Pinwheels show children support

Local residents will have an opportunity to show support for children during the Pinwheels for Prevention event at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the gazebo on the Lane Place grounds. 

The annual event is sponsored by the Indiana Department of Child Services and the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau. The event is part of Child Abuse Prevention month.

“We want to show support for children in our community,” YSB Director Karen Branch said. “The goal is to recognize the role of the community in protecting Indiana’s most vulnerable youth.”

Everyone in attendance will receive a purple pinwheel, which is symbolizes support for children. Residents are asked to place these pinwheels outside any location as a visual reminder of the children who need protection.

The event will feature a proclamation from Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton announcing Child Abuse Prevention month in the city along with a commitment to protect children.

Speakers include Josh Pack, Rock Point Church youth pastor, who will discuss a “happy childhood.” Joan Crum, Montgomery County Department of Child Service Director, also will speak.

Students from Discovery Kids Preschool will entertain the crowd with singing.

All DCS case managers will be recognized for the work they do with local children.

At the conclusion of the event, refreshments will be served.

Other organizations involved with the event are Indiana Child Advocates, Prevent Child Abuse Indiana and Kids First.

Hot Dogs take two from Athenians

Frankfort scored 13 runs during the first inning of their two game sweep of Crawfordsville Saturday.

The Hot Dogs won the first game of the twin bill in five innings 11-1, and the second 14-2. 

After posting a crooked number on the scoreboard in the top half of the first with eight runs, the Hot Dogs forced Crawfordsville coach Brittany Carpenter to replace starting pitcher Olivia Barnett. 

Mia Stadler replaced Barnett on the mound and settled in during the middle innings of game one, but the Athenian bats struggled to find a groove.

Crawfordsville (1-3) only managed three hits in the first contest and didn’t score their lone run until Barnett scored in the fifth.

Frankfort pitcher Avery Drew cruised through the five inning complete game, walking three and striking out eight, while earning the victory.

“It all started with our pitching today,” Frankfort coach Kevin Ricks said.

The double header at

Crawfordsville was Frankfort’s (2-0) first games of the season, and Rick’s was concerned his team may show signs of rust.

“With a limited time outside, we knew there were going to be things we were going to be deficient in,” he said. “But I was very pleased with the mentality our girls brought in.”

The Hot Dogs offense continued to roast in the second game, scoring five runs in each of the first two innings. They had five first inning hits, including RBI base knocks from Chloe Roberts and Morgan Dean. 

In the second inning, senior Samantha Melton squared up a Stadler pitch for a two RBI single, scoring Casey Robertson and Roberts.

For the second straight game, the Athenians were in a hard position to recover from.

“When you get down eight or nine it’s tough to mentally come back from that,” Carpenter said.

Unfortunately the Athenians faced yet another tough pitcher in game two.

Frankfort’s Carson Hackerd went the distance allowing two runs, which both came in the fifth inning, while walking two and striking out 10. The senior also had a strong performance at the plate, with a pair of hits and three runs scored. 

Hackerd led the Hot Dogs offensively for the day with five hits, five runs scored and three runs driven in. Melton also had three hits and a five RBI day.

Freshman Lauren Kellerman paced the Athenians at the dish with a pair of hits and two runs driven in.

Overall Ricks was pleased with the Hot Dogs performance.

“Today I was pretty pleased with everything,” he said. “Very pleased with our approach and how we played the game.”

Carpenter knows the Athenians can perform better from a physical standpoint, and hopes the mental aspect can help carry them there.

“Our whole postgame meeting was about mental toughness,” she said. “Because we know we can play better than that physically, but I think it was our mental state that kind of put us in that position on the field.”

Both teams return to action Tuesday evening with Frankfort playing host to Danville while the Athenians are home to Tri-West.

No. 2 Athenians shut out Mustangs

Crawfordsville’s baseball team lived up to their No. 2 state ranking with a 10-0, five inning win over Fountain Central Saturday.

The victory moves the Athenians to 5-1.

Trent Johnson picked up his first win of the season to even his record at 1-1, striking out nine of the 10 batters he faced. He also got his first two RBI with two sacrifice flies.

Brendan Dowell pitched the last two innings, striking out five. They combined for a no-hitter.

“The theme of the season continues to be pitching,” Athenians coach John Froedge said. “Both guys did well. We swung the bats well. The batting practice earlier in the day paid off.”

Johnson now has 30 strikeouts in 15.1 innings of work. He has walked two. Dowell now has 15 punchouts in seven innings pitched.

“Depth at the pitching position is always a factor,” Froedge added. “We were going to use four guys today, and with conference games plus our Invitational next Saturday, guys have to be ready.”

The new pitch count rules had a direct impact on the Mustangs, who fall to 1-2 after two WRC wins over Riverton Parke last week.

“We had to go with our 4 and 5 pitchers,” FC coach Adam Acton said. “One guy was out because of the pitches he threw Tuesday, another because he pitches in our conference game Monday. The third guy was not here today. We made some good plays defensively, and we saw two of their best pitchers.”

Roger Dickison started for the Mustangs and went three innings. The junior allowed four hits and four runs. Jake Smith threw the last two innings as the Athenians got to the run rule limit.

Crawfordsville got a run in the first when Johnson walked to lead off and scored on a Caden Jones single. 

The bottom third of the order got their work done in the second when Kaile Wendelin, Will Kellerman and Brendan Dowell all got on base, and were driven in by Johnson, Carson Scott and Chase Dowell.

Batting nine in the fifth, starting with the bottom third again all reaching base, and all again scoring, the top of the order followed suit, with Scott, Jones and Josh Blackburn all getting on. Peyton Abney dropped a double into left field to score all three, and the game was done.

All nine hitters in the Athenian batting order reached base on the day, and seven scored at least once.

The Mustangs play host to WRC foe South Vermillion Monday, and play them on the road Tuesday.

“I liked our perseverance,” Acton said. “We didn’t get down. We kept battling. There are things to work on, but I feel this team is getting better.”

The Athenians start Sagamore Conference play Tuesday at home against Tri-West. 

“They are a much-improved team,” Froedge said of the Bruins, who then host Crawfordsville Thursday.

Crawfordsville also hosts three 4A teams next Saturday in the Athenian Invitational.

The Athenians take on Franklin Central at 10 Saturday morning, in front of the second game featuring Bedford North-Lawrence against Carmel, ranked No. 1 in the state.

“Carmel has about seven Div I guys,”Froedge said. “With three Class 4A teams here next Saturday, we are expecting a lot of great baseball.”

Junior Varsity

The Athenians junior varsity picked up their first win of the season with a 16-0 win over the Mustangs.

Cameron Saunders, Jacob Wemer, Branden Demoret and Cale McCarty combined to pitch a perfect game, striking out 10.

Wemer and Demoret each had four hits and three RBI, while Jake Decker had three hits and one RBI.

They host McCutcheon Monday.

CHS robotics advance to world competition

Crawfordsville High School’s robotics team, TOBOR, is once again preparing to take on the world. The team placed eighth in their division during the March 30 — 31 North Super-Regional in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and now advances to the April 26 — 30 World Championship in St. Louis.

The team’s placing qualifies them to advance to the next level for the second year in a row. 

The Crawfordsville robotics program is one of the oldest in Indiana. It is lead by the school’s Engineering Technology instructor Darrin Wilcoxson. The Crawfordsville program includes students from Crawfordsville and Southmont High Schools. 

Members of TOBOR include all upperclassmen. They are Conner Davis, Rand Burnette, Kirsten Gustafson, Anthony Harris, Ben Mikek, David Link, Matthew Smith, Daniel Hargis and Kyler Morgan.

The team is sponsored by Nucor, Banjo, CPM, TK Fabricating, Acuity Brands, and Gould Body & Paint.

Crawfordsville has three robotics teams that participated in competitions this school year. The other two are Cville-ized Botman and Radical Change.

The he following community members mentor the school’s robotics teams. They are Mike Schueren, Mark and Wendy Schlichting, Mike Creer, David and Julie Cerny, Colin McKinney, and Stiles Garverick.

Wilcoxson said the cost to attend and compete in the World Championship is $4,000. Donations are being accepted to help the team meet expenses. Anyone wanting to make a financial donation, or needing more information, contact Wilcoxson by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 362-2340.

The event is a  function of USFIRST, which is the oldest robotics organization in the United States. The high school robotics competition division is called First Technical Challenge, which was started in 2005.

Input needed by health officials

Local residents are being asked to help the Montgomery County Health Department address mental health gaps within the community. Health Sanitarian Amber Reed announced a Mental Health Forum is scheduled from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Chase Building.

Reed said the purpose of the meeting is to gain public input, and this is the third stage of information gathering by the health department.

“We first interviewed providers of mental health services to help us understand what help is already available,” Reed said. “We then interviewed educators to get a better understanding of their immense role in dealing with mental health issues with children and what issues they see in the classroom. Finally, we are ready to get the public’s input to see what mental health issues are in the community.”

Reed said discussion with the schools was important because of the amount of hours school staff spend with students. Many times educators spend more time with children than parents do.

“Our schools have to deal with a lot of the mental health issues that our students have,” Reed said. “We wanted to see how they handle the issues with the limited resources they have.”

Reed said dealing with mental health issues is a part of her department’s day-to-day activities. For instance, hoarding is an example of a mental health problem that the health department may have to handle.

The format of the meeting will be much like past information gathering meetings. The health department is partnering with Wabash College students again through Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse Initiative. 

Mental health is one of three focus points established by the health department within the Community Health Improvement Plan.

Identifying mental health needs and gaps in service will assist the health department implement a plan to improve the entire health of the community.

For more information about the forum, contact the Montgomery County Health Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..