Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 20, 2014

Sports briefs for Thursday, March 20

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Maconaquah board votes to join TRC

BUNKER HILL — The Maconaquah school board voted 5-0 Wednesday night in favor of having the Braves join the Three Rivers Conference, beginning in the 2015-16 school year. The Braves join fellow Miami County school Peru in leaving the Mid-Indiana Conference for the TRC.

”Last week we had an informational session for the public and had quite a few people attend,” Mac A.D. John Off said. “In the course of that the board was there and they weighed public opinion and saw that not only were the coaches in favor of moving to a more stable conference but the public was as well. [Wednesday] night, they voted 5-0 to join the TRC.”

Maconaquah will stay in the MIC next season, then, along with Peru, will join the TRC. Eastern and Taylor earlier made plans to leave the MIC after next season. The uncertainty about the league’s future made Maconaquah administrators consider the move out of what had been its home league for half a century.

”It’s pretty bittersweet,” Off said. “I like our guys in the MIC [the other athletic directors], they’re all great to work with. When Maconaquah was first established in ‘64 we’ve been in the MIC, but ultimately I had to look out for the needs of the kids and the actual individual sports and make sure we were in a league that was as stable as we could possibly be.”

Off hopes to maintain most of the rivalries that Maconaquah already has with their long-time MIC brethren. He said the Braves already play a lot of TRC schools so changing leagues won’t alter their schedule that much, nor will it take much tweaking to keep MIC rivalries.

“We talked about [keeping rivalries] when it first happened when Eastern and Taylor went off,” Off said. “Before the first thing even happened — this is what a great group of guys these [other A.D.s] are — we said we understand we might not agree with it, but we’re going to be professional and if you do leave it’d be crazy not to try and maintain that.”

IUK inks Shorter to women’s hoops team

The Indiana University Kokomo women’s basketball team announced Wednesday that it has signed Winamac’s Stephanie Shorter as the first signee to the program. The women’s team begins play next season.

“We are excited to have a player like Stephanie as our first signee,” said IUK coach Whitney Farris in a release on the Cougar website. “She is the complete package of what our program is looking for in a student, person, and player. She is skilled and a relentless competitor who will be able to play multiple positions on the floor. We look forward to having Steph help build a strong foundation for the women’s basketball program here at IU Kokomo.”

A native of Winamac, Shorter is a 5-foot-9 forward who averaged 20.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per contest as a senior at Winamac Community High School. She led the Warriors to sectional titles in her sophomore and senior years.

Kolkmeier, Ballenger to coach Jr. All-Stars

The Indiana Basketball Coaches Association announced Tuesday that former Kokomo assistant coach Jamie Kolkmeier will coach the 2014 Indiana Junior All-Star squad, assisted by another former Wildkat assistant Chad Ballenger, and Perry Meridian’s Brent Keck. Kolkmeier is the head coach of Corydon Central and Ballenger, who also coached Eastern, is now coaching Hamilton Heights.

The senior squad will be coached by Brownstown Central’s David Benter, with Marion’s James Blackmon and Crown Point’s Clint Swan as assistants.