Sports

The 2022 Iditarod

By Ruby Westrick and Kate McKelvy

April 5, 2022

The Iditarod of 2022 is complete, with Brent Sass winning first place! After more than eight days of dog sled racing with 11 talented sled dogs, Brent Sass crossed the finish line. His winning time was  8 days, 14 hours, 38 minutes and 43 seconds to cover the roughly 975 mile northern route. Brent Sass will receive an as yet to be determined check from winning the race, but in the past, winners usually get a prize of $50,000. 

It was close calls all through the race, with Brent Sass struggling at the beginning, but eventually pulling ahead. Many people thought that the well experienced five time winner Dallas Seavey would win for the sixth time, making him the most decorated musher in the Iditarod’s history.

Having the right dog breed is important for a chance of winning the Iditarod. The best dog breeds for sled races are the Samoyed, Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, and the Chinook. The most favored are the Alaskan Huskies because they like to run and pull. 

Did you know that all of the dogs on the iditarod wear booties? It’s true! The dogs have to wear these in order to keep their paws warm, and look adorable while doing so too! 
The Iditarod of 2022 was a great chance for racers to show their talents, and the passion they have for sled dog racing. It is such a commitment, and to watch these racers throughout the race was fun for many people.  

INDY Swimmers Head to Districts

By Lilli Manzi and Gracie Reed

March 18, 2022

If you are a competitive swimmer, you know about districts. Districts is a swim meet that swimmers must qualify for by achieving a certain time.  From districts there are other meets that swimmers must qualify to go to, such as states and nationals. Many local youth swimmers competed in districts as a part of the Indy Piranhas, a club out of the Indiana County YMCA. There were 62 swimmers who qualified spread out among four age groups competing at Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio. 

District competition involves both individual and team competition.  For individualized events a swimmer  can win his or her heat by touching the timing pad first. The winner is the swimmer who has the fastest overall time.. The team competition is a little different. Swimmers earn points for their team. The higher that a swimmer places in his or her event the more points they earn for the team. The teams can win in each age group in both boys and girls divisions, as well as win an overall award. 

The Indy Piranhas placed second in each of  the age groups in both girls and boys. Indy also earned a second place in overall girls, first place in overall boys, and the second place overall team award. The Richard G Snyder YMCA team from Kittanning dominated at the meet placing first overall in the team award as well as many others. 

There are state and national competitions after districts. This year, it was harder for many swimmers to make it to states because there were two sessions in one day. The first session was the preliminaries and the second was the finals. In prelims swimmers must place in the top ten in their event to  advance to the finals. There is a break between prelims and finals for swimmers to rest and fuel up their body. The finals are all in one pool and alternate between the girls events and the boys events. During the finals race of the events the top four earn a medal and qualify for states. 

District swim meets can last from one to three days. Certain days will last longer due to the events that are longer than others and the meet starting late. This year Districts lasted three days with three  sessions each day. Distance events are only swum once because of how long they last.  Spire Institute had two pools, so the boys swam in one and the girls in the other. Finals are swum in one pool because they have less swimmers. 

Overall Districts was an amazing experience for new swimmers and old, swimmers who have gone before and who haven’t, and for the coaches as well.

Track and Field Begins

By Emily Ferraro

March 18, 2022

The pre-season for spring Track and Field has started. Participants have been attending pre-season practices on Tuesday and Thursday for the past two weeks. The first official track practice will be held on Monday, March 21 from 3 to 4:30 pm after school. This year the track and field team will participate in two invitationals and five dual meets. The first meet will be on April 4th at home against Kiski.
Participating in track gives athletes the opportunity to choose among different running events and field events. For the jumping events there is long jump, triple jump, high jump, and pole vault. Throwing events are shot put and discus. Running events are 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 100/110 hurdles, 4×100 meter relay, and 4×400 relay. This gives students a variety of things to try to see what they like.
Coaches for the 2022 season are Coach Lockard, Coach Branon, Coach Shirley, Coach Duffee, and Coach Mosgrove. The coaches are hoping for continued success this season.

Checking In on the Wrestling team

By Gabi Isenberg and Liam Hunter

February 10, 2022

Indiana Junior High is known for many things: high academic scores, beautiful buildings, and school activities. However, one sports team is often overlooked – the IJHS Wrestling team. 

This year the IHS/IJHS wrestling team has won five out of their seven matches. 

Coach Donny Bowers said, “We have a very hardworking team that has been very successful this season.” Along with their 5 wins, they have also participated in two tournaments. In the United Tournament they finished in 2nd place out of 16 teams and in the Indiana Tournament they placed 3rd out of 18 teams. Bowers stated, “I am very proud of the young men on the wrestling team.” 

The wrestling team hasn’t been affected that much by COVID-19. They aren’t required to wear masks when wrestling since they are doing physical activity but they do have to be very careful when it comes to hygiene while wrestling because of COVID-19. However, Coach Bowers says the team does a good job of following the protocols in place. 

The wrestlers are feeling confident about the progress of the team this season. 7th grader Dominic Donatelli stated, “We’ve been…practicing hard and winning.” Dominic also feels proud of himself this season. “I’ve tried my hardest.” Brock McClure, another 7th grader commented that, “We’ve done good as a team and haven’t lost that much.” Brock has been wrestling for 7 years. 

The eighth graders on the team are also proud of their accomplishments. Graham McFarlane said, “The team’s doing really good. We’ve filled every weight class and we’ve only lost 2 matches.” Dominic Fanella added that, “The team’s been doing good…I feel like we could [improve by getting] different partners because we usually wrestle with the same partners.” 

The wrestling season is almost over and our team’s had one of the best ever. The IJHS/IHS wrestling team is just one example of how IASD athletes strive to be their best every day. 

Volleyball Begins

By Sydney Anderson

February brings snow, and snow means it’s time for girls seventh and eighth grade volleyball! Volleyball is one of the many sports provided at the Junior High. This year, Dana Kundla will be coaching the seventh and eighth grade teams, along with the help of assistant coach Allison Ball and other highschool players. So far players have had skills and drills in late January and currently are going through tryouts. At the skills and drills, athletes claim that there were so many people and it was nerve wracking. Others explained that it was super exciting and they were sure that tryouts would be easy. 

Laken Kugler (8) was excited for the pre-season practices. She played last year and is hoping to make the team this year and play with her friends again. She was surprised with how crowded it was but enjoyed it anyway. “There were a lot of people there. It was intimidating.” She thought she did pretty good for the first time practicing in a while. 

Ali Genchur (8) was nervous and excited. She also played last year, and was expecting there to be lots of competition but she still feels good about her practice. “I knew there were going to be a lot of people, and that’s why I was nervous. Other than that I’m really looking forward to playing this year.” Ali also claimed that she thinks she’s ready for try-outs after working on volleyball a little more outside of school. 

Volleyball season is almost here for the Junior High, and students are starting to prepare for the upcoming tryouts and season. Although it’s the first year for some and others have experience, everyone is excited to be in the gym. As nerve wracking as it is, many of the athletes agree that enthusiasm is the best way to feel about try-outs. Make sure to come support your Junior High volleyball team at some of their home games this season!

Winter Track Launches First Indoor Season

by Emily Ferraro and Sydney Anderson

Winter track has taken a full swing into the season. Students bundle up in their warmest clothing, and join up for workouts on the track at the High School . Students run in the freezing temperatures and work their hardest to achieve their best .

 When runners were asked how they felt about running in the frigid cold,  Maddy Bauer (8) said that she likes running in the cold. Bauer also said that she was excited but nervous about the upcoming meet. Addy Fry (8) said that she also liked running in the cold and she was very excited about the first meet. 

At the first meet in Youngstown, Ohio, several runners ran personal best times. Kaidan Branan scored a personal best in the 1600 running 5:35. Kaylee Onder also ran the 1600 in 6:22 for her personal best. Emily Ferraro ran the 400 in 1:12.

This is winter track’s first season and so far it’s been a hit. Although only a few students participate, they all have a lot of fun with it. As most of the runners hope, this will not be the last season of winter track and we hope that coaches Mr. and Mrs. Branan will continue to keep this sport going for the Junior High.

IJHS Girls Basketball Excels

BY GIANNA BOYER AND EMILY FERRARO

November 22, 2021

The 2021 girls basketball season has begun. The team had its first game on October 19 against Penn Hills. The girls are giving it their all to achieve their best. The 8th-grade team are former state champions and plan to keep that title.

The team faces many challenges such as balancing school and basketball. Anna Carnovale (8), stated that she balances sports and school by “doing all my homework during flex or on the bus.” Schoolwork can be easy to fall behind. The girls have to be passing all of their classes to be allowed to play and practice.

Addy Hutton (8) stated, “I fall a lot,” Small injuries can affect a player’s physical and mental health. According to atyourownrisk.org, 90% of students have or have had a sports related injury. Without one team member, the game can fall apart. 

The team has to work together and execute plays and the defense has to be on point. On October 23 the team had a tournament in Indiana. The team pulled away with 3 wins and the first place title.  After the win Anna Carnavole said, “It makes you feel good because you worked hard for something and it paid off.”

The 8th grade team also has the distinction of going 15-0 this year and 27-0 for their 7th and 8th grade season, a feat that has not been done since 1992. Congratulations to this amazing team!

Get to Know the Bullpen Bulls 12-U Team

The Bullpen Bulls 12U Baseball Team
The Bullpen Bulls 12U Softball Team

By: STELLA EMPFIELD

November 22, 2021

There are a lot of talented softball and baseball players on the Indiana Bullpen Bulls teams. Let’s meet the 6th grade 12u Bullpen Bulls softball and baseball teams.

Kiylar Lorelli (6) is on the 12u baseball team, and his number is 6. His primary position is shortstop and 3rd base. Kiylar’s favorite position is Pitcher and likes hitting better than fielding. Kiylar is known for hitting out of the park homeruns. 

Max Drew (6)  is also on the 12u baseball team. Max’s number is 26. His primary position is 2nd base, outfield, shortstop, 3rd base, and pitcher. Max’s favorite position is 1st base, and likes hitting more than fielding. 

Beau Raykes’ (6) number is 7. His primary position is catcher, and his favorite position is also catcher. Beau prefers fielding more than hitting. 

Matthew Stone (6) is number 86. His primary position is pitcher, and his favorite position is shortstop. Matthew also prefers fielding over hitting. 

Billy Taylor’s (6)  number is 28. His primary position is center field, with pitcher being his favorite position. Billy is one of the few that likes hitting more than fielding. 

Davis Putt’s (6) primary position is center field, making his favorite position also center field. Davis’s number is 8, and enjoys hitting more than fielding. 

Next up is our fierce 6th grade 12u girls Bullpen Bulls Softball Team. 

Gracie Reed (6) is a fierce 12u softball player. Her number is 1. Her primary position is center field, with her favorite being catcher. Gracie likes hitting more than fielding. 

Claire Brewer (6) is number 13. Her primary position is pitcher. Claire’s favorite position is also pitcher. Claire prefers fielding over hitting. 

Sophia Boyer’s (6) primary position is catcher, with her favorite being catcher as well. She wears number 8 loudly and proudly. Sophia couldn’t choose between fielding or hitting better so she went with both.  Sophia is well known for getting her team to win. 

Samantha Martin (6) is another fierce number 4. Samantha’s primary position is 3rd base or pitcher. Her favorite position is 3rd base and enjoys hitting more than fielding. 

Sophia Thomas (6)  wears the number 7. Her primary position is Center field, and her favorite is 3rd base. She likes hitting more than she does fielding. 

The Bullpen Bulls softball and baseball 6th grade 12u teams are very skilled and are looking forward to the upcoming season. 

IUP Education Day

By Emily Ferraro

November 22, 2021

On November 17, students of Indiana Junior high school and other surrounding schools visited the KCAC to watch the IUP Women’s Basketball annual Education Day game. IUP played Mount Aloysius and completely put them away. Both teams played hard but IUP pulled away with a final score of 101-35.

 The reason for the event was to celebrate education.  One activity involved introducing kids to optical illusions and how they fool your brain. Students were given a drawstring bag as they entered. Once the game was over students were asked to pull out cards representing the ones on the big screen. A group of math students attending IUP taught the students how each illusion worked and how it fooled with your brain. You could hear the excitement in the students. Overall it was a very exciting day for students and teachers and a big win for the Lady Hawks. 

Diving Into The Piranhas Swim Season

GRACIE REED

October 29, 2021

The Piranhas, the YMCA’s swim team, had started their season.  Let’s dive in and take a look at the youth swim team and program.

The YMCA runs a swim team called the Indiana Piranhas. Team members can swim in the summer or winter or even both! The winter season is much more competitive with district and state competitions, like many other sports.  To make it to districts, swimmers must meet a time standard based on their  age group. To make it to states, swimmers have to place in the top six at districts. 

In competition, there are four strokes: freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke, and backstroke. Some swimmers are good at one stroke while others may swim in multiple events. The main stroke though, is freestyle, which is the fastest and most efficient of all of the strokes. Most swimmers would agree that butterfly is the hardest stroke because it is so challenging. 

At the YMCA here swimmers must do a swim test to make the team.  The test includes treading water and swimming a certain amount of time or distance.  Swimmers practice 3-5 days per week for up to two hours per day.  These efforts have paid off as the Piranhas have won three district championships in a row and have sent multiple high school swimmers to the WPIAL championships and even states. 

IJHS Football Having Successful Season

BY GABI ISENBERG AND GIANNA BOYER

October 15, 2021

The 2021 IJHS football season is about two months in. Players and coaches are giving their all in order to bring Indiana victory. The team is engaged in many challenges as they are playing on the field. 

Jackson Albert (8), running back and linebacker said, “I have gotten injured. I tore a tendon in my knee.” Injuries are a setback for many players because they have to take time to heal and recover. Mr. Duffee, the team’s coach said,  “Well when somebody gets hurt…the person behind them has to step in and do their job. The person who is backing someone up has to be prepared and ready to go.”

Players are very motivated this year, largely due to the influences in their lives. Having positive influences for our players is important as they strive to be their best. Zach Brewer (8), stated that his dad has been a big influencer for him because he wants to make him proud. When asked who her main influencer is, Laila Clifford (7) said, “My brother.” Laila is also the only girl on the football team, bringing a new set of challenges to her game.

Football has also created many enjoyable memories other than winning. Michael Zimmerman (8) stated that “the bus rides” were a memorable experience for him. Levi Porter (8) said, “playing pee-wee football” was one of his favorite memories. 

Football is America’s number one favorite sport and it is a big honor for IJHS to be part of the game. The team’s last game is October 27th. Make IJHS proud, t

Cross Country Team Rambles On

By GRACIE REED

October 15, 2021

The boys and girls Cross Country teams hosted McKeesport and Norwin on Tuesday, September 28, 2021. The girls defeated McKeesport but lost to Norwin, and the boys also fell to Norwin.  Chloe Hain finished 3rd overall for the girls with a time of 12:47 and Addison Fry finished 5th overall for the girls with a time of 12:53.  Kaiden Branan finished 3rd overall for the boys with a time of 11:56. These three all scored points for their team including the other top six girls boys from Indiana. 

¨The trail was muddy and there was one hard hill,¨ said Lily Manzi who is on the girl’s Cross Country Team. The trail, or track, is 1.8 miles long and is located by the S&T Bank Arena. This was the teams last home meet, but they will continue to run elsewhere until the season is over.

¨The people are what made me want to join,¨ said Chloe Hain. Kaiden Branan joined because he has been running from a young age. Kaiden has been running Cross Country for 1 year while Chloe has for 2. They both love running but Chloe doesn’t particularly like competing. They both plan on continuing to run throughout the coming years.

Good job to everyone who competed at the meet and good luck to the team at the rest of the meets of the season!