The Pennant

Penn leads semistate pack

Penn High School is one of two schools in the state of Indiana with four teams competing in Indiana High School Athletic Association semistate events this weekend, as well as being represented in the IHSAA tennis individual state finals.

Penn’s boys and girls soccer teams each won regional championships last weekend, and the boys and girls cross country teams also qualified for berths at the semistate level.

Doubles players Thomas Gifford and Tim Porsche will wear Kingsmen colors in the IHSAA individual state finals in tennis this weekend.

Center Grove also has four teams in semistate action this weekend, and has a tennis state finalist.

Penn’s girls golf team was also a state finalist earlier this season, placing 11th. The Penn volleyball and football teams begin sectional play this week.

“The Penn community is proud to be represented by dedicated student-athletes who have our athletic teams competing at the highest levels in the state,” Penn High School Principal Steve Hope said. “The outstanding work of the coaches, and the tremendous support of the parents, families and fans of Penn’s student-athletes is greatly appreciated.

“This weekend is just one example of Penn High School’s commitment to academic and athletic excellence,” Hope said. “On behalf of Penn High School, I wish the best to all of our student-athletes as they represent our school.”

Penn athletic director Aaron Leniski expressed pride in the accomplishment by the Kingsmen Fall Sports teams.

“I am very proud and excited for these teams,” Leniski said. “This is a major accomplishment for each of these programs and a reflection of the hard work, dedication, and commitment put in by these student-athletes and our coaching staff since the completion of the 2014 season.

“Penn High School is dedicated to striving for excellence in everything that we do, and our athletic programs seek to represent the P-H-M community to the highest degree,” Leniski continued. “I look forward to a great weekend witnessing outstanding teamwork and dynamic sportsmanship while facing fierce competition.  Go Kingsmen!”

BOYS TENNIS:  Thomas Gifford and Tim Porsche (17-3) play against Goshen’s Luke Rush and Logan Troyer (19-1) in the first round of the state finals on Friday at 2 p.m. on the Park Tudor courts in Indianapolis.

Gifford and Porsche won last week’s LaPorte Regional championship by defeating Andrean’s Evan Galindo and Jarron Tatum, 6-0, 6-0, and Westview’s Zach Schrock and Jeryl Weaver, 6-2, 6-1.

Gifford and Porsche were unbeaten in Northern Indiana Conference regular-season action (7-0), and won the NIC Tournament championship.

Eric Bowers is the Penn tennis coach.

State finals action is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Penn has one state championship in boys tennis individual doubles. Thomas J. Snelson and Gautham Vaidyanathan won the state title in 2006.

A ticket for the tennis state finals is $5 per person.

GIRLS SOCCER:  Penn plays Leo in the South Bend St. Joseph Semistate at noon on Saturday. If the Kingsmen win, they play the Fishers-Munster winner at 7 p.m. Saturday night for a berth to the state championship game at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, at Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis.

Penn defeated arch-rival St. Joe, 1-0, last Saturday to win the Goshen Regional. It was the eighth regional championship in program history, and first since 2013.

Coach Jeff Hart’s Kingsmen are 19-0-2 and have racked up 17 shutouts. Penn has outscored its competition 21-0 in state-tournament play.

Interesting notes for the Kingsmen include:

  • Penn has scored 115 goals this season, shattering the previous best of 97 set in 2008.
  • Penn has allowed 4 goals, well below the record low of 11 set in 2006 and tied in 2008.
  • Penn has allowed 1 goal in its last 18 games.
  • This is Penn’s best season; the previous low for losses was 3, which happened three times previously, including last season.
  • Penn has 5 or more players with at least 8 goals scored, and five or more players with at least 8 assists.

Six Penn players have already committed to play college soccer.

Sophomore Kristina Lynch has committed to defending national champion Florida State, sophomore goalie Mackenzie Wood has committed to Northwestern, senior Kamra Solomon has committed to Furman, senior Jensen Stroinski has committed to IPFW, and senior MacKenzie Mason has committed to Wittenberg, senior Hannah Ehrhardt has committed to St. Francis.

Penn has two semistate championships in girls soccer – 1996 and 2007. The Kingsmen are seeking their first state title in girls soccer.

Tickets for the semistate are $7 for one session, or $10 for both sessions

BOYS SOCCER: Penn takes on Fort Wayne Canterbury at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the Warsaw Semistate. If the Kingsmen win, they play the winner of the Lake Central-Harrison match at 7 p.m. on Saturday. At stake is a berth to the Class 2-A state championship game at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, at Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis.

Penn claimed the South Bend Regional championship with a thrilling 2-1 victory against Elkhart Memorial. It was the fifth regional championship in program history, and first since 2009.

Penn has one state championship in boys soccer (1999), and one semistate championship (1999).

Coach Josh Nakayama’s Kingsmen are on a 12-game winning streak. Penn suffered losses in its first three games of the season, and has roared back from the 0-3 start to take a 15-4 record into the semistate.

Mac Smith leads the Kingsmen with 9 goals and eight assists.

Cost for a ticket to the semistate is $7 for one session, and $10 for two sessions.

Penn’s all-Northern Indiana Conference selections were:

1st Team: Colorado Kruggel (senior) defender.

2nd Team: Noah Craig (senior) midfielder; Trent Gidman (senior) goalkeeper; Anderw Fulmer (junior) defender.

Honorable Mention: Mac Smith (senior) midfielder; Riley Smith (junior) midfielder.

Penn’s all-district selections were:

1st team: Noah Craig (12) Midfielder.
2nd Team: Colorado Kruggel (12) Defender, Trent Gidman (12) Goalkeeper.
Top Team Player: Macrae Smith (12) Midfielder.
Named All-Academic for Penn were:
Noah Craig (12) Midfielder, Richard (RJ) Stewart (12) Defender, Alex Dobbins (11) Defender, Evan Shreiner (11) Defender, Riley Smith (11) Midfielder, Zackary Lopez (11) Forward.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY: Penn’s Lauren Frank won the individual regional championship, and the Kingsmen qualified as a team for the semistate with a second-place finish in the Elkhart Regional.

Coach Michael Clements’ Penn girls cross country team competes in the semistate at the Plexx athletic complex in Fort Wayne on Saturday. The semistate race is slated to start at 1:45 p.m.

Penn is seeking its first championships in girls cross country at the semistate and state levels.

Admission to the semistate is free.

Each of Penn’s seven runners earned all-NIC honors this season:

Lauren Frank – first team; Conference MVP, Individual NIC & Regional Champion.

Ellie Jankowski – first team all-NIC.

Emma Jankowski – first team all-NIC.

Sybil Kurian – second team all-NIC.

Lorena Daugherty – second team all-NIC.

Stella DiMarzio – second team all-NIC.

Danielle Frank – honorable mention all-NIC.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY: Penn stunned Northridge by one point to win the Elkhart Regional championship and qualify for the semistate. Penn finished with 61 points, and Northridge came in second with 62 points.

It was the 15th regional championship in program history, and Penn’s second boys cross country regional title in a row.

Semistate action at Fort Wayne’s Plexx athletic complex is set for 1 p.m on Saturday.

Penn is seeking its first semistate championship in boys cross country on Saturday. The Kingsmen are also pursuing their first state championship in boys cross country.

Sophomore Colton Shail led Penn’s regional championship effort by placing third in the race. Shail was named the Northern Indiana Conference MVP after placing first in the conference meet.

Admission to the semistate is free.

Coach Tom Miller’s Kingsmen placed all seven runners on the all-NIC team:

Colton Shail – first team all-NIC and Conference MVP, Individual NIC Champion.

Matt Evans – second team all-NIC.

Chad Piatt – second team all-NIC.

Curtis Cornell – second team all-NIC.

Daniel Hardman – second team.

Nick Scheel – honorable mention.

Cameron Nagle – honorable mention.