I asked a friend and avid Carmel fan with ties to the athletic program this question: Do Carmel fans ever get tired of winning?
I asked that question after second-year coach Scott Heady led the Greyhounds to the Class 4A state basketball championship this past season at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
I asked that question because at times they win so much and so often that not everyone always seems all that excited. Maybe it’s because they are so accustomed to winning. Maybe it’s treated like another
day at the office by some.
Certainly, the athletes and coaches respond the most because they’ve been in the heat of the battle. It’s pure adrenaline and excitement for them. The student body always seems to be up for the occasion, of course.
Principal John Williams oftimes reacts like most of the kids, and interacts with the cheer block. He might be the Hamilton County school’s No. 1 fan. Certainly one of the best administration fans I’ve ever seen.
Anyway, getting back to my friend’s reply:
“Do we ever get tired of winning? . . . No, no no!,’’ he said with a chuckle.
“Remember, there are a lot of fans who’ve lived in Carmel for years. They are the diehard fans. The fans that have blue and gold running through their veins. For many of us, though, it’s a cycle which occurs every 4 years as you graduate a senior class. Some parents remain involved; others aren’t. I think that’s especially true for people who have not lived in Carmel as long as others. Winning so much and so often, though, becomes a new experience for newcomers in the program. It’s a way of life at Carmel. It really is anticipated and expected,” Williams says, adding, “But when you have kids involved, parents are involved, as they should be. Carmel is a special
community. And people, especially in the athletic community, are a very close-knit group.”
At Carmel, it’s like everyone seems to be happiest once they get their athletic fix.
Yeah, at Carmel winning can be addictive.
But as much as it is about winning, it’s also about pride. They are a proud bunch, these Carmelites.
“There’s also jealously by other schools and communities in Hamilton County, and around the state,I’m sure,” I said to my friend. “I mean, Carmel’s athletic success is a country mile or two more than any other school in Indiana.”
My friend just smiled, leaned back, folded his arms, and replied, “Too bad!”
Facts are facts. They don’t lie.
Carmel High School added its 108th or so IHSAA-sanctioned state championship by winning the basketball title (it’s a number that’s really becoming hard to keep track of).
And the school has produced 7 state championships so far in the 2011-12 season, one more than the school’s previous state record in the 2010-11 school year. Yeah, I know, everyone knows that by
And keep in mind, a few more state tournaments lie ahead this season. So, is there more to come? Who knows? I, for one, certainly would not bet against it.
The Lady Greyhounds softball team, coached by Emily Good, is the defending 4A state champion, and they’re still pretty good. The Lady Greyhounds are ranked among the state’s top 10 once again.
The girls tennis team is the defending state champion, and it is now coached by Mike Bostic, one of the best around. He has led the boys to back-to-back state tennis titles, and 4 championships since 2003.
Both track teams are good, too. So is the boys golf team. The baseball team returns a lot of experience, too. But it’s got a ways to go.
Football won the state championship in 2011, under second-year coach Kevin Wright, who won three straight at Warren Central in 2003-05; and now the basketball plaque has found its back for the first time since 1977 to what some folks call the City of Gold, as in Gold medals, of course.
“The bar has been set pretty high (at Carmel), first-year baseball coach Jay Lehr told me, with a smile and a chuckle.
So, stay tuned, the excitement may not be over.
When you throw in club sports, such as hockey and lacrosse and boys volleyball and competitive cheerleading (yes, those girls are treated like athletes and honored for their accomplishments, as they should be), I think the total number of state championships numbers something like 120.
Carmel has quantity and quality.
Yes, it’s still one BIG high school, but what the school has done is incredible. Simply incredible.
Mark Morrow owns and operates Hamilton County Sports Daily, the only all-sports website in Hamilton County.