COLLEGE AND PRO
VYPE Back Issues
VYPE NATIONAL PAGE
Speedway's Anglea, Sparkplugs Ready to Bounce Back
August 16, 2012VYPE MAGAZINE - Central Indiana
By Steve Brooks
For VYPE Magazine (Central Indiana)
The high school football season officially gets under way Friday night. For Speedway senior quarterback Austin Anglea, it couldn’t have come soon enough. And it’s not to get at Lapel, the Sparkplugs’ season-opening opponent and a team Speedway has defeated by a combined 69 points the previous two seasons.
For Anglea, it’s about getting out on the field and getting a bitter taste out of his mouth.
Last October, the Sparkplugs were entered the postseason 8-1 and ranked in Class 2A’s Top 10. They’d only dropped a 33-27 decision to a strong Lutheran team heading into their sectional opener against No. 3 North Putnam and were hoping for an extended postseason run.
That didn’t happen. The Sparkplugs played their worst game of the season, falling behind 34-3 at halftime on the way to a 48-10 season-ending loss. It was Speedway’s worst loss since a 40-0 shutout at the hands of Whiteland in 1999.
Anglea completed just 18 of 39 passes for 158 yards with two interceptions. The yardage total was the third lowest of the season; it also was only the third time all year he completed less than 50 percent of his passes. And though the loss didn’t fall squarely on the shoulders of the Sparkplugs’ signal caller, he took some of it.
“I think about that game quite a bit, actually,” Anglea said. “I know I didn’t play as well as I could, and I don’t think anyone on our team thought we played as well as we could.
“We knew North Putnam was tough, but we were really looking at getting through to the regional and maybe the semistate – until things came to a very quick end. We didn’t end the way we wanted to, and we’re ready to make up for that.”
The ending wasn’t indicative of the kind of season Anglea put together. He threw for 2,415 yards and 25 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions, completing 52 percent of his passes. This followed a sophomore season – his first as a starter – that saw Anglea complete 51.4 percent of his throws for 2,389 yards and 22 touchdowns. Speedway was 19-4 in those games, and Anglea now holds the career passing yardage mark at the school.
But he wants more. The Sparkplugs won a sectional title his sophomore year but haven’t taken home a regional title since 2005.
“When I started as a sophomore, I knew there was a chance I’d get the record, so it was actually a goal,” he said. “But I want our team to do even more this year, and I think we can. I feel like we’re state contenders. Obviously having Ritter in our sectional is always going to make just getting out of there tough. It’s a challenge, but I think we’re up to it.”
Ritter won five straight games against Speedway from 2005 to 2009, but the Sparkplugs have rebounded to win two of the past three – including last season’s exciting 32-29 contest.
“That’s our biggest rivalry, and it’s always a good game,” Anglea said. “We know some of those kids and have since we were young. The schools are close. You just know you have to go out and play your best. You really don’t have to look at records when it comes to that game. They don’t matter.”
The Sparkplugs don’t appear to be lacking any offensive talent this year. Justin Brent, who caught 40 passes for 819 yards and 10 touchdowns a year ago, returns to give Anglea a reliable target. Also back is Jordan Furlow (10 catches, 206 yards in five 2011 games).
And when the Sparkplugs want to run the football, they’ll have the services of Josh Manion (669 yards, eight touchdowns) and Devon Gude (514, nine). Both averaged 6.6 yards per carry or better in 2011.
“I feel like I’m better this year,” said Anglea, who hopes to capture the attentions of some Division II colleges this fall. “I feel like I’ve improved my quickness. I didn’t really try to run much last year. I was a little bit slow. I still consider myself a drop-back passer, but I feel like I can move around a bit more.
“So we’re pretty pumped about this season. It felt good to get back out on the field. We were ready.”