January 31, 2013
Boonville Swimmer Nominated for National HS Spirit of Sport Award
Noah James of Boonville High School, has been nominated by the Indiana High School Athletic Association for the National High School Spirit of Sport Award, an honor sponsored annually by the Indianapolis-based National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
The award seeks to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics. James’ ability to overcome both the challenges of Asperger Syndrome and a life-threatening lung disease was chosen from 19 nominations from around the state. His story will be entered into regional competition with those nominees being considered for the national award by the NFHS. The overall national winner will be recognized at the NFHS Summer Meetings in Denver, CO in June.
James is a junior at the Warrick County school in southwestern Indiana where he’s in his third year as a member of the Pioneers swimming and diving team.
James has dealt with Asperger Syndrome, an Autistic Spectrum Disorder associated with difficulties in social interaction, dealing with change, and sometimes odd, eccentric or repetitive behaviors. He is breaking his disability stereotypes however by interacting with teammates and participating in both team and individual swimming events, something he began doing competitively at age six.
In December 2011, his next major challenge presented itself. What his family assumed was a bad case of bronchitis and pneumonia turned out to be something far more serious. His lung function fell daily to dangerous levels to where he needed to be put on oxygen, was put on homebound services for school and underwent a series of tests. Extensive evaluations over the next three months at three of the Midwest’s finest children’s hospitals resulted in a diagnosis of bronchiolitis obliteran, a rare, life-threatening disorder that causes inflammatory obstruction of the lung’s bronchioles. The obstruction leads to extensive scarring that blocks the airways, which leads to a dry cough, shortness of breath, wheezing and fatigue. Due to the extent of the disease, his only option became a double lung transplant.
He left his father, brother and sister behind in May 2012 and relocated with his mother to the Ronald McDonald House of St. Louis, MO to await his transplant. Finding a match though could take up to two years he was told. As luck would have it though, he only waited a few short weeks as a match was found and his double lung transplant took place on June 14.
He still had to undergo extensive physical therapy, meet with a series of doctors and therapists, receive infusion treatments and continues to follow a strict regimen of preventative and anti-rejection medications. Knowing that Asperger’s Syndrome makes dealing with change difficult enough, his courage through it all is even more impressive.
Last October, just four months after his double lung transplant, Noah remarkably returned to school, the swim team, his teammates and the water he cherishes.
Amy Ulrey, Boonville High School counselor, who nominated James for the Spirit of Sport Award, recalls a conversation she had with him following his return.
“After his first week, I asked him how it felt to be back in the pool.”
“My lungs did not come from a swimmer,” James replied emphatically.
“To see him walk the halls of our high school, with his letterman’s jacket on, truly is inspiring,” Ulrey wrote. “To see him leave the pool deck, enter the water and take that first stroke is nothing less than miraculous!”
The IHSAA is proud to join Boonville High School in recognizing the example set by Noah James and that he represents everything that is right about our youth and education-based athletics.
The following nominations for the Spirit of Sport Award were received by the IHSAA.
|Fort Wayne Wayne Boys Basketball Team
||Fort Wayne Wayne
||Irvington Prep Academy
|North Putnam Boys Basketball Program
||South Bend Clay
Girls Swimming and Diving Sectionals Begin Thursday
A total of 235 schools and 3,392 student-athletes are entered as the 39th Annual IHSAA Girls Swimming & Diving Tournament Series gets underway Thursday afternoon, Jan. 31, with sectional preliminary heats at 20 sites around the state. Diving prelims and semifinals start Saturday morning, Feb. 2, at each site with consolations and finals in each event scheduled for later in the day.
All first place swimming event winners in each sectional will advance to the state meet along with any participant who equals or betters the state time standard in that event’s consolation or championship heat. The next fastest times in each event also will qualify in order to bring the field to 32 entrants. The top four divers at each sectional will advance to one of four diving regionals slated for Tuesday, Feb. 5, with the top eight advancing to the state meet. This year’s state finals are set for Feb. 8-9 at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.
Results from each sectional site will be posted to the IHSAA website as they become available this weekend. State finals heat sheets will be available beginning Sunday, Feb. 3. Diving regional results and the order of participants for the state meet will be posted on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
State Tournament Information
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 (Swimming Preliminaries).
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 (Diving, Consolations & Finals in Swimming events).
Admission: $6 per session; $9 both sessions.
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013.
1. First place sectional winners in each event qualify for the state meet plus
2. Any contestant who equals or betters the state time standard in their respective event in the consolation finals or championship finals of the sectional qualifies for the state plus. The state standard may not be achieved by a swimmer who is competing as the first leg of a relay.
3. The next fastest number of contestants in the state that would bring the total number of state meet entrants to thirty-two (32) in each event. In the event that a tie exists for the 32nd position, the state qualifier shall be determined by the fastest preliminary time of both swimmers. If preliminary times are identical, both swimmers shall advance.
1. First through fourth place sectional winners will qualify for the diving regional.
2. First through eighth place regional winners will qualify for the state finals.
Defending Sectional Champions
Avon, Carmel, Center Grove, Chesterton, Columbus North, Concord, Culver Academies, Fishers, Floyd Central, Homestead, Jasper, Lawrence North, Mt. Vernon, Mt. Vernon (Fortville), Muncie Central, Munster, North Central (Indianapolis), Penn, Twin Lakes, Zionsville.
Active Sectional Championship Streaks (Three or more years)
23: Center Grove.
7: Mount Vernon, Zionsville.
5: Floyd Central, Lawrence North, North Central (Indianapolis).
3: Mt. Vernon (Fortville), Muncie Central.
Most All-Time Consecutive Sectional Championships
28 by Carmel, 1984-current.
Top 10 All-Time Sectional Championships
32: Columbus North.
23: Center Grove, Lafayette Jefferson.
20: Anderson, Chesterton, Crawfordsville, Elkhart Central.
News & Notes from Around the State
Athletic directors and coaches, because this “News & Notes” section has become less frequent in recent years, if you have an interesting note - perhaps a conference or school record, coaching milestone or something else - please feel free to e-mail IHSAA Sports Information Director Jason Wille at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to send it out on the IHSAA’s twitter account or just tweet it to us at @IHSAA1. Thank you!
Hats off to Kankakee Valley's Dan Roberts, a three-sport coach for the last 34 years (fall, winter and spring) and who will coach a KV team for the 102nd consecutive sports season this spring when he directs the boys track team! He began teaching PE in 1979 and in addition to his coaching duties, he has taught driver’s education for the last 30 summers!
Eastern Hancock junior guard Kiersten Schrope recorded a rare quadruple-double in last Saturday's 70-40 victory over Hauser. Schrope had 10 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists and tied a school record with 11 steals to help lead the Royals to their 15th victory of the season.
About the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. (IHSAA)
Founded in 1903, the purpose of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. (IHSAA) is to encourage, regulate and give direction to wholesome amateur interschool athletic competition between its 410 member schools. The Association provides state championship tournament series in 20 sports, 10 for girls and 10 for boys. Approximately 160,000 student athletes participate in IHSAA sports on an annual basis.