The fall sports season has reached mid-September.
When we started this seasonal journey back in late July and early August, none of us had any idea if the fun would last this long, but thankfully it has.
That means most of the sports are at the midway point of their season. Football is preparing for Week 5, volleyball is a month from the commencement of postseason play and cross country, soccer and boys tennis will begin sectional play in early October.
But, for girls golf, that means the regular season has ended and area teams will begin their postseason this weekend.
Saturday, Daleville will compete at the Muncie sectional while Madison-Grant will play at the Eastbrook sectional. Monday, the remainder of the area’s teams — Alexandria, Elwood, Frankton, Lapel, Pendleton Heights, and Shenandoah — will head to Noblesville to get started.
The Broncos will seek a third straight trip to regional and will once again have the advantage of playing on their home course of Crestview in Muncie. They have several players on this year’s roster who were part of a miraculous day a season ago when Daleville scored numerous personal bests on sectional Saturday in order to advance.
Coach Joe Rench has done an outstanding job with the girls program over the last several years, winning both Delaware County and Mid-Eastern Conference championships. He believes it will be tougher this year to move on, with solid teams from Muncie Central, Yorktown and Delta in the mix.
The Broncos are certainly capable, but if they can’t move on as a team, senior Emma Allen could advance to regional as an individual with a strong round Saturday.
The Argylls have sent an individual to regional the last two years in Kasey Cleaver, but she has graduated. This year, M-G has a legitimate chance of moving on as a team. With four seniors, it has the experience and the confidence of having already beaten one of the sectional favorites — Oak Hill — earlier this season at the Central Indiana Conference championship.
Abbie Hostetler has enjoyed a strong season and is a good bet to advance should the team come up short.
Noblesville is an absolute meat grinder and consistently one of the strongest fields of any sectional group in the state.
What a difference a year makes for the Bulldogs. In 2019, there were hopes they could advance. In 2020, it is now an expectation.
Two of the advancing teams are virtually locked in with the Millers and Hamilton Southeastern. Usual powerhouse Fishers is a bit down this year, which opens the door for Lapel to move on to regional — at its home course The Edge — for a second straight year.
Led by sophomore Macy Beeson, Lapel also expects to make it back to the state finals, but first things first. The Bulldogs need to play well at Harbour Trees once again to move out of sectional.
That trio of teams makes things tough for the balance of the area contingent.
In all likelihood, the remainder of area teams will see their season end next Monday. Katie Craig of Shenandoah and Grace Wiggins of Pendleton Heights are two individuals to watch for possible advancement.
For all the area players who are not successful in advancing, there will be no reason to hang their heads. It has been a fun season full of exciting highlights, personal bests and competitive matches.
What’s more, these kids got a full season and a lifetime of memories they were never guaranteed.
Good luck, ladies.