ALL SPORTS CHAMPS
NCC ATHLETE OF
Young Red Devils make strides during season
October 24, 2011North Central Conference
BROOKVILLE, Ind. -- Richmond's 2011 season ended under fireworks -- fired over Franklin County's field after the Wildcats halted the Red Devils in the opening round of the Class 4A football sectional tournament.
Already, though, Richmond was optimistic about the future.
The Red Devils graduate eight seniors. Several sophomores -- and a freshman -- either started or gained valuable varsity experience throughout the year.
Richmond ended its season 4-6 -- a two-win improvement over the prior year -- but didn't win a game on the road.
The Red Devils started the year 0-3, but then went on to win four of the next seven.
"Kids matured and got better," said RHS coach Eric Gillespie. "Based on the circumstances that were there, I'm really proud of our kids' effort and the way that they stepped up.
"It's going to bode well for the future."
Richmond lost Chandler Miller, an all-state wide receiver, during Week 5 to a torn ACL.
Miller ended his career as Richmond's all-time leading receiver with 2,019 yards.
He was one of eight seniors, along with Anthony Thompson, Bruce Moschell, Jared McKinney, Jordan Walker-Farris, Donovan Rogers, Dalton Raper and Austin Lipscomb.
"Nothing but positive to say about our senior class," Gillespie said. "There were only eight seniors, but they showed true senior leadership in terms of their effort on and off the field, the way they kind of brought our team together.
"They were all about closeness. They were all about family atmosphere."
Around the NCC
Three North Central Conference teams remain after the opening round of football sectionals.
In Class 5A, Kokomo blanked Fort Wayne Wayne 52-0 and Huntington North defeated Homestead 68-17, but Anderson fell to Lafayette Jeff, a former NCC member, 21-7.
Just one conference team made it through to the semifinal round in Class 4A, though. Marion downed Jay County 56-19.
Richmond, New Castle, Logansport and Muncie Central all lost in the first round.
'Cats eye rematch
Franklin County improved to 8-2 with Friday's 28-7 win over Richmond. That puts the Wildcats in the midst of their best season since 2002 -- and puts them into a sectional semifinal opposite Connersville this Friday.
Franklin County won at Connersville 40-0 on Aug. 26. The Spartans stopped New Castle 14-7 this past Friday for their first tournament victory since 1999.
"We have to take it one at a time, and Connersville, they're going to be ready for us," said Franklin County coach Mark Williamson. "They've got something brewing over there and they've got some momentum going. It's going to be at their place and they're going to be excited.
"We've got to go over there ready to play. We've got to really be ready to play a football game against these guys."
Sports Editor Josh Chapin: (765) 973-4463 or firstname.lastname@example.org