Girls Basketball Team Wraps Up a Challenging Season With a Winning Record

The Jeffersonville girls basketball began this season with high expectations. They had all three seniors signed to play in college: Nan Garcia signing to Penn State, Kelsie James signing to IU Kokomo, and Kiersten Poor signing to Grace College. In the course of the season, both Garcia and James would fall victim to injury, taking them out for the season.

Despite this, the team was still able to come out with a 14-11 record, and they were able to reach the semifinals of the sectional tournament losing to Jennings County 52-45 on February 2. “It was a big loss losing both Nan [Garcia] and Kelsie [James] because they both had such an important role on the team,” says junior Laura Gillenwater. Despite this, she says she was “very impressed by our team though because everyone pulled it together and stepped it up.” Gillenwater chalks a lot of this success up to a strong performance by the freshmen this season. “They had to adjust quickly and learn how to play varsity basketball which they excelled at,” she says.

Sophomore Lily Haire also noted that the season was made harder by the loss of Garcia and James. She credits Senior Kiersten Poor for a lot of the success this year. “Kiersten had a major  role on our team. She was a very good leader and someone to look up to,” says Haire.

Despite their struggles this year, the girls’ basketball program has a lot of talent coming up. Jeffersonville has three of the top five girls in Clark/Floyd county in the class of 2023 according to News and Tribune in Tatum McFarland, Sophia Reese, and Cadence Singleton. These freshmen along with the returning varsity sophomores: Lily Haire, Nevaeh Bates and Olivia Clive and juniors: Alexis Gibson, Laura Gillenwater, Aija Estes and Bailey Gibson, will make a strong team looking forward to next year. 

Additional News in Sports

Following Sectionals Jeffersonville Girls Basketball Coach, Michael Warren, resigned as coach following the season’s conclusion. Warren ended with a record of 112-61
after 7 seasons as Girls Head Basketball Coach.

Boys Basketball Heads to Sectionals With High Hopes

As they move forward toward the end of the year and wrapping their regular season with three remaining games before sectionals, the Jeffersonville High School boys basketball team is currently standing at 15-5 overall and they are currently ranked 23rd in the state of Indiana.

Jeffersonville has done extremely well against conference opponents and they are sitting at second overall in the conference with a conference record of 5-1. With wins over New Albany, Seymour, Columbus East, and Floyd Central, a reason for Jeffersonville’s success is the way seniors Tre Coleman and Jacob Jones have been playing this season. Both seniors have led the Red Devils to a great season and have never lost a game by eight points or more.

This season Coleman has averaged 14 points, six rebounds, one steal and two blocks a game. Jones has averaged 12 points, five assists, and two steals a game. Jones just recently hit the game winning three-pointer against Floyd Central High School. “This season definitely has been really bumpy, but I feel confident going into sectionals,” Jones said. “We just have to get better and better every single day.”

The team has gone through some changes with the addition of head coach Chris Moore. Senior guard Caleb Mason talked about how he felt about the change in coaching style and how it affected their season. “I felt like our season definitely could have been better, but we just needed to adapt to the coach’s new style,” Mason said. “But he is great. Before games, to motivate us he would give us small challenges or goals for the game such as try and get a stop three times in a row and call it a strikeout.”

Even with the coaching change, Mason still remains optimistic. “Going into sectionals we are down a couple of players, but I still feel confident. Don’t overlook us,” Mason said. 

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Senior forward Tre Coleman looks down the court during the homecoming game against Bedford North Lawrence.
Photo by Carlos Webb 

Kobe Bryant : An icon and inspiration to all

Former NBA legend Kobe Bean Bryant has been an inspiration to his community and people around the world. On January 26, 2020, Bryant died in a helicopter crash at the age of 41 along with his daughter Gianna Bryant (13 years old) and 7 others.

Around the world, people were in shock when they heard the news. Bryant was everywhere in our lives, he didn’t just impact basketball, he impacted the world. Whether it was an advertisement with him, an action his charity took, or kids shouting “Kobe” before throwing a balled-up piece of paper in a trashcan, Bryant’s influence was all around us, and he was a part of almost every athlete’s life. Bryant was more than a player. He was an inspiration, an icon and a legend, on and off the court.

The Jeffersonville High School Student Section decided to honor Bryant at the Homecoming game on Friday, January 31. Student Section leader and Senior Adam Crawford said he came up with the idea to change the theme to purple and yellow (the colors of the Lakers’ jersey). Crawford said he was inspired to change the theme because Bryant “was someone who didn’t just inspire basketball players, but he inspired the whole world.”

Trae Young, a 2nd year player who just earned his first all-star game appearance, wore the number 8 during his game. At the start of the game the Hawks won the tipoff and Trae Young held the ball not passing half court to take an 8-second violation in honor of his mentor. Young continued to put on an explosive performance with 45 points and 14 assists in a 19-point win over the Washington Wizards. Young continued to post on Instagram later that night a picture of him taking the violation with Kobe’s number with a caption of, “That one was for you… Rest Easy Kobe.”

The New Orleans Pelicans players wore Kobe Bryant’s shoes during the National Anthem before switching into their own preferred shoes with the numbers 24 and 8 written on them for the game. Another team who paid homage to Bryant was the Detroit Pistons by wearing 8 and 24 jerseys with Bryant on the back during the national anthem.

Some NBA players wearing the number 8 or 24 such as Spencer Dinwiddie decided to change his number from 8 to 26 out of respect for Bryant. Since then many other players wearing numbers 8 or 24 have done the same. He was everywhere, from giving players advice, to coaches quoting him to inspire their players before a game, to teachers using a Kobe video to get their students motivated to commercials using Kobe to advertise their product.

Jeremy Shingleton is Dedicated On and Off the Field

Jeremy Shingleton is a senior at Jeffersonville High School and is a member of the football team. Shingleton, who has been a dedicated player for all four years of his football career, finally saw his hard work paying off when he scored his first touchdown for the football team in their game against Bedford North Lawrence.

The game held on October 18 was a dedicated night for seniors including Shingleton. He says it was his favorite part of being on the team. “It made me really happy when everyone was cheering for me,” he says. He also says it was exciting and although he was a little nervous, seeing all his teachers and teammates there to cheer him on made him
feel better. Shingleton says he loves being on the football team and it’s one of his favorite parts of Jeff High.

Shingleton enjoys many things outside of football, including his student job at Meijers where he is dedicated to helping customers.

“My favorite part is helping every customer that walks in,” he says. Shingleton also says That he hopes to get hired at Meijer so he can work there more and help even more people. (Currently he is participating in a work-study program.)

Shingleton says that although football is one of his favorite activities, his favorite thing to do is helping other people. “I want to help everyone,” Shingleton says. Shingleton also enjoys other sports like wrestling and when he’s not playing football, he’s watching it. He also enjoys school and especially his favorite subject, social studies. Shingleton works hard on the field and even harder at school and work, making him a very dedicated student athlete. “I try to do my best in everything no matter what,” he says.

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Isaac Findley is Guided by Faith

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On a Wednesday night at Spring Mill State Park, a young man emerged from his baptism in a creek. And he emerged as a new person. Issac Findley is a dedicated football player here at Jeffersonville High. He found his faith in middle school and felt he needed to “take responsibility” for himself, his life and his relationship with God.

Findley made the decision to be baptised in middle school, and describes his baptism as feeling unfearing and courageous, reanimated with a new passion for his life and those ]around him.“It was probably in middle school when I got baptized, because that’s when I really took on my faith as myself and not my parents.” He feels that baptism is when you really “put the holy spirit in your life and live as Jesus would have lived.”

When asked if he ever feels outcast because of his faith, he notes that after declining party invitations he has been mocked for being “too religious.” He says that some will ask him “why are you different?” and he’ll answer, “It’s because of my faith.” He doesn’t feel the need to shove his faith down others’ throats, nor to pass judgment on others; he simply wants to provide a listening ear and a prayer for those who ask for one.

Findley told the story of one such incident where he invited another football player to church. The other made excuses he couldn’t drive, he was busy, he was forced to church in his childhood. Finally, he went with Findley to church, and found his love for God and faith reanimated. Later, Findley asked him to a Bible camp. Eventually, Findley was present for his baptism.

“I don’t want to shove it down people’s throats. “You can come talk to me and I can pray for you,” he says. He thinks some people need to give religion a chance, that it could help them as it has helped others, and that it all affects us in different ways. He feels as though religion has made him more accepting to everyone, and that he wants to include everyone. Findley says that Jesus loves everyone, and asked us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

Findley also says his faith has improved his relationship with his partner, Kiersten. That keeping God in the center and having an emotional and spiritual relationship has helped him and Kiersten be more understanding of each other and to have a better, long lasting relationship. He said it was because “we don’t stress about if we’re good enough.” They go to church every Sunday together, and keep their relationship centered on spirituality.

Findley plans to be an engineer after high school, and attends services Southeast Christian Church. His relationships and life have improved since his baptism, helping him be more open, inviting and long-lasting. He only asks that you give spirituality a chance.

Mark Reilly Looks Back on Nearly Four Decades at Jeff High

reilly-by-max-fisherWhen Mark Reilly applied to teach science at Jeffersonville High School in 1983, he was surprised to get the job because “teaching jobs were hard to come by.” Little did he know the impact and length of his stay at Jeff High. Reilly has been teaching science at Jeff High for 38 years. He says he had always had an interest in teaching and he noticed that he was often used to help others both in class and in sports when he was a kid. This discovered talent would become his passion through his teaching and coaching. Reilly is well known for his class and always optimistic personality. Around school, his classes are favorites among Jeff High Students. Whether it’s the baby chicks he gives his biology students or the field trips his environmental science classes take, Reilly is well known as a fun teacher who wants the best for his students.

Many others know Reilly as a coach. He first started coaching in 1984, when he was an assistant baseball coach for two years. After that, he began coaching tennis, a job that lasted him 30 years, and ended with him as one of the most successful coaches in Jeffersonville High School History, and put his tennis program in a position to compete for a state title.

Reilly started his first girls’ season with a team where half of the players couldn’t keep score. His final boys’ team pushed eventual state champions North Central in a close 2-3 loss in the state semi-final.

In his teaching and coaching, Reilly says the biggest difference between the two is in the connection. “With sports, there’s more of a connection, kids respect me on the tennis court because of my play and knowledge, and they want to get better at tennis,” he says. However, in the classroom, he says he “has to make connections because we don’t have something in common. They need to know you care.”

Looking back at his career, Reilly hopes his students and players remember that he cared and always wanted the best for them. He says he still sees people that remember what he did for them when he was coaching or teaching. One thing he has learned over his years is the amount of influence he can have on someone’s life. “The impact you have on individuals, daily, you won’t realize until possibly ten years later,” says Reilly, “So, treat every kid with the same enthusiasm.”

Disney Mullins Dabbles in Diving and Drama

disney-mullins-by-max-fisherOne week she’s auditioning for the school play, the next week she’s diving headfirst off the diving board. Sophomore Disney Mullins is a busy girl with many interests, which can sometimes be rough, especially on a high schooler. Even with the stress it may come with, she manages to make things work in her favor.

Mullins has been diving since the eighth grade and even though she is three years into the sport, she has managed to achieve a notably high score. In her first year of diving at Jeffersonville High School, she received an MVP award for scoring the most points out of all of her team’s divers.

“I think diving is unique… it’s different from all the other sports out there, and I think that’s what makes it cool and exciting,” she says. “Plus it’s fun to do flips and stuff.”

In addition, Mullins has been doing theater since the age of three. So far, she has
managed to land a total of five leads by age 14, including Oliver Twist from “Oliver! the musical”, Gertrude McFuzz from “Seussical Jr.”, and Tinkerbell in “Peter Pan Jr.” “I really liked Peter Pan,” she states. “It was fun throwing glitter into the audience and into people’s faces.”

One of the biggest issues she has faced is timing. Diving season starts in the fall and
concludes in late winter. Meanwhile, the plays are scattered throughout the year. With the two activities occurring at the same time, Mullins thought she would have to choose one or the other. To her surprise, the coach and theater director were very considerate and helped her figure out a way to do both.

For example, during last year’s diving season, the theater department was rehearsing for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. “I would go to the most important rehearsals and when there was a dive meet, I’d go to that,” Mullins comments.

Although diving and theater might seem very different, they have one thing in common: Mullins always has an audience. And as long as she has one, she will continue to thrive in what she enjoys.

Boys/Girls Swimming and Diving

BOYS

After an impressive runner-up finish at sectionals last year, the Jeffersonville High School Boys swim team lost 5 varsity seniors. This year the team is low on numbers, but head coach Michael Pepa says the team is doing “better than I thought.”

With the smaller team, they have had to make some changes, such as having divers swim some events. Something Junior diver, Max Cathey described as challenging, yet helpful to the team. While it can be frustrating for the divers, Head Diving Coach, Holden Henderson says it pays off, “The net benefit is worth it,” he says. While the small numbers cost the team at dual meets, their strong individual performances will should  pay off in the State tournament. The small numbers also have helped with team  comradery. Senior co-captain, Jonas Gillam says, “we’re a lot closer because of it.” With all the hard work this season, especially over Christmas break the team is ready for a strong postseason.

Looking forward, the team is primarily focused on getting as many people to state as possible. Freshman, Evan Dickson says if they “keep at it, and show up every day,” he believes they can achieve those goals.

GIRLS 

The Jeffersonville High School girls swimming and diving team is coming off an impressive second-place finish at Sectionals last year. And this year with strong senior leadership, they believe they have a shot to take back the sectional title. Their goal this year is simple, “Win sectionals,” says freshman Samantha Elsner.

Head coach Michael Pepa says they have been training really well as a group, and he noted the team’s cohesiveness and positive attitudes as reasons for success. Pepa credits the work ethic to the senior leadership, saying,“They’re setting expectations a little higher this year.” Looking towards the postseason, the team has ramped up training, especially over winter break. “We’ve been training really hard, and the work is paying off,” says Senior Bonnie Dixon.

The team is also counting on a strong performance from Sophomore diver, Disney Mullins. This year with two years of diving experience under her belt, Mullins believes she can provide crucial points for the team. “I’m extremely proud of how far I’ve come from last year,” she says. With the work under their belt, to achieve their goals, Senior Captain Alyssa Miller says, “We just have to focus.”

From Wrestling to Recycling, Adonis Boyd Does It All

JHS senior opens up about new recycling program, busy schedule, and the diversity of Jeff High

Many know 17-year-old Jeffersonville High School senior Adonis Boyd. But what they may not know is that Boyd is the driving force behind the school’s new recycling program. Boyd is well-rounded and is involved in numerous extracurriculars including Key Club, Student Council and Friends of Rachel. He is also an awarded wrestler and is involved in track as well. His participation in sports is one of the reasons he got the idea for the recycling program.

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Senior Adonis Boyd collects recycling. (Photo by Bella Bungcayao)

“Well, I drink a lot of water, like with all the things I do, with all the sports,” Boyd said. “I get really dehydrated really quick. So I always bring two water bottles to school with me and I realized that kind of adds up.” He also noticed other things that should be recycled instead of being tossed in the trash. “Sometimes I’ll go to the copier room if I need to run something for a teacher,” he said. “And they just have so much paper…and there’s just nothing to do with it. They just throw it away, and it can go to something. It can do something bigger.”

Boyd also loves the diversity at Jeff High, saying that it’s “a big mesh of a lot of people.” “It’s very real worldish,” he said. “Like the other schools, they’re going to be like one group of people that stand out. But here, everybody really gels together really well.  There’s a lot of diversity. It’s just a really great place to be to set you up for the real world.”

Boyd wants to make a difference in this world by increasing diversity and helping the community through recycling. He wishes to bring the diversity that Jeff High shows to the outside world. “With other schools there can be subgroups,” he said. “Of course Jeff High has those subgroups but within those subgroups people are also intertwined to other groups. It’s not just like one person rules everything. Everyone is friends with everybody and I just wish that we could take that to the outside world. Because in the outside world people can very groupish. It’s very stereotypical. Like, ‘Oh I see them. I don’t hang out with them.’ But here we don’t see any of that. We see everyone for how they are as a person. Like I can be friends with anybody. And that’s wonderful.”

Story by Greta Reel

Co-Ed, Girls Wrestling Teams Look Toward a Promising Post-Season

Coming off a successful HHC Tournament last weekend, the Jeffersonville Red Devils co-ed wrestling team is prepared to end the season on a strong note. Four wrestlers earned all-conference honors (1st place) in the HHC Tournament: Ethan Rogers, Devin McDaniels, Matt Munoz and Cody Matherly. Rogers, a senior who has wrestled for two years, says it takes a lot of commitment to win. “Wrestling is really hard,” he said. “We stay after, come in the mornings, put in extra work.” Sophomore Connor Pangburn, a JV wrestler, says team support makes a difference, too. “When you’re on that mat, you’re out there by yourself, but you have a whole team behind you. Everybody’s watching you and wants you to win.”

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Senior wrestler Ethan Rogers faces off against his opponent from Charlestown High School. (Photo by Paige Moore)

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Senior wrestler Cody Matherly takes a breath during a tough match. (Photo by Paige Moore)

This season has also featured strong performances from Jeff High’s female wrestlers. Last Friday, Chrissy True won the Indiana High School Girls Wrestling Association State Title. Emelly Valezquez and Mia Compton both took third place. Overall, the girls wrestling team won 5th place in the state competition. Compton says wrestling in a girls-only event is a bit unsettling. “When you’re going against a girl, it makes you a little nervous because you’re used to going against guys, and in the matches the guy usually wins,” she said. “But once you come out on top [in a girls tournament], it’s like boom … she’s powerful!” In only its first year, Jeff High girl’s wrestling team is already putting the other teams on notice.

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The Girls Wrestling team proudly shows off their awards after qualifying for state. (Submitted photo)

Although the regular season is nearly over (the last regular-season meet is tonight at home versus New Albany), fans will have more opportunities to cheer on the wrestling team at home. Jeff High will host the IHSAA sectional tournament on February 1, as well as the regional tournament on February 8.

SONA! SONA! SONA!

The biggest rivalry game of the basketball season for every Jeff and New Albany fan. The Red Devils played hard on the Bulldogs’ home court with back-to-back wins. Senior Tre Coleman, Forward, ranked up with four personal fouls with 1: 28 in the first quarter.

“They always try to get me in foul trouble since I’m the biggest man on the court,” said Coleman. 

The Devils were down heading into the half 22-27. The moment that determines how much anxiety, fear, and excitement gets put into everyone in the bleachers. The Bulldogs and the Devils go back and forth until it begins the fourth quarter. The Red Devil student section is hype and they can feel as it clouds their minds. There’s a chance that the Red Devils will walk away from this game with the win. Then everything stops; this can’t be happening.

The Bulldogs start getting their momentum back. They start putting up the points. The time is running out. Fouls are being called and the crowds are going wild. You can see the fear on the faces of fans rooting for the Red Devils and just as much excitement on the face of the Bulldogs. The next thing you know the score is 50-50 and the time has run out. The Red Devils starting point guard, Jacob Jones, has fouled out.

“I know my teammates are going to step up and finish the game,” said Jones when asked about being fouled out. 

The Bulldogs don’t know what they got themselves into. Senior Darin Starks subs in for Jones, then the time on the clock starts, it’s officially overtime. The Red Devils come together as a team and start putting up assists and staying on the rebounds. The fans of the Red Devils start feeling like they were worried for nothing but knowing deep down there is still a chance, they can lose this game. 

The Bulldogs only put up two points in OT. Starks leads the Red Devils to victory alongside his teammates. “Being a senior and being that leader, I knew it was my time to step up when Jacob had to come out. Basically, it was my responsibility to step up to the plate,” said Starks. The Red Devils ended the game 59-52. Just another W to add to the collection against the Bulldogs.

Story by Alanna Groves

Men’s Volleyball Team Gaining Interest

Volleyball coach Wes Briscoe is bringing something to Jeffersonville High School that many have been waiting for. Briscoe, who coached the Jeff High girls volleyball team to their first winning season in some time, is in the process of bringing together a group of dedicated boys to form the school’s new men’s volleyball team. 

There are a couple of things you need to know before coming to the camps over the winter and open gyms in the spring. First, for those on the team, practices will be every day. Coach Briscoe expects commitment. “It’s going to be very serious,” he says.

Secondly, it’s not going to be easy. Briscoe says that it will not be like P.E. volleyball. He explains that despite first impressions, volleyball is a contact sport. Although a net divides the court, it still gets physical. “If you have to throw your body on the floor to get a ball up, that’s what I expect as a coach,” says Briscoe.

In starting the new team, Briscoe hopes to see excitement in players and fans alike. “There’s not a passion for volleyball at Jeff,” says Briscoe. “That’s something I’m trying to change.”

 

By Kristen Jacobs