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.”

FALL SPORTS: Wrap up

FOOTBALL 

After starting off their sectionals with a win, the JHS football team plans to fight for all four quarters tomorrow against Floyd Central in the sectional championship game. The team is pumped up after beating New Albany in the first round of sectionals. Senior Ethan Rogers said, “I feel like our confidence is boosted after the win against New Albany.” He added that “this is a big game for all the seniors.” Unfortunately one senior will be watching from the sidelines. Running back Isaac Finley won’t be playing against Floyd Central due to an ankle injury.

GIRLS SOCCER

Starting of their season with deep with juniors and sophomores only three returning seniors, the Lady Devils soccer team worked hard to come together as a team. A tough schedule and weather-related practice cancellations added to their challenges. Senior Bella Bungcayao stated, “This season is bittersweet because it is my last one. I hope next year will be better for all of the girls.” The Lady Devils started sectionals strong, with a win against Jennings County, but ended their season with a loss to rival Floyd Central

BOYS SOCCER

The 2019 season for the JHS soccer team was really successful. A win over Providence gave the boys a boost of confidence going into sectionals. Starting off their sectionals against rival New Albany seemed to be the best challenge, but the boys fell 1-0. “Next year the boys have a really good shot at winning sectionals. I would be really shocked if they don’t,” said senior Lex Hawkins.

VOLLEYBALL 

Even before the season started, new head coach Wes Briscoe quickly set out to build a strong team. They started strong with a win over Charlestown, while also facing challenges that tested the strength of a team. “It wasn’t really what I expected. As a team we really grew closer,” said sophomore Rachel Lowe. Our Lady Devils pulled through, ending the season with a four-game winning streak and the first winning season in recent history for the program.

BOYS TENNIS 

The Jeff High tennis team owned the courts all season long. With four returning seniors, they won the sectional title once again (the 11th straight and the 24th overall in school history). Several members of the team received conference and state awards for their outstanding performance on the court during the 2019 season. Senior Adam Crawford knows it will take a lot of effort to keep up the winning tradition. “I would recommend to the younger kids coming up to put in a lot of work,” he said. “Tennis is one of the hardest sports you can play.”

GIRLS GOLF

Our 21 Lady Devils dominated the season on the golf course. The Lady Devils had many games postponed due to rainy weather conditions, but that didn’t hold them back. With 52 wins and 17 losses, they still finished with a winning season. Coach Dusty Corum said the team “had a very successful golf season this year [with] very good overall performance from the girls.” Even with a winning season, Junior Baylee Lawler still believes that there is always room for improvement next year.

CROSS COUNTRY

The JHS cross country team had to be adaptable this fall as many practices were canceled due to the heat index. Injuries also took a toll on the team. Senior Matthew Leuhart couldn’t run in the beginning of the season due to an ankle injury. “The season didn’t start off too well because I got injured pretty bad,” Leuhart said, “but I came back and was able to make varsity and run at sectionals.” Senior Leo Burns received a medal and made it out of sectionals. Our Lady Red Devil runners had some rough competition against Seymour and Silver Creek. They received a lot of personal records, yet still look for more improvement in the future. “I believe if we work hard enough, we can get past sectionals for the next season to come,” said junior Kendall Stackhouse.

 

Sports: Spring Previews- Girls Tennis

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Girls Tennis Team Prepares for a Successful Season

After losing their assistant varsity coach and head JV coach, the Jeff High girls tennis team is nervous but excited to see how this season will go. Freshman Adalaid Scott said, “This season is going to be really fun and I’m really excited!”

Everyone is looking forward to a fresh start and a good season filled with athleticism and competition. This is especially true for head coach, Curt Roehm.

“I think we’re going to do well this year. I hope we have a fun, competitive year. We have a lot of experienced seniors and talented underclassmen. So the competition to get a position on the varsity team should be really good. Hopefully with that competitive drive, we’ll be able to get a sectional title this year,” Roehm said.

Everyone on the team has a lot of faith in themselves this season, especially sophomore, Lydia Kittrell.

“We will hold our own in sectionals. I look forward to the competition, being with friends and just getting playing time,” Kittrell said. She added that the team will miss their previous assistant coach, Nathan Cross, “but I think we will be okay.”

Everyone is looking forward to a good season and the chance to claim the sectional title as their own.

Written by Mattie Blanton

Photo by Amber Rowe

MULTIMEDIA: Net up or Heads up

video by Emma Ellis & Haylee Hedrick

At Jeffersonville High School, the baseball field and tennis courts sit within feet of each other. While the close proximity is useful for watching two sporting events at once, it also creates a safety issue with foul balls easily reaching the tennis courts.

Hyphen writers Emma Ellis and Haylee Hedrick look at the issue, and what can be done to ensure safety for all JHS athletes.

Boys tennis team celebrates 11th consecutive Sectional title

Thanks to the stellar singles play of the JHS tennis team, the Red Devils are Sectional champs for the 11th consecutive year.

Jeffersonville, currently ranked No. 11 in the state, needed all three singles points to down No. 26 Providence, earning a 3-2 victory to advance to the first round of Regionals.

In No. 1 singles, senior Keith Asplund downed Nicholas Boesing 6-3, 6-2. Jeff’s No. 2 singles player Jerid Inman made quick work of Jack Arnson, picking up an unscathed 6-0, 6-0 victory. Finally, senior Black Winchell defeated Sam Stricker 6-0, 6-1, giving the Red Devils their match-clinching third point.

In doubles, Adam Starr and Carson Carrico got the best of JHS’ Colby Kayrouz and Trey Bottorff, winning 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. The No. 2 doubles tandem of Cullen Ebert and Aaron Agtuca defeated Adam Crawford and Matthew Monroe, 6-1, 6-2.

Next up for the Red Devils is the first round of Regionals, which will be held at Silver Creek next Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. Jeffersonville will look to extend their rivalry against New Albany in the opener.

Athlete Spotlight: Trey Bottorff (video)

story by Tristan Jackson

video by Sam Gatewood

As one pulls up to the tennis courts at Jeffersonville High School, they’ll probably notice “J-E-F-F” painted vibrantly along the wall on the side of the school.

From this wall echoes the boys tennis team, an energetic bunch, whose yells rival those of the student section cheering on the football team on Friday nights.

Of those voices, one tends to stand out. That is that of Varsity No. 1 doubles player Trey Bottorff.

“I focus on [being energetic] because it distracts me from thinking too much,” Bottorff said. “Tennis is such a mental sport and it helps me stay within myself and I truly think I play better when I’m energetic. I also use it as a weapon to get in the head of my opponents.”

Bottorff’s energy and passion for the game are what stands out when he plays, and it has proven to pay off. Last year he put up a 10-10 record alongside his partner Jerid Inman, who he has been playing with since their middle school years at Parkview.

The pairing proved to be vital to the team’s semi-state run last year, as they picked up the third, and deciding point, for Jeff in the first round of Regionals against New Albany.

“Clinching Regionals with Trey last year was easily my best memory and I wouldn’t have wanted to win it for our team with anyone else,” Inman said.

As Bottorff heads into his senior season, he looks to contribute on a Red Devils squad that has their eye on getting back to the state finals. Bottorff, along with teammates and fellow seniors Keith Asplund and Jerid Inman, already have experience in the state finals.

Ultimately, that is a goal for the team heading forward.

“The goal is to make it a step further than we did last year, which would mean returning to state for the second time in three years.” Asplund said.

This year’s squad looks to continue Jeff’s winning tradition and get far in the state tournament. To do that, Bottorff will have to play a pivotal role if the Red Devils are to make it happen.

PREVIEW: Boys tennis

Written by: Bella Bungcayao

The boys tennis team is, and has been, a spotlight for Jeff High athletics, given their winning record and skilled players to come through the program recently.

Last season, the team placed as regional championships and won semi-state, as well as winning 12 out of 16 matches. They placed 6th at the John Shirley Invite, 3rd at Jasper Invite, and 2nd at JHS Classic.

“This team has great leadership and work ethic,” says coach Curt Roehm. “I can depend on them to put in all their effort during practice and a match.”

This is Roehm’s second season being the head coach for the tennis team, and was an assistant for previous head coach Mark Reilly two years back.

“I predict that this season will be very competitive for us, and we need to take it one match at a time. I do see us going on to Sectional and maybe even winning them,” Roehm says.

All of the players also have optimistic attitudes for the 2017 season, none more than senior Keith Asplund.

“The goal is to always improve from the previous season, which would mean a trip to state. We have a lot of potential as a team,” Asplund said.

Coach Roehm also sees potential with Asplund as a player to look out for.

“Keith is a tough kid both on the field and the classroom and fights hard. I see him going really far this season with the sport and leadership,” says Roehm.

Keith is not only a star on the court, but a leader in the school. Asplund is a co-president of student council and an all-around involved student.

“I love that the players on the team are all such good friends. We are a tight knit group of kids, so we always support each other,” Asplund says, commenting on the strength of the team.

Overall, the hope for the upcoming tennis season is extremely high and optimistic amongst the entire team. There is strong faith that the record will only grow higher than the level it’s already at.

Boys Tennis (photos)

 

Replacing a legend

 Story by Kelsey Luce

The numbers are staggering: 33 Sectional titles, seven Regional, three semi-state championships, and two final four appearances.

The Red Devil tennis teams have had great success over the past 30 years coached by Mark Reilly. However this past 2015-16 season was the last year with Reilly at the helm after he decided to step down, ending his JHS coaching career.

Since then, Jeff High has hired a new tennis coach for this upcoming season, Curt Roehm.

Roehm has been coaching since he was in college at Indiana University Southeast. He started out coaching tennis at River Valley Middle School, before deciding to take a job as the assistant girls tennis coach at Jeff High towards the end of his college career.

Later, after leaving that position, Roehm took a job at as the girls tennis coach at South Oldham High School, before making his way back to Jeff High to become assistant coach for Reilly with the boys program.

The movement, and ultimate return to JHS, put him in the daily presence of one of the most decorated tennis coaches in the state.

“Working beside Coach Reilly the past few years was a privilege,” Roehm said. “He’s such a student of the game. He picks up on the smallest thing and can build an entire game plan around it.

Because Roehm has spent so much time at Jeff High in the past, many current players recognize, and have been taught by, Roehm.

“He is a really great coach,” junior Trey Bottorff said. “He knows how to motivate and teach the game. He has some of the same great qualities that Coach Reilly has. I expect us to surprise a lot of teams doubting us and have a great season.”

The team already has big plans, along with a lot of respect, for their new coach this season. Roehm also knows, and understands, the legacy that came before him, and is focused on putting realistic goals on a team that went to the final four last season.

“I think it’s very important to set real and obtainable goals. We are focusing on things we can control,” Roehm said. “You can’t control when your opponent is going to have a near-perfect day. You can’t control when you go through a slump or a bad game. You can control walking off the court, knowing you gave 100-percent in practice and in the match,” Roehm said.

These goals are in place with a hope to follow up last year’s success, as well as preparing the boys to be the best they can for any opponents coming forward.

“The team already has respect for him, and now that he’s the head coach, he will bring a new and good element to the team this season,” junior Gerrin Moore said.