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Basketball News Sports

New x Two: Jeff High Basketball Rebounds With New Boys and Girls Basketball Coaches

Coach Melissa Voyles – Girls Basketball

Coach Melissa (Missy) Voyles took the head coaching job at Jeff High because it presented a great opportunity and a great challenge. Prior to coaching at Jeff, Voyles had coached at North Harrison. However, she wanted the chance to coach at a division 4A (the high school sports division for the largest schools) school like Jeff. She also saw the girls basketball team as a program with potential. “It’s always a program that could really be dominant,” she says.

Despite her optimism, there was a clear challenge for the Red Devils this year: injuries. Voyles said this season they had five ACL tears, one broken wrist, and two concussions. “I have never seen this many injuries,” she says. Despite these challenges she has been pleased with the level of dedication her players have shown, saying, “They play hard every day. I can’t fault them for that.” With this dedication has come improvement, according to Voyles.


Going into the season in a tough conference, and after losing a lot of senior talent last year, Voyles says, “I knew it would be a big struggle win-or-loss wise.” However, she credits her team’s leadership and hard work with their success this year, specifically, she credited Neveah Bates (junior), Baily Gibson (senior), Ajia Estes (senior), Tatum McFarland (sophomore), and Sofia Reese (sophomore) with creating a contagious positive atmosphere on the team.


For the postseason, the goal was simple for Voyles. “I want to compete with Bedford.” On Feb. 5, 2021, Jeffersonville fell to Bedford North Lawrence 62-36 in the Sectional Semi-final. Despite their season coming to an end, the Devils were able to keep the game within 10 points with the fourth-ranked Stars, until the fourth quarter.

Coach Andrew Grantz – Boys Basketball

Coach Andrew Grantz says he took the boys basketball job at Jeff High for many reasons, including “the history, the tradition, and the fan support here at Jeff.” Grantz also wanted to return to coaching in Indiana, and with the talent at Jeff High, he was excited at the opportunity to build the program.


For Grantz, the biggest difference between this job and his past coaching gigs is the community. “You know, Providence was a great place to be,” he says, “but you know with a private school, you’re pulling from all different directions.” He feels that the closeness in the Jeff High community really sets the program apart, and unlike Fort Myers, Florida (where he was for a past coaching job), basketball is a bigger deal here in Indiana.


For Grantz, his pride in his team was on display after the first semester when he learned the team had a GPA of 3.4 (highest in program history according to Grantz). For him this accomplishment was important as a coach because “they’re setting themselves up for life after basketball,” he says.


Leading up to the season, with all the confusion about COVID-19, he says the goal was simple: “Let’s just play games.” He also felt that despite the loss of a talented senior class last year, the team would be strong.


Despite his optimism, he does feel one of the major challenges was Jeff’s lack of a consistent feeder program. “Whenever I was younger there was the JYBL (Jeff Youth Basketball League), and if you look at the run Jeff had in the ’90s, that happened right after JYBL started,” Grantz says. He hopes to be able to tackle this problem, which he believes will really help the program as it has before.

Looking toward the end of the season, his goal for his team is simple: “We want to reach our full potential… if we do that or come close to that we have a chance to make a run in the postseason.” Over the season, he says the team has “had flashes of it.” But to reach his goal it’s about “putting it all together at once.”

By Max Fisher

Categories
Sports Wrestling

Wrestlers Balance the Risks and Rewards of Competing during COVID

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the way we live our lives in many ways, one major thing it has affected is athletes and their sports. Some sports are not as affected as others such as cross country, where they can still run the same trails while being socially distant.

Other sports that are close contact such as wrestling have had to change their routines significantly to keep at their success. Junior Wrestler Dillon Mouser says their entire practice schedule has been altered compared to last year. “Last year, we used to be able to just switch partners. Now we have pods of 4 people , and we can’t drill, lift, or practice with anyone outside of our pods. Typically we practice with only one person in our pod until it’s time to wrestle each other for a live match.”


Mouser says they also had to split up into separate rooms. “Stations 1 and 2 are mat 1 , and 2 are in the same room but divided by a curtain. Station 3 is the weight room. Station 4 is mat 3 , which we moved upstairs. Sixteen people on one mat, and obviously we wear our masks everywhere except for when we are on the mat, and every time we switch stations we sanitize.”

Wrestling team members gather around a teammate to offer support before at match at the December 5 meet. Photo by Paige Moore

Practice routines aren’t just the only thing COVID-19 has affected. Varsity wrestler Evan Clayton decided to switch to online school to lessen his risk of exposure during wrestling season. “Online school makes it harder to get work done because you aren’t in the classroom learning first hand and you lack the motivation you would normally have in class,” Clayton says. “But it wasn’t a hard decision knowing I can maintain my grades and not risk missing out on a big part of the season,” he adds.


Over Christmas break, Clayton got quarantined, and not getting quarantined leading into sectionals was a big part of his decision. “I live fairly far from most of my family, but when I got quarantined over Christmas I was upset because I couldn’t go see my grandma, and that was pretty hard for me.” Clayton intends to stay in online school until he can finish up his season and the school quarter to learn the material easier and prepare for his AP tests.


The decision to participate in a team sport has affected some wrestlers at home also. Some athletes’ relatives have health problems that would put them at risk if they contracted COVID-19.


Even before COVID-19, being an athlete required making tough trade-offs. For athletes this year, the stakes seem more significant and the choices more complicated — but the drive to compete has not gone away

By Cameron Allen

Categories
Feature News Sports

Matt Barker’s goal: a “great experience” for athletes, fans and visitors

Athletics are a big part of student life at Jeff High, which means there has to be an athletics director to keep sports running smoothly. Recently someone new has come to the position, Matt Barker. Having prior experience in the GCCS corporation and plenty of familiarity in the athletic department, Barker is ready for any challenge that comes his way. “I’m enjoying it, it’s a lot of work,” he says, “I’m really just trying to do the right thing.”

Athletics Director Matt Barker
Hyphen Staff Photo

Barker has had a passion for coaching for most of his life, starting with his first coaching gig for a girls powder puff team as a junior in high school. He ended up coaching and teaching PE at Parkview Middle School, and after that Barker and his family moved to northern Indiana. He pursued his education and now has a bachelors from Valparaiso, a teaching license from Manchester, a masters in secondary education from IU Southeast and a masters in administration from Grand Canyon University. Having no plan to move, Barker was looking into an administrative position at a nearby elementary school when he got a call from an old friend from Parkview, Pam Hall (now Principal at Jeff High). Knowing the love he had
for coaching, she offered him a job as the Athletics Director. “I’ve always respected Pam. She was a really great leader. So I said let’s do an interview and I’ll let you know. I interviewed for it, I honestly, being a coach for 20 years, seeing the hours of work athletics directors put in, figured I didn’t want to do that. But I interviewed and everything was kind of what I wanted to hear, so I accepted the position.”

Jeff High can be a very intimidating place, but Barker feels right
at home. He explains that although things can be quite hectic, the people around him are truly helpful. “I’ve found in the couple months I’ve been in this job, the athletics director world is very open to helping people out.” When he first arrived during late October, Barker was informed that there was a little bit of financial strain in the athletics department. Naturally, he got right to work on this issue and a couple others, such as transportation. Barker makes sure to note that he puts emphasis on communication between coaches and student athletes. With the spring season quickly approaching, there is plenty more work to be done.

Working as an athletics director in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is complicated at best. Barker expresses his dejection about the crack down on fans allowed at games. “It sounds weird, you only have 500 people, but it would have been much easier to let 4000 people in.” He elaborates on the importance of proper mask protocol and social distancing.


Current events aren’t all Barker is focusing on, though. He is also making plans for the future. He believes that an important part of bringing up a good athletics program is a comfortable atmosphere and well-kept equipment. “My goal is to make sure that when people come to Jeffersonville — whether you’re an official, an opposing player, opposing coach, a fan — that you come here and you have a great experience.” This summer he wants to clean up the basketball lobby before the next season starts, and in the more distant future he hopes there will be turf on all of Jeff High’s fields and a new weight room. Barker isn’t only concerned with
the aesthetics of our facilities; another concern of his is our hospitality. “When you get an email about how welcoming you were as a school, that’s a great feeling.”


Barker conveys that success isn’t all in the wins and losses. He values sportsmanship and the overall experience for student athletes. He feels the most important part of his new position is getting students ready
for the world outside high school. Looking to give athletes team working and communication skills for future opportunities, he hopes that sports can be a well-needed escape for high schoolers.

By Emily Proctor

Categories
Basketball Sports

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. 

DSC_0215

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

Categories
Feature Football

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.

jeremy-s-kyle-tincher

Categories
Sports Swimming & Diving

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.”

Categories
Basketball Sports

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

Categories
Cross Country Football Golf Soccer Sports Tennis Volleyball

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.