HSE 2016-17 Season Wrap-Up — Mark Morrow
Hamilton Southeastern coach Julie Alano went into the season knowing how strong the competition likely could and probably would be.
The way it turned out, though, most of the state competition wound up having to worry more about her Lady Royals track and field contingent, the 2017 state runner-up.
That just happens to be the highest finish for the Lady Royals in track. The previous high was fourth place for HSE and under Alano’s guidance.
The Lady Royals, who hosted their first track and field sectional at HSE en route to repeating as champions, also won the regional on their way to coming within 9 points of Warren Central at the State Meet.
Ironically, the Lady Royals were also runners-up in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference meet, as were the boys of first-year HSE head coach John Albrecht. The boys also finished in a 3-way tie for 18th at State.
Among the girls at the State Meet:
*—Sophomore Kennedy Drish cleared 12 feet to win the pole vault at the State Meet for the Lady Royals. That performance bettered her HSE record of 11-8.
*—HSE’s 4×100 relay foursome of Olivia Burgess, Tierra Sydner, Mia Mackenzie, and Camille Christopher were state champions in 47.19. All 4 relay members return next season.
Christopher, a junior who was named the Hamilton County Reporter Track & Field Athlete of the Year for the second straight season, also placed fourth in the 100-meter dash and sixth in the 200 this season at the State Meet. She also won both dashes in the sectional and the 200 in the regional, as well as helping HSE win 4×100 relay.
She’s quite an athlete, indeed!
There were many other highlights for HSE during the 2016-17 athletic season, including the Royals finishing off a strong spring season by winning the Hoosier Crossroads Conference All-Sports, and Boys and Girls All-Sports Awards.
And HSE proudly secured the annual Mudsock Traveling Trophy once again, maintaining a hold on it every season since the annual series with Fishers HS started in 2007-08.
Here are a few more success stories:
Track & Field
Gabe Fendel had quite year.
The junior was second in the boys State Cross-Country finals, helping the Royals place 9th a State. He was first in the 2017 Hoosier State Indoors 3,200 (9:15.19). He also anchored HSE’s state-champion medley relay in the 2017 Hoosier State Indoors, and later was honored as the runner-up in the annual Indiana Sports Awards in track and field.
He also won the 1,600 (4:17.85) and 3,200 (9:23.49) at the 2017 Carmel Sectional.
And in the 2017 State Meet, Fendel brought home the state championship in the 1,600-meter run, winning in an HSE school-record time of 4 minutes, 4.70 seconds.
Zach Gunn established career school records in rebounds (791) and points (1,660), and led the Hoosier Crossroads Conference in scoring (21.2 average) and rebounds (8.5). The Ball State-bound Gunn also was named to the Indiana All-Stars squad, but was unable to participate because of a foot injury that also plagued him in the sectional championship game.
*—The Royals also handed host Carmel a 21-point loss in the regular season, marking the worst home loss in two-time state-champion coach Scott Heady’s 7 seasons with the Greyhounds. The Royals then fell to the Hounds in the sectional final.
*—The Lady Royals battled Carmel to the wire in their sectional at HSE, before finishing as sectional runners-up. HSE (5-1) was second in the conference in girls basketball, and the boys (4-2) tied for second in the conference.
Looking to 2017-18 Basketball
The Lady Royals return 4 starters, including sensational Sydney Parrish, the top freshman in the HCC in the 2016-17 season. She was third in HCC scoring (16.2 points per game), and led her team in overall scoring, and she was third in both rebounds (5.7) and blocked shots (1.3). They won 20 games…The Royals return 3 starters among the boys. They produced a 21-game win season.
*—The competition HSE played in the regular season went a long way, serving as a difference-maker.
The Lady Royals were 13-8 and 3-3 in the HCC. Under coach David Cook, they won sectional and regional and reached the final game of the Harrison Semistate at Lafayette and finished one win shy of playing for a state championship. Quite an accomplishment, for sure. HSE finished the season with
an 18-9 won-loss record.
Two-sport sophomore Abby Taylor (also girls swimming), posted a team-best .438 batting average. Sophomore Jordan Rager, a .385 hitter who led the team with 29 RBIs, also contributed 3 homers and 7 doubles, and led the team with 3 sacrifice flies…Nicole Dillow also had 3 homers . . . Senior pitcher Alexis Macha was named Hamilton County Softball Player of the Year by The Reporter online newspaper. Macha, a top-10 graduate of the 2017 HSE graduating class, posted a 9-5 record, a 2.52 ERA, held opponents to a 2.77 batting average in 108.1 innings, and recorded 128 strikeouts.
*—HSE’s varsity baseball team, competing with six first-year starters, defeated top-ranked Carmel 2-0, handing the Greyhounds their first season loss. The Royals also posted a 10-inning win over Fishers HS, which upset Carmel in the sectional championship game. HSE finished the season with a 16-12 won-loss record.
Seniors Dalton Hutchinson and Trenton Schneider were co-leaders with .328 averages. Senior Brock Burns followed at .325….Schneider led the Royals with 18 RBIs….Schneider, Burns, Owen Callaghan, another senior, and junior Carter Loman each homered for the Royals.
*— The Lady Royals went 5-1, capturing the HCC volleyball title.
*—The HSE boys finished 6-0 in head-to-head HCC competition, and went on to win the sectional . . . The Lady Royals placed second in the conference but went on to capture their fourth consecutive sectional championship.
*—The Royals reached Round of 4 of the IHSLA Boys Playoffs. They also defeated Fishers HS for the second straight year and added the Mudsock Stick, a new tradition to go along with the Mudsock Trophy…Senior Max Brooks and junior Keegan Logan, both first-team all-state and all-conference a year ago, were honored as All-Americans in 2017…..Brooks, first-team all-conference last season, signed to play lacrosse at Monmouth University, a Div. 1 school in New Jersey . . . The Lady Royals, fielding their first all-HSE squad this season after teaming with Fishers HS to win the state championship the previous season, also defeated Fishers HS in their first head-to-head matchup.
More impressive finishes in 2016-17:
*—HSE (4-2) finished in a 3-way tie for second place in the HCC . . . Senior Adam Mullet, a first-year quarterback who led the HCC in passing yards (2,682 yards), also set single-game school records (passing for 463 yards and completing 30-of-44 passes) in a 48-41 victory over Zionsville.
*—The girls placed second in the HCC and second in the sectional, while the boys won their sectional. The girls also placed 9th in the state meet and the boys finished in a 3-way tie for 15th.
*—Both the girls and boys earned second-place finishes in HCC championships.
*—The Royals captured the boys sectional championship, but came up short 2-1 in the regional. They will be a team to watch in the fall, as coach Chris White returns 8 starters . . . The Lady Royals finished the season at 10-4-3.
The Royals finished third in the HCC, second in the Zionsville Sectional, 4th at the North Montgomery Regional, 11th in the New Castle Semistate, and 57th in the State Meet.
*—The Lady Royals, sectional and regional runners-up, placed 11th in the State Finals at Prairie View GC…The Royals were also runners-up at the Noblesville Boys Sectional at Purgatory GC, but failed to advance out of the Muncie Regional, finishing fourth after losing the fifth-player tiebreaker . . . Drew Alexander advanced as an individual for the Royals, state team runners-up a year ago. The senior carded a 74-73 — 147 (+3), quite a respectable finish that earned him a tie at 13th overall.
*—The Lady Royals, a dominant Football/Competitive Cheer program since first winning state in 1995, were state runners-up in 2017…Emily Gallup, a member of the HSE Football/Cheer competition squad, was one of only 12 individuals from the state named to the Academic All-State Cheer team. The honor is based on accomplishments in both the classroom and in their communities.
It was a season for a special tribute for a special man.
The HSE field was named Ken Seitz Field in honor of former Royals head baseball coach Kenny Seitz.
It was a proud moment, one that will leave an everlasting memory.
It happened in a special presentation that was a humbling experience for the first-class gentleman and friend to all that know him.
It also came on a night when the Royals defeated rival Fishers HS 3-2 (10 innings) in the opener of the 3-game HCC baseball series at HSE.
“Yeah …. the 10-inning win — that was a fun win for our players and program. The win definitely topped off a night of good memories,’’ said the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame coach.
When asked if the announcement that night at the HSE baseball complex was a surprise, Seitz said, “It was … and … it wasn’t.
“At the end of practice the night before the Fishers game, (athletic director’s Greg Habegger and Jim Self were at practice, which is not unusual. Coach (Scott) Henson gathered the team for what I assume were words about the next day’s Fishers game. That was when I was shown a program for the Fishers games, showing the field would be named after me. That was a total surprise.
“It was a great moment to share with the HSE baseball players, coaches, and (son) Kory, who played for me.
“It’s difficult to coach your own son in a high school program. For him to play at HSE he had to be better than most, otherwise risk people whispering favoritism. I was fortunate Kory was an outstanding player who definitely earned his playing time at HSE. I really feel coaching with him at HSE has been even more satisfying having him as a player. This has allowed a great father/son relationship through the great game of baseball.’’
Both Coach Seitz, also a former HSE athletic director, and his son have been coaches at HSE for quite a while now.
“I was hesitant to get back into to baseball when he asked if I’d be a part-time varsity assistant. As you may have noticed my time spent is way beyond part-time. For me to coach at 1B and Kory at 3B is a dream. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.’’
Coach Seitz said parents wanted to see the HSE field named after him in 2001.
“During my last year coaching (2001) parents wanted to name the field after me, but the school board said there was a policy the facility would not be named after individuals. Dr. Leonard’s name had earlier been (label) on HSE’s auditorium, but the policy came after that. Based on that I felt naming of the field after me would never happen,’’ he said.
Then came that special night!
“It was just a humbling moment for me. It was a highlight of an old baseball coach’s life to see this actually come true. It was especially rewarding that the ceremony was so well put together and my family and HSE players were involved.’’
Well coach, I’m sure that all of those involved in your special moment also found it to be a rewarding experience!
*—Mark Morrow, who has resided in Fishers since 1989, formerly owned Hamilton County Sports Daily. He was inducted into the Indiana Sportswriters-Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 2015. He now blogs for hseroyalsathletics.com(.)