Could we finally get an unimpeded week of Region prep sports? Unfortunately, the forecast suggests it's unlikely.
If the weather finally holds up, the approaching tennis and track and field postseasons should make for good theater. Plus, a heated local rivalry takes on new meaning this season. Here are five of this week's top prep sports events.
Girls tennis: Lake Central at LaPorte, 4:15 p.m. Monday
This match was postponed from May 2 and pits two of the Duneland Athletic Conference’s top teams against each other. LaPorte ranks second among all Region teams in the Indiana High School Tennis Coaches Association poll, while Lake Central comes in just behind the Slicers as the fourth-ranked squad.
Track and field: Northwest Crossroads Conference meet, 7 p.m. Tuesday at Hobart
Both the boys and girls NCC titles will be decided at this meet, where Lowell’s boys and Munster’s girls are the defending NCC champs. The Mustangs are a team to watch on the girls side as their season heats up — they’ve won seven straight sectionals. Lowell’s Gabriel Sanchez is a cross country star who helped the Red Devils win the 1,600 last year, so the competition may need to make hay in the shorter races.
Softball: No. 6 Boone Grove at Wheeler, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday
This is one of the spiciest rivalry games around, but this year’s installment carries additional meaning — it’s a cancer awareness-themed game.
The Wolves and Bearcats will wear themed uniforms, both batters boxes will be painted to promote colorectal cancer and Hodgkin’s lymphoma awareness and even the umpires will take part with special gear. Before the game, Wheeler’s Dalaney Rootkie will be presented with a check to help cover her family’s expenses as she battles Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Baseball: No. 3 Griffith at No. 5 Lake Central, 5 p.m. Friday
Griffith already has a road win over No. 4 Valparaiso and can make a statement if it knocks off Lake Central, as well. The Panthers have outscored opponents by 141 runs over 15 games and have only faced two Duneland Athletic Conference opponents, so this nonconference matchup could help them prepare for the postseason.
Lake Central has a double-header against Zionsville on Saturday, and Griffith’s explosive offense could test the Indians’ pitching depth.
Girls tennis: Great Lakes Athletic Conference tournament, 9 a.m. Saturday at Dowling Park
Sectionals start next week, but the GLAC will hold its individual conference meet this weekend. E.C. Central looks like the favorite and will also host sectionals, but Morton nearly took down the Cardinals in a 3-2 match on April 27.