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August 30, 2009

Becca's Love Run

(Talk of the Town photos by Andrew Ferrell) Above, runners and walkers get ready for the start of Becca's Love 5K run/walk. Below, a group of runners enjoy the afternoon running in the Love Run, started by the late Rebecca Hollenbaugh and continued by friends and family in support of other families facing cancer.


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August 29, 2009

Eagles break into top ten at Baron Classic










(Talk of the Town photos contributed) The Columbia City XC teams competed in the Baron Classic on Saturday morning, with the girls' team finishing seventh and the boys' team finishing eighth.  Top left, the boys' team focuses in on the start of the race. Leading the way for the boys' team was Michael Gatton (17:39.65) in 20th place.  Top right, Laken Lefever and Renee Menzie smile with excitement after placing ninth and eighth as individuals, respectively. Bottom, junior runner Samantha Engle keeps pace with the rest of the course.  The Lady Eagles were lead by Menzie with a time of 19:52.35 and Lefever with a time of 19:57.99.


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Eagles on the right path

Story and photos by Andrew Ferrell

It was a night of haziness both in the air and on the field for the Columbia City Eagles Friday night, but much was to be appreciated by the improvement the Eagles made from last week.  The Eagles started the first half with all guns ablazin' but ran out of gas toward the fourth quarter, falling to the Huntington North Vikings 26-14.

“We have really gotten a lot better from week one,” head coach Randy Hudgins said.

In the first quarter, the Eagles took advantage of Huntington North's miscues as Eagles defensive lineman Jon Myers recovered a fumble in the end zone with 2:38 left on the clock, giving Columbia City the early 7-0 lead.

Huntington North gained some momentum in the next drive as their running attack began shedding some yards, but another fumble at the start of the second quarter gave the ball back to Columbia City.

With  rain and mist for most of the first half, the ball became very hard to hold onto as Columbia City fumbled on their next drive and the Vikings followed up their opportunity to score with another fumble that the Eagles recovered on their own 47-yard line. 

Columbia City cashed in on the Vikings third fumble as quarterback Logan Rehrer drove the Eagles to the 6-yard line with two passes to junior receiver Travis Babler.  On the next play, senior running back Tyler Brown walked into the end zone for the score at the 6:28 mark, giving the Eagles a 14-0 lead.

Columbia City junior linebacker recovered another Huntington fumble after the Vikings had drove the ball down to the 32-yard line.  The Eagles looked to score again before half, on the arms or Rehrer as he tossed two consecutive passes for 32 yards to junior Austin Grimm and a 23-yard pass to Stephen Farrer.

Facing a first and goal with the ball on the 7-yard line, the Eagles decided to try and run the ball in for the score again, but Brown coughed up the ball deep in Huntington North territory.

The Vikings got on the board late in the second quarter on a methodical 10-play drive that ended with a 13-yard heave from quarterback Kevin Fisher to wide receiver Alex Drummond, making the score 14-7 at the half, in favor of the Eagles.

Both teams struggled on their first drives of the second half and the Eagles began to show signs of fatigue on defense as the Vikings began to pump up their running attack.  On the Viking's second drive of the third quarter, running back Austin Shoemaker busted a 70-yard run down the sidelines for the score, and a missed extra point still gave the Eagles a 14-13 lead.

Columbia City looked to add points to the scoreboard, running the ball to the 30-yard line, but eventually turned the ball over on downs. The Vikings went back to Shoemaker as he strolled through the middle on a 30-yard run, and then they completed two passes for 32-yards getting them inside the 10-yard line. On the ensuing play, Huntington North's David George rumbled into the end zone for their first lead of the night, 19-14.

Trying to get back into the game, Rehrer was picked off, early in the fourth, on a deep pass thrown to Farrer and the Vikings defender ran it back for the final score 26-14.

"We are learning about ourselves as the season continues. If we keep playing hard and we keep getting better than we are going to breakthrough at some point and all of the work will be worth it," Hudgins concluded.

The Eagles, 0-2 on the season, see action next Friday as they travel to the defending state 3A champions Bellmont for their conference opener.

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August 28, 2009

Eagles run out of gas

(Talk of the Town photos by Andrew Ferrell)  Top, Columbia City players scramble for a loose ball after a Huntington North player coughed up the ball. Middle, Eagles junior quarterback Logan Rehrer throws the ball in the first quarter of play. Bottom, the Columbia City youth cheerleaders watch the Eagles from the sidelines as they showed their talents during the halftime show.  The Eagles walked into the locker room at half with a 14-7 lead, but ran out of gas in the fourth quarter to fall to the Vikings 26-14, story to come later.

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Final scores from week 2

Whitko at Leo

The Wildcats took another step back this week with a 41-12 loss against the host Leo Lions. Whitko fell behind early as the Wildcats went into the locker room behind 34-0.  Their first points came in the third quarter on a four yard rush by running back Scott Skiles.  In the fourth, quarterback Gabe Starkey scrambled into the end zone for Whitko's second score, bringing the final score 41-12.  Starkey threw for 108 yards in the game, while the running game earned 36 yards. 

Whitko falls to 0-2 on the season and begins conference play next Friday as they travel to Southwood.

Churubusco vs. Central Noble

The Eagles once again shutout the Cougars in a 39-0 blowout in tonight's contest.  The game paralleled last season's game as the Eagles won 42-0. The Eagles have now won the last five contests against the Cougars and nothing looks to change in the near future.

Busco improves to 2-0 on the season and starts their conference play next Friday against Prairie Heights. 

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August 27, 2009

Friday's Football Forecast

By Andrew Ferrell 

Introducing Friday's Football Forecast! Every Friday come visit the site as I look into the crystal ball and predict the upcoming games of Friday night. And I'll try my best not to be bias.

Columbia City vs. Huntington North @ 7pm

In the last five seasons against the Vikings, the Eagles have lost in a combined five season score 174-53.  Look for this to be the year a change is made, as first year head coach Randy Hudgins picks up career win number one.

 CC 17 Huntington 14   

Churubusco vs. Central Noble @7:30pm

Last year the Eagles scorched the Cougars in a 42-0 victory.  In the last 15 seasons, the Eagles hold a one game advantage over the Cougars.  I look for a similar outcome as last year, but the Cougars will get on the board.

Busco 35 Central Noble 7

 Whitko at Leo @7pm

Whitko took a bit of a setback from last year's sectional run with a 39-0 loss to Wawasee to start off the season.  However, they sneak in their first win of the season by a last second field goal.

Whitko 10 Leo 7


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For the love of the game

By Andrew Ferrell 

Every so often, there is a person that touches so many lives, that you don’t realize how special they are until they are gone. For the YMCA and Columbia City sports community, that person was Jeff Braunsdorf and on August 21, 2009, the YMCA and Columbia City sports community lost a longtime friend. 

Braunsdorf has been a youth sports coach for the Whitley County YMCA for many years.  He has spent countless hours coaching kids the game of soccer and flag football, but most importantly, the game of life.

“He was a very dedicated father, husband, and friend,” YMCA sports director Steven Kuhn said about Braunsdorf.

 Braunsdorf has been a soccer and flag football coach for the entire time Kuhn has held the position and when every season rolled around his name was a hot commodity as a youth coach.

“When parents put in their request for the coach they preferred, everyone requested him,” Kuhn added. “It’s because he made the game fun and put a smile on everyone’s face, including himself.”

Besides the coaching, Braunsdorf also was a member volunteer of the YMCA, where he would lead a small community group, making sure that new members felt welcomed.  As part of a memorial, all participants in this year’s youth sports will have his initials on their shirt sleeves.           

“He’ll be missed and our prayers go out to his family and friends,” Kuhn concluded.A celebration of life will be Sept. 15. For more details please visit Talk of the Town's memorial page or visit a special memorial page that has been set up for Jeff Braunsdorf by clicking here.

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August 26, 2009


By Andrew Ferrell

This last month has been very exciting for me because of the release of this new sports page.  Jennifer Zartman Romano and I have spent countless hours, over the last month, planning for this site, setting goals, figuring out advertising sales and revenue, but most importantly, sharing ideas on how to make this sports page the best Whitley County has to offer.

As I drove home the night her and I discussed how to make the site the best sports site in Whitley County, I began to realize that I am going to need the support of the community.  When I say that, I mean, I am here for you.  Send me your pictures, wrap-ups, and anything pertaining to sports and I will be happy to post it to the page.  Let's face it, I am only one person, covering three schools, with at least four different sports happening for each of the three seasons, I'll need your help, please.

With that being said, feel free to contact me at  If there is a photo you like on the site let me know, I probably have others. If you are interested in purchasing an ad spot contact me. Also, any comments and/or suggestions are helpful for bringing you the best sports coverage.

Before I get too excited for the sports season, I want to send a big Thank You to Jennifer Zartman Romano for all of her help and support.  Thank you for giving me this opportunity.

I hope you will enjoy this year's sports coverage. Go Team!

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August 24, 2009

Lady Eagles fall to Leo

(Talk of the Town photos by Andrew Ferrell) Above, Columbia City JV forward Michaela McIntosh races a Leo defender to the ball.  The JV team beat Leo 2-1. Middle, varsity sophomore Lacey Jahn prepares to kick the ball towards the goal.  Below, Eagles forward Sarah Opliger dribbles past a Leo defender.  The Columbia City varsity lost in a 1-0 battle, but improved from a weekend loss against the Lady Lions 8-3.

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Eagles loose against Warsaw in season opener

(Talk of the Town photos by Andrew Ferrell) Above, Columbia City senior running back Tyler Brown is tripped up by a Warsaw defender. Below, the Eagles take their first defensive stance of the season.  After only trailing 10-7 at halftime, the Eagles tired out and lost their season opener 24-7.

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