By Logan Anderson
The Class of 2021 has certainly left its mark on the sports realm of Delta High School. Just in the 2020-21 school year alone, the class has produced two state champions and a state runner-up.
In honor of the class of 2021, I have made a list of the top 21 athletic moments by the seniors in their years at Delta. This list is my opinion, not the opinion of the Eagle’s Eye newspaper class or Delta High School.
- Sam Bennett becomes a back-to-back state diving champ.
During Bennett’s junior and senior diving seasons he made history for Delta, as he won the IHSAA 1m State Diving Championship in both of his final two seasons. Bennett, a Purdue University commit, also was awarded the Herman F. Keller Mental Attitude Award, which came with a $1,000 check to Delta’s general scholarship fund.
Winning an individual championship — and then successfully defending it the next year — takes a toll on a teenager. His great success on the diving board, paired with his reception of the Herman F. Keller Mental Attitude Award, is why I believe his achievements deserve the top spot.
- Brady Samuels state champ in two events
In his senior season for the swimming team, Brady Samuels had a dominant campaign which was capped off with two state titles. Also a Purdue University commit, he won the 100 butterfly and the 50 freestyle.
Breaking multiple records for Delta and winning state titles in two events in the same year is a remarkable accomplishment. Since he is the second senior to have an individual state title, I put him second.
- Brandon Jackson runner-up in state doubles
Brandon Jackson was part of the number one doubles pair on Delta’s tennis team this season. He and junior Walker Boyle capped off their crazy year getting runner-up in the state doubles tournament after beating many great teams to get there (namely against third-ranked Munster in the semi-finals).
In Delta’s boys’ tennis history, the program has seen three doubles teams make it to the state championship match. Brandon and Walker are one of those duos. For that reason, I decided to put Jackson third.
- Brady Hunt scores his 1,000th point
Brady Hunt, a four-year varsity starter in basketball, reached the 1,000-point career mark during his senior season. After sinking a three-point shot against Winchester, Brady had hit the mark only eight other Delta players have achieved. He ended his career with 1,434 points.
Only eight Delta Eagles have accomplished the 1,000-point mark in their basketball careers. Hunt hit that and more, ending fourth all time in Delta scoring. That is why I put him fourth.
- Logan Drown first varsity at bat is a home run
In Logan Drown’s freshman year of baseball he got to pinch hit in a game vs. Greenfield-Central. With a full count, the pitcher gave him a good pitch and Drown made great contact, taking the ball over Greenfield’s left-field fence known as the “green monster.”
To step in as a freshman and hit a ball like Drown did is a special moment. I think it’s the best moment for an athlete, aside from winning a championship or hitting a certain milestone.
- Riley Woodin all-state back to back (school record on tackles for loss)
To end Riley Woodin’s football career at Delta, he put up record breaking stats. The defensive end’s strong senior season propelled him to be Delta’s all-time leader in tackles for loss. He also received all-state honors in back to back seasons.
Breaking a record is always an impressive feat. Woodin did that and got all-state honors two years in a row. For that, I decided to give him sixth.
- Evan Conley moving to running back
After a couple of injuries on the football team, the squad was looking for an answer at running back. The coaches decided to go with senior Evan Conley who was previously a lineman. Conley surpassed all expectations. In eight games he rushed for 1,169 yards and 10 touchdowns. That is a great performance for someone who had never played the position.
In my opinion, Conley’s time as the team’s running back made football a lot more fun to watch. Whenever a player is playing a position for the first time, it is almost always very entertaining. This was far more entertaining and impressive than I could have imagined, and that’s why I put him in the seven spot.
- Cheerleaders multiple top state performances
This year’s senior cheerleaders, Lily Marcum, Marah Osner and Delaney Pence, have contributed much to the Delta cheer program. In their four state competitions, the group placed third during freshman year, second during their sophomore year, second during their junior year, and third during their senior year. That is an impressive four years of hard work, dedication and accomplishments.
Whenever anyone has the success that the cheerleaders have had in their four years, they deserve to get recognized. As a result, I have decided to slide them into the eighth spot.
- Brady Hunt sophomore basketball season
During his sophomore season, Brady Hunt was a key piece on one of Delta’s most storied teams. The 2018-19 squad went on to have an undefeated regular season, a sectional championship, and came up just short of a regional title.
In my opinion, Hunt deserves to be here because he was the only person in his class to get significant playing time during one of Delta’s best runs.
- Hayden Armstrong 4 state trips
Finishing out her senior season with a sectional title, senior Hayden Armstrong earned her fourth state final appearance in her high school career. During her time as a Delta swimmer, she has competed in the 500 freestyle and the 200 freestyle events at the IHSAA state championship.
Just like the cheerleaders, whenever an athlete has made it to state all four years, they deserve to get recognized. This is why I placed Armstrong in the 10th spot.
- Girls Golf sectional champs
Three seniors helped lead Delta’s girls’ golf team to a sectional title in 2020. These successful senior golfers are: Laura Fowler scoring an 89 in sectionals, Sara Cardemon hitting an 85, and Mary Groover contributing a 90.
Winning a sectional in any sport is difficult. Especially with three of the five varsity girls golfers being seniors, and them winning the sectional title their senior season, I felt it deserved this spot.
- Bella Dearinger accumulating 1,800+ assists
Bella Dearinger, a Murray State University volleyball commit, surpassed 1,000 career assists during her junior season. Not only that, the setter finished her senior season by being named to the Hoosier Heritage Conference all-conference team and the All-Delaware County Team and was a two-time Indiana All-Star. She finished off her volleyball career with 1,873 assists.
Hitting such an impressive statistical milestone and being named to all-conference and all-star teams are big things in high school sports. Dearinger did that and committed to a D1 school to continue her volleyball career. That is why I put this moment here.
- Luke Belangee pick 6 vs. Yorktown
This year’s Delta vs Yorktown rivalry football game ended with a bang! Senior Luke Belangee intercepted a Yorktown pass and ran it back for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to give the Eagles a 14-point lead over the Tigers. This would help the Eagles beat the Tigers 14-7.
Anytime you make a crazy impact play against (the green team from across the county) it deserves to be a top moment.
14.Tanner Southerland in the Delta Invitational
On Sept. 27, 2020, the Delta boys’ tennis squad held their annual Delta Invitational. Senior Tanner Soultherland faced a gauntlet at the number one singles position for the Eagles. He was 3-0 on the day with intense matches against high level competition including Kyle Hollingsworth, an all-state player for Richmond, and Mateusz Włodarczyk, Lake Central’s all-district freshman.
I had the opportunity to watch some of these matches, and it definitely was intense. It was a great moment for Southerland to get big wins against high level players. I think this was a great moment and day for Southerland and his squad, so I think he deserves to be 14th..
- Trevor Edgerton senior performances
Trevor Edgerton, a senior on the football team, had a couple dominant performances during his senior campaign. He scored two touchdowns in three of the team’s games (Shelbyville, Pendleton Heights, and Fort Wayne Wayne), and three touchdowns in one game (Greenfield-Central). This all helped Trevor get offered to play football at Franklin College.
Anytime a player has dominant performances like Edgerton had, it becomes an enjoyable moment. It was fun to watch and that’s why I put it here.
- Lucas Fox wrestling semi state
Lucas Fox has been a major contributor to the Delta wrestling program during each of his seasons as an Eagle. Fox won wrestling sectional titles every year but his freshman season. To end his wrestling career, he advanced to the semi-state round in Fort Wayne.
Like I said earlier, success in an individual sport takes a mental and physical toll on the athlete. That’s why I put this here.
- Leslie Daugherty senior night
Senior night is always a special night for all the players, but this year it was a special night for a manager. Senior Leslie Daugherty spent four years as the Delta basketball manager. She put a lot of her time into helping the boys in any way she could.
For what Daugherty did for the basketball team deserves to be recognized a lot more than it is. That is why I put this moment on the list.
- Brady Hunt putback dunk vs Oak Hill and monster 3rd quarter performance vs Mississinewa
During his final basketball season as a Delta Eagle, Brady Hunt had two great moments. Against Oak Hill, Brady had a monstrous putback dunk off a Neil Marshall missed jumper. Brady scored 18 points in the third quarter vs Mississinewa and hit a go-ahead bucket to give the Eagles the lead going into the fourth quarter.
These are two great moments from Hunt’s senior season of basketball, but I decided to put them this low because of how much he is featured on the list.
- Maggie Manor and Tynan Dishman all-state as sophomores
As sophomores at the top doubles position, Maggie Manor and Tynan Dishman were named as a first team all-state doubles team. Many more awards are likely to come during their senior year as they are 20-2 at this point at number one doubles.
Since their performance was during their sophomore season, I decided to put this here for now. However, I believe that they will do something this postseason worthy of a much higher spot.
- Brady Hunt football all-state
Brady Hunt was awarded as an Indiana All-State player in 2020, leading him to sign with Ball State University to continue his academic and football career.
Just like the last one, this was a great accomplishment from Hunt. I had to put it at the bottom because of the amount of moments and accomplishments he has had.
- Soccer Wins the Conference “Bell”
On August 29,2019 the boys’ soccer team faced Mount Vernon. They defeated Mount Vernon and won the traveling HHC Conference Bell for the first time. This year’s seniors, who were sophomores on that team, also won the bell this fall.
I put this moment in the final spot, as the class of 2021 soccer players were not the biggest contributors on the 2019 squad.