By EMMA NORMAN – For the freshman volleyball players here at IHS, staying optimistic is key to a successful season. Although the team has struggled, they are confident that they will end the season strong.
By DYLAN LATORE – Spring has sprung, meaning track is back and in full swing.
The return of the new season has brought in approximately 100 athletes, with more still considering participation this year.
Unfortunately, the nice weather could not hold up, so the athletes are met with less than satisfactory conditions to get back into the sport.
Nevertheless, the cold weather has not seemed to stop any of the athletes, old or new, from putting in the work that will help to condition them for success in the coming season.
Continue reading “Spring track has sprung”
By EMMA NORMAN –For the past two years, the Pittsburgh Penguins have glided through the playoffs, winning the Stanley Cup.
The start of the 2017-2018 season was a disappointment for many. Fans were starting to question whether or not the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions would make it to the playoffs. However, the Penguins have shown great persistence and their record has dramatically improved.
By ADRIANA GUTH-BOROWSKI-Balls flying into the net, sticks scraping, feet pounding against the turf, the players stampede. Although it is yet to be spring, girls lacrosse winter conditioning has begun.
With 11 new freshmen, the young team is practicing indoors to prepare for the upcoming season. Most of the freshmen have experience; however, some are brand new to the sport.
By BECKY SHELLENBARGER – As the winter sports season is reaching the halfway point, the Indiana High School Swimming and Diving team is in full gear finishing up their regular season meets and preparing for a championship season. The boys and girls teams are the favored section champions and are looking for their best WPIAL finishes.
By JULIAN YERGER – On the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, while most were either shopping or recovering from their recent gluttony, the members of IHS cross country team traveled to Wappingers Falls NY to run in the Nike Northeast Championship, their last unofficial race of the season.
By ADRIANA GUTH-BOROWSKI – As winter sports begin, the IHS Hockey Team breaks the ice. With their first win against Greensburg Catholic, the team is launching what looks like another good season.
By EMMA NORMAN – The IHS boys soccer team tore up the field and made their way to playoffs. With a 12-8 record, the boy’s soccer team had an impressive season.
The team is loaded with talented seniors and juniors and eager sophomores and freshmen. Sophomore Cian Williamson-Rea commented, “The seniors this year are good leaders… we’re doing much better than we were last year.”
On October 10, the boys went up against Knoch High School for their senior salute game. The boys saluted seven seniors, which include Vince Birch, Eddie Chandler, Dom Ciocca, Matt Conjelko, Giaco Gentile, Ian Strittmatter and Joe Wilson. The boys JV team tied with Knoch 1-1, while the Varsity team took a hard loss 0-2.
The boys team went up against the Ringgold Rams for their first playoff game. Sergio Lopez scored the winning goal in overtime. Indiana went home with a 1-0 win that day.
Sophomore Sergio Lopez commented, “Scoring the winning goal was euphoric. I was so excited.”
The boys soccer team fell to South Fayette during the second round of playoffs. The Lions scored twice in the second half of the game, leaving Indiana with a 0-2 loss.
As his high school soccer career comes to an end, senior Joe Wilson says “I’ll miss the sport itself… I just love and enjoy soccer.”
The girl’s soccer team put up a fight and ended the season with few losses. They had a strong season this year. Junior Ella Spadafora says, “We are a very tight-knit team. I’ve known these girls since pee-wee, there is a lot of love and we respect each other.”
October 11 was senior salute night for the girl’s soccer team. “The whole team was excited about getting to celebrate our lone senior Fiona Murphy, who has contributed countless hours of time and effort to create the program we have today,” says junior Ella Spadafora.
The girls beat Knoch High School 1-0. They ended their season with an 8-7-3 overall record.
Soccer Recognition Night also took place on October 11. The senior high recognized a total of 46 students. On the boy’s team, a total of 7 freshmen, 10 sophomores, 6 juniors and 7 seniors were recognized. On the girl’s team, a total of 4 freshmen, 5 sophomores, 6 juniors and 1 senior.
[Photo by Payton White]
Photo Caption: “Senior Edward Chandler carries the ball away from his opponent”
By HANNAH STEELE- On August 24th, the IHS Girl’s tennis team began their triumphant season with a victorious match against Greensburg-Salem. The team continued their consistent winning streak, ending the season with a loss in the second round playoffs to eventual WPIAL champions Sewickley Academy.
The varsity team finished with a 10-4 record, and the JV team completed the season with a 2-2 record.
Seniors Kelsey Heckert and Lauren Bertig competed at Valley High School for section doubles, and finished by coming in first place with four wins. They then moved on to the WPIAL tournament, and became WPIAL AA doubles champions. This qualified them to go to the state tournament, where they won the consolation finals and placed 3rd in the state.
Kelsey Heckert, who played number one singles said, “Tennis has been one of the best experiences because of the friendly atmosphere and the relaxing practices. It’s all about enjoying the game and working hard to get better. It’s been a crazy ride and I’m so thankful to be able to be successful at states two years in a row. To end our high school tennis careers with a win is a rare experience, so it’s really exciting.”
“To be able to compete in the state tournament two years in a row was very exciting,” number two singles player Lauren Bertig stated, “Kelsey and I had no idea what to expect, but we won the first two matches pretty easily and played an exciting last match to win 3rd place.”
Senior Katie Kane, who played number three singles, also had a great season. “I didn’t really have any expectations for the season, I just wanted to have fun and enjoy playing on the team with my friends one last time. Next year I do not plan on playing collegiate tennis, but maybe as an intramural club sport.”
Mr. Palko, the head coach of both the boys’ and girls’ tennis teams, had glowing things to say about the season. “It was a great experience having nine seniors on the team. Kelsey Heckert earned four varsity tennis letters, which is quite an accomplishment. We also saw two seniors, Nabeeha Affan and Mia Spadafora, earn starting spots just this year. With the entire starting lineup graduating, next season will be a great opportunity for seven new starters to step up.” He added, “We all grew as a team this year. The season was fantastic.”
With a 10-4 varsity record and a 3rd place in the state tournament, it is safe to say that the IHS Girl’s tennis team had an incredibly successful season.
[Photo by Phil Palko]
Photo Caption: WPIAL AA Doubles Champions Lauren Bertig and Kelsey Heckert smile with their gold medals after their match.
By ADRIANA GUTH-BOROWSKI – It’s golf season, and the IHS Girl’s Golf team is definitely stepping up to the tee. The team started the season with six new freshmen and only four upperclassmen.
The team has had to overcome some challenges that came with the freshman-heavy group. Freshman Teagan Merriman stated, “We have a young team, but I think the freshmen will continue to grow and build our skill set. Our section has a lot of good teams, so the next few seasons will be a challenge, but we’re up to it.” Even with this obstacle, the team is still willing to put in work to take itself to the next level.
The young team started off the season on their new home course, which is now located at the Indiana Country Club. The team practices 9-holes daily. They use this practice to try to get an edge on the other teams in their difficult bracket.
Freshman all-star Quinn Martineau is definitely one to watch out for. She has already won five matches, with the first spot on the team. Her average is in the low 40’s, with a goal of shooting in the 30’s. She stated, “We have a bunch of hard workers, and we are going to get better throughout the season.”
The upperclassmen are adjusting to the team this season as well. Senior Katie Peles states, “I feel like we are strong this year. We had some great seniors last year, but even with them gone we have stayed strong as a team. We got some good freshmen this year.”
Others on the team are not looking forward to saying goodbye to seniors. Freshman Sandy Milby said, “It’s going to be sad to see the seniors go, but the team is only going to get better because we have so many freshmen.” Even though the team is upset about the graduating class leaving, they are looking forward to improving this season, and in the next few seasons to come.
The team is hopeful about the season and is excited about what is to come. Sophomore Lauren Berezansky stated, “For being a young team, we’re going well.”
[Photo by Elmer Bland]
Photo Caption: “The girl’s golf team stands on the green before a match.”
By BECKY SHELLENBARGER– Senior girls volleyball captain Emma Stossel looks up to the scoreboard. Indiana is down 11-9 to Gateway. Stossel knows she must help lead her team to a victory over their returning co-section champions if they want to win the section outright. After a hard loss to Greensburg Salem two nights before, the girls only have one thing on their minds, redemption.
The team succeeded in their goal with the help of Stossel serving 16 straight points, finishing out the second game of the match. The team went on to finish the match in three sets (25-20, 25-11, 25-12). This win helped give the girls momentum to win the next three games, all 3-0.
Three key starters were lost due to graduation, but thinking of this year as a rebuilding year would be wrong. With seven seniors, all starters, this team has a lot of talent and experience to take advantage of. According to captain Allison Ream, who is in her third year as a starting middle hitter, “We work very well together and everyone is versatile. I see a section title in our future.”
There are many talented underclassmen on the team as well. Junior setter Kaitlyn Stossel is in her third season starting varsity. Having such a veteran setter at the helm of the offense is particularly helpful to the team. Unlike most setters, Kaitlyn is a very talented offensive player as well. With 84 assists and 19 kills for the season already, she is sure to help lead the team to more wins. Kaitlyn Stossel states, “I’ve learned a lot over the years, and leading the team is an important skill for running the offense. It’s my job to work with each hitter and help them improve their skills.”
Now that the season is at the midway point, the girls know their plan of action. So far they are 3-1 in their section, with their only loss to Greensburg Salem, they still have a viable shot at another section championship. It all comes down to beating Greensburg Salem at home on September 28th.
There is more significance to this match than just a section title, however. The match against Greensburg Salem is also the team’s charity game. Every year the team’s seniors choose a charity to raise money for. This year the seniors have chosen the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
According to Senior Emma Stossel, “Our Charity game against Greensburg Salem is going to be the biggest game of the year. We need to beat them to be section champs again. We’re going to need huge fan section to cheer us on and help us raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.” Fans can help support the team by coming to the game on September 28th. The cost of admission will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
With one-half of their season remaining the girls are fine-tuning their offensive skills and strengthening their defense. Every match counts as they look for a successful postseason. Good luck to the girls as they look for a section title and playoff berth.
[Photo by Carlie Glavach]
Photo Caption: “Senior Ally Brocious hits the ball around Gateway’s block to score a kill.”
By JOE LUETKEHANS – As he slickly enters the water to begin his one hundred yard backstroke race, junior student and IHS Boys swimming team captain Christian Henderson has one thing on his mind: winning. The 17-year-old student athlete has been swimming for most of his life, and now that he’s finding himself as top dog on a relatively young team, he must find a way to hold himself and his team together in order to pull off a W for one more season.
Junior Becky Shellenbarger, diving team captain and first-year swimmer, has already made her season successful with several WPIAL qualifying dives early in the season; however, her job isn’t over yet, as it is now her job to inspire and lead her new ranks of first-year divers. According to Shellenbarger, “We have several new divers that are improving very quickly. It’s a difficult sport to master, but once you do, it’s very rewarding.”
After an extremely successful 2015-2016 season last year which ended with the boys’ team’s 12th Consecutive Section Champion win, the newest iteration of the IHS Swimming and Diving team has a lot to live up to. After losing significant talent due to graduation, the almost senior-less team’s junior swimmers must step up this year and be able to bring their A game. Luckily, they have help. The team’s large and talented freshman population makes up a large portion of their ranks this year, which should truly impress Indiana sports fans and residents alike. With new superstar talent such as freshmen swimmers Cole Thome and Parker Fanella, it almost seems as if nothing has been lost at all in the transition from old to new.
Fanella, who is swimming for her first year after many years of YMCA experience, has high hopes both for the team and her own performance by the end of this season, which will conclude with the State Championship meet in early spring. “I am hoping that us girls will be able to get first in our section this year…as for myself, I’m hoping to make it to States.” As a first year swimmer with much to prove, one would think that Fanella would feel intimidated by her expectations, but they would be wrong, “I am not intimidated by being a freshman… My team is comforting and doesn’t make me feel too pressured.”
Although the team is primarily made up of athletes with prior swimming experience, some new members are stepping out of their comfort zones by joining a team for a sport that they have either never tried before, or haven’t participated in in years. Senior student and new team join-ee Justin Kardell has kicked off his season positively by proving to coaches that despite his lack of experience, he’s still a force to be reckoned with in the water. “I was a lifeguard, and almost all of the lifeguards swam and they’re my friends, so I guess I joined because of my friends.” Although he’s barely been in the water competitively in his past, Kardell also has no sense of intimidation in the midst of his first, and last, season. “I don’t feel intimidated that the younger kids are faster than I am, but I do feel like it motivates me to try my hardest.”
Through all of the odds that some may think are against them along with the surprising expectations of past team members, the IHS Swimming and Diving team is blowing everybody’s expectations out of the water. Good luck to the team on the rest of their season, and we at the High Arrow give them best wishes for WPIALS and States!
[Photo by Leo Lezzer]
By ROCCO FANELLA It’s hockey season and our Indiana Hockey team is definitely making it happen once again this season. Indiana lost to visiting Bishop McCort, 5-2, in a PIHL Division A East Division hockey game at S&T Bank Arena on Thursday, January 12th to give the Indians their second loss of the season. Junior Tyler Barker, forward on the team, explained how they have a plan to better themselves for next games, “I think that if we work hard and play as a team we will begin to win again, but if we don’t then our season could take a turn for the worse”
The Indians may have not been playing to the best of their ability that game, but understanding what is on the line should be enough motivation to propel them to give their all the rest of the season.
Junior Keegan Fulton Schuller, a defensive player on the team said, “We need to shoot more pucks and we need to protect our own zone better, the best defense is a good offense, and right now we just need to be able to get pucks out and towards the net. I think the biggest thing the team needs to work on the most is shooting more, we pass too much, and we’re too easy to read when we finally do line up a shot.”
Senior Pat O’Neal being the lead point scorer on the team, is really living up to his press clippings. O’Neal raised his league-leading season point total to 47 points on 23 goals and 24 assists. He scored two goals in each period as of January 4th of this year.
The great number of seniors leaving the team after this season will definitely impact the future of next year’s team and freshman Jack Cikowski had a say on the matter, “We will definitely be good, but maybe not as good because we are losing a lot of seniors such as O’Neal and we won’t have that kind of offensive power, but I believe with hard work we can get the team prepared for anything”
[PHOTO BY PEYTON WHITE]
By NOAH FINEGAN – Winter sports bring a lot of excitement to the IHS sports community as basketball, wrestling, and hockey are back, filling our weeknights with entertaining games and the athletic prowess of our athletes. But what about those who don’t do participate in the more common winter sports? That’s where winter track comes in, and despite going under the radar, IHS always tends to have a successful indoor track team.
The team goes to eight meets in total, three of which are at Penn State University, and the other five of which are at Edinboro University. Despite the rigorous travel schedule, the team never fails to churn out successful races and results.
Recently, the team had a stellar day, in which three school records were broken by senior Grant Sharp and sophomore Maddie Redhead-Kriston. Sharp broke the 800m indoor record with a time of 2:03 and placed sixth overall. Redhead-Kriston blew up the track, starting the day off by breaking the 60m dash record with a time of 8.50 seconds, and later setting the 200m record with a time of 28.06 seconds.
The three record-breaking races weren’t the only great performances on the track for IHS. Junior Jeremy Adamson placed 6th in Pole Vault, vaulting a height of 12’ 3”, sophomore Isabelle McCabe placed 4th in the 3000m run with a time of 11:51, and to cap the day off, the 4x400m relay team of juniors Sam Oskey and Dominic Ciocca, sophomore Joey Bujdos, and senior Grant Sharp placed 4th overall with a time of 3:46.
Participating in winter track can be a grueling experience with athletes having to fight winter weather conditions to practice. Sophomore Hannah Lenze commented, “I do it because it’s more work and I want to get really good at the 3200m race for spring track.”
Winter track as a whole is a great way to stay in shape during winter and enjoy the fun of competing on an almost weekly basis. The sport also proves as great preparation for spring track, leading to much excitement within the team. “We definitely have a lot of potential and I’m very excited to see what we can accomplish both this season and during the spring season after a whole winter of preparation,” senior team leader Sam Lenze states.
Most of all, the best thing about winter track is that participants have fun. From practices to meets, there is no negativity among the coaches or athletes. So in the future, if you don’t have a winter sport, and want to have a fun way to stay in shape, consider winter track. It may be a decision you never regret.
[PHOTO BY DYLAN LATORE]
Photo Caption: Junior Samuel Oskey bolts down the track during the 60m dash
By ROCCO FANELLA – Winter track and spring track are both vastly different and similar in a variety of ways. Competition, motivation, and team bonding is always there with the whole track scene, but what differentiates winter track from spring track is that it’s inside, and in a generally warm environment.
Being a varsity sport, doing well can earn runners a letter. Most people who do winter track are in for the extra practice, and preparation for the spring track season.
Junior Sam Oskey said, “A chance to improve my times for the spring track season is what I’m looking forward to most. My favorite part is the relays, having a bunch of people work together to achieve a title.”
Last year the boys Distance Medley Relay (DMR) smashed the previous record time by several seconds. Others are more in for the personal gain of winter track, like junior Dylan Latore, “I am excited for PRing and getting prepared for spring track.”
Some students go out for winter track to see if they are fit for spring track like Junior Kevin Froggatt, “I think it will be fun this year to try out winter track. I heard it’s laid back and will give me some good reasons to join spring track”
The coaches for the team are as follows: Head coach Mr. Cochran, and assistant coach Mrs. Kinter. Together they form a really good team with fun and interesting practices to get the team into shape.
The only events excluded from the list are Discus, Javelin, and the 100 meter dash.
By ROCCO FANELLA – The football team this year has a welcome addition to the varsity ranks. Starting quarterback and sophomore Luke Thomas has made quite an impact even being named player of the game for his performance versus Laurel Highlands.
It’s safe to say that Thomas has met expectations in his first full year as starting quarterback.
Put into action last season as a freshman when Jake Zilinskas went down with a season-ending injury, Thomas often struggled during his first year as a starter. However, he didn’t struggle in the Indians’ season opener, a 40-38 win over Laurel Highlands.
The nerves, the muffled sound of the crowd in the distance, the shakes, the pre-game songs and talk… all lead up to an outstanding game as starting quarterback.The throw, the score, the crowd cheers. He did it, he succeeded. He led his team to victory. The sophomore turns out not to be as ‘soft” his grade may make him seem.
Throwing for a single-game school-record of 324 yards and four touchdown passes, including the game-winning score to Ryan Hoff from 12 yards with only 21 seconds remaining, Thomas made the Indians proud. He completed 19 of 32 passes.
He passed the school record of 289 yards set by Jake Zilinskas in 2014. Along the way, Indiana set school records for total yards with 535 and first downs with 31. Thomas is starting to feel more comfortable in the role saying, “I think it’s a really great experience especially being a sport I really love. It’s great for me because they supported me all of the way through. Coming in was really nerve-racking as a freshman, but this year I’m a lot more confident.”
Thomas added, “I felt very blessed to be named Player of the Game, it was an awesome experience. The records we broke also belong to the linemen. Without them, the records wouldn’t have been possible. They gave me amazing protection that whole game. ”
[Photo by Erik Puskar]
By NOAH FINEGAN – This past off-season marked the end of an era in IHS football when longtime head coach Mark Zilinskas announced his resignation. After a search that took many months, a worthy replacement was found in IHS alum John Allen Snyder. Snyder revamped the team this past offseason, bringing a new attitude and a new style to the table.
“Our goal has always been to improve from the beginning to the end of the season, week to week, and most importantly in the mirror. We stress to our players everyday some sort of lesson learned through football that can be applied outside of the game. Our motto is “Adapt and Overcome” and we sure have had to do that in every sense of the word this year,” Coach Snyder states.
Of all the things going on this season, there are also a plethora of surprise standout players.
“I think as a coach you hope to have this kid or that kid stand up and surprise you doing things well. For sure defensively that would be Keaton Libengood. He has become one of our most consistent players all year. He runs much of the defense and does a fine job.”
“Offensively, I would have to say our offensive line as a whole. They were completely untested and had very little experience coming into the year and have done a good job at starting to come together at the right time: Brant Neuman, Cam Richards, Ben Bianco, Liam McDaniel, Alex Donahue, Zach Linder, Reed Harkleroad in reserve, and Brent Johnson in reserve. Special teams wise, I can’t forget about ‘kicker’ as I call him. Tyler Mulac, this kid has been nothing short of amazing for us,” Snyder remarks.
Being an IHS alum certainly makes the job of coaching here even more fun. Snyder notes, “I am very humbled and honored to have the opportunity to further the football program after Coach Z. He is one of my mentors along with Coach Waryck, and Coach Brocious. I played for all of them, so that adds a neat dynamic to it. I relish the opportunity to create the culture of “We are Indiana” in which everyone gets excited about anything that has to do with Red and Black whether academic, athletic, extracurricular, anything.”
With a new coach, the thought of starting fresh and creating a new dynasty is exciting to think about. “We are laying the groundwork for a competitive program for years to come. We want to be known for our physicality in every phase, and fundamental play on offense, defense and special teams. I am so excited about the future of this program for two reasons.
First because there is an excitement right now about Indiana football, not just within the program, but the school, district, and hopefully the town and community.
Second and most importantly, I am excited about the future because of the trials and tribulations this current edition of Indiana football has gone through and refused to quit. Teams after them will not forget that,” Snyder asserts.
Through its ups and its downs, this football season has proven to be exciting as always.
[Photo by Erik Puskar]