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Matt Childs was an eighth-grader, walking the sandy beaches on vacation. Back home in Munster, two-a-day football practice was just beginning. Childs had always played soccer. Then, a light went on in his head.
WHITING | Kris Krzyston is not your typical Whiting Oiler. He's not a Bears fan. He doesn't score touchdowns at a moment's notice. Yet, he lives and breathes the game that comes alive each fall in the little town on Lake Michigan's shore.
CROWN POINT | It started simply enough. It is the kind of story starter that makes you want to shake your head.
INDIANAPOLIS | The day before the first NFL Sunday kicks off, Antwan Davis was in the end zone of Lucas Oil Stadium watching a perfectly spinning ball dart in his direction.
The cool autumn wind enveloped the place. Everyone in town — no, in the county — was there. It was if Bronko Nagurski and Jim Brown were in attendance, wildly applauding old-school football at its finest.
ST. JOHN | There was only one emotion for Colin Studer in March of 2012 when Peyton Manning was cut by the Indianapolis Colts.
It's been said winning a sectional championship in football is the most difficult because to take home the hardware you have to be very good for three weeks, three Friday nights.
Jay Novak was obviously nervous last Friday night. The first-year football coach at E.C. Central was going through the pregame checklist before his Cardinals took the field for the season-opener at Hammond.
HAMMOND | Midsummer didn't look too good off Calumet Avenue. Hammond's football coach, Eric Schreiber, had left for Clark in the night. His replacement, Roosevelt Moore, was not officially hired until the opening day of practice.
Davon Dillard is not at LaLumiere, the prep school in LaPorte. And the Indiana Junior All-Star, who has been offered by California, Creighton, Iowa, Pittsburgh, Providence and Purdue has never officially left Bowman Academy.
There's been an adage around prep football for a long time. The biggest improvement a team makes usually comes between Week 1 and Week 2.
Highland's scrimmage at West Side on Aug. 15 was supposed to start at 7 p.m. But the first snap took place at 6 p.m. because of a common issue at the Gary school's football facility.
This is not the time for the boys basketball coach at Lowell High School to step down. But that's exactly what Nate Richie did recently, going 46-39 over the last four seasons.
MERRILLVILLE | The sidewalk was mostly empty. Almost barren. The cold, wintery wind swept over the hills of Fort Thomas, Ky.
MERRILLVILLE | It's like Sammy Hagar taking over for David Lee Roth or Andrew Johnson stepping in for Abraham Lincoln. A daunting shadow is there, always, in the background.
Keith Kilmer already knows what he'll see when he takes his Lowell Red Devils onto Bulldog Turf in Crown Point. He chuckles ahead of time.
Mark Barnhizer has been hired as Gavit's new athletic director. And the 2003 Indiana All-Star coach will also take over the Gladiators boys basketball program.
The dream seemed to be over. Crown Point senior forward Bret Barclay ended his final prep basketball season with the Bulldogs in March. The future seemed unclear.
HAMMOND | Bernie Krueger coached football at Hammond High School from 1955 through 1972. Stability was the key in that other era when the Wildcats were winning mythical state championships.
Robert Harrison and his football staff can feel the inertia around the Hanover Central community. It's bubbling over.
HAMMOND | Rich Hudson asked the crowd if they knew who was in the picture on the screen. The older heads nodded in agreement. The younger eyes just looked on, trying to make a guess.
Growing up in "The Harbor" section of East Chicago, John Cousins picked up a nickname in his Sunnyside neighborhood back in the 1960s. In that era, nicknames and fame were big in the hoops crazy city.
The state's leading returning passer is changing schools just a few days before the opening of the 2014 prep football season.
Roy Richards played high school football at Rich East and college ball at Northeast Missouri State. It was a great time. So he started coaching high school ball and is in his 16th season at Morton and 21st overall.
It's like going from "Hoop Dreams" to "Hoosiers" in one quick, strange trip.
Connor Andras was walking down the hall at Crown Point High School toward the weight room. His Bulldogs football season was over and the 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker was preparing for college ball at Butler.
Patrick Shaw wore a Crown Point jersey on Wednesday at the University of Indianapolis' football facility. Such a fashion move seems strange for a young man from East Chicago.
He didn't know his father. He didn't have a home. In one school year he was kicked off of three different high school teams, which is almost mathematically impossible.
Dan Klimczak knew this day was coming for the past year and a half.
In typical Larry McMillen form, when asked when he started the Hanover Central softball program he had a quip.
Jason Quigg probably got a high-five from Mickey Mouse on Tuesday night, after the world-famous rodent heard the good news for Quigg.
There were no bright lights, no stands packed with avid sports fans, no reporters or college scouts. Still, Gelen Robinson was there.
Rob Hanson has been approved as the new River Forest football coach, replacing Jeff Bean, whose teaching position was lost due to budget cuts in the district.
It wasn't just blood and treasure that was spilled on the dusty ground of Iraq by American servicemen over the past decade. Love for the people also was poured out there by many.
Dave Templin grew up on the east side of Gary, near the steel mills. Before graduating from Emerson in 1966, a blue-collar lunch-pail district, he would drive south with his pals.
In March of 1984, Brian Vukadinovich was just seconds from realizing a life-long dream. Then, like that, a last-second shot by a Warsaw player end it with some drama.
Hanover Central softball coach Larry McMillen summed up the North-South All-Star game in a perfect way.
Six years ago, Charlie Hall sat down at a table to discuss breathing life back into the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star series.
E.C. Central's Martayveus Carter will not play football at Northern Illinois this fall. After committing to play for the Huskies last summer, the university confirmed that the 2013 Times Defensive Player of the Year will not attend there.
INDIANAPOLIS | Stepping back into Bankers Life Fieldhouse for Lake Central's Tyler Wideman would be like Ali stepping into the ring against Joe Frazier, the first time.
INDIANAPOLIS | It was a crowning achievement for one of Indiana's best girls basketball players in state history.
ST. JOHN | It occurred hundreds of times through the years and it still goes on. Football players lined up at practice, running, then taking on a hit in preparation for an upcoming game.
COLUMBUS | Kristi Kaniewski knows Victoria Gaines very well. But in the past Kaniewski, the girls basketball coach at Penn, was trying to come up with a way to stop Merrillville's terror in the paint.
COLUMBUS | Sometimes the story is on the basketball floor, between the hardwood lines of America's game. Often, though, it is not.
LOGANSPORT | A big smile lit up the face of Merrillville's Victoria Gaines on Monday night inside The Berry Bowl. A good, loud summer crowd had filled the high school's gymnasium.
BLOOMINGTON | The old saying is simple – “Speed kills.” But at Indiana University's Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex on Friday, the saying was a little different.
BLOOMINGTON | Sweat and sun was all over the face of Hanover Central junior Kayla York on Friday at the campus of Indiana University. A smile broke through as York considered all that she had accomplished.
LOWELL | Brian Blaylock is a little like Alexander the Great, who wept after all of his blood and success because there were "no more worlds to conquer."
HOBART | The lines on the face seemed to mirror the cracks in the concrete below. There is an eternal bond between the two.
HAMMOND | Zach Schreiber feels a little bit like David on an ancient battlefield.
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