Now that the autumnal solstice is in our rearview mirrors, it’s easy to contemplate hunkering down inside, turning up the heat, and enjoying the outside by the view from inside.
While that’s not a bad plan, there is still much to do outside. And the most accessible place to start is by following the lights in the night sky. I’m not talking the solar system (although that’s certainly a worthy way to muse about our place in the world). Instead, I’m talking about those outdoor fall sports. [Disclaimer: girls volleyball is in full swing and indoors with the state tournament held later in October on Ball State University’s campus.]
Our local schools are filled with the “Something for Everyone” option. Don’t feel an allegiance to a particular school? No matter. Somewhere here in central Indiana is an athlete who hopes to compete in college. It might just be your college. And when that college career transitions to professional, wouldn’t it be amazing to say that you saw that athlete back in the day?
Would you rather not plan in advance? Good, because that is the way that high school sports roll. Find the day of play and then find a ticket booth. Many venues accept cash, credit cards, or Apple Pay. The popcorn is pretty good, too.
You’d rather wait until the last game counts? The time is now.
Golf is in the midst of the state tournament competition. If golf is more than a “good walk spoiled” as Mark Twain once said, carve out some time to follow the crowd. The girls season finishes first, and they have already played local courses Maplebrook, Pebblebrook, and The Legends. State tournament play will be held at Prairie View Golf Club on October 1 and 2.
Find the quiet of the crowd and the sound of a racquet connecting with a ball refreshing? Boys tennis will compete mid-October in both team and individual competition at Carmel High School’s tennis complex.
Maybe you prefer the fast pace of soccer? Or the solitude of cross country? Both boys and girls will play until the state finals in October when they compete at the IUPUI’s Michael Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium the last weekend in October. The rolling hills of western Indiana host Hoosier from every high school with the cross country finals on —- at —- in Terre Haute.
And football? Follow those Friday night lights every weekend until the best of the best play at Lucas Oil Stadium the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. All of our local high schools, Brebeuf, Carmel, Cathedral, Chatard, Fishers, Hamilton Southeastern, Lawrence North and Central, North Central, Pike, Westfield, Zionsville, are perennial contenders.
Somewhere in these competitions is a fan favorite, a future star, Mental Attitude award winner, an Academic All-Star, a future college standout, and a professional athlete. Find your stadium seat, unroll the blanket, pack your raincoat, bring your family and friends, and be part of the athletic journey traveling central Indiana.