Chesterton Tribune

2006 another stellar year for local sports

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The 2006 calendar year was just another watermark on a long list of stellar years for local sports in Chesterton.

It included Duneland Athletic Conference titles, Sectional, Regional, Semistate and State titles. It featured national acclaim for local athletes.

It was all encompassing.


That year started with a splash, or not, on the diving boards as Chesterton senior Mat Sommers shattered the school-record with a 341.55 6-dive performance against Hobart. Boys soccer coach James Sensibaugh earned Ball State Alumnus Coach of the year honors, boding well for the future. The Chesterton boys basketball team got 32 points from Zack Novak and 31 more from Curt Bradford as they beat Class 3A No. 1 Andrean 78-61. The No. 5-ranked gymnastics team outlasted No. 6 Michigan City 107.325-107.225 and the CHS cheerleaders won the varsity division of the Cheerleaders of America Competition in Chicago.


Chesterton’s Alex Sanchez started February with a Regional title in wrestling as he and teammate Ben Williams advanced to the Semistate. Sanchez continued his run through the state tournament the next weekend by finishing third at the Merrillville Semistate and advancing to the state finals in Indianapolis. The Trojans’ girls basketball team pulls a major upset after beating Hobart in the Sectional opener at Valparaiso by returning to win the Class 4A Sectional title over No. 9 Merrillville 50-43 behind 31 points from Kelly Peller. The Chesterton girls swim team brings home four state championships from Indianapolis including, Talor Whitaker in the 100 Free and Christy Grcevich in the 100 Fly. Whitaker, Grcevich, Taylor Lipniskis and Sarah Kehe team together to win the 200 and 400 Free Relay state titles as well. Not to be outdone, the Trojan boys swim team amasses 182 points for a best-ever third place team finish at the state finals.


The Chesterton boys basketball team got off to a hot start in the Class 4A Sectional tournament and rode hot-shooting into the finals. In the semi’s against Crown Point, the Trojans hit a state-best nine 3-pointers in the third quarter to advance to the finals. Once there, the Valparaiso Vikings were too much. The Trojan gymnastics team finished third in the Sectional and second in the Regional to advance to the State Finals where they would finish sixth. Thirteen CHS athlete’s were named Most Valuable Player’s at the Winter Awards Program. Just as importantly, 58 were named as scholar-athlete’s. The Chesterton girl’s track team got indoor season underway and capped it off by turning in Indiana’s best time ever in the Distance Medley Relay at the NSR Relays at IU. Ali Bishel, Kelly Peller, Lena Raffin and Sarah Kehe finished in 12:24.


The Chesterton softball team picked up its second of 30 straight victories with an 11-1 victory over Hanover Central to start the month. Later in the month, Emma Lawson would throw a perfect game in a 28-0 victory over Hammond Morton. To end their month, the Trojans gave head coach LouAnn Hopson her first ever win at Lake Central with a come-from-behind victory finished off by a Katie Stahura triple. The baseball team picked up its first win of the season in April with a 3-1 victory over Lafayette Harrison. Kyle Whitaker, an 8th grader at the time, was named the 13-14 year old overall state swim champion at the State Age Group Meet in Indianapolis. He won the 100 Free, 200 Free, 100 Fly, 200 Fly and 200 IM. Jessica Kuehl was selected to compete on the Indiana All-Star Gymnastics Team, while the girls tennis team and boys golf team picked up their first wins of the season.


The Chesterton girls tennis team picked up an early May victory over Valparaiso 3-2 with a third-set win for Christine Lambert at No. 3 singles. The Trojan softball team set a school-record with its 20th straight victory, before wrapping up a DAC title and a Sectional title later in the month. The Chesterton girls track team won its second consecutive DAC title, seventh straight Sectional and second Regional during May. Russell Wilk won the 800 and Adam Martin the 1,600 in the Boys Track Sectional. Sand Creek Director of Golf Bryan Haas finished second at the Best Western Southern Open PGA Tournament, while Kelly Gough was named Women’s Bowler of the Year after a 705 series. Chuck Hurst, Peter DeWitt and Karen Yanson competed at the USMS Short Course National Meet in Colorado Springs, Col. The Boys golf team finished second at the DAC Invitational at Sand Creek.


Eight Most Valuable Player honors were awarded to CHS Athletes at the Spring Sports Award program. Ninety-five more were named as scholar-athletes. Sarah Kehe for the girls and Adam Martin for the boys were named as the CHS Senior Athletes of the Year. The girls track team finished a school-best fifth with 29 points at the State Track Finals. Allyson Harvey, Kelly Peller, Ali Bishel and Sarah Kehe won the 3,200 Relay in a state best time of 9:03.77, less than five seconds from the national record. Chris Smith was named American Mideast Conference Pitcher of the Year at Ohio Dominican. CHS senior John Lambert was drafted by the Texas Rangers in baseball. The Trojan softball team beat Center Grove 7-6 to advance to the state championship game where they fell to Martinsville 1-0.


The Chesterton High School girls athletic teams won the Duneland Athletic Conference All-Sports Trophy despite being the smallest school in the league. Seniors Ali Bishel, Jessica Pesut and Adam Martin compete for Team Indiana at the Midwest Track and Field Meet of Champions. The Liberty Belles U10 All-Star softball team won the District One title with two victories over Angola. From State Park, the 9-10 baseball all stars and the Sr. girls softball teams also won District One titles. The Duneland Swim Club won its 19th straight conference crown. Chesterton swim coach Kevin Kinel and former swimmer Jenni Anderson were voted into the Indiana Swimming Hall of Fame.


The Duneland Swim Club finished 8th at the Long Course Age Group State Championships. Kyle Whitaker picked up individual victories in the 100 Free, 200 Free, 100 Fly, 200 Fly and the 200 IM all in meet record and age-group record times. The Chesterton girls golf team won its first Invitational victory ever by firing a 360 to best Crown Point (377) at the Michigan City Marquette Invitational. Later in the month, Kristin Kalita would fire a school-record 36 at Sand Creek. The CHS boys soccer team beat Griffith 3-1 in its home opener and then came right back to beat No. 9 Valparaiso 2-1. Westchester Lanes reopened under new owner’s Tony and Evelyn Ello and Joe and Nicole Ello.


The Chesterton football team picked up its first win of the season 49-14 over Michigan City. They would also get a 33-21 victory over Valparaiso later in the month. The Trojan volleyball team picked up its first-ever victory over Michigan City and later went on to win it’s own Chesterton Invitational. The boys tennis team beat Valparaiso 3-2 as Zack Stemer picked up a three-set victory at number two singles. The boys soccer team remained undefeated with a 2-1 victory at No. 7 Portage. Kristin Kalita fired a 79 at Beechwood in the LaPorte Regional to qualify for the state finals in girls golf. The Chesterton Middle School cross country teams won all four titles at their own CMS Invite.


The Chesterton football team turned in its most impressive performance of the season in a 63-36 victory over Lake Central. Quarterback Alex Beierwalter threw for a school-record 509 yards, while also setting school-record’s in completions (25) and touchdown’s (5). The volleyball team set a school-record for wins in a season with 28 before falling in the Sectional finals to Portage. The freshman volleyball team won the Valparaiso Invitational. The boys cross country team picked up Sectional and Regional crowns. They also finished second at Semistate which gave them a berth in the state finals where they finished ninth. The boys soccer team won the Valparaiso Regional with a 2-0 victory over Michigan City Marquette and a 5-0 win over Lowell. The CMS 8th grade cross country teams also won conference titles.


Eleven MVP’s were named at the Chesterton High School Fall Sports Awards program and another 119 scholar-athlete’s were recognized. Fall athletes also garnered All-State and All-District honors. In football, Alex Beierwalter, Grant Cartwright and Adam Hutnick were honorable mention All-State. Hutnick, Chris Hoenke, Nick Kokinakos and Travis Anderson were also recognized by the Bloomington Herald-Times. Beierwalter, Sam Jaegar and Mark VanDenburgh were junior honorable mention. In soccer, Jordan Lewis was named 2nd team All-State. All-District honors went to Lewis, Mark Babcock, Alex Mannen and Ricky Garvey. Chester Vanek was a 3rd team All-State selection in boys cross country. The girls basketball team picked up its first win of the season in overtime against LaPorte, while the boys got their first win behind 36 points from Zack Novak at Mishawaka. The No. 11 ranked girls swim team beat No. 19 Crown Point.


The Chesterton boys swim team won 10-of-15 events and finished second at the Hall of Fame Invitational on the month’s first weekend. The girls team picked up two event victories at the same meet with Talor Whitaker winning the 200 Free and the Whitaker teaming with Taylor Lipniskis, Brittany Fozkos and Shauna Foor to win the 200 Free Relay. The wrestling team beat Portage for the first time in 20 years 38-29. The CMS wrestlers picked up four individual Lake-Porter conference titles with victories by Chris Thompson (70), Anthony Quiroz (130), Tony Sanchez (150) and Alex Boatright (240). Last-second baskets by Amanda Gough and Dana Christensen led the girls basketball team to victories over Portage and Valparaiso.


Posted 12/29/2006