Kathy Loggan (middle), wife of the late Paul Loggan, talks alongside her kids Sami (left), Will (middle left) and Michael, with his fiancé Megan Sizemore at North Central High School on Thursday, May 7, 2020.
For the 2020 version of “Sports Mom of the Year,” Kyle Neddenriep received heartfelt nominations from fathers, mothers, husbands, sons, daughters and friends with compelling reasons why they had the perfect selection. And they did.
Kyle wanted to share some of their stories with you this Mother’s Day.
(Some of the submissions have been edited for space.)
I want to nominate Toby Etchison (mother of Gus, Tillman and J.P. Etchison).
I know you are familiar with the story surrounding the family’s loss of Tony Etchison in a farming accident. Even with that aside, Toby is more than deserving of this recognition. She has volunteered in our community to help other kids, opened her home up for a disadvantaged family in need of financial assistance and is now raising three boys by herself.
She is a special woman, who is more than deserving of this honor and recognition.
Thank you for bringing light to the special women supporting our student athletes.
I would like to submit a nomination for Sports Mom of the Year. Jennifer Pierson of Warren Central. Two of her sons, David Pierson and Jeivan Ross are juniors on the Warren wrestling team.
David and Jeivan have been athletes their whole lives. They played basketball, football, and wrestled at one point in their younger years. Jennifer is the ultimate, dedicated, supportive sports mom on and off the mat.
As I’m sure you are aware, wrestling is a year-round sport. Her boys don’t take a break so, naturally, neither does she! She NEVER misses a meet or tournament (no matter what state it’s in). She’s always working/organizing/leading the hospitality services for the team, its volunteers, and referees during tournaments. She only takes a break when it’s David or Jeivan’s turn to wrestle. She heads the Warren Wrestling social media pages on Instagram and Twitter. She is even on the ISWA (Indiana State Wrestling Association) board that governs off season wrestling.
She is always on the move busing a van full of wrestlers to and from practice, putting up with major attitudes when it’s time to cut weight (which is an admiration all in itself!), and giving support to wrestlers who might not have it at home. She is more than David and Jeivan’s mom… she is a team mom.
Sports mom aside, Jennifer is simply just an amazing mom. She deserves all the recognition although she’d never admit it. I hope you’ll consider this nomination.
I would like to nominate Shannon Thompson, mother of three boys, all athletes.
All three boys are multiple sport athletes — the oldest, Liam, started two years at North Central at quarterback, and now starts at Wabash.
I have served on the Panther Football Club Board with Shannon for two years. She served as president, and then as co-president to train last year’s new president.
What strikes me most about Shannon is her humility and dogged determination to get done what needs to get done for the athletes. On Friday nights even if her son was on the field playing and there was no one to work the concession stand, she’d work the concession stand. That is her essence, roll up her sleeves, and get things done.
Not only does she serve on the Panther Football Club board, but she also works with the parent board for North Central baseball.
She is everywhere, all the time. My son played QB at North Central this year… we joked at a game this fall that I only have a month left on the board, she has 7 more years. She just rolled her eyes and laughed…”Yep, you’re right.”
Shannon Thompson is the real deal.
The woman I would like to nominate for Sports Mom of the Year is Kimberly Deckard. Kimberly is a mother of three boys who all play ice hockey. The two older boys play for the South Stars Hockey Association and the youngest plays for the Indy Fuel. Keeping three different hockey schedules straight would be a lot for any family, but this task is especially difficult because she does it alone. Husband and father John Deckard was a larger than life supporter of all things youth hockey who passed away in the summer of 2018, leaving Kim to finish raising the three boys on her own. Prior to his passing, Kim and John were the quintessential hockey family. Their weeknights and weekends revolved around their boys’ hockey schedules. Not only is Kim the ultimate “hockey mom,” she is also a full-time elementary teacher and recent “teacher of the year” recipient. There shouldn’t be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything she does, but somehow she still manages.
Kim deserves this recognition for so many reasons. She treats every player (on each of her son’s teams) like her own. She holds her sons and their coaches accountable to play/coach the game the way it is supposed to be played. She is a die-hard supporter of all things youth hockey. Every team is better off for having a Deckard on it. The Deckard boys are hard-working and the type who lead quietly by example. This is a direct result of their family’s values and priorities. I have had the privilege to coach two of the three boys and still hold onto the possibility of some day coaching the youngest. As a coach, there was no family I’d rather have in my corner than the Deckards, and that continues to this day with Kim. I think it would be bittersweet given life’s circumstances the last few years and the fact that her oldest finished his high school athletic career this past season.
Kim Deckard is an inspiration to all who know her and I hope you seriously consider her for Sports Mom of the Year. She’s probably been deserving of this title for the last decade; I’ll cross my fingers and hope this is her year!
Brandi Baxter of Greencastle deserves endless praise and thanks for her unwavering commitment to her children. Without hesitation, she works tirelessly to provide every opportunity and experience possible when it coms to her children and their athletic interests. She attends sporting events throughout every season, ranging from pee-wee football, baseball and basketball up to high school varsity football and basketball. She exemplifies the working mom and supportive parent, never shying away from volunteering to assist in everything from food and clothing for the team and parents all the way up to running the concession stand when her children aren’t participating. She travels for hours on weekday and weekend nights to be in support of her children and their athletic endeavors while maintaining the utmost respect for the “student” portion of her children being student/athletes. She values the importance of lessons learned through athletics and encourages all students to participate in a variety of sports throughout the school year. Aside from supporting and encouraging her own children in athletics, she coaches track and field at the middle school level. Brandi Baxter is a very supportive mother of four student/athletes from the elementary to high-school level and is deserving of a “thank you” for all she does for not only her own children’s athletics, but also the community in which she resides and school in which she works (Greencastle Middle School).
I could not be more proud to provide her name and information for the IndyStar Mother’s Day Sports Recognition initiative. Thank you for doing this, Kyle!
We would like for you to consider our daughter Jennifer White for sports mom of the year. Jennifer and her husband Josh have three children that attend Tri-West. Mollie, 16, is a varsity cheerleader and also represents Tri-West on a competition cheerleading team winning many awards around the state. Brady, 14, plays travel baseball spring, summer and fall. He is catcher and pitcher. Sophie, 10, plays basketball in the winter and softball in the summer and fall and football cheerleading. Each one is an honor student at their respective schools. During COVID-19 with all extracurricular activities shut down Jennifer has set up sports for them in their yard: a baseball batting net, tumbling mats and a basketball goal to make sure they are exercising and keeping fit for the reopening of their sports. Jennifer is Supermom… She’s their coach, cheerleader, their ride to all the games and practices she’s their school tutor, she’s a scheduler of events and always does it with a SMILE. It takes a village to raise kids and especially three of them in three different schools and three different sports, three different times. But she manages, rarely asking for help. Something very special is that Jennifer has instilled in each kid the importance of teamwork as each sibling helps the other with their goals and attends each other’s sporting events. Jennifer is a craft mom so in turn she makes shirts for the seniors’ cheerleaders’ moms for their last year. She supervisors concession stand of Dippin Dots to earn money for the girls competition cheering.
We have watched our daughter’s devoted and tireless efforts sharing her love of sports and love for these three kids for 10 years. She makes it look easy. She said to me last week, “I love having the three of them home during this pandemic.”
Sincerely Gregg and Pam Kissel. Mom and Dad
I would like to nominate Danielle Traylor. This single, super sports mom gives her all to her four super-talented basketball young ladies. She has managed, somehow to keep her ducks in a row, taking each of these girls to practice, games or workouts, whatever it takes she manages. She has worked so hard to make their future more attainable. She being a college player herself, the love of the game of basketball has been able to teach them the game as well. Her oldest daughter will be a junior, a starter on Purdue’s women’s team. She’ll have a senior, junior and sophomore in High School next year. I applaud her for keeping on when things weren’t easy being a single parent. She made it happen and will continue till the youngest one is in college. Great job, Danielle, you are a Super Sports Mom for sure!
I nominate my mother, Danielle Traylor, ‘Sports Mom of the Year!’ She is so deserving of this award, being a single mom of four girls. It takes a strong person to be a single parent and take on two roles. I can’t thank her enough for taking care of me and my sisters and introducing the game of basketball to us. As we all know, sports are costly. She has been wiling to do whatever she can to pay for our expenses, to get us where we need to be today. Not only has she taught us the game of basketball, but she has taught us what matters most in life. If I turn into my mother, or even half the person she is, I’ll consider myself a successful one!
I’d like to nominate my mom, Danielle Traylor, for your sports Mom of the Year. She is a single mother of four girls. I play at Purdue and my sisters all play at Martinsville High School! She’s the reason I am where I am today! The countless hours of coaching us on her own and and the money she was able to gather up in order to get us to our tournaments throughout the years goes to show how committed she has been to giving us the best opportunities possible to do whatever we wish to do! She’s hardworking and dedicated and has a love for sports that she passed onto us four as well. In my entire basketball career before Purdue, she has missed MAYBE a handful of games. She always finds a way to balance all of our schedules and be there supporting each of us no matter what. Even on crazy AAU tournament weekends when we would be at a few different facilities, she would drive between games to make it. Through my first two years at Purdue and my sisters’ high school season being around the same time, she’s managed to make it to all of my home games and even some away games as well!! She is the epitome of a sports mom. She has done it all on her own since day 1 and I know she will continue to be our biggest fan.
As much as my mom has never been one for any kind of recognition and has ALWAYS put others first, I feel I would be doing a disservice as a son if I failed to nominate my mom, Mary Stewart, for the ‘Sports Mom of Year’ award. Actually, it would seem to be more fitting for her to be ‘Sports Mom of Half a Century’.
A little background about my mom: she is 70 years old with eight kids (four boys, four girls), 30 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. All eight kids played sports growing up and all through high school, with mom typically transporting to/from and not missing an event. Two sons were football state champions at Roncalli in 1985 and ‘88, one son was part of the ‘92 sectional championship at Beech Grove, and one son part of the first Roncalli basketball City championship in ’93. Her daughters played on various Roncalli volleyball teams during that same timeframe.
Fast forward to today… mom has granddaughters playing CYO sports at St Jude. and Nativity grade schools, a grandson who is a junior on Marian University’s basketball team, a granddaughter who was a freshman this past year and played on Cathedral’s JV basketball and volleyball teams, grandson who was a freshman at Roncalli playing on freshman football team and JV basketball team, and twin grandsons at Franklin Central who played on the basketball team and football teams. Needless to say, mom is typically at some kind of sporting event all seven days of the week (pre-coronavirus) and she wouldn’t have it any other way. On nights that she may have “off”, you may even find her at an occasional Pacers game with children/grandchildren.
This schedule would seem exhausting for most of us or sound like something fun to do for a retiree. However, mom still works full-time. And her sports schedule doesn’t stop here. Every single Saturday and Sunday, she cuts out the “Sports on TV” section of the IndyStar so she can keep track of what games are on TV during her “free time.” One will not find her on a weekend without that particular section of the newspaper stuffed in her purse. If at a grandkids’ event, it’s not unusual for her to ask one of her kids to check their phone for a score or see if we can get the final minute of a close game on our phones. During basketball season, it’s routine to receive a text message from her (and sometimes not get it until I wake up the next morning) saying, “Just wanted to tell you that Bobby Hurley (one of her all-time favorites) is on”. Or, “In case you didn’t see it, Steve (Alford) and Nevada are the late game tonight.” Reminder: these are the late games on TV when most of us are already asleep but she still has to get her “fix” of basketball. If it’s a Notre Dame football game or IU basketball game, she is typically at one of her kids’ homes to watch and get into the game (if she is not at one of her grandkids’ sporting events).
This coronavirus has been scary and tragic on many levels and it has taken lives of many wonderful people. It certainly puts sports into perspective. Seeing my mom without her sports during this time has also put into perspective just how much mom has always put her kids and grandkids first, especially when it comes to their sporting events, and how much her life has temporarily changed. While she was initially flabbergasted that any kind of sporting event would be cancelled due to this “dumb coronavirus” (her words), she understands the seriousness of it. Nobody is looking forward to things getting back to “normal” more than mom so she can get back to her sports and find her happy place again with her grandkids.
I am sure there are many other amazing and deserving mothers who have been submitted for this award and I feel it’s a wonderful thing you are doing for Mothers’ Day weekend. I’m not sure what criteria is used as far as nominating the actual winner but if it’s anything like nominations for a Hall of Fame, consistent greatness over a long period of time is sometimes the deciding factor. Mary Stewart’s consistent greatness and love of sports for over 50 years involving kids and grandkids will hopefully put her over the top.
Even though you didn’t announce a Sports GRANDmother nomination process, I humbly and earnestly submit my nomination for Terresa Thompson of Spencer. She is the maternal grandmother of 2020 Indiana Mr. Basketball Anthony Leal and six other fine young Hoosiers, all of whom she supports and loves on in endearing and unconditional fashion. In addition to being the biggest fan of Anthony and his older sister Lauren (DePauw), Terresa tirelessly has nurtured the academic and sports careers of her other grandchildren, three of whom have been/are Bloomington South Panthers and one who excels in STEM courses at Purdue Polytechnic High School.
Terresa knows her basketball, with her talent evaluation skills having been honed by watching innumerable games over the years in the company of her best friend Nancy Hanger. At AAU events like the Run ‘N’ Shoot/Spiece event she and Nancy will not uncommonly watch 8-10 games in one day. She does an excellent job filming most every contest, and uploading them onto YouTube/twitter(@mamawhascamera). If Terresa says “so and so is a good player,” I know to listen and pay more attention to his/her game, and eventually see the talent she has been seeing all along. Just last year alone, I believe she and Nancy drove about 40,000 miles to view her grandkids competing in activities all over the country. However, with Lauren’s career prematurely shortened by recurrent knee injuries, Terresa has been there to provide comfort and hope.
Thank you very much for considering Terresa Thompson for the 2020 Indiana Sports GRANDmother of the Year!
Indiana High School Basketball Fan
I had seen where you were looking for nominations so I thought I would nominate my wife Lisa. She wouldn’t want the attention but she certainly deserves the recognition nonetheless.
We have four kids, two boys and two girls. The boys are now both playing college ball and the girls, who are obviously quite a bit younger, have just started playing so round 2 has begun. Lisa has not only held the fort down but she also thrown batting practice and done about everything she can possibly do to help our kids. We have gone through several vehicles due to the miles we have logged. The boys have played travel baseball all over the country, and I couldn’t have done it without her. It has even meant trips to Cary, N.C. at the USA Baseball complex where the boys were asked to compete for roster spots on Team USA.
Lisa graduated from Bloomington North HS and was a manager at McDonald’s while putting herself through cosmetology school. She helped run the McD’s just off the edge of campus by Assembly Hall.
She certainly helped get our boys to the collegiate level. Dylan is playing baseball at Marian and Dustin is also playing baseball at Howard College which is a JUCO in Texas. Dustin was a first team all-state, IndyStar Super Team and also PBR all-state (top 14 players overall) last year. Dustin was also just 1 of 76 seniors asked to go to USA Baseball in 2018. Dylan also played one year of college football (Wabash) before deciding to transfer and focus strictly on baseball while majoring in Business Management at Marian.
Our girls are now playing golf, basketball, softball and running track. The sports have changed but Lisa remains the backbone and the heart of our family so she certainly deserves the recognition even though she would never ask for it.
Thank you Kyle and keep up the great work!
There are many reasons why I am nominating my wife, Misty, this year. I am going to highlight my top 10 reasons why Misty is the sports mom of the year. Before I give you my top 10 reasons let me talk a little bit about my family. I have two sons. One is named Ethan who is in 6th grade at St. Lawrence and AJ who is a sophomore at Chatard. Ethan plays football and basketball for his school along with AAU travel basketball. AJ plays football and basketball for his school and AAU travel basketball as well. I am the boys basketball coach at Indianapolis George Washington. Between my boys schedules and my own there is only one mom/wife who is capable of making sure at the end of the day with all the hustle and bustle of our lives that once all the games and practices are over, and when we are all at home together for the evening our family is grounded with love. With that said here are the top 10 reasons why I am nominating Misty for Sports mom of the year.
10. No such thing when you are a parent, but she is the ultimate Uber among our boys for all their practices and rides to and from school.
9. Fast food is not an option, no matter the time, a home-cooked meal is always prepared for us.
8. Win or lose she is supportive to our needs whether a listening ear or words of encouragement.
7. Who needs Travelocity? Every tournament my boys are playing, the hotels and travel arrangements are scheduled way in advance.
6. The boys and I always have clean clothes to wear.
5. Home Nurse: a master’s degree in education but when it comes to home remedies and patching us men up when we are sick, bruised, and banged up, we are the luckiest men alive.
4. Student First: (Momma don’t play that) with two growing boys, no grades no play policy, scholars before ballers and she is the human Google that has the right answer to all our problems.
3. The queen of time management: she is Vice Principal for Arlington Middle School, sits on two boards at St. Lawrence the sports committee and school commission, she is cheerleading coach at St. Lawrence and is a Chatard parent ambassador, but still never misses our son’s games.
2. Team Moms are so underrated: Misty is the real MVP in this category, from scheduling, pictures, snacks, emails, reminders, banquets, thank you letters, open communication to all, more importantly a friendly smile to everyone she comes in contact.
1. A Coaches Wife, need I say more!
During these unprecedented times we all are living in, I am more thankful than ever to have my wife Misty and my boys at home and spending quality time. Our new normal is being thankful for all the little things and finding the silent victories that living has to offer. Having Misty in my life and the strength and structure she provides for our family reminds me of the powerful poem of Maya Angelou when she said “ I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” I nominate my wife Misty for the Sports Mom of the Year because she always makes me feel special. I love you baby, and from the boys and I Happy Mother’s Day.
Indianapolis George Washington Head Coach,
I would like to nominate my mother, Mi Mi Hornbuckle, as “Sports Mom of the Year”
My mother is worthy of being named “Sports Mom of the Year,” as she is a huge sports fan, especially when it comes to basketball. My mother has always been my biggest fan ever since I started playing basketball at the age of 4 and up to now after completing my senior year. My mother never missed one of my basketball games. I could always hear her voice and her cheering while I was playing — sometimes even jumping out of her seat when I scored. It meant a lot to be able to look up into the stands and see her there. My mother also spent countless hours volunteering to help with team activities, working the concession stand, planning special events and team meals. I truly appreciate all of the love and support that my mother has shown throughout my high school basketball career at Hamilton Southeastern High School. Most importantly, I appreciate her for always reminding me to leave everything that I have on the court. This lesson not only applies to basketball but to life in general.
My name is Ryan Schebler (husband) and I am nominating Jenny Schebler for “Sports Mom of the Year”.
Jenny Schebler, has attended more than 200 sporting events in the past year to watch her children do what they love! She is the mother of three beautiful, athletic children Riley (17), Charlie (15) and Lilly (14) who are a combined 32 months apart in age. They are all three-sport athletes. Riley and Charlie are a junior and freshman at Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception in Oldenburg, and Lilly is an 8th grader at St. Louis Catholic School in Batesville. The 200+ sporting events includes baseball, basketball, football, tennis, volleyball and track and field but not practices, banquets and other mandatory functions. The numbers only tell a small part of the story…
Jenny understands sports activities can set a student athletes up for failure. Before and after school practice coupled with weekday and weekend competition make it tough for kids to study and do their homework. After school, she knows kids are tired and want to shower, eat and go to bed. Her incredible, positive influence encourages them to fight through the tough times and achieve their best. It is a common for her to help the kids with their homework late at night or early in the morning, at home or on the road. Jenny is proactive and keeps track of the kids academic achievement and helps with their challenges instead of punishing them by not attending sporting commitments. To Jenny playing sports is a privilege as long as you keep your grades up to her standards which is not easy! Her dedication has paid off as she has successfully helped our children achieve academic excellence validated with multiple selections to National Honor Society, First Honors and straight A’s for all three students.
Our kids are hungry all the time! It is typical to have four meals a day not including snacks at different times and she is not a fan of fast food.
Laundry is where Jenny is more like a magician as it seems no matter what time disgusting, filthy and awful smelling clothes enter the clothes hamper they mysteriously show up the next morning in the kids closet clean and looking like new. Day after day…night after night!
Similar to Pope Francis, Jenny believes sports are a great source of values and virtues that help children become better people. … Regardless of the complex weekend schedules, Jenny has always managed to make sure the kids never miss a Sunday Mass. She has utilized Saturday evening, Sunday morning and evening Masses around the country, sometimes sweaty and gross, to ensure her children win the most important game of all… getting a ticket to heaven!
I would be remiss if I didn’t submit my wife, Jen White. She truly amazes me every day the way she supports our three children with their sports and academics, while my job keeps me pretty busy day-to-day. Here are a few things that come to mind about her:
She has the biggest heart of anyone that I know. She has stopped traffic multiple times to help those in need and would give anyone her last dollar if they needed it. I have never met a more kind and gentle heart than her.
We have three very active kids, with one daughter in high school, a son in middle school and our youngest daughter in elementary school, in the Tri-West school district.
>> Our oldest daughter is a varsity cheerleader and my wife is the Cheer Mom for the team and coordinates all of the fundraisers, the team meals, the cheer events, etc. and has for the past two years. Every football game she is working concessions just to raise money for the team.
>> My son is a baseball player for the school and plays travel ball. She takes him to most practices, his private training sessions and has been a Team Mom for almost every team he has been on throughout.
>> Our youngest daughter plays basketball and softball and she has been a Team Mom for most of the teams she has been on. She makes bows for the girls to wear, sweatshirts with the girls’ numbers on them.
I could go on and on and I am sure you are getting some amazing nominations, but Jen is truly a special person in so many ways and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to send you something about her.
I would like to nominate Cathy Allen for Sports Mom of the Year. Cathy had three boys go through Carmel High School and they participated in numerous sports — football, lacrosse, track. Her youngest, Erik, will be graduating in the class of 2020. For every child, every season, every sport, Cathy was always the first person to offer to help and take charge. She was Co-President of the Carmel Football Parents Club for two seasons. Through all of this, Cathy fought through breast cancer three years ago and just this past football season, Cathy was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor that involved a grueling surgery which left her permanently deaf in one ear. None of this stopped her from impressively fulfilling her role as the football board co-President (and since the team won the state title this year, it was an extended amount of time), working as a nurse, taking care of an aging parent, and being a fabulous mom to her three athletic sons.
I have known Cathy since our sons started playing football and lacrosse together eight years ago, and she has always stood out as someone who is always positive and encouraging, no matter the circumstances. In the sometimes toxic sports culture, thank God for people like Cathy Allen!
I would like to nominate my wife, Jennifer Coy. Jennifer is the mother of four young men ranging in age from 14 to 23. Over the past 15 years, she has been the epitome of a sports mom. Our boys have participated in football, basketball and baseball. They have been on youth teams, middle school and varsity high school teams in the Center Grove community, high-level travel teams, and now college teams. Jennifer has probably been to more than 1,000 sporting events for our boys. What I love and admire most about my wife and her “sports mom” mentality, is that she doesn’t just love and support our boys, she has been the sports mom for hundreds of other boys and young men over these years. She has been team mom for every youth, middle school and high school our boys have participated on. She organizes team events, works tirelessly with the coaches to provide a great experience for them and the players, washes towels, supplies water, provides food and snacks, and encourages each boy and their families to enjoy the sport experience.
Coach (Eric) Moore has requested a bus to transport the players from a middle school to the high school for years to no avail. This year, Jennifer was able to work together with the middle school athletic director to arrange for a bus to transport the boys to the high school. One day, coach Moore saw them getting off the bus and asked one of the boys who arranged the bus. The boys replied that Mrs. Coy had worked to get it arranged, to which coach Moore chuckled and said I guess that makes sense!
Why does she do what she does? She’s a mom. She loves her own boys, but she loves all of the boys/players that she gets to know and interact with, and they love her back. Her reward is simple. She doesn’t want or need recognition, she is perfectly happy with all the smiles and hugs!
Marcia Luigs is now a grandmother, but let us follow her progress
>> two daughters, now adults doing well and involved in civic affairs
>> Early on, a volunteer for preschoolers at churches and grade schools; mostly disadvantaged
>> While following daughter one being engaged in golf was appointed to two national golf committees progressed through the USGA as a member of the girls junior committee until she was named chair of that committee.
>> Annually took as many as 12 Indiana junior girls to the national championship, raising the money to do so.
>> Became a member of the USGA women’s committee, then became chair of that committee.
>> Was appointed captain of USGA world amateur team in Adelaide, Australia, and was a real mom to that team.
>> Member of Indiana Golf Hall of Fame.
>> Co-chair of USGA Women’s Amateur Championship, Crooked Stick 2007
l would like to take this opportunity to nominate Teri Harker for sports mother of the year. Teri is the mother of three former three-sport athletes and one current student athlete at Lebanon High School. Teri is an outstanding parent who has raised 4 children who not only have excelled in athletic competition but have achieved outstanding academic honors. All four children were leaders in the classroom and on their athletic teams. Teri supported all LHS athletic programs and coaches. She was a parent I could reach out to and call at any time if I needed assistance. She would do anything asked of her to help out athletic programs not just focusing on her own child or their programs. She let the coaches coach and her children solve their own problems. She is a true role model for all parents who have children growing up playing sports. I believe she is an excellent candidate to recognize as sports mom of the year. I thank you for your consideration.
Kalyn Harker: 2011 graduate. Volleyball, Basketball, Softball (I believe is now a nurse for IU Health)
Isaac Harker: 2014 graduate. Football, Basketball, Baseball (Current Quarterback for Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League)
Tori Harker: 2018 graduate Volleyball, Basketball, Softball (Currently attending IU East and playing Volleyball)
Garrett Harker: Rising Senior, 2021 graduate. Football, Baseball player committed to playing baseball at University of Cincinnati.
Phil Levine, CAA
Lebanon Athletic Director
While I know this may be an anomaly, I would like to nominate our nine Cathedral Softball Senior Class of 2020 moms: Dana Beesley, Erin Miller, Janet Manship, Kelli Garwood, Lisa Timberman, Liza Dittoe, Megan Amick, Nicole Zelin Wagoner, and Shannon Lorsung. As a high school teacher and coach for 35 years (basketball/softball), I recognize and value the support of parents as a significant part of running a program. Also, as a mom of 2 children who were former student-athletes at Cathedral High School, I was able to witness the “behind the scenes” work our parents provide. Not to mention that many of our moms are in the work force trying to balance family and professional duties. I can attest that all parents “chip in” and do what they can given their own personal and professional responsibilities, but these 9 moms have gone above and beyond their duties. Ever since their daughters enrolled in Cathedral High School in the Fall of 2016, the bar was raised! It was immediate “buy in” for the student-athletes and their parents. We have a Valedictorian, a Salutatorian, and 5 other senior softball players from the Class of 2020 who have met the qualifications for being nominated as ICGSA Academic All-State. Our softball moms are great role models who are giving in nature and find a way to still make the experience of being in our program second to none. Yes, they provide the customary team meals prior to every game, but they also coordinate “behind the scenes” work to promote our program and make the girls feel special and appreciated, which boosts a teenage female’s self-esteem during a transitional time. I will just name a few traditions that our softball program has been able to establish with the help of these moms: Team Christmas gift exchange party, Halloween pumpkin carving, team service projects to assist the community, bat girl program for every home game (honoring a summer camper or CHS relative), annual Easter Egg hunt, assisting with annual IHSAA tournament draw “watch party” for our team, renovating our team locker room (and stocking our supply of team snacks/drinks), coordinating photographer for senior and team banners, supporting our team Twitter account, and above all, supporting the other girls as one of their own! In a society that is ultra competitive in nature, these moms have truly embraced the team concept. Although we had hopes of bringing home our first state title in softball, our season was lost due to the coronavirus pandemic. As coaches and players and parents, we struggled emotionally with this team loss, yet these moms have continued to support our program by offering support and assistance. We still hope to honor our seniors and our moms (and dads) in July, but moving forward we will forever cherish and remember the sacrifices these ladies have made to our program in honor of not just their own daughters, but the TEAM! I share with you this final quote in summation: “To the world, you are a mother. To our Irish softball family, you are the world!” We love you…Happy Mother’s Day!
Coach Linda Bamrick