Local Sports

Girls basketball preview: Shelbyville returns core of players in Hoefler's second season

It’s been since 2016 that Shelbyville Golden Bear girls basketball finished above.500 going 12-11.  Before that, you have to go back to the 2006-07 squad that finished 18-5.


Is this a season when the Golden Bears can push for that elusive mark?


Returning 95% of the team’s scoring and 83% of the rebounding along with going into a second season under Coach Becca Hoefler is a good starting point.


Shelbyville (4-20 last season) scrimmaged Morristown Saturday at Garrett Gym.  Hoefler talks about what she liked in this early appearance.



Opposing coaches know where the scouting report on the Golden Bears begins.  Sophomore Kylee Edwards, 5’7” guard, scored in double figures in all but one game as a freshman on the way to leading the team in scoring (15.1), rebounding (5.0), assists (2.8) and steals (3.7).



Junior Madison Phares, 6’0” forward, averaged 5.9 pts, 4.6 rebounds per game last season.



It may be some challenge to tell two of the Golden Bears players apart, at least, in their style of game.  Senior Megan Eads, 5’3” guard, returns after finishing second on the team with 26-made 3-pointers.  Cheyenne Eads, 5’3” freshman, will also offer a perimeter option.



Coach Hoefler’s squad played man-to-man defense in Saturday’s scrimmage.  She says there’s more to come in that part of the game.



Shelbyville opens the regular season later than many teams.  The season opener is November 10 at Waldron.  Hoefler says in 2020 that’s not a bad thing.



Southern Indiana driver moving up to NASCAR Cup Series

NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Chase Briscoe, a native of Mitchell, Indiana, is making the leap to NASCAR's highest level.


Stewart-Haas Racing announced Monday that Briscoe will be driving the #14-car in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the 2021 season. He'll be replacing long time Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer, who is retiring from racing at the end of the year.


Briscoe has won nine races in the 2020 Xfinity Series season and is one of the favorites to win the series championship.


He grew up in southern Indiana and started racing sprint cars with his father at the age of 13 before making the leap to try and compete in NASCAR. During his career racing sprint cars he won 410 races, which broke a record set by NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon, who also grew up in Indiana.

HS Football: Yorktown 46, Shelbyville 9 (Sept 25, 2020)

Yorktown defeated Shelbyville 46-9 at Tiger Stadium in Hoosier Heritage Conference football.


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Pacers hire Toronto's Nate Bjorkgren

The Indiana Pacers have hired Toronto Raptors assistant coach Nate Bjorkgren to be their next head coach.


Bjorkgren joined Toronto’s scouting department in 2017 and was promoted to assistant coach when Nick Nurse assumed head-coaching duties the following season. He was part of a staff that led the Raptors to the 2019 NBA championship.


Before his time in Toronto, Bjorkgren was an assistant with the Phoenix Suns. Prior to that, he was a coach in the NBA G-League.


“We are very pleased and excited to have Nate as our new coach,” said President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard. “This was an extensive and thorough search, and when we reached the conclusion, we felt strongly Nate is the right coach for us at the right time. He comes from a winning background, has experienced championship success, is innovative and his communication skills along with his positivity are tremendous. We all look forward to a long, successful partnership in helping the Pacers move forward.”


“I am honored to take on the role as head coach of the Indiana Pacers,” said Bjorkgren. “This is something I have prepared for during my career. I want to thank Kevin, Chad (Buchanan), Kelly (Krauskopf), Larry Bird, Donnie Walsh and Herb and Steve Simon for this opportunity. I also want to thank Nick Nurse for giving me my first professional coaching job 14 years ago.”


“I’m looking forward to working with this great team to achieve our goal as NBA champions.”


The Pacers fired coach Nate McMillan shortly after their season ended in 2020 with a loss in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs to the Miami Heat. McMillan had a 183-136 record in Indiana, including 3-16 in the postseason.


The Pacers have made five consecutive postseason appearances but have been swept in the first round each of the past two years.

Colts - Bengals game is on for Sunday

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeting that the Colts game against the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday -- is still on as planned. That tweet from Irsay after it was announced this morning that "several individuals" within the organization had tested positive for coronavirus. The team confirming those were false positives.


The team says it was one Colts player and three staff members that initially came back with positive COVID tests. The team saying after they were re-tested they came back negative.


The Colts have now reopened their practice facility and will continue getting ready for Sunday's game.

Expansion allows Ball State Sports Link to produce more live programming

Students enrolled in Ball State University’s nationally renowned Sports Link program are now able to produce more original live programming as a result of major expansion.  


Enhancements include additional edit stations, more collaborative creative spaces, a conference room, and a studio to originate live social media and other programming. Ball State Esports, a varsity esports program, will exist in collaboration with Sports Link, providing all students with a one-of-a-kind digital experience within the Esports Collegiate Conference.  


The new equipment and space allows Sports Link to grow in its mission to elevate, educate, and empower students and student-athletes as they engage in innovative, collaborative and professional productions, said Chris Taylor, senior digital director of sports production. 


Taylor noted that digital live sports programming is an ever-growing national trend. ESPN plans to air more than 500 live original shows across its own digital properties and platforms including YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook.  


“Our new studio space allows us to do the same, and at a moment’s notice,” said Taylor, who also is a Telecommunications lecturer. “It adds the dimension to complement our live sports productions to ESPN platforms, the studio programming from Ball State's virtual set and our consistent daily content creation. More importantly, it enhances our collaborative space where storytelling and creativity can flourish.” 


Combined with Sports Link’s original classroom/NCAA social lab and equipment room, the program will have over 2,500-square foot of operating space in the College of Communication, Information and Media. 


The University will host a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony for the Sports Link Production Center in the Ball Communication Building at 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 8. View the ceremony at bsu.edu/live


Ball State Sports Link, an immersive learning experience, connects audiences with the athletics community, delivering exclusive content on far-reaching platforms to showcase sports at Ball State. Sports Link showcases Cardinal student-athletes’ accomplishments on the field, in the classroom and within the surrounding community.  


High school soccer sectional play underway this week

Boys soccer sectionals


At Southwestern



Morristown vs Oldenburg                      

Winner vs Hauser - Wednesday, 7:00 pm


#16 (1A) Greenwood Christian vs #11 (1A) Southwestern - Wednesday, 7:00 pm


At Mt. Vernon


Greenfield-Central vs #15 (2A) Mt. Vernon                   

Winner vs East Central – Thursday, 5:30



Richmond vs New Palestine; Shelbyville vs Connersville



Girls soccer sectionals


At East Central



Shelbyville vs #15 (3A) Mt. Vernon; Greenfield-Central vs East Central



Richmond vs New Palestine


At Park Tudor


Triton Central vs Indianapolis Lutheran; Park Tudor vs Heritage Christian

Chuck Pagano vs the Colts Sunday

It will likely be a bittersweet feeling for Chuck Pagano Sunday when his Chicago Bears take on the Indianapolis Colts Sunday afternoon.


Pagano is now the Bears defensive coordinator, but he coached the Colts from 2012-2017 where he amassed a 53-43 record and won 3 playoff games. Pagano was fired after the 2017 season when the Colts went 4-12. Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012, but he overcame it. His prior health history makes him vulnerable to coronavirus, but he says he is staying safe and healthy.


“The way they got our facility set up (in Chicago), the way we social distance, the way we test, the way we meet, it’s not surprising that we haven’t had issues (with the coronavirus,” said Pagano in a Thursday Zoom call. “You still can’t get let your guard down. This stuff’s real. It’s out there. You got to be smart. You got to be safe.”


Pagano’s wife, Tina, still spends a lot of time in Indianapolis.


“We still got our place there. Our youngest daughter is still living there, so Tina is still spending a lot of time there. It’s been a while since we’ve gone out to eat. We have a lot of home-cooked stuff.”


He reflected on his first game as the coach of the Colts in 2012 where they played the Bears in the season opener and lost 41-21. Aside from the loss, Pagano said he really only remembered one moment that makes him laugh.


“Lovie Smith (Bears coach at the time) challenged something in the first quarter and then I reached into my back pocket. I didn’t feel anything. I thought, ‘Holy s***. I don’t have my red flag.,’ said Pagano.


The red flag is the flag you need to throw if you want to challenge a call on the field. Pagano had an equipment manager run back to the locker room and get the flag.


Looking ahead to Sunday’s matchup with the Colts, Pagano spoke highly of the Colts offensive line.


“It’s one of the best, if not the best units in the National Football League. They play so well together. They’re so well-coached. It’s going to be a heck of a challenge getting to the quarterback,” said Pagano.


Pagano said after all these years, Colts Quarterback Philip Rivers is still productive.


“There’s nothing that he hasn’t seen. He hangs in there. He slides, moves, and keeps his eyes down the field. You’d think at a certain point, they’d start feeling pressure and their eyes will start dropping and looking at the rush. He (Rivers) just doesn’t do that. As funky as that release of his looks, he’s so accurate,” said Pagano.


The Colts are 2-1 and have the #1 defense in the NFL. The Bears are 3-0. Colts general manager Chris Ballard worked in the Bears’ scouting department from 2001-12.


The Colts beat the Bears in Super Bowl 41 29-17.

Kickoff is at 1 pm Sunday.

Two racing dates added to 2020 schedule at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

The Indiana Horse Racing Commission approved two additional 2020 racing dates for Indiana Grand at their regular monthly meeting Thursday, Oct. 1. The two dates will be included on the final week of racing, increasing the schedule to 92 days for Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse action and a total of 96 days overall, adding in four days dedicated to all-Quarter Horse racing.


The two additional dates added to the schedule will be Monday, Nov. 16 and Thursday, Nov. 19, which will become the new closing date for the 18th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing at Indiana Grand. Post time for both days is 2:20 p.m.


“While the unprecedented COVID conditions have been difficult, our meet thus far has been a success by any measure,” said Eric Halstrom, vice president and general manager of racing at Indiana Grand. “With our total handle being up almost 60 percent over the same days in 2019, we’re thrilled to add two additional racing days and more opportunities for our horsemen near the end of the meet.”


The two additional dates are expected to include both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing.


Racing is held Monday through Thursday until Thursday, Nov. 19. All-Quarter Horse racing is set for Saturday, Oct. 3 and Saturday, Oct. 24. For more information, go to www.indianagrand.com.