CROSS COUNTRY

Columbia City

Columbia City’s cross country team advanced three individuals to the semistate run in Fort Wayne. Landon Wakeman, Nathan Mills and Lillian Oddou competed in the semistate race, but could not advance to state.

The entire girls cross country team advanced to regionals. Eden Oddou finished 42nd in the race; Lauren Keller, 51st; Bailie Brown, 57th; Jaslyn Cook 61st; Ally Wilson, 72nd and Carolyn Shelton 75th.

Churubusco

Four runners from the Churubusco cross country team advanced to the regional race.

The Eagles’ top runner, Sam Keily finished 50th and Levi Skinner took 78th. The Lady Eagles also had a pair of runners in the regional. Allie Basinger placed 71st and Maggie Burita came in 79th.

Whitko

Whitko’s cross country team finished its first season under head coach Tara Jackson.

The Wildcats were low in numbers with five boys and three girls participating.

Whitko did not advance any runners out of the sectional, but the team had fun regardless.

“This is the most fun I’ve had in many years,” said Jackson. “They are a great group of kids. The first practice was great because I would tell them to do anything, and they’d go out and do it. They were in good spirits after practice as well. I was just impressed with their maturity. They’re much easier to coach, and you see it in the results.”

FOOTBALL

Columbia City

Columbia City’s football team had a winning streak earlier in the season that Eagles fans may remember for a long time. The Eagles beat Whitko, Bellmont, Huntington North and DeKalb consecutively, in a streak that started Aug. 25 and lasted till Sept. 15. The Eagles ended the regular season in blowout fashion, defeating Norwell, 40-7. Columbia City fell on the road to Wayne, 62-20, in the first round of sectional play.

The Eagles (6-5) went 5-3 in the Northeast 8 Conference, and placed a respectable fourth place.

Quarterback Jacob Bolt completed eight passes for 199 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Jacob Bolt also rushed for 183 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Jacob Wigent led the Eagles with 226 rushing yards and tallied three touchdowns. Ethan Christen led with 81 receiving yards in three receptions. Linebacker Solomon Barrera led the defense with 14 tackles, followed by defensive end Curtis Winebrenner’s 13 tackles.

Churubusco

Churubusco’s football team had a successful winning season and won a share of the Northeast Corner Conference, but also fell in a pair of close, heartbreaking losses. The most heartbreaking loss of the season may have come in a 56-0 win against Whitko in week one. Star running back Garrett Horn broke his leg in the opener and could not play for the rest of the season.

The Eagles followed by defeating Lakeland, 42-12. In week three, the Eagles downed rival Garrett on the road, then won victories over Eastside, Prairie Heights and Fremont. Churubusco lost its rivalry game to Central Noble, 19-17. Churubusco bounced back with win against West Noble and Fairfield and then won over Northfield in the first round of sectional play. The Eagles fell in the sectional semifinal to back-to-back sectional champion Adams Central,17-14.

Quarterback Tom Richards was second in conference with 726 passing yards. Nathaniel Kenner was first in conference with 1,288 rushing yards, twice as many as his nearest competitor. Gage Kelly was fifth in rushing, with 338 yards. Wide out Mason Anderson was second with 322 receiving yards. Churubusco swept the top three players in total points. Keener scored 102 points, Joey Emenhiser scored 90 and Kelly had 66 points. Keener was also first in conference with 17 touchdowns. Kelly scored 11 touchdowns and Sam Wood scored eight.

Austin Lehman was second in conference with 96 tackles, and Trevor Holloway wasn’t far behind with 83. Reese Wicker had five sacks in the season and Tanner Allen had 3.5. Kelly tied for first with four interceptions. Emenhiser and Wood both had three interceptions.

Whitko

Whitko’s football team finished a difficult, winless season with a young team.

The highlight of the season was when the Wildcats fiercely competed against Wabash in the last week of the season. The Apaches defeated Whitko, 28-22, on the Wildcat’s senior night.

Whitko lost its first round sectional game, 56-8, to Central Noble.

Mason Lehman led the Three Rivers Conference with five sacks. Zakk Neer was second with four sacks. Jaiden Babb had 1.5, which was third most in the conference.

Quarterback Cade Bechtold was fifth in the conference with 218 passing yards. Running back Hunter Reed was fifth in rushing yards, with 559.

GOLF

Columbia City

The Columbia City girls golf team advanced an individual to the regional. Leah Bechtold was the lone Lady Eagle to advance. Bechtold started the season as the No. 2 golfer, but was the only Eagles team member to advance in the IHSAA sectional. Bechtold shot a personal high of 89 in the regional, but could not advance.

Columbia City was low on numbers, but managed a 7-8 season, and finished 3-4 in the Northeast 8 Conference. The team was led by Bechtold and Katie Hoag; the pair posted the lowest scores throughout this past season. Bechtold was listed as NE8 honorable mention.

Churubusco

Churubusco’s girls golf team was back in action for its third season after disbanding in the 1990s. Terra Mayer set a school and individual records this past season that have stood for over 20 years.

The highlight of the season came when the team shot 183 in a match against Fremont and Garrett at Eel River’s front nine. Mayer, a sophomore, co-medaled with a score of 43 and set the individual record by two strokes.

Junior Jada Kirkpatrick and sophomore Makenzie Tonkel were often the No. 2 and No. 3 positions in the lineup. Kaitlynn Shull was also a sophomore who played a role in Churubusco’s historic season. Kira Creech is the lone senior that won’t return to next year’s lineup.

Whitko

Whitko’s girls golf team had more losses than wins, but improved as a young squad. The Lady Wildcats did not have any seniors, but still managed to win a pair of games.

The highlight of the season came when the Lady Wildcats all shot their individual highs for the season.

“We had one match where everyone shot their season’s best,” said head coach Mike Hanback.

“In my opinion, that was the highlight of the season. It was in the middle of our season at home and everyone was just so happy despite losing. The team started to think they were capable of getting better. It was a positive moment and they were proud of themselves.”

Whitko was led by sophomore Bailey Wright, the No. 1 golfer for the Lady Wildcats this season.

Hanback believes the results this season will move the program in the right direction.

“They like the sport and have great enthusiasm,” he said. “They want to keep playing and I think we’ll develop into a much stronger program. We’ll build off this season and we aren’t losing anyone.”

BOYS SOCCER

Columbia City

Columbia City’s boys soccer team had aspirations to win its first sectional title in school history, but fell short by falling to a tough Concordia Lutheran team, 11-0, in the Maconaquah sectional title. The Cadets advanced all the way to the state championship, falling in the title game.

The Eagles (6-9-2) went 3-4 in Northeast Hoosier play. Columbia City finished in sixth place out of eight teams in conference.

Columbia City opened the season by crushing Central Noble, 9-0. The Eagles went on to win five more against a good Bellmont team, New Haven, Norwell, Garrett and Tippecanoe Valley in sectional play.

Frank Planchon finished fourth place in conference with 13 goals. Colin Wood had the second most amount of assists, with 10. Goaltender Logan Bachelder allowed less than 2.4 goals a game, which was third best in conference. Bachelder also was third in saves with 72.

GIRLS SOCCER

Columbia City

Columbia City’s girls soccer team played in many tight games this season, and ended the season with a winning record.

The Lady Eagles (7-6-3) went 2-5 in a talented Northeast Hoosier Conference. Columbia City placed seventh out of nine conference teams.

Goaltender Hannah Behm was best in conference, making 124 saves in the season. Columbia City relied on a pair of playmakers to score goals and assists. Skye Roberts was fourth in conference with 50 points. Grace Cotter was right behind in fifth with 38. Roberts was also fourth in goals scored with 20. Cotter had 12 assists and was good enough for fifth place.

Columbia City defeated Manchester, Garrett, Norwell, New Haven, Wawasee, South Side and Whitko.

The Lady Eagles hosted a sectional and had a first round, but fell, 4-3, to Leo in the semifinals. Leo went on to win the sectional.

Whitko

Whitko’s girls soccer team finished a difficult season with a young and inexperienced team. The Lady Wildcats were still won a pair of conference games against Maconaquah in overtime, and against Peru.

Whitko finished in fifth place out of seven teams in the Three Rivers Conference.

The team lost to Woodlan, 5-0, in the first round of the Blackhawk Christian sectional.

Goaltender Stephanie Baughman tallied 168 saves in the season, which was first most in conference. Freshman Breanna Keirn led the team with five goals and 10 points.

TENNIS

Columbia City

Columbia City’s boys tennis team capped off its regular season and cruised past Whitko, 5-0, in the Warsaw sectional after a first round bye.

The Eagles lost to sectional hosts Warsaw, 5-0, in the sectional championship game.

Whitko

Whitko’s tennis team was young and struggled this season. But the team will return many netters and improvement is promising for the program under coach Ben Ogden.

Whitko had a first round bye in sectional play, then dropped to Columbia City, 5-0, at the Warsaw sectional.

Churubusco

The Churubusco boys tennis team showed some fight in the regular season, but lost more matches than it won. The team fell to Leo, 5-0, in the first round of the Carroll sectional.

VOLLEYBALL

Columbia City

Columbia City’s volleyball team won an invitational this past season, but couldn’t pull off a sectional win in Suzanne Taylor’s first season with the team. Taylor had previously coached the Churubusco volleyball team.

The Lady Eagles went 12-18 this season. Their only Northeast 8 Conference win came against New Haven, in which they won, 3-0, Sept. 21. The Lady Eagles defeated North Side to open their season. Two days later They Lady Eagles swept county rival Whitko. Columbia City won a fifth set against Garrett to narrowly defeat the Lady Railroaders, 3-2, on the road. The Lady Eagles won their next game as well by sweeping South Side. Columbia City went on to also beat Churubusco, 3-1, and swept Manchester. The Lady Eagles went for a winning streak in the Wawasee Invitational Tournament and left champions. The Lady Eagles defeated Wawasee, Culver Academies, Garrett and Wabash to secure the invitational. Columbia City picked up a pair of games against New Haven and Canterbury late in the season.

The Lady Eagles fell to Leo in the first round of the Angola sectional.

Taylor Osborn led the Northeast 8 Conference with 133 blocks. Osborn also had a .201 hitting percentage, which was fifth best in the conference. Osborn led the team with 181 kills. Sarah Pepple had 371 digs, which was fourth best in conference. Shianne Brooke led with 369 assists.

Churubusco

It was Caitlin Starkey’s first year with Churubusco volleyball, after leaving the Columbia City program. The Lady Eagles went 9-18 this season, and tallied a win in the sectional. Churubusco placed seventh and a record of 4-6 in the Northeast Corner Conference. The Lady Eagles had a better record than conference foes Garrett, Eastside, Fremont, Lakeland and Hamilton.

Melanie Geiger had 283 digs, which ranked fifth in the conference.

The Lady Eagles had a pair of winning steaks when they defeated county rival Whitko, 3-2, and beat Bluffton, 3-1, two days later in August. In September, Churubusco traveled to Hamilton and won, 3-0. The Following day, the Lady Eagles won against Canterbury, 3-0.

The Lady Eagles hit a difficult stretch of the season when they dropped five straight games in late September to early November. All in were sweeps to Angola, West Noble, two games to Fairfield and Garrett.

Churubusco had a bye in round one of sectional play. Churubusco swept LaVile in the semifinal. The Lady Eagles advanced to the Central Noble sectional final, but fell to Prairie Heights, 3-0.

Brooke Nondorf led the Lady Eagles with 102 kills. Senior Ashlie Martz led by hitting 92.9 percent of her serves in play. Martz also led with 36 blocks. Senior Cora Pence racked up 382 assists for the season.

Whitko

Whitko’s volleyball had a difficult season as they finished 4-22 for the year. The highlight of the season was when Lady Wildcats topped Peru to jump the Tigers in the Three Rivers Conference standing.

Whitko defeated county rival Churubusco, 2-1, September 2 for their first win of the season. They beat Peru, 3-2, three days later. Whitko tallied another win by sweeping Hamilton on the road September 21. The Lady Wildcats were ousted by Wabash in the first round of sectional play.

Compiled by Justin Hunter