The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Sports

August 20, 2013

Optimism reigns for young Bulldogs

LAPEL, Ind. — Football coaches love to talk about starting fresh each year.

They hammer home the message that whatever happened during the previous season — good or bad — is in the past, and that the current team will be judged only by what it does next. It sets the stage for grand speeches about forming identities and forging legacies.

And it’s happening right about now at nearly every high school in Indiana.

But the 2013 Lapel Bulldogs might be taking the concept to the extreme.

Of the 31 players on last year’s roster, 11 graduated. Two others moved away, and four more simply chose not to return.

That left second-year head coach Tim Miller with 14 players remaining in the program following a 2-9 season. And he couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming campaign.

An influx of new talent has swelled the Bulldogs’ roster to 60 players, and nearly 80 percent of them never have played football before at the high school level.

“It’s going to be an interesting year for Lapel,” Miller said.

It starts with the team facing its final season in the rugged Indiana Crossroads Conference. The Bulldogs will compete in 2014 as an independent, freeing themselves from a league dominated by Indianapolis-based private schools.

But while the high level of competition in the ICC might not do much for Lapel’s regular-season record, it can prepare the team well for the rigors of the postseason. One of the Bulldogs’ victories last year came in the sectional opener with a 14-13 overtime decision at South Adams.

It was the capper to a season in which Miller saw genuine improvement each week.

“I know it’s kind of the ultimate in coach-speak, but we really got better every game,” Miller said. “Actually, as a staff, we debated if we should even show the kids the Speedway game from last year simply because it’s a completely different group of kids.”

Lapel opens the regular season on the road Friday against the Sparkplugs, who won last year’s contest 49-2. But the Bulldogs served notice things could be different this season with a strong showing against Hagerstown in last week’s scrimmage.

The Tigers are coming off an impressive 9-1 campaign, but Miller points out they also went through many changes in the offseason. He’s happy with what he saw from his team, but he doesn’t want to make too much of an exhibition performance.

“It’s never as good as it seems, and it’s never as bad as it seems,” he said.

There are a few things Lapel knows it can count on even through this extreme makeover. One is offensive/defensive lineman Brady Miller who earned junior all-state honors in 2012. Other top returners include linebacker/wide receiver Joe Hart and running back/linebacker Palmer Pickett.

But much of the focus this fall is certain to fall on the new face under center.

Junior Brady Cherry — the Herald Bulletin’s reigning Baseball Player of the Year and one of the leading returners for the basketball team — will take over as the Bulldogs’ quarterback. The coaching staff knew he had a strong arm, but they’ve also been impressed by his ability to read defenses as well as his footwork and mechanics.

“He’s the real deal,” Miller said, adding he believes Cherry can be as much a threat with his legs as he will be with his arm.

The new quarterback already has left a mark on the program, serving as the chief hallway recruiter for many of the other new faces.

“It’s kind of a snowball effect,” Miller said. “Kid A and Kid B come out, and then everybody else starts to follow. We’re going to be very young, we’re going to be very inexperienced and we’re going to have very high expectations.”

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Lions star plays in national tourneys Liberty Christian senior Chris Nunn, a three-year starting guard for the Lions and Indiana Class Basketball Junior All-Star, took his talents on the road this summer,competing in back-to-back tournaments with his AAU travel team, Team Progeny.

    July 28, 2014

  • Dorer scores JEGS win at Anderson Florida driver Steve Dorer has had career moments at Anderson Speedway, and at other times ones he would just like to forget. Dorer recorded the biggest win of his career when he passed Chase Elliott on the final lap in the 2011 Stoops Freightliner Redbud 300. The next year he flipped in Turn 1 during the CRA Super Series event. He scored another highlight Saturday night by winning for the first time with the CRA/JEGS All-Stars Tour event in the Edgewater Woods 100.|ANDERSON — Florida driver Steve Dorer has had career moments at Anderson Speedway, and at other times ones he would just like to forget. Dorer recorded the biggest win of his career when he passed Chase Elliott on the final lap in the 2011 Stoops Fre

    July 27, 2014

  • Hoosier Park preparing for 2014 Dan Patch Invitational One of the most highly anticipated days on the harness racing card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will take place Aug. 8 as the best in the sport of harness racing will descend upon the seven-eighths mile oval for the 21st edition of the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational. As part of a weekend long festival of entertainment and racing, 10 of the top-rated pacers in North America will take center stage as they go to post seeking glory in Hoosier Park’s signature harness racing event.

    July 26, 2014

  • Riverside falls at regional The Riverfield Little League Senior softball all-star team fell 9-3 to Ohio on Saturday morning and was eliminated from regional competition in the 15-16 year-old division.

    July 26, 2014

  • NWS - HB0727 - Leadville story photo - Jeff Mason Leadville: 'Baddest of the bad'

    An Anderson mountain biker will test himself in one of the sport’s biggest events next month. Jeff Mason will be in the Rocky Mountains for the Leadville Trail 100 on Aug. 9.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Riddle again steps down as Frankton coach

    For the second time in a storied coaching career at Frankton High School, Dean Riddle has resigned his post as the girls varsity basketball coach.

    July 26, 2014

  • Marcum claims Late Model win Morristown driver Jeff Marcum has watched victories in the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Models slip away this season, but that changed Saturday at Anderson Speedway.

    July 20, 2014

  • SPT - HB0720 - Mireles art Mireles looks toward future after all-star finale Surrounded by his friends and family near midfield under the lights of Friday night, Elwood’s Sammy Mireles did something he’s never done in his career. The state’s all-time leading rusher freely absorbed a hit.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0720 - Tennis Classic - JC 1 Hiatt repeats, Hammel wins first title at tennis classic There was a repeat winner and a first-time winner in the Men's A Singles and Women's A Singles championship matches on Saturday morning at the 34th annual Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 19, 2014 4 Photos

  • SPT - HB0718 - Tennis Classic logo Varsity mixed doubles champs crowned at Tennis Classic The scene slightly resembled a war zone and slightly a country club at Anderson University on Thursday afternoon. As Indianapolis Colts personnel started tearing down tennis court bleachers and parked what appeared to be nearly 100 golf carts in preparation for training camp starting on Thursday next week, one of the first titles was handed out in the Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

Latest Sports Photos


Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin