Sports and Outdoors

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Labor Day weekend sprints and fireworks at Baer Field Speedway

FORT WAYNE — After a week off, stock car racing returns to Baer Field Speedway on Saturday, featuring the HOSS Outlaw Winged Sprints, fireworks, spectator races and a full slate of racing.

The HOSS sprints will be joined by the NAPA late models and modifieds, street stocks, mini stocks and front wheel drives. Fans also are invited to bring their street cars onto the track for the final spectator races of the season.

With three races remaining on the 2011 schedule, the point battles remain tight in in the NAPA Late Models and Modifieds. Justin King leads 2010 runner-up Dean Cook by just eight points in the late models, with 2009 champion Derek Hoffman in third and Gold Cup winner Neal Richardson in fourth. Oliver Fitzwater is fifth, while Al Cook Jr., Tim Howard, Alex Vonderau, Chad Richardson and Scott Stovall round out the top-10. In the modifieds, three-time defending champion Jeremy Wallen holds a 48-point lead over Pete Wormcastle. John Gatton Jr. sits third, followed by Ron Stine, Mike Mayes, Russ Miller, Mike Bufink, Ralph Baxter III, Scott Coe and Mike Miller.

The street stocks have Larry Vandall continuing to enjoy a large lead over Alex Vonderau with Jan Long in third ahead of Brandon Barcus, Shawn Bonar, Frank Casagrande, Joe Kunberger, Josh Perkins, Alan Fox and Shane Brumfield. In the mini stocks, Jake Hinton is in the midst of a nine-week winning streak and leads Brad McBride by 65 points. Kevin Howard, Dale Moses and Kameron Lindlag complete the top five. Bobby Smith leads the Front Wheel Drive points over Tristan Crago, R.J. Weick, Lee Gillingham and Dave Fisher.

Spectator gates will open at 4 p.m., with qualifying at 5:30 p.m., and racing at 7:30 p.m.. Adult admission is $18; children 7-12 are $5; and 6-and-under are free. There is free parking. Rainchecks from Aug. 13 or Aug. 20 will be credited toward admission for this show, with spectators allowed to make up the difference in the value of their tickets versus this week’s gate prices.

The season will conclude with another $20 Car Load Night and the Hall of Fame ceremonies on Saturday, Sept.10, and the Sunuco Season championships on Saturday, Sept. 24, featuring the two NAPA 50-lap races.

Baer Field Speedway is located just south of Fort Wayne. Take Bluffton Road just south of Fort Wayne International Airport to Winters Road and follow the signs. Race Day phone is 260-478-7223.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Four Crown Nationals Prograaming converted to two full nights of racing

ROSSBURG, Ohio – Citing the current state of the economy, officials from Eldora Speedway and the United States Auto Club (USAC) have announced a slight format change for this year’s running of the annual Four Crown Nationals over the weekend of Sept. 23-24.

Each night of the Friday and Saturday doubleheader will offer complete racing programs; with no need for the teams to incur overnight expenses.

Friday’s action will continue to feature the winged Sprint Cars of the World of Outlaws (WoO) series, along with the recently added UMP (United Midwestern Promoters) Modifieds. For the WoO troops, it will mark their final visit of the 2011 season to Eldora Speedway, with a full one-day, points paying, show. For the Modifieds, it will be their final tune-up before the UMP Nationals, which will be held two weeks later, over the weekend of Oct. 7-8. UMP National points will be on the line, but the Eldora points chase will have already ended.

The entire USAC program, featuring the Indianapolis based sanctioning body’s three touring National divisions – Midgets, Sprint Cars and Silver Crown – will be staged on Saturday. Aware of the affect of daylight conditions on dirt racing surfaces, the officials will work to pull off a rapid pace event on Saturday, beginning with hot laps pushed back to 5 p.m.

Each of the three divisions will hot lap at time trial during this period in an attempt to earn positioning in the competition events, slated to take the green flat at 8 p.m.

In an effort to maintain the autograph session, both the track and USAC officials will work to move the preliminary hot laps and time trials through quickly to allow for a brief open pit session. At this time, the fans will be allowed to enter the pit area to meet and greet the drivers.

While all of this action is taking place on Eldora’s one-half mile clay oval, the facility’s newest addition, little eldora speedway, will feature USAC’s .25 Midget Series in a national event.

Complete event information may be found on the track website,, where tickets may be ordered online, or by calling the track office at 937-338-3815.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

N-B Video — Boys football: Bluffton vs. Manchester

The Bluffton Tigers christened their new football turf Friday, Aug. 26. See the Saturday, Aug. 27, News-Banner to learn if they won. (Video by Glen Werling)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Deadline nears for state park deer reductions

From the Indiana DNR:

Time is running out for hunters to apply for deer reduction hunts at Indiana state parks this fall.

Applications must be completed online by Aug. 28. Hunters can find details and apply at

Paper applications are not available.

Reduction hunts will take place Nov. 14 and 15 and then again Nov. 28 and 29.

The following state parks will host firearms hunts: Brown County, Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Shades, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River, Turkey Run, Versailles, Whitewater Memorial.

The following state parks will host archery hunts: Fort Harrison and Clifty Falls.

The odds of being drawn are highest for Brown County, Harmonie, McCormick’s Creek, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Shakamak and Versailles state parks.

Designated areas are available for hunters with special needs.

Applicants must be Indiana residents, be 18 years of age by Nov. 14, 2011, and possess at least one valid Indiana deer license. Each person may apply only once for each state park deer reduction effort, regardless of primary or buddy status. All applications sharing duplicate names will be disqualified.

Deer reduction hunts are necessary to reduce the ecological impact of overabundant deer.

For more information, contact Mike Mycroft, chief of natural resources, State Parks & Reservoirs, at (317) 232-4128.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rodeo coming to the 4-H Park

Championship I.P.R.A. Rodeo will be coming to the Wells County 4-H Park on Saturday, September 3rd, at 7:30 p.m. ,The Broken Horn Rodeo Company of Ripley, Ohio will be organizing the rodeo, which is sponsored by the Wells County 4-H Association, with proceeds to benefit the 4-H Park. Admission to the event is $10 for adults and youth. Children six and under are $5. Lawn chairs, drink coolers and alcohol are not allowed. Spectators may bring seat pads or blankets to sit on.

Stick horse races will be held during intermission for youth 5 and under and ages 6-9. 4-H will be providing food service at the event beginning at 5:00 p.m.

The rodeo will include a full line-up of events ranging from calf roping to bucking horses and the popular bull riding. Cowboy participants from around the Midwest will be attending the event to earn points and prize money.

Individuals interested in participating in the actual rodeo must call 1-800-639-9002 in order to participate. Rodeo details can also be found on the web page: Local questions about the rodeo can be answered by calling 4-H Association President, Kent Ulmer, at 260-417-3954.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

N-B Video — Boys cross country: Bellmont invitational

Learn more in the Wednesday, Aug. 24, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Indiana Archaeology Month starts Sept. 1

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Hoosier history buffs can meet archaeologists and even visit archaeological digs during Indiana Archaeology Month in September.

Archaeology Month is an opportunity to celebrate and learn about Indiana archaeology. A variety of events for all ages are held every September by universities, museums, organizations and individuals throughout Indiana. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology is responsible for coordinating Archaeology Month.

Archaeologists have recorded more than 60,000 sites in Indiana since the early 1800s, helping to shape public understanding of the prehistoric and historic people who also called this land home.

"Archaeology tells us not only about the past but also sheds light about ourselves today and our future," said Robert E. Carter Jr., DNR director and State Historic Preservation Officer. "Archaeology Month provides a perfect way for Hoosiers to find out how, with programs that are not only educational and informative but also fun."

A schedule of events and additional information for this year's Archaeology Month can be found online at, or by contacting Amy Johnson at or (317) 232-1646.

The commemorative poster and shirt designs this year feature an array of prehistoric stone artifacts, all found in Indiana, including projectile points dating back to 8500 B.C. Shirts are $6 each and can be purchased from the DNR Customer Service Center at 317/232-4200.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kart Race coming to Fort Wayne

The Baer Field Speedway will hold Fort Wayne's largest kart race ever at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27.

Classes include briggs heavy, briggs medium, clone heavy and more.

Cash prizes range from $100 to $1,000.

For more information, go to Baer Field Speedway's website at

Friday, August 19, 2011

N-B Video: Bluffton vs. Wabash: girls' volleyball

See action from the Thursday, Aug. 18, volleyball match here. Learn more in the Friday, Aug. 19, News-Banner. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Preparation is key as squirrel season gets underway

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Squirrel hunters should arm themselves with a strong understanding of safety guidelines and season regulations as they head to the woods.

A safe squirrel hunt can be the perfect opportunity to introduce new hunters to a wonderful outdoor activity and stewardship of our natural resources. When hunting, remember to be sure of your target and what’s beyond it, respect property rights and get permission from private property owners before you hunt, and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

Squirrel hunting season opened Aug. 15 and continues through Jan. 31. Indiana hunters may harvest both gray and fox squirrels, and can harvest up to five squirrels per day.

To hunt squirrels, Indiana residents must purchase the annual hunting license for $17 ($7 youth consolidated license), and nonresidents must purchase the $80 annual hunting license or the $31 five-day hunting license ($17 annual youth hunting).

To purchase a hunting license, go to For additional information on regulations and licensing, go to the

For more information: N. Budd Veverka, farmland wildlife research biologist, (812) 334-1137.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New slideshow availabe at the News-Banner website

Check out our new slideshow featuring the Wheels of Yesteryear Antique Power Show and Festival.

Healthy Rivers INitiative website, social media available

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Following progress on the largest conservation project ever undertaken in Indiana is now just a click away.

Gov. Mitch Daniels announced the ground-breaking Healthy Rivers INitiative in June 2010. The Department of Natural Resources effort includes a partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and The Nature Conservancy, as well as other resource agencies and organizations.

HRI involves working with willing landowners to permanently protect 43,000 acres in the floodplain of the Wabash River and Sugar Creek in west-central Indiana, and another 26,000 acres of the Muscatatuck River bottomlands in southeast Indiana.

The website,, features an interactive map, maps of the project areas and photos, and lists information for landowners on the benefits of the initiative, as well as instructions for donating.

HRI progress can also be followed on Twitter at or marked as “like” on Facebook at

HRI projects involve the protection, restoration and enhancement of riparian and aquatic habitats and the species that use them, particularly threatened, endangered, migratory birds and waterfowl. This initiative also will be beneficial to the public and surrounding communities by providing flood protection to riparian landowners; increasing public access to recreational opportunities, such as hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, boating, and bird watching; and leaving a legacy for future generations by providing a major conservation destination for tourists.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

4-H Extension Calendar

  • August 18: Northeast Purdue Ag Center Field Day, Columbia City, 8:30 AM-Noon, lunch provided free of charge. PARP credits
  • August 18: 4-H Fair Review, 4-H Council, 4-H Leaders, 4-H Association and Committees, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 7:00 PM
  • August 22: Wells County 4-H Association Meeting, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 7:00 PM
  • August 23: Wells County 4-H Foundation Meeting, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 6:30 PM
  • August 25: “Preserving Nature’s Bounty” food preservation workshop, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 6:30-8:30 PM, $3.00 fee payable at the door. Pre-registration requested at 260-824-6412
  • August 31: Wells County Extension Advisory Board, 7:00 AM, Corner Depot, Bluffton
  • Sept. 3: I.P.R.A. Championship Rodeo, 7:30 PM, Wells County 4-H Park, Bluffton Admission: Adults $10, Children (6 and under) $5
  • Sept. 9-11: 4-H Shooting Sports Instructor Workshop, Ross Camp, Lafayette, Indiana

Monday, August 15, 2011

DNR proposes waterfowl season dates

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is proposing the same number of days as last year for waterfowl hunting season in all three zones – 60 days for ducks and 74 for Canada geese – but the DNR is recommending a change in how those days are distributed in the state's North Zone.

The North Zone will be split into two segments for hunting of ducks, coots and mergansers, and into three segments for Canada geese. In recent years, North Zone duck hunting dates ran consecutively and the Canada goose season was in two segments.

“If you go straight through for 60 days in the North Zone duck season, it would open on a Saturday and close on a Tuesday,” said Adam Phelps, waterfowl biologist for DNR Fish & Wildlife. “So, we moved the two extra days to later, basically to try to give a weekend to those folks who want to hunt late.”

The dates are not final until approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in mid to late September. Historically, dates have been accepted as proposed. The DNR’s recommended dates for ducks, coots and mergansers are:

• North Zone, Oct. 15 to Dec. 11, and Dec. 24-25
• South Zone, Oct. 22-30, and Nov. 23 to Jan. 12
• Ohio River Zone, Oct. 29-30, and Nov. 26 to Jan. 22

For Canada geese, the proposed dates are:

• North Zone, Oct. 15 to Nov. 6, Nov. 23 to Jan. 8, and Jan. 14-17
• South Zone, Oct. 22-30 and Nov 23 to Jan. 26
• Ohio River Zone, Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 21 to Jan. 31

“What we’ve done in the past (for Canada geese) is open for two days in the North Zone, close until November, and then resume,” Phelps said. “We’ve gotten feedback from hunters who want to hunt over open water. So we gave them more days early, then a break, and then went as lateas we have in the past. We’re trying to keep pressure on Canada geese in late January, but still give the folks who want to hunt over open water a chance as well.”

The North Zone is that part of Indiana north of a line extending east from the Illinois border along Indiana 18 to U.S. 31; north along U.S. 31 to U.S. 24; east on U.S. 24 to Huntington; and southeast on U.S. 224 to the Ohio border.

The South Zone is the area south of that line but north of the Ohio River Zone.

The Ohio River Zone is that portion of Indiana south of a line extending east from the Illinois border along Interstate 64 to New Albany; east on Indiana 62 to Indiana 56; east on Indiana 56 to Vevay; along Indiana 156 to North Landing; north on Indiana 56 to U.S. 50; and northeast on U.S. 50 to the Ohio border.

The daily bag limit for ducks in all zones is six, including no more than four mallards (of which no more than two can be hens), three wood ducks, two pintails, two redheads, two scaup, one canvasback, one black duck, and one mottled duck. The possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.

The daily bag limit for Canada geese in all zones is two with a possession limit of four.

DNR also has proposed a 15-day late season for Canada geese from Feb. 1-15 in selected areas. Indiana conducted what was scheduled as a three-year experiment authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to target resident giant Canada geese without negatively impacting migratory geese. Last season was the third year of the experiment, and although most areas achieved the USFWS requirement that at least 80 percent of the late season harvest consist of resident giant Canada geese, areas around Terre Haute reported only 78 percent.

“So now we’re in a holding pattern, but they are letting us continue to evaluate,” Phelps said.

Consequently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will authorize the late season only in the same counties as previous years. Those counties are: Adams, Allen, Boone, Clay, DeKalb, Elkhart, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Huntington, Johnson, Kosciusko, LaGrange, LaPorte, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Noble, Parke, St. Joseph, Shelby, Steuben, Starke, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo, Wells and Whitley.

Special restrictions apply; a free permit is required. The daily bag limit is five, and the possession limit is 10.

Statewide season dates for light geese and brant are Oct. 15 to Jan. 27. The bag limit is 20 light geese (snow and/or Ross' geese) and one brant. The possession limit is two brant. There is no possession limit on light geese.

Statewide season dates for white-fronted geese are Oct. 15 to Nov. 6 and Nov. 23 to Jan. 26. The daily bag limit is one, and the possession limit is two.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

N-B Video: SW football hits the field in controlled scrimmage game

The official football season for all three Wells County schools start Friday, Aug 19. See the News-Banner for all the coverage, and check out our website for the Dick Stimpson Game of the Week. (Video by Paul Beitler)

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Hall of Fame" night at Baer Field Speedway

Last Saturday night, Baer Field Speedway played host to several hundred new fans during the first-ever “$20 Car Load night.” Building off the new beginning, this Saturday, the Speedway gives a nod to the past as two new Speedway "legends" are inducted into the Baer Field Speedway “Hall of Fame.”

Active racer Bobby Smith and the late announcer, public relations, and publisher Jim Benson become the 37th and 38th member of the hall. Smith is being inducted in the midst of a career resurgence. He started racing in the early 70’s, and Smith enjoyed won track championships at the old Avilla Motor Speedway. Through the ‘80’s and into the ‘90’s Smith raced in the Super Late Model division before stepping away from driving. Away from the cockpit, Smith served as the Baer Field pit steward for several years before again stepping away from the sport. After dabbling in a variety of cars the next several years, Smith made his full-time return behind the wheel in 2009 as part of the Blaine Miller Front Wheel Drive team. Serving as coach and mentor to some of the teams younger drivers, Smith scored a Speedway-high five wins while finishing fourth in points before coming back to win the track championship in 2010.

Like Smith, Jim Benson began his racing career in the 1970’s working as the track announcer and doing public relations for a number of area racetracks. Benson’s voice was heard over the speakers at virtually every area track during his lengthy career. A columnist for both the MARC Times Racing News and Mid-America Racing News weekly racing newspapers, Benson also served on the board of directors for the Northeast Indiana Racing Museum in Auburn. From 1989 until the time of his passing, Benson wrote and published both the “Tri-State Racing Greats” and “Hometown Heroes” periodicals. Survived by his wife (and current Baer Field scorer) Mary, Benson passed away in August of 2008.

A special Pyromaniacs Fireworks display will honor their induction.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Weekend events at Ouabache

From the Ouabache State Park Office


  • Evening — Roving Interpreter. Be on the lookout for your Interpretive Naturalist, Jennifer, at the Main Gate, Campground Control Station, and Campground. Find out what she’s carrying and get event fliers.
  • 1:45 p.m. — Pool Break - Creature Feature. Check out what creature Interpretive Naturalist Jennifer has with her today on the Pool Lawn. Swimmers, make sure to get your hand stamped before you leave the bath house to re-enter the pool!
  • 7 p.m. — Hoosier Quest Patch Program. Learn more about these great project based programs that you can complete at any of the State Parks and Reservoirs. Meet at the Campview Shelter located in the middle of Campground A.
  • 9 p.m. — Constellation Exploration. Take an opportunity to look at the stars and learn about various constellations. Bring a blanket and bug spray. Meet at the open grass area across from the pool.
  • 10 a.m. — Worship Service. Jim Zimmer from Life Community will be sharing a message at the Campview Shelter located in he middle of Campground A.
  • 11:30 a.m. — Hoosier Quest Patch Program. See Saturday for details.
  • 1:45 p.m. – Pool Break: Predator vs. Prey. Learn about the adaptations prey must have in order to survive this active version of freeze tag. Swimmers, make sure to get your hand stamped before you leave the bath house to re-enter the pool!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday's tasks for NIU football include media, photos

From the NIU Athletics media relations department:

DeKALB, Ill. – For the first time since preseason camp started at Northern Illinois last Thursday, the Huskie football team, on which Norwell graduate Chandler Harnish plays, did not practice Tuesday. That does not mean, however, that Dave Doeren’s players had the day off. Instead, NIU players and coaches took part in the team’s annual Media and Photo Day at Huskie Stadium.

Media day began with lunch at the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center on the NIU campus, where Doeren, Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher, and Head Women’s Volleyball Coach Ray Gooden all addressed the crowd.

After hearing from Compher and the coaches, the action moved to Huskie Stadium, where the Huskies’ annual football photo day was in full swing. As the newcomers were photographed in both coat and tie and jersey, all returning players also completed two individual photo stations.

In addition, approximately 20 different players were interviewed – from well-known names Chandler Harnish, Sean Progar and Pat Schiller, to punter Ryan Neir, and one-time local prep standouts and current Huskies Michael Santacaterina and Bobby Winkel.

Following the individual photos, the Huskie seniors and NIU coaching staff group photos were taken. Position groups posed with their coaches before the players were organized by class for the team photo. The team photo was taken in the East stands and the entire day was completed 30 minutes earlier than expected.

Below are some excerpts from Coach Doeren’s talk with the media during Tuesday’s NIU Football DeKalb Media Day.

On his feelings about preseason camp:
“It’s an exciting time. Just like you guys as professionals have the days you look forward to, fall camp is one of mine. I told our team this is the favorite time of the year for me because there’s zero distractions. It’s football 24-7 and I get to be with those guys and see the leadership and the chemistry.

“As I stand in front of you, I’m not gonna lie to you…I can’t wait to get out of this room and back with our guys and that’s really what this part of the season is all about. I chose this profession for one reason, I love coaching, I love being around our players, I love helping developing them as players, as men, as students and that’s what we’re doing right now. Every minute that I’m not with them is a minute that I feel like I’m losing time.”

On what he’s seen through the first five practices:
“We’re five practices in and I have to hand it to our players. Our guys are unbelievable when it comes to dealing with adversity. One of our mottoes is it doesn’t matter what happens, we’ll do things the hard way; we’ll fight through adversity. We enjoy staring it in the face. Yesterday, with two lightning delays and going on and off the field, we had a great practice. We had tremendous tempo and energy and it was one of the most competitive 90 minutes I’ve seen as a coach. I really have enjoyed the first five days.”

On the tailback competition:
“NIU has a tremendous tradition at tailback. Jas Hopkins has started where he left off in the spring. He’s a very competitive guy. I’m proud of the way he’s working. Jamal Womble, Leighton Settle and Akeem Daniels all have had good camps. Jamal had his best day yesterday and Leighton’s best day was the day before. There’s some great competition and we will share the rock in the backfield. There will be times when we have two or three running backs in the game.”

On Chandler Harnish:
“He doesn’t get rattled. I’m really impressed, more so than anything, with how he handles a bad day. When he doesn’t have things go his way in practice, he can bounce back. You never see him drop his head, you never see him complain. He’s a consummate team guy from that standpoint. I haven’t had a day on campus yet where I’ve had to counsel him…he bought in from the day I walked in the office and that part I really appreciate.”

On the defensive line:
“On the defensive line, Sean Progar is someone you all are familiar with. He is playing extremely well with Kyle Jenkins backing him up. On the other side, there is a good competition going on between Joe Windsor and Alan Baxter. At defensive tackle, there are a lot of guys rotating inside for us right now and that will be how it goes through the first 3-4 weeks of the season. [There are] a lot of things happening at our defensive tackle position. The best defensive lines I’ve coached have been the ones that have depth and that you can continue to roll those guys through the game and keep ’em fresh so they have the same ability to disrupt for four quarters. That’s our goal. We’ll play 10 guys on game day on the defensive line if we’re capable.

On the middle linebacker position:
“At middle linebacker, we moved Pat Schiller from outside back to inside where he used to play. He’s really at home. He’s having a really nice camp. He adds some things to our defense leadership wise. We lost a returning starter, but replaced him with a guy that has started at that position for the whole season.”

On the competition at kicker:
“Maybe the most heated competition on our team is at kicker. Sims and Gallington are competing for our kicking position, and Fillingim and Wedel are in the mix for our kickoff position. That will go on for a while. There are a lot of good things happening day in and day out. It’s fun to watch those guys compete.

“It’s way too early to pick one. Josh [Gallington] is at a disadvantage in that he’s got a new holder and new snapper and this is Mat’s second year with them. Once Josh gets used to the trust factor of the snap, the hold, the time, we hope that the competition gets even stiffer. It may go right to game day. We’ve got to make some decisions and I can’t make them until we’ve got more kicks on the field.”

On the depth chart overall:
“We’re only five practices in and there are 24 more left before we play a game, so what I just said, a lot of that could change. Our guys will continue to compete and we’ll put them in position to do so.”

On the team’s development with the no-huddle offense:
“Right now, they’re kind of mad when I slow ‘em down. Each situation in practice is different, but they’ve bought In to the fact that they can tire people out. That’s the whole deal is the conditioning aspect. Part of being a good defense is having an offense that protects you. It’s a matter of the flow of the game and what the score is.”

On his focus as a head coach now:
“I’m watching the position battles we have. I’m focused in on the positions where I’m not sure who is going to start yet. Most of my focus has been on the competition, making sure that our guys are getting better from a learning standpoint. I try to walk around and talk to players in between plays and help them. I’m trying to be involved with everybody.

“I’m not gonna back out on fundamentals and on toughness. I look at how to make it hard on the other side of the ball. Defensively, I can help those guys on schemes, and offensively, here’s how you can make it harder on the offense.”

On the residual effect of losing the MAC Championship game in 2010:
“If I even bring up the game, everyone in the room gets angry. Every competitor is the same, they want to win. These guys went through the regular season 8-0, and went out there [in the championship game] and lost on a botched almost interception, and every single one of them wants to redeem it. That’s part of the passion they carried into the bowl game was the anger from that one. The best way to get a bad taste out of your mouth is to go win.”

On how the Huskies have dealt with coaching transition:
“Our players want to be good here. They want to win a lot of games and they want to compete. They had a sour taste from their experience in the championship game last year, so as long as what you’re telling them is something they know can help them win, they’re going to be open to it.”

On the week-to-week nature of football:
“The bottom line is at the end of the day, we’ve got to go out year in and year out and prove ourselves. That’s what this business is. We’re judged every Saturday. That’s part of the thing I love about it. It’s what have you done for me lately and I get that, our players do too. We’re really excited to go out this year and show what kind of product we can present and show to our fans.”

On the Huskies’ mindset entering the 2011 season:
“These guys want to prove that they are the best. This is a team that has one of the winningest records – if not the winningest – in the conference over the last 10 years, but they haven’t hoisted a championship yet and they want to do that. They don’t want to be the winningest class that hasn’t done that. I think that’s something that Chandler [Harnish] in his mind has unfinished business. It will by no means define our season, but I know it’s a goal.

“We all make mistakes, we can’t make ‘em twice. Our team is pretty senior-driven. This is a team that loves to play football. It doesn’t mean we’re gonna win every game, but when it comes to loving the game, they do.”

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Youth Outdoor Skills Event Aug. 26 & 27

On Friday and Saturday, Aug. 26 and 27, the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services will provide educational activities centered around fishing, hunting, and firearms use for area youth.

On Friday at 7 p.m., they will hold a tracking program. People can camp overnight or return on Saturday for the remainder of the sessions.

Saturday sessions begin at 9 a.m. with a fishing clinic. Outdoor cooking demonstrations and a cook-off are scheduled before lunch, and the J. Edward Roush Shooting Range features hands-on firearms, tracking, wildlife, archery and shotgun-shooting education. A grant from the NRA Foundation, Inc. has aided in the purchase of supplies and safety equipment.

Families or youth clubs are required to pre-register by calling 260-468-2127. A $5/person fee provides both days events for them, overnight camping fees, and a patch. Participants should bring their own food and drink. All children must be with a responsible adult. No child care provided.

Skate park open this week

The Murray Missionary Church skate park will be open from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Church bowling leagues forming

The Bowling Center of Bluffton has a Monday Night church bowling league. This league welcomes church teams of four or more players from the area.

This is a coed adult league for four bowlers each Monday night starting at 7:45 p.m. A team can have more than four members, as long as four bowlers are there for each league night.

There is no smoking on Monday night and no alcoholic beverages served.

For more information, call 260-824-9966 or 260-375-2135.

NHS volleyball car wash fundraiser Aug. 13

Members of the Norwell volleyball team will sponsor a car wash Saturday, Aug. 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mike Anderson Chevrolet located on State Road 1 in Ossian.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ossian Conservation Club events for August

Ossian Conservation Club Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, located at 9950 N. 100 E., has announced the following August 2011 events. For more information call 622-4712 or 622-6810 or go to

August 6th: the Ossian Conservation Club will host the Indiana Bowhunter Association’s Ray Minton Memorial Youth Camp for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana. This will be the 9th year the O.C.C has hosted this event. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call John Peck at 622-4365.

August 12th-14th: the Ossian Conservation Club will be at the Wheels of Yesteryear Antique Power Show & Festival at the 4–H Park Grounds in Bluffton selling old-style sugar corn. The club will sell raffle tickets for a chance to win a chainsaw-carved bear by Sid King. Tickets are $1 each or 6 tickets for $5. There is an optional cash prize of $250. The drawing will be at the OCC meeting Oct. 7th 2011. You need not be present to win. Proceeds will go to the new-siding fund. For tickets or more information call, Dave Saalfrank at 622-7107 or Rose Barrick at 622-4733.

August 13th: The Ossian Conservation Club will be at New Hope Lutheran Church in Ossian to sell sugar corn and raffle tickets at the church's car show.

August 21st: The Ossian Conservation Club Shotgun Shooter’s informal shotgun shoot, regular clays, middies, minnies and rabbit targets. Noon until 4:30 p.m. Bring the whole family. Public is welcome.

August 26th-28th: The Ossian Conservation Club will be at the Markle Wildcat Festival selling old-style sugar corn. The club will also sell raffle tickets for a chance to win a chainsaw-carved Bear by Sid King. Proceeds will go to the new-siding fund. For tickets or more information call, Dave Saalfrank at 622-7107 or Rose Barrick at 622-4733.

August 28th: the Ouabache Archers will have a bow shoot at Ossian Conservation Club, featuring several new Rinehart 3-D Targets. 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Sign up for Salamonie's Senior Fall Fest, Sept. 12-15

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Salamonie Lake's ninth-annual Senior Fall Fest, Sept. 12-15, will offer Hoosiers over age 50 hands-on learning opportunities on a variety of old-fashioned subject matters, from basket weaving to making apple cider.

The event is located at Lost Bridge West State Recreation Area at Salamonie Lake on State Route 105 in Huntington County.

This year's Senior Fall Fest will focus on history. Event programming includes old-fashioned games, making sauerkraut, basket weaving, native plant remedies, a show-and-tell session for items from the past, cider making, Dutch oven recipes, food and music.

A pass for the week's events and programs costs $2. The basket weaving class costs an additional $5 to cover supplies.

Senior Fall Fest kicks off at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, at the interpretive center with a carry-in meal and guest speaker. Diners should bring their own tableware and a $1 donation for the main dish.

Early registration is encouraged to help organizers plan the event. For more information about the event, or to register, call (260) 468-2127.

There is a $5-per-vehicle entrance fee ($7 for out-of-state vehicles) to enter the Lost Bridge West Recreation Area.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Outdoors clinic available at J. Edward Roush Lake

Youth accompanied by an adult are invited to the J. Edward Roush Lake for an end-of-summer hunting and fishing clinic Aug. 26 and 72. The clinic will offer lessons in shooting, tracking, archery, fishing, camping and outdoor cooking.

To sign up, call the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services at 260-468-2127.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Six Players on NFL Rosters

From the Ball State University Athletics Office:

Ball State's football program has six former players currently on National Football League rosters as the 2011 training camps opened last week.

Two members of the 2010 senior class, Robert Eddins and Michael Switzer, have both signed free agent contracts with the Buffalo Bills.

Nate Davis, Dan Gerberry and Andre Ramsey all completed their Ball State careers after the 2008 season. Davis has signed with the Indianapolis Colts, Gerberry is in his third season with the Detroit Lions and Ramsey is with the Baltimore Ravens.

Reggie Hodges, who was selected in the 2005 NFL Draft, is returning to the Cleveland Browns as the team's top punter.

Eddins was a 2009 and 2010 All-Mid-American Conference Second Team selection for the Cardinals. He started all 12 games in 2010 and 34 games in his career. Eddins completed his career ranked in a tie for sixth on Ball State's all-time chart with 17 sacks.

He tallied a career high 4.5 sacks at Central Michigan in 2010, which was the second most sacks in a single game in Ball State history.

Switzer was a 2010 All-MAC Third Team choice and a team captain for the Cardinals. He started all 51 games in his four year career. In 2008, he was part of an offensive line that ranked first in the MAC and fourth in the country for fewest sacks allowed. He becomes the fourth member of the starting 2008 offensive line to get an opportunity in the NFL, joining Gerberry, Ramsey and Robert Brewster.

Davis was the 2008 MAC Offensive Player of the Year and one of 10 finalists for the Manning Award after completing a school record 270 passes for a school standard 3,667 yards. Davis threw a Ball State single-season record 30 touchdown passes, shattering the previous mark of 18 set by Joey Lynch in 2005 and tied by Davis in 2006. Davis managed a 22-12 record as a starting quarterback at Ball State and threw at least one touchdown pass in 29 of his final 31 games.

Gerberry and Ramsey, along with Switzer, were part of an offensive line that blocked for Davis' season plus blocked for MiQuale Lewis, who rushed for a school record 1,736 yards. The trio helped the Cardinals to 5,972 yards in total offense.

Hodges was one of three Ball State players selected in the 2005 NFL Draft when he was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the sixth round. He set the Ball State career record with 254 punts and finished second all-time with 10,210 punt yards. Hodges averaged 40.2 yards per punt, which ranked third all-time in Ball State annals.

Monday, August 1, 2011

4-H Extension Calendar for August

  • August 2 - 6: State Fair Youth Leadership Conference, State Fair, Indianapolis
  • August 4: State Fair 4-H Foods & Horticulture Exhibits due at County Extension Office, 7 - 8 AM
  • August 5 - 21: INDIANA STATE FAIR
  • August 12 - 14: Wheels of Yesteryear Antique Power Show, 4-H Park, Bluffton
  • August 18: Northeast Purdue Ag Center Field Day, Columbia City, 8:30 - Noon, Lunch
  • provided free of charge. PARP credits.
  • August 18: 4-H Fair Review, 4-H Council, Leaders, Association, and Committees,
  • Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton
  • August 22: Wells County 4-H Association, Wells County Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 7 PM
  • August 23: Wells County 4-H Foundation, Community Center, 4-H Park, Bluffton, 6:30 PM

Enjoy another fair

The Indiana State Fair starts Friday. To learn more, go to the Fair's website at