> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
Jeff’s Harper earns Assistant Coach of the Year
Jeffersonville assistant wrestling coach Zach Harper was voted the indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association’s Assistant Coach of the Year, according to IHSWCA vice president and Jeffersonville head wrestling coach Danny Struck.
Harper is a lifelong Jeffersonville wrestler and coach. Harper has been an active member of the Team Jeff Wrestling Club, either as a wrestler or coach, since the club’s creation in 1991.
He has served as an elementary coach, Parkview Middle School’s head coach, a Jeffersonville assistant coach and a Team Jeff coach for the past seven years.
During Harper’s tenure as an assistant coach at Jeffersonville, the Red Devils have won three Hoosier Hills Conference championships and five sectional titles.
In addition to his coaching duties, Harper serves on the IHSWCA board as Southern Indiana’s regional representative, as well as on the team state duals committee.
“I am very excited for Zach, and for the Jeffersonville Community,” Struck said in a release. “I am blessed to coach with my best friend each day. He does so many things behind the scenes from fixing things in the wrestling room, to moving mats, setting up meets, driving kids to meets and just dealing with me. I can’t express my thanks enough for what he does for our kids, and myself. Furthermore, I am just so excited that the kids of our community get to be coached by a person that is the state’s coach of the year. It is just one more reason why things at JHS are special for our kids.”
Harper will be recognized at the IHSWCA Hall of Fame banquet after this coming season’s IHSAA State Finals.
— Sports Editor Matt Koesters
Buckingham steps down at IU Southeast
Indiana University Southeast softball head coach Todd Buckhingham resigned Monday to become the head coach at Saginaw Valley State in Saginaw, Mich., according to an IU Southeast Athletic Department press release.
Buckingham built the IU Southeast fast-pitch program from the ground up. He was hired as head coach in January of 2006, a year before the program first competed, and led the Grenadiers to the KIAC tournament championship in the program’s first season. Since then, he has led the Grenadiers to five regular-season titles and four tournament championships.
The Grenadiers’ record under Buckingham is 176-111, while his overall record is 263-252.
The 2012 Grenadiers made history by advancing to the NAIA National Tournament and earning their first tournament wins against fifth-ranked Lubbock Christian and 12th-ranked Union (Tenn.). IU Southeast won Pool E before losing in bracket play to Central Baptist and Auburn University-Montgomery.
“I want to thank Todd for all of his hard work and dedication to the program and University for the past six years,” IU Southeast Athletic Director Joe Glover said in the release. “This program has been successful on the field and in the classroom, and has been a great source of pride for the university. We wish Todd well at SVSU.”
A national search for Buckingham’s replacement will begin immediately.
Nikitas earns HCAC All-Academic honors
Jeffersonville native and Bluffton University (Oh.) sophomore Natalie Nikitas earned Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference All-Academic honors, according to a university press release.
Nikitas was the only member of the Beavers’ softball team to earn the recognition.
Nikitas finished the 2012 season with a .273 batting average, knocking in nine runs in 22 plate appearances. She started four games for the Beavers.
Banet makes KIAC Scholar-Athlete Team
Floyd Central graduate and IU East men’s basketball player Cody Banet was one of 25 students to make the All-Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete Team for the 2011-12 season.
All athletes with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 after at least two semesters of attendance at a KIAC institution are automatically named to the All-KIAC Scholar-Athlete Team.
>>HIGH SCHOOL TRACK
Wallace, Duncan named Academic All-State
Floyd Central senior Jamie Wallace and Providence junior Erin Duncan have been named to the Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Girls’ Track Academic All-State team.
Wallace was the only competitor to win three events at the Floyd Central Sectional last month. She also made the all-Hoosier Hills Conference track team this past season.
Wallace finished in a tie for valedictorian in her graduating class at Floyd Central, recording a 4.0-plus grade-point average.
Duncan placed second in the 800-meter run and third in the 3,200 relay at the Floyd Central Sectional. She placed fifth in the 800 at the Bloomington North Regional in May.
Providence senior Mackenzie Wilson made the honorable-mention list.
New Albany camps
The New Albany High School volleyball program will hold its elementary and middle school summer camps July 9-11 at the New Albany High School gymnasium.
Elementary campers (grades K-4, boys and girls) will meet each day from 9-11 a.m., while middle school campers (grades 5-8, boys and girls) will meet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost is $30 per camper. For more information, contact New Albany High School head volleyball coach John Breeding at 812-542-8507.