Where did the 2015-16 season go? It was the vapor that appeared for a little while and vanished. Somewhere between August’s heat and May’s monsoon rains, Bedford North Lawrence crammed in 19 sports and several hundred events. And even when the school doors close for the short summer, the games go on.
The sports year was interesting, to understate the obvious. Basketball dominated the headlines again, of course, and captured the public interest with a controversial coaching change, but other teams and individual athletes made the campaign memorable with their accomplishments.
Here’s a look at the Top 20 stories of the past year:
20. BNL baseball raises over $9,000 in Coaches vs. Cancer game: Sometimes it doesn’t matter who wins. The Stars honored cancer survivors and remembered the disease’s victims during its annual fundraiser game with county-rival Mitchell. For the record, Austin Long struck out 10 as the Stars overpowered the Bluejackts 10-0 in six innings.
19. Megan Lambrecht shatters school record: Lambrecht, a sophomore, pulled off a unique double play, competing in track and softball simultaneously during a hectic spring. She made it worthwhile when she shattered the school record in the shot put, heaving that ball 37-11 while winning the Hoosier Hills Conference title in that event.
18. Softball Stars erupt to win Best of the Rock: BNL exploded for 13 first-inning runs, capped by Allie Crulo-Rood’s grand slam, to hammer Charlestown 21-9 in the championship game of its own tournament. The Stars won, as the name suggests, a rock trophy for all that work.
17. Tidd torments Madison: BNL quarterback Brayden Tidd threw four touchdown passes, and the Stars exploded for 38 points – all in the first half – during an impressive 38-20 win over the Cubs on Senior Night. Tidd was 11 of 14 passing for 255 yards, and he added a rushing touchdown.
16. Tiger claws his way to All-State: Nobody was granted a better football name than linebacker Tiger Baldwin, who was named to the Class 5-A All-State team by the Indiana Football Coaches Association. Baldwin had 101 tackles with one interception and two fumble recoveries.
15. Sherrill authors no-hitter: BNL senior pitcher Kyler Sherrill, in his first varsity start, fired a no-hitter as the Stars blanked Brown County 17-0 in five innings. Sherrill struck out four and walked three. After that debut, what can anyone do for an encore?
14. Boys tennis ties school record: The Stars went 14-9, matching the program record for wins in a season, and advanced to the sectional final at Bloomington North.
13. BNL track sends two relays to state: Marvel has its Fantastic 4, and BNL had a track marvel as the fantastic foursome of Micah Wagner, Garrett Flinn, Isaac Kuehn and Alex Adams advanced to the state finals in the 400 and 1600 relays. The Stars finished 13th, winning their heat race, in the 1600.
12. Emery explodes: BNL’s Kat Emery ripped home five goals during a 9-0 victory at Brown County. The Eagles were obvious victims of Kat-scratch Fever.
11. Jackson picks FC’s pocket: Joe Jackson (who was not shoeless) intercepted three passes, returning one for a 50-yard touchdown, as the Stars smacked Floyd Central 17-0 in the Class 5-A sectional semifinal. The victory was only the 10th postseason win in program history.
10. Boys basketball surprises in Richmond: BNL stunned many with a runner-up finish during the Bob Wettig Tournament in Richmond. The Stars conquered Fort Wayne Dwenger, Valparaiso and Seton Catholic before falling to Franklin Central in the final of the 16-team holiday event.
9. Seymour ends BNL’s HHC streak: All good things come to an end. Seymour snapped BNL’s stranglehold on the Hoosier Hills Conference girls basketball title, beating the Stars 46-39 to stop BNL’s 30-game league winning streak. Seymour would eventually win the conference championship.
8. Girls golf wins sectional title: BNL won its third straight sectional championship, blowing away the field at Otis Park. Bailee Gilmore was the medalist with a 79 as the Stars won the title by a whopping 54 shots.
7. Quite a Day on Senior Day: Braxton Day made his final game in BNL Fieldhouse unforgettable, scoring a career-high 43 points during a 78-72 loss to Whiteland. Day was 13 of 20 from the field, 14 of 14 at the line, and added 8 rebounds.
6. Day joins 1K club: Day scored 32 points during a 73-64 win at Jeffersonville and became only the eighth player in program history to score over 1,000 career points. Day concluded his career with 1,233 points, fourth on the all-time list.
5. BNL golf advances to state finals: BNL advanced to the IHSAA state finals for the first time since 2009, finishing third in the regional at Champions Pointe. Freshman Ethan Stanley led the way with a 1-under 71 as the Stars qualified for the two championship rounds at Prairie View.
Now this ranking could be amended if the Stars finish among the top five in the finals . . .
4. BNL girls win basketball sectional: Freshman star Jorie Allen scored 20 points as the Stars stopped Jeffersonville 42-36 to win their fifth consecutive Class 4-A sectional crown. BNL finished the year 19-8.
3. Damon enters Hall of Fame: This was inevitable. BNL legend Damon Bailey, who powered the Stars to the 1990 state championship before a world-record crowd in the Hoosier Dome, set the state career scoring record and was named Mr. Basketball, was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. That institution was not complete until he was added.
2. Seifers hired as new basketball coach: Matt Seifers, a former assistant at Bloomington South, was named the 8th head coach in program history. Seifers, a former coach and athletic director at Mitchell, came to BNL with a 20-48 varsity record compiled at Mitchell (boys) and Southport (girls). His main resume highlight included a national championship in AAU, and he was the founder of the Indiana Elite Basketball Academy.
1. Jamie Hudson’s contract not renewed: By a controversial 4-3 decision, the North Lawrence Community Schools Board voted against renewing the contract of boys basketball coach Jamie Hudson.
Hudson went 107-96 in 9 seasons with the program, winning one HHC title. BNL had four losing seasons during his tenure, but the extension of his contract for another year had been recommended by BNL’s administration. That was rejected by the board following a tense public meeting that included voices in opposition to Hudson.
BNL went 14-11 during his final season. The Stars have not won a sectional title since 2001.
So there’s the list, wrapping up another memorable year. Imagine what’s ahead.