#1StudentNWI: New Prairie High School is dribbling to score in 2024

#1StudentNWI: New Prairie High School is dribbling to score in 2024

What’s recently happened?

As New Prairie High School (NPHS) moves into the new year, winter sports are getting deeper into their seasons. Both the New Prairie Girls Basketball (NPGB) and New Prairie Boys Basketball (NPBB) experienced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for high school students.  The Hoosier Gym is one of the oldest and most famous gyms in the United States. Built in 1921, Hoosier Gym has not only been the home to many sporting events, it’s also home to the infamous Hickory Huskers. The Huskers were the subject of the 1986 movie “Hoosiers,” and Hoosier Gym was one of the main gyms the movie was filmed at. 

“Playing in Hoosier Gym was one of the coolest things I have ever done. It was such an amazing experience and I’m thankful we were able to do it. It looked exactly like it did in the movie,” said Junior Morgan Flagg.

NPGB and NPBB participated in a double header on January 5 against John Glenn High School. Although the competition of the game is fun, competing in a historic gym became more important. 

“I really wanted to play there because of the rich history of Indiana basketball. That court has had some very famous people play on it in the past, so to be able to look back and say I played on it is going to be surreal,” said Senior Devan Kalicki.

While the four teams had the privilege to play on this court, many teams still wait to have the opportunity. Both teams were excited and very happy to have the opportunity of playing at the Hoosier Gym, although some athletes had never seen the iconic film before. 

“We took time the day before the game to watch the movie ‘Hoosiers’ because some players had not seen it before, so that was fun in itself for them to watch the movie for the first time.  Then, as we arrived at the gym, the players became enthusiastic for the chance to play at the gym from the movie we had just seen,” said NPBB Head Coach Ben Wiginton.

What’s coming up?

NPGB’s regular Northern Indiana Conference (NIC) season has recently come to an end, and its recent accomplishments are only pushing the team further into a successful look onto the end of its season. 

NPGB finished third in the NIC with a 9-2 record, something that the program has not seen in a few years. The team’s success stems from hard work, team collaboration, and great coaching by Head Coach Aimee Litka. 

The Everwise Bi-County tournament is a very big and important event for both basketball teams of not only NPHS but also neighboring counties. This week coming up is known commonly around NPHS as Bi-Week, and although some players can be nervous, the team surrounds them and helps each player go into Bi-Week feeling confident.

“A 9-0 start to our season has been the best record we have had in years, and I am extremely proud of my team and I. The next step is Bi-County, and I know that our team will work together to play as best as we can,” said Senior Jaleigh McBride.

Sectionals are also coming up for NPGB, and Senior Jayden Flagg is calmly preparing for the upcoming tournaments at the end of January.

“I am proud of what our team has accomplished. I think we made a good standing point that we are not the same New Prairie we were in the past. My favorite time of the season is when we get to these tournament games, and I’m excited to play them with my best friends,” said Jayden Flagg.

NPHS is very excited to see NPGB play these upcoming weeks and sends all of its support and good luck wishes to the girls.

Staff spotlight:

Mark McBride has been a part of the New Prairie United School Corporation (NPUSC) for many years, taking on multiple roles, yet this year, he has a new title to add to his expertise. McBride became the assistant athletic director (AD) at NPHS after being an elementary teacher at Olive Township Elementary for 26 years, and the students are happy to see a familiar face from when they were younger.

“As an assistant AD, my job is to set up for athletic events, take pictures during events, and welcome opposing teams and officials to NPHS,” said McBride.

McBride went to college for his bachelor’s degree at Bethel University, his master’s degree at Indiana Wesleyan University, and also obtained his High Ability Endorsement from Ball State University. Needless to say, McBride is very busy and very educated.

“In my free time, I enjoy watching sports and being with family and friends,” said McBride. 

Although there are many late nights from meetings and games, those hindrances in a great job go away once McBride sees the excited and enthusiastic students at all of the athletic events. 

Even though NPHS has only had the pleasure of having McBride as the assistant AD for a short time, the students are always thrilled to see him in the halls and at their events.

Student spotlight:

Emma Schultz is currently a junior at NPHS, and although her journey at NPHS is coming closer to an end, her impact on the community is nowhere near done. 

“As a junior, it feels unreal. It feels like I was just starting high school, yet I am almost to my last year. I'm definitely going to miss a lot of things at NPHS. I'm not sure what college I want to go to yet, but I am excited to see what my future brings,” said Schultz.

Schultz is heavily involved inside of school as well as outside of school. Being in the school’s show choir, National Honor Society, and International Honor Society, Schultz definitely works hard in school. However, hard work inside of school isn’t the only place she pours her energy into.

“I’m a part of the 4-H Wagonmasters. I practice all summer with my draft horses for about 10 different events, and I show them at the La Porte County Fair as well as various other fairs. I also show horses for the Heintz Family at the Indiana State Fair,” said Schultz.

This past summer, Schultz became a state champion for her showing and has even earned a very big opportunity this upcoming fair season.

“I’m getting the opportunity to be a fair queen this summer, and I get to hand out ribbons at various shows and represent Indiana Haflinger Horse Association (IHHA). I am incredibly proud of myself, but I am also incredibly honored to have this opportunity,” said Schultz.

Schultz is a well-rounded student and has put a lot of effort into giving back to her community, and NPHS is thrilled to see her thrive.