Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

February 25, 2012

WHO WE ARE: Plenty of sports for area youth

GOSHEN — Youth sports can be an important stitch into the fabric of a community.

That is certainly true in Goshen as there are a host of opportunities for local kids to participate in whatever activity catches their fancy.

Three of the main activities that draw hordes of Goshen youths are baseball, football and — this being Indiana — basketball.

Junior Football League

The brainchild of former Goshen High School head football coach Ken Mirer, the Junior Football League has become a staple of youth sports and an important feeder program for the high school team.

Between 120-130 boys participate in youth football in Goshen on a yearly basis, according to Chris Immel, one of the league’s volunteer organizers.

In its 27th year, the Junior Football League is actually designed as a feeder program for the Goshen High School football program, Immel said.

“We run the same offense and use the same terminology that they use at the high school,” Immel said.

With recent turnover in the head coaching position in Goshen up until last season, that has sometimes been a challenge, Immel said. But the basics of football are also a focus, giving players a fundamental foundation in the sport.

The league is self-contained, and Immel said organizers strive to make the teams as even as possible so that games are competitive. Eight teams are selected, and each team plays a six-game schedule. The games are played on smaller fields.

For Immel, a former Goshen High School assistant, working with the league has been a good way to stay involved with the sport locally, and help the high school program without the time commitment of being a high school coach.

“I love working with the kids, seeing their enthusiasm and willingness to learn,” Immel said.   

Goshen Little League

For baseball enthusiasts, Goshen Little League is already gearing up for another season on the diamond. Games will begin in spring, and the season will kick into high gear in late spring and early summer, when all-star teams are selected and district tournaments begin the road to Williamsport and the Little League World Series.

Goshen Little League celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and league president Perry Haimes — who has two boys, ages 13 and 10, in the program — has a chance this year to shape the future of the organization while his sons come through it.

Programs exist for both boys and girls, from ages 4-5 in the T-ball division, all the way up to a senior division for ages 15-16.

Between 650-700 kids are involved in Goshen Little League in an average year. Signups will begin in March for the upcoming season, and the league conducted skill camps in February to begin the registration process anew.

The league has grown quite a bit over the past 10-15 years, Haimes said. And in an age when some youth leagues find themselves in a perpetual conflict with travel sports teams, Goshen and a local travel team seem to have found a way to peacefully coexist.

Haimes said that includes working with the travel team to coordinate game schedules, so as to avoid conflicts.

Locally, that has also included an agreement that if a player participates on a travel team, he or she also must be a member of Goshen Little League.

Any youth league also often finds itself caught between the twin goals of being competitive while also providing as many opportunities for participation as possible.

Some, Haimes said, want the local Little League program to be a feeder program for the high school team, while others want to keep it more geared toward participation, and creating opportunities for all.

“We’ve got people in our organization who come from both points of view,” Haimes said. “Most people are somewhere in the middle.”

The balance isn’t always easy to strike, Haimes said, but he feels Goshen Little League does a pretty good job of finding that balance.

“The more kids you can have competing, the better,” Haimes said. “And when we get to the all-star level, our teams are pretty competitive.”    

Basketball

For youths interested in basketball, Goshen High School coach Brian Bechtel has a feeder program that starts as young as second grade. More than 100 kids in grades 2-4 are involved. Another 120 or so attend summer camps held at the high school. All seven elementary schools in the Goshen district field a fifth-grade team, and another 55-65 kids annually participate in middle school basketball.

That can add up to as many as 400 kids playing basketball in some form in Goshen every year.

There are also travel team opportunities for kids in grades 3-8, Bechtel said.

At the lower levels, Bechtel said, the focus is on participation and learning skills. As players get older and more serious, there are opportunities for them to take their game to another level.

“We hope to identify kids who are interested in eventually becoming Goshen High School varsity basketball players,” Bechtel said.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Indianapolis Colts Preview Colts looking to take next step in 2014 INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck has taken Indianapolis to the playoffs twice, won a division title and orchestrated the second-greatest postseason comeback in league history.That’s no longer good enough anymore for the Colts. They’re after a championship.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pyrenees please Nibali, Rogers in Tour Stage 16 BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Pyrenees on Tuesday lived up to their reputation for causing ups and downs at the Tour de France: A French rider climbed in the standings, an American went down, and an Australian rebounding from an ordeal of doping suspicions won Stage 16 in a downhill breakaway. Riding in his 10th Tour, three-time world champion Michael Rogers of Australia won his first Tour stage behind savvy racing, well-paced riding and the absence of his Tinkoff-Saxo Bank leader Alberto Contador. The Spaniard crashed out in Stage 10, inadvertently freeing up Rogers to go after the stage win.

    July 22, 2014

  • New ACCNew ACC settles into era of stability settles into era of stability GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) â?? Welcome to the new Atlantic Coast Conference. It's where a founding member is out, a fast-rising program is in, Notre Dame is there, too â?? sort of â?? and nobody else is leaving. Where a one-time punchline of a conference now boasts the Heisman Trophy winner, the reigning national champion and a handful of other individual award winners. And where stability finally has arrived â?? with its status as a power conference secure entering the College Football Playoff era â?? leaving its members optimistic about its future.|GREENSBORO, N.C. - Welcome to the new Atlantic Coast Conference. It's where a founding member is out, a fast-rising program is in, Notre Dame is there, too â sort of â and nobody else is leaving. Where a one-time punchline of a conference now boasts

    July 22, 2014

  • Harness Racing - Don Eash Eash, Cross local harness winners at 4-H fair GOSHEN — Carl Putnam Jr. came away as the big winner in harness racing action on Tuesday at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, taking the top spot in the featured race of the day — the Maple City Trot.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cycling Tour de France.jpg Tour de France heads to Pyrenees in Stage 16

    CARCASSONNE, France — Vincenzo Nibali is in the yellow jersey as the Tour de France peloton set off on the longest stage, into the Pyrenees.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN0420 harness racing Harness racing a popular attraction at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair

    There is no question about the popularity of the three-day harness racing program at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. Large crowds of knowledgeable fans are on hands for the races, something the drivers are very grateful for.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mexico Rodriguez Madrid.jpg James Rodriguez signs 6-year deal with Real Madrid

    MADRID — After scoring the most goals of any player at the World Cup, Colombia forward James Rodriguez signed a six-year deal with Real Madrid on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bills Dareus Football_Selm.jpg Travel delays push back Dareus' return to Bills

    PITTSFORD, N.Y.  — Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus' return to training camp has been postponed because of travel delays.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140721 fair parade road run 04 Two families bring three generations to Parade 5,000 GOSHEN — Family time at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair took on a whole new meaning Sunday during the 33rd annual Parade 5,000.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • Former GC basketball star signs deal in China Former Goshen College basketball player Errick McCollum II has signed a deal with Chinese team Zhejiang Chouzhou Bank, he confirmed to The Goshen News Sunday.The signing comes just shortly after McCollum played for the Denver Nuggets in the NBA’s Las

    July 21, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results