LOCAL NEWS

South cheerleaders hope to march in London

New Year’s Day will be different for Southmont High School senior cheerleaders Hannah and Haley Forsythe this year.

The twin sisters have the opportunity to appear in the London New Year’s Day Parade after being chosen as All-American Cheerleaders. 

To make the trip possible, they hope to gain support from the Montgomery County community.

The Universal Cheerleader Association recently put on a cheer camp at Southmont. Each attending cheerleader had the choice to tryout for the All-American team. The twin sisters only attempted to make the team with the urging of their fellow cheerleaders.

“We really didn’t think about trying out until our friends told us we should,” Hannah said. “I think we both were surprised to be chosen by the UCA staff. Only 10 percent of the cheerleaders from their national camps make All-American.”

Hannah and Haley are the daughters of Beth and Charlie Thomas. They have been cheering since seventh grade after deciding to stop playing sports. Their sport now is cheerleading.

“Cheerleading is definitely an activity that you have to practice for all the time,” Haley said. “Even during the summer, we are still practicing at the camp and entering contests.”

To help raise the $8,000 needed for the Dec. 26 through Jan. 2 trip, both girls are working two jobs this summer. But, they hope the community will help them finance the trip to the United Kingdom.

“We talked it over and decided we should at least try to see if anyone would help us get to London,” Haley said. “This is going to be something new and exciting. We both are looking forward to a whole new experience and meeting cheerleaders from all over the country.”

Both girls are considering their cheerleading careers in college after high school.

A Go Fund Me account has been established to help raise funds and it is called Help Send Haley and Hannah to London for anyone wanting to donate.

Watson resigns as Southmont's head softball coach

NEW MARKET — Southmont is in search of a new head softball coach after Jennifer Watson stepped down last week following two seasons at the helm.

“I’m going to miss it,” Watson said. “There’s not a doubt in my mind that I’ll miss coaching. And I went back and forth for a long time, but I do feel in my heart that it’s the right thing to do.”

Watson is the stepmother to three and also has 2-year-old son of her own, and was hit hard this spring season when she noticed the amount of family events she missed while fulfilling her duties as a varsity coach. 

Watson took over as the head coach at Southmont in July 2015 when Britney Carpenter took the head job at Crawfordsville. Before that, Watson was Carpenter’s assistant for the 2015 season.

“Greatly appreciate Jen’s dedication and leadership within the program,” Southmont Athletic Director Aaron Charles said. “We hope to find someone that cares and works hard in developing our players as athletes and as individuals. We hope to have the position filled as soon as we believe we have the right person.”

Southmont went 18-9 after Watson’s first year running the program in 2016, and the Mounties finished 8-6 in the Sagamore Conference.

This year Southmont was 17-9 and 8-6 in the SAC to tie Tri-West for third in league play. The Mounties went on a short run to begin the postseason state tournament in May. Southmont beat Cloverdale 3-1 in the first round of the IHSAA Sectional, and beat Monrovia 7-6 in the semifinal before losing to South Vermillion 12-3 in the sectional championship.

Watson’s decision to step down now isn’t a permanent decision, though. She plans to return to coaching sometime down the road.

“I hope that’s the case,” Watson said. “I hope right now I can just focus my time on the kids and my husband and then down the line, I hope that the opportunity presents itself again to get back into coaching. I absolutely love coaching and I love the sport.”

But it was a hectic spring season for Watson. Missing all of her stepdaughter’s middle school track meets, leaving for work before her 2-year-old son, Colton, woke up and getting home after he went to bed weighed on her. And when her family’s home caught fire from a lightning strike during spring break in March, Watson said she got to thinking about what she considered most important.

“I started to think, really, around the spring break point of what is really important in life,” Watson said. “Just realizing more than anything that it’s family, doing what makes you happy, and being a mom and being a wife is what makes me happy.”

The house wasn’t ruled a total loss, but Watson and her family have been living in a rental while their home is gutted and remodeled. They hope to move back into it in August.

No specific timetable is set to fill the head coaching position, but whoever will take over next will step into a program that’s solid right now.

“I think pretty highly of our team,” Watson said. “I think that right now, Southmont softball is only going to get stronger.”

HHSB thanks community for support at kitchen

Hoosier Heartland State Bank would like to thank all who volunteered at the Friendship Kitchen recently and encourage others to help out the cause.

The Friendship Kitchen is located at the New Bethel Fellowship Church, 406 Mill St. Crawfordsville. They open their doors every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. to those in need of a meal. Meals are served at 11 a.m. 

“Participating in this program is an important part of our mission,” Trey Etcheson of HHSB said. “We are committed to giving back to the community in many ways and we appreciate all the HHSB team members who worked so hard at the kitchen last week.”

The website states that the Friendship Kitchen began when a handful of people from New Bethel Fellowship Church approached the community with the idea of offering a free meal to anyone in need. With the help of community volunteers, the Friendship Kitchen has shared a warm, nourishing meal and fellowship every Saturday since June 1, 2007. The overwhelming response to the Friendship Kitchen has been represented in the serving of more than 32,000 meals. The Kitchen is funded by various donors and has been partially funded by a grant from the Montgomery County Community Foundation. It is an outreach that has proven to touch the lives of many as each contribution helps make the Friendship Kitchen possible.

There are many ways to help the Friendship Kitchen. Visit the website http://friendshipkitchen.weebly.com.

New titles to be awarded for Little Miss & Mister Contest

Boys and girls from across Montgomery County will join together at the Montgomery County 4-H Fairgrounds for the Little Miss and Mister Contest on Saturday, July 15.

Participants will compete for the title and the opportunity to make new friends and memories at the fair as royalty. The contest is open to the public.

Registration will be from 9:30-10:30 a.m. with the contest following at 11 a.m. Registration and contest will be conducted in the entertainment tent at the fairgrounds. In case of bad weather, registration and the contest will be held in the 4-H building.

The cost of the contest is $5 per contestant. Cash and check will be accepted.

The Montgomery County Little Miss and Mister Contest will welcome any boy or girl currently aged 0-7 residing full-time in the county. The age divisions are as followed: 0-12 months, 1-2 years, 3-4 years and 5-7 years.

During the contest, a qualified panel of judges will concentrate on stage presence, personality and overall appearance, scoring each contestant with a 0-10 in each category. In the event of a tie for the Little Miss or Little Mister title, the contestant with the highest personality score will be awarded the title. Contestants are responsible for their wardrobe. Boys and girls are asked to be dressed in their Sunday best. Light make-up is allowed. Past reigning winners are not eligible to compete again in the division which they had previously won.

For more information, contact Jessica McClamroch at 366-6917.

Owners pull rezone request

Property owners have withdrawn a request to rezone land within the city’s two-mile jurisdiction for industrial use, saying there are no immediate plans to develop the site.

This winter, J. Wendell Wiley and Rich Connell asked the city to re-designate 158 acres of agricultural-residential land between C.R. 150S and C.R. 200S, just east of C.R. 250E, so it could be marketed to potential investors.

Wiley and Connell wanted the land shovel-ready, but neighbors raised concerns about the use.

On Thursday, the city said it received a written request to pull the petition, adding the owners intend to re-file once exact plans are in place.

“This will allow them to answer specific questions about any potential development on the site,” Mayor Todd Barton said in a news release.

Wiley did not return a phone message seeking comment.

The city council first discussed the request in March, with a favorable recommendation with the plan commission. It passed two readings.

Neighboring property owners opposed the request, concerned about potential hazardous waste, drainage problems and lower property values.

Before the final vote, Wiley and Connell changed the request to clarify that hazardous waste disposal, industrial waste facilities, sanitary landfills and junkyards would be off-limits.

Plan commission members approved the changes, sending the request back to the council with no recommendation.

The petition has been removed from the council’s agenda and won’t be revisited until a new request is filed.

Another 189 acres on the site falls outside the city’s jurisdiction and is not regulated by zoning code.