News and Tribune

December 31, 2013

2013's Top Newsmakers

The most memorable sports figures from Clark Clark County and Floyd County



The Borden High School boys’ basketball coach guided the Braves to their first Class A state championship on March 23 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis with a 55-50 victory over Triton. The coveted state title ended a quest that Nash started when he took over the Borden program during the 2006-07 season. Since he took over the Braves, Nash has compiled a 122-50 record with five Southern Athletic Conference titles, four sectional championships, two regional titles and one semistate crown along with the state championship. During his eight-year Borden tenure, the New Washington graduate has coached Borden to its first-ever sectional, regional, semistate and state titles.


The Providence volleyball coach led her alma mater to its first Class 2A state championship on Nov. 9 at Worthen Arena in Muncie. The Pioneers rolled past Hammond Noll, 25-18, 25-15, 25-20. Throughout the 2013 season, Purichia and her Providence players were completely focused on securing that first state title after they lost the 2012 Class 2A state final to Wapahani, 22-25, 25-15, 25-6, 25-22. The Pioneers posted a 36-4 record and were ranked No. 1 in the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association Class 2A poll for the entire 2013 campaign. Purichia guided Providence to repeat championships in the sectional, regional and semistate. Purichia, who has coached the Pioneers for 15 years, was honored for her work last season by being named the ICGSA Class 2A State Coach of the Year.


On May 31 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Codie Hamsley became the second Floyd Central boys’ track and field athlete to win a state championship. Hamsley capped off a great senior year by winning the discus title at the IHSAA State Finals. The senior’s second throw of 194 feet stood up as the longest toss in the meet. Hamsley, who finished second in the discus at the 2012 state finals, joined 1996 discus state champion Ben Jackson as the only Highlander boys’ track athletes to win state crowns. Hamsley is currently a freshman at the University of Louisville and competing for the Cardinals’ men’s track team.


The Clarksville native reclaimed an important piece of hardware in 2013 as he captured the ARCA Racing Series championship. It was Kimmel’s 10th ARCA title overall and his first crown since 2007. The ARCA championship was not the only accomplishment for Kimmel in the 2013 season. On Oct. 4 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., after clinching the 10th title by completing one practice lap, Kimmel proceeded to win the Kansas Lottery 98.9. The victory was the 80th of Kimmel’s stellar career and broke the all-time ARCA wins record of 79 by ARCA legend Iggy Katona. Kimmel will drive for Win-Tron Racing in Mooresville, N.C., next season after spending the past two years with ThorSport Racing in Sandusky, Ohio.


Last June, Chad Gilbert shocked the Jeffersonville High School community by resigning as the Red Devils’ boys’ basketball coach and becoming the new athletic director at Charlestown, his alma mater. In his two seasons as the Jeff boys’ coach, Gilbert had a combined 44-8 record, won back-to-back championships in both the Hoosier Hills Conference and the Class 4A Seymour Sectional and claimed the 2013 Class 4A Seymour Regional title. Former Jeff standout Matt Pait, who was the head coach of the Jeff girls’ program in 2012-13, was hired as the Red Devil boys’ coach several weeks later.


In 2012-13, the 6-foot-2 senior guard had one of the best individual seasons in the history of Jeff boys’ basketball. Baker averaged 23.4 points per game for the 24-4 Red Devils and snapped Jeff’s single-season scoring record. He was named the News and Tribune Area Player of the Year and made The Associated Press All-State second team.


The Jeffersonville boys’ swimming standout capped off his junior season with a stellar effort in the IHSAA State Finals on Feb. 23 in Indianapolis. Martin placed third in the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 20.93 seconds and sixth in the 500 freestyle in 4:35.7 along with helping two Red Devil relay teams finish in the top six. Martin, who has signed a national letter of intent to swim at Indiana University next season, earned the 2013 News and Tribune Area Boys’ Swimmer of the Year honor.


Last October, the former New Albany basketball standout and Indiana All-Star decided to transfer to Bellarmine University after spending the past two seasons at Purdue. Last season as a redshirt freshman, Hale averaged 3.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game in 32 games for the Boilermakers. Hale recently became eligible to play for the Knights after he completed his fall semester classes at Purdue. He was named the News and Tribune Area Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010.


The New Albany senior running back rushed for 2,177 yards during the 2013 season, which helped him earn the News and Tribune Area Player of the Year honor. Payton set two single-game school records in the Bulldogs’ 55-6 victory over Jennings County on Sept. 6 at Buerk Field. The new marks were for rushing yards (390) and touchdowns (seven). Payton had 24 rushing touchdowns last season and led the nation in rushing at one point in the 2013 campaign.


The Floyd Central senior golfer was one stroke short of winning individual medalist honors at the IHSAA State Finals June 11-12 at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin. Jenkins finished second to Zionsville’s Adam Wood in the medalist standings with a two-round score of 137. That score was the fourth-lowest 36-hole score in state finals history. Jenkins, who is currently a freshman on the IPFW men’s golf team, was named the 2013 News and Tribune Area Golfer of the Year and made the Indiana High School Golf Coaches Association All-State team.