIE HAYES: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck throwing positive vibes at Riley Children's Health event at Saint Francis

This has been a heavily guarded secret but I was in the right place at the right time to hear Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck discussing his arm strength. The subject was broached by a youngster, no more than 9 years old, as Luck was throwing passes to kids at the Riley Children’s Health “Change the Play” event Monday at the University of Saint Francis’ Bishop D’Arcy Stadium. “How far ...

REGGIE HAYES: Former Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Trai Essex’s youth football camp provides valuable straight talk for Fort Wayne parents

The most important part of Trai Essex's football camp will be the straight talk for those willing to listen. The camp, open to all Fort Wayne third- through eighth-graders, runs Sunday and Monday evenings at the Harding Junior High School field. The straight talk is 6 p.m. Sunday. That’s when Essex, a former Pittsburgh Steelers lineman, and others will talk about what it takes to play college football. The ...

Purdue University's Vincent Edwards ends up with Houston Rockets after NBA Draft trade with Utah Jazz

Former Purdue University forward Vincent Edwards heard his name called in the NBA Draft and then experienced the first trade of his life. Edwards was drafted in the second round, 52nd overall, by the Utah Jazz on Thursday night and traded to the Houston Rockets for cash considerations. Multiple reports said the Rockets made a deal prior to the selection to have the Jazz pick Edwards for them. Edwards is the ...

San Diego Padres, Fort Wayne TinCaps renew affiliation for two more years

The Fort Wayne TinCaps will remain the low Class A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The teams reached an agreement to continue their affiliation through 2020, announcing the move today. Fort Wayne has been San Diego’s Midwest League affiliate since 1999 and is the longest-running affiliate in Padres history. San Diego executive vice president/general manager A.J. Preller is scheduled to appear at a news ...

REGGIE HAYES: Fort Wayne TinCaps and San Diego Padres embrace country's best long-distance baseball relationship

The only place where the Fort Wayne TinCaps and the San Diego Padres don’t mesh is on a map. On a map, the distance of more than 2,000 miles between the franchises makes for incongruent baseball buddies. The rest of the affiliation adds up to one of the closest relationships in baseball, and one that will reach 22 years with the two-year extension deal announced Friday. Why does it work? Two reasons come ...

Leo High School's Ashley Miller named 2018 News-Sentinel Softball Player of Year

This story could start with a recitation of Ashley Miller’s statistics, which are as gaudy as any high school softball player in the area. We’ll get to those. But the best players are most often team-first players, so that’s where we’ll start. Miller, who just completed her sophomore year at Leo High School, loves winning. She loves it enough to see beyond herself, which isn’t easy at any ...