Sports Year in Review 2022


The Pendleton Heights team celebrates after rallying to beat New Palestine 67-65 in overtime at New Palestine High School on Friday January 14, 2022.

Arabians girls wrestlers compete at state

KOKOMO — Arabians wrestlers Kasey Cruse and Meranda Robinette represented Pendleton Heights in the Indiana Girls State Wrestling Finals in Kokomo on Jan. 14.

While Robinette (152) did not advance to the final rounds, Cruse (170) came away with a seventh-place podium finish. This was Cruse’s first time at the state meet. She wrestled a half-season two years ago, but this was her first full season of competition.

Arabians win overtime thriller to earn HHC title

NEW PALESTINE — Pendleton Heights is knocking off team goals one by one. There’s another one waiting to be claimed.

A week after winning the girls basketball program’s first Madison County title since 2017, and 10th overall, the Arabians added an undefeated Hoosier Heritage Conference crown.

On an overtime steal and layup from frosh Kaycie Warfel with just two seconds remaining, the visiting Arabians defeated New Palestine 67-65 on Friday, Jan. 14. The win completed a 7-0 season in conference games.

Wrestling season ends at semistate

NEW CASTLE — The Arabians wrestling season came to an end at the New Castle semi state Feb. 12 as the four competing did not qualify for the finals.

Elijah Creel, Blake Nicholson, Jack Todd and Elijah Wolf represented Pendleton Heights.

Seniors Creel and Nicholson made their way to the “ticket” round by taking out their opponents in Round 1. Creel (120) won by fall over Alex Murphy of Batesville, while Nicholson took out Jackson Ramsey of Northeastern by a fall. In Round 2, both Creel and Nicholson ended their journey to the state finals. Creel went down by fall in the final period to Braxton Vest of Westfield. Nicholson lost to Isaac Ward of Carmel by an 8-2 decision.

Arabians swimmers place 20th in state

INDIANAPOLIS — As if they were divers instead of swimmers, the Pendleton Heights 400 freestyle relay team continued to climb the ladder.

Besting their seeding time by four seconds, the Arabians quartet placed 20th at last weekend’s IHSAA Girls Swimming and Diving State Finals conducted at IUPUI Natatorium on Feb. 11.

With only sectional champions guaranteed spots in the state prelims, the group of sophomore Mallory Gentry, senior Jaima Link, junior Sophie Kaster and senior Grace McKinney had to wait until Sunday to see if they even qualified for the state’s final meet of the season. Pendleton Heights was able to earn one of the prestigious spots based on its sectional time.

Bulldogs battle to sectional final, where No. 1 Golden Bears protect their status

ALEXANDRIA —The Lapel Bulldogs fell short of their quest for a sectional title, but they made Monroe Central understand they were going to have to fight for it.

The Golden Bears defeated the ’Dogs 54-41 Saturday in the Sectional 40 championship at Alexandria.

Carpenter wraps up season at Valparaiso Regional

VALPARAISO — Lapel sophomore Myleigh Carpenter finished 21st in the floor exercise competition Saturday at the IHSAA gymnastics regional at Valparaiso High School.

Carpenter had a score of 8.800. She qualified for the event by placing fifth (top six advance) at the Lafayette Jefferson Sectional and was the only Lapel gymnast to advance to the regional round.

Arabians’ season ends at hands of Marauders

GREENFIELD — Against many opponents, the performance displayed by the Pendleton Heights Arabians in their quarterfinal round game of the Class 4A Sectional at Greenfield-Central High School’s Dellen Automotive Gymnasium would have been good enough for a berth into the semifinal round.

Unfortunately for the Arabians, their opponent on Wednesday, March 2, was seventh-ranked Mt. Vernon. The Marauders shooters were a few degrees warmer than the red hot-shooting Arabians and managed to avoid an opening-round upset by defeating Pendleton Heights 86-74.

Cook steps down as girls basketball coach

PENDLETON — After 100-plus wins and multiple Madison County and Hoosier Heritage Conference championships, Chad Cook has resigned his position as the head girls basketball coach at Pendleton Heights High School.

Cook’s letter of resignation for the coaching position was accepted at the April 7 South Madison Community School Corp. Board of School Trustees meeting.

Cook was the Arabians’ head coach for seven seasons, compiling a record of 102-67

Bulldogs baseball earns county crown

ANDERSON — The cold and wind may have been unpleasant for fans, but for the Lapel Bulldog baseball team, the night couldn’t have been better.

At Memorial Field, the Bulldogs took down Pendleton Heights 9-5 to grab their first Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament since 2015, and the first for head coach Matt Campbell. Three of the last five times Lapel has made it to the finals.

Arabians softball downs Elwood in county championship

PENDLETON — The Pendleton Heights softball team swung through the Madison County Tournament like it owned it, and for the fifth consecutive year, they did.

The Arabians defeated the Elwood Panthers 15-2 in five innings at Legends Field on April 16.

Iron Horse team scoops up 34 placements

Iron Horse Martial Arts competed in the AAU Taekwondo Ohio State Championship located in Akron. The event welcomed more than 500 competitors, a record high, with 10 Iron Horse team members competing in point-sparring, Olympic sparring, breaking boards, poomsae and weapons. Iron Horse athletes earned 14 first-place finishes, 13 second places and seven third-places.

Arabians assistant coach joins USA Wrestling

PENDLETON — Pendleton Heights assistant wrestling coach Katie Kriebel is moving on to a new venture in her life as she was named Assistant National Women’s Coach for USA Wrestling.

She will be part of the USA Wrestling National Teams Department in Colorado Springs, working on the women’s coaching staff alongside head coach Terry Steiner and the National Women’s Developmental Coach Jessica Medina at the U.S Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, where USA Wrestling is based.

Kriebel has been with the Arabians program since 2003 but had already made her mark in women’s wrestling long before its evolution.

Arabians capture county golf title in postponed, nine-hole event

PENDLETON — A crew of young Arabians returned the Madison County Golf Championship trophy to Pendleton Heights on their home course on Monday.

Several other competitors found themselves riddled with mistakes, but the Arabians’ errors were few. Sophomore Sam Denny earned medalist honors with a 39.

Rogers to lead Arabians girls basketball program

PENDLETON — Nick Rogers will be leading a team at the school where he is an all-time leader.

The 2005 Pendleton Heights graduate was approved, at a South Madison Community School Board of Trustees meeting earlier this month, to be the school’s next head coach for the girls varsity basketball program.

A 6-foot, 9-inch force in the post, Rogers is second on the school’s boys basketball all-time scoring list with 1,366 points. He is still the school’s all-time leader in rebounds with 715. He holds the record for field goal percentage for a season and career and was named an Indiana All-Star in 2005. He played collegiately at both Southern Illinois University and Anderson University.

Rogers takes over for Chad Cook, who resigned his position as head coach last month. He was the lead varsity assistant to Cook last season and went 2-1 filling in as a head coach for a short period during the 2021-22 season. One of the wins was over No. 4-ranked Fishers.

Lapel softball falls to Alexandria in Round 1 of sectional

LAPEL — On the opening day of play in softball Sectional 40, Alexandria pulled off what might have been the stunner of series.

The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 2-0 in Lapel on Monday, May 24, knocking the Bulldogs out of contention in postseason action.

Lapel tennis falls in sectional championship

ANDERSON — The Lapel Bulldogs earned their way to the girls tennis sectional final but came up short against Alexandria-Monroe on the Anderson courts. The Bulldogs fell 6-1 in the May 21 match.

The finals were moved to Saturday after the weather hindered the matches earlier in the week.

Kerith Renihan, at No. 1 singles, was the lone winner for the ’Dogs. She defeated Allie Clark 6-1, 6-0.

High school rugby program wins state title in just second season

PENDLETON — The rise to the top has come quickly for the Pendleton Heights High School rugby team.

In Pendleton Youth Rugby’s second year of having a high school group, the Arabians are Rugby Indiana state champions. On Monday, at Moose Rugby Grounds in Elkhart, Pendleton Heights defeated Leo 47-19 in the Boys Division I championship game

Pendleton’s Welpott finishes 19th at Little 500

PENDLETON — After making up significant ground from his starting position, Pendleton’s Travis Welpott had his 10th Little 500 end sooner than he wanted.

The full-time Pendleton Heights Middle School teacher and part-time racer started 27th and finished 19th at Saturday’s 74th Annual Lucas Oil Little 500 presented by UAW at Anderson Speedway

Semistate exit: Pendleton Heights softball falls to Roncalli

BEDFORD — The No. 1 team in the nation put up a heavy duty roadblock for Pendleton Heights softball.

Roncalli defeated the Arabians 7-0 in semistate action on Saturday, June 4.

Royals pitcher Keagan Rothrock, who is headed to the University of Florida, was too much for the Arabians batters as she fanned 13 and allowed only four Pendleton Heights hits.

Jarrell finishes 16th at state

BLOOMINGTON — It was a great way to finish off a freshman season.

Pendleton Heights freshman Ava Jarrell placed 16th in the 800-meter run at the IHSAA Girls Track and Field State Finals at Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex on the campus of Indiana University. Jarrell ran a time of 2:21.26.

Golf regional marks progression of goals for Gray

MUNCIE — Pendleton Heights junior Cohen Gray is making progress.

Though disappointed with his round, the Arabians golfer was glad to get an opportunity to play Thursday, June 9, in the Muncie Central Regional at The Players Club at Woodland Trails in Yorktown.

Gray, the lone Pendleton Heights golfer to qualify for the event, shot a 12-over-par 84 and did not advance to this week’s IHSAA Boys Golf State Finals.

Longtime cross country coach stepping down

PENDLETON — As one era ends, a new one begins.

Longtime boys cross country coach Alan Holden announced his retirement June 2, and girls cross country coach Melissa Hagerman was named as his successor and will coach both teams.

Holden coached the Arabians for 35 seasons. During his time, the Arabians runners were 19-time Madison County champs and 15-time conference champs. Holden was also named conference Coach of the Year 15 times.

Lapel pair, PH Warfel sisters play in all-star classic

ANDERSON — The Indiana Class Basketball All-Star Classic did everything it could to highlight the state’s high school basketball standouts of the past, present and future.

The two-day event last weekend at Anderson University’s O.C. Lewis Gymnasium showcased players classified as Graduated Seniors, Futures or Juniors. Futures games consisted of players who had just finished either their freshman or sophomore seasons.

There were four games each day, with the boys playing Friday and the girls on Saturday. There were two juniors games each day. Lapel, with Griffin Craig and Bode Judge, and Pendleton Heights, with Kaycie Warfel and Whitney Warfel, were among the programs represented.

Iron Horse group earns black belts

PENDLETON — Four members of Iron Horse Martial Arts recently earned tae kwon do black belt promotions.

Family members Brock Lagoni, Chala Lagoni and Logan Lagoni along with Avey Staley received their black belts under the guidance of sixth-degree Master Myron Gerber.

PSC finishes second

PENDLETON — A second-place finish among 11 teams with a number of top finishers made for a successful Fifth Annual Stars And Stripes Invitational for Pendleton Swim Club.

The event took place at Alvin D. Brown Memorial Pool on June 24-25. PSC co-hosted the event with Mt. Vernon Premier Aquatics. There were nearly 200 swimmers from ages 6-18 and 76 events.

Playing host

PENDLETON — Legends Field at Pendleton Heights High School played host to the Junior League 14U Softball Central Regional July 21-24. Eight midwestern teams, including Indiana, played for the opportunity to advance to the Junior League Softball World Series July 31-Aug. 6 in Kirkland, Washington.

Soccer program debuts at Lapel High School this fall

LAPEL — The Bulldogs will be hitting the soccer field this fall for the first time in Lapel’s school history. At the July 14 school board meeting, Chad Soden was approved as the head coach of the girls program, while Ryan Jackson was approved to lead the boys.

Iron Horse competes at national event

PENDLETON – Iron Horse Martial Arts competition team of Pendleton competed in the 2022 AAU National Taekwondo Championship at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in July.

Iron Horse competitor Houston Edwards earned a grand champion in point sparring with the team, earning nine gold, seven silver and six bronze places.

Bulldogs tennis defends boys county crown for another year

LAPEL — It’s almost become a given that the Lapel Bulldogs will be in the Madison County tennis final, and winning the title has become no surprise either.

The Bulldogs captured their ninth straight Madison County win, 3-2 over Pendleton Heights, Aug. 26 on their home courts.

Arabians volleyball takes county title

ELWOOD — On their way to a fifth consecutive Madison County volleyball title, the Pendleton Heights Arabians put down an impressive set of numbers.

Throughout two days of play and four opponents, the Arabians never lost a set.

The two-set win over a determined Frankton (16-2) team in the title match on Saturday, Sept. 10, wasn’t a breeze, but the Arabians never doubted their own abilities.

Beeson had many goals as she played for possible third state title

Macy Beeson’s quest for her third Indiana High School Athletic Association state championship came up short, but for her, that wasn’t what this past weekend was about. She just wanted to enjoy her last time golfing as a Lapel Bulldog.

After a rocky Day 1 on Friday, Sept. 30, at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel — during which she shot 11-over par — that mindset really came to the forefront on Day 2.

Just as Day 1 was, Day 2 was an up-and down round in which Beeson just couldn’t get all parts of her game to click. She carded another 83 to finish the tournament with a total score of 166 and tied for 32nd. Columbus North’s Ava Bunker took home first with a 142.

Arabians boys soccer season ends at sectional

PENDLETON — The Pendleton Heights boys soccer team fell to eventual sectional champion Noblesville 5-0 in the semifinals of Class 3A Sectional 8 at Fishers High School on Oct. 5.

Arabians girls soccer falls in sectional championship

NOBLESVILLE — The Pendleton Heights girls soccer team made it to the championship game of the Indiana High School Athletic Association Class 3A sectional at Noblesville but lost to the host team 3-0 on Saturday, Oct. 8. The Millers, who are ranked

Arabians fall to Tigers in sectional final

YORKTOWN — After an early Saturday morning victory against Greenfield-Central, the Pendleton Heights girls volleyball season came to an end in the IHSAA sectional championship later that evening against the hometown Yorktown Tigers.

Yorktown entered the game ranked No. 2 in Class 4A and No. 2 in the state with a 28-2 record. It finished the Hoosier Heritage Conference season 7-0, and had lost only two sets since Sept. 6.

The Arabians fought hard, and according to head coach Blair Barksdale, played their best volleyball of the season. The Tigers outlasted them 25-21, 25-22, and 25-18 for the three-set sweep.

Local runners wrap up at state

For all the runners from Lapel and Pendleton, it was their first time competing in the IHSAA State Cross Country Finals on Oct. 29.

For one, it closed out his career running the Laverne Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute.

Arabian sophomore Ava Jarrell was the top finisher from the two schools. She ran the course in 18:58.7, finishing in 31st and not even a full tick off of a Top 30 podium finish.

Lapel freshman Sophie Goodwin, battling a foot stress fracture finished her first state finals race in 203rd spot with a time of 24:43. Goodwin is the first girl from Lapel to make the state meet.

For the boys, junior Bulldog Cameron Smith was 63rd with a time of 16:29.5, while Pendleton Heights senior Andrew Blake ran his final race as an Arabian.

Blake ran a time of 16:39.5 and finished 84th. Blake was the first runner for the boys team to make the state finals since 2018 when Milan Jones placed 93rd.

Lapel Bulldogs football season ends at regional final

LINTON — The Linton-Stockton Miners put the brakes on the Lapel postseason run on Friday night at Linton-Stockton High School. The No. 1 team in Class 2A defeated the Bulldogs 60-24 to eliminate them in the IHSAA Regional 19 championship.

Pendleton native finds new passion in Strongman

CAPE GIRARDEAU — What started as an accident, has since led Chelsea Pullen to becoming one of the strongest women in the world.

Pullen — a Pendleton native who now calls Cape Girardeau, Missouri, home — began competing in Strongman competitions in October 2020.

A former softball standout and All-American at Pendleton Heights High School and Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Pullen found a new hobby later in life in both bodybuilding and weightlifting, but each were trumped by her passion for the world of Strongman.

She finished first in her weight class at her very first competition, the 2020 Missouri Strongman Championship in Columbia, Missouri.

More recently, Pullen competed at the Official Strongman Games (OSG) World Championships on Nov. 12-13 of this year in Daytona Beach, Florida, and finished in ninth place in the under-82 kg weight class.

Arabians tops at Super Six

PENDLETON — Saturday’s Super Six wrestling match at Pendleton Heights may have served as a warmup to the upcoming Dec. 17 Madison County Tournament, the Arabians went into the day missing some of their varsity members.

Despite vacancies in three weight classes, the Arabians finished the day on top, defeating Purdue Polytech 49-30, Lawrence Central 51-33, Frankton 44-30, Winchester 42-36 and Anderson 50-30.

Arabians county streak hits nine

ANDERSON — The Pendleton Heights wrestling team may not have the numbers they’re used to, but that didn’t stop them from dominating at the Madison County Tournament to claim their ninth consecutive championship win at Anderson High School on Saturday.

The Arabians won titles in seven weight classes and scored points in six others to boost their final score to 250. Madison-Grant placed second with 186. Lapel finished sixth with 107 points.


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