The little school in Greentown made the biggest splash on the area sports scene in 2013. Eastern High School athletes took four state championships in track, scored a runner-up finish in girls basketball, and saw a favorite son, Eastern graduate Josiah Price, close the book on a great year for the Comets by helping Michigan State’s football squad win the Big Ten championship and take a spot in the Rose Bowl.
Tipton County enjoyed the limelight in football season, sending two squads to Lucas Oil Stadium to play for state glory on the Colts’ home field.
Here’s a look at the Kokomo Tribune’s top 10 sports stories of 2013:
1. Eastern track
The wave of athletes in the Eastern track and field program crested this past spring as the Comets collected four first-place medals at the boys and girls state meets at Bloomington. Track and field is one of the IHSAA’s few open team tournaments, not divided by enrollment size
Grant Cole got the parade started with a state title in the boys long jump.
The Comet girls took to the track the next day and collected three more golds. Bethany Neeley repeated as state champion in the 1,600 run. Twin sister Brittany won the 800. Also, those two teamed with Sarah Wagner and Jessie Sprinkles to win the 3,200 relay in a blistering 8:53.74, crushing the old state record by more than 10 seconds.
Bethany Neeley finished the day as the mental attitude award winner, following Brittany’s mental attitude award in Class 2A at the girls basketball state finals.
2. Tipton County football
The only way to have generated more excitement about football in Tipton County this fall would have been to have the Class A and 2A state championship games on the same day at Lucas Oil Stadium. Super seasons from Tri-Central and Tipton took those squads all the way to Indianapolis where the Trojans and Blue Devils played in title games on back-to-back days.