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Pair of TRC titles head to Miami County in September

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

September couldn’t decide what season it wanted to be but that was not the same problem that faced several of the Miami County schools throughout the month and slightly into October.

Two TRC titles were won by county schools with two others contested for during a month that was far more consistent than the weather outside.

Here, the Peru Tribune takes a look at who made moves and picked up hardware to start fall.

Teams of the Month: North Miami Boys (13-2, 6-0 TRC)/Girls (10-5, 6-0 TRC) Soccer

Since the TRC had enough teams to decide a conference title in soccer, Manchester had dominated the landscape, winning the title without suffering a loss from any of the other TRC schools.

That changed this season as North Miami, who was looking up at the Squires the past two years, upended the champs with the Warrior boys taking the TRC title with a 3-2 win over Manchester.

The Warrior girls’ team had already beaten the Squires back in August but still needed to finish up Rochester to ensure the title for themselves, getting three second half goals on the road to do so in a 3-0 win.

Both teams fell to Argos in their sectional opener but did so holding titles that had eluded them.

Football

Peru (4-4, 3-1 TRC) came into September 0-3 and looking for answers.

The Tigers now sit at 4-4, finishing second in the TRC South Division and hold bragging rights over Miami County after a literal last-second win over Maconaquah and one of the most dominant halves of football this season over North Miami.

The ending In Denver was different as Peru had problems putting Manchester and Wabash away, possibly signaling the team hitting its stride as it approaches the TRC Playoff against Rochester and sectional play against Tippecanoe Valley.

North Miami (5-3, 3-1 TRC) was leading the TRC South until Peru’s win last Friday, relegating the Warriors to third in the division by virtue of tiebreakers.

This comes after a month in which the team handed A No. 11 Southwood its only loss of the season, had a surprisingly sluggish effort against Rochester and followed it up by cleaning up Caston and Wabash.

The Warriors will see Tippecanoe Valley again in the TRC Playoff and travel to South Newton to open sectional play.

Maconaquah (2-6, 1-4 TRC) looked like it was building up a head of steam with wins over Whitko and Wabash to start September and came within :00.3 of beaten Peru.

A heartbreaking double-overtime loss to A No. 8 North Central (Farmersburg), followed by heavy back-to-back losses to A No. 14 Northfield and Southwood, has the Braves reeling heading into the TRC Playoff against Manchester, with Jimtown waiting on the other side in sectional play.

Volleyball

North Miami (28-3, 7-2 TRC) started the month with a surprise loss to Tippecanoe Valley that put the team under pressure to win out in conference play with the match against Rochester still two weeks away.

The Warriors forced five sets out of the Zebras in what was effectively the conference title match but didn’t have the answer in the fifth set to win.

Otherwise, the Warriors have mauled just about everyone, only going the distance with Kokomo and Mississinewa outside of TRC play but must find a way to overcome Rochester as the teams meet Saturday in sectional play.

Maconaquah (13-19, 4-5 TRC) turned a corner during the past month, having exited August with a 2-10 mark.

Outside of the Brebeuf Jesuit Invitational, a tournament which saw them face four major programs including 4A No. 2 Providence, the Braves have made significant strides, winning their own invitational and coming to near .500 in conference play.

They also picked up a 3-1 win over Western, the hosts and opening round opponent Maconaquah will face in sectional play Thursday.

Peru (6-23, 0-9 TRC) started September by nearly getting its first TRC win since joining the conference, falling in five sets to Whitko before sweeping past Taylor.

From there, however, the Tigers have only won once over Lewis Cass and picked up only four sets, including the three against the Kings.

Peru opens sectional play Thursday with West Lafayette, who has eliminated the Tigers from postseason play in two of the past three seasons.

Cross Country

Maconaquah saw its girls’ squad finally get the title they had been looking for the past three seasons, winning the Logansport Sectional over Western.

This was in addition to a win at the Apache Invitational as well as a second-place finish at the TRC Meet and third-place finish at the Maconaquah Invitational.

The Braves boys’ team finished fourth at the TRC Meet and seventh at the sectional while adding one top-five finish to the ledger with a second-place finish at the Apache Invitational. Caleb Winegardner and Sam Bourne will compete at the regional this weekend.

Peru held its first home meet in several years, a highlight of the season along with a third-place finish for the boys’ team at the Oak Hill Invitational.

Five Tigers advanced from the Logansport Sectional, including Adam Garner, Braxton Jimenez, Jaelin Richardson, Mya Lancaster and Sadie Carter.

North Miami saw its girls’ team finish sixth at the TRC Meet and seventh at the sectional while the boys’ team finishes ninth at the TRC Meet and eighth at the sectional.

Three runners advanced from the Culver Military Academy sectional to the regional held at the same venue in Malachi Sanderson, Nicky Scher and Kaylee Lane.

Boys’ Soccer

Peru (5-8-1, 3-3 TRC) traded off wins and losses to start September before picking up some momentum heading into sectional play.

The Tigers picked up all three conference wins in September, including a 1-0 victory over Rochester, a 2-0 win over Tippecanoe Valley and a 3-1 win in overtime over Maconaquah.

Victory over the Braves was marred by a significant injury to senior Justin Yoo and the season ended at the first hurdle of sectional play against 2A No. 17 Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran.

Maconaquah (4-9-1, 2-4 TRC) picked up a pair of wins to start September over Wabash and Tri-Central but things fell off from there.

The Braves lost their last five matches of the year, including an overtime battle with Peru, and had situations away from the pitch cloud the ending of the season, which included an 8-0 and 7-0 loss to Manchester.

Girls’ Soccer

Maconaquah (2-13-2, 1-5 TRC) found one win during September and could have possibly picked up more.

The Braves beat Kokomo 4-3, drew with Faith Christian 3-3 and had leads over Eastern and Delphi but saw both slip away late and saw their season end against Mississinewa in sectional play.

Peru (0-13-1) plugged away all season but could not find the elusive win the team craved.

The Tigers were outmanned and outgunned most of the season, having only two subs for several matches, and saw their season end against Marion.

Boys’ Tennis

Peru missed out on both TRC and sectional titles this season as Wabash asserted itself as the top team in the conference.

The Tigers split their 10 matches in September, finishing  5-1 in TRC play and with no seniors on the team, have the ability to return everyone back for 2018.

Maconaquah (5-12, 2-4 TRC) saw Cole Borden advance to the Culver Military Academy individual sectional but, once there, the sophomore suffered his first and only loss of the season to Rochester’s Quique Pomares-Perego.

The Braves opened September by finally getting to play at home after the new tennis courts were completed and finally got a home win over Carroll but struggled otherwise, managing to pick up only three wins in the month before falling to Wabash in the sectional opener.

Girls’ Golf

Maconaquah picked up seven wins during the month of September and had a very solid tournament season, finishing third in the TRC and fifth at the Western Sectional.

Renae Stoll earned All-TRC honors with a sixth-place finish at Norwood and capped the season with a trip to the West Lafayette regional.

Peru also had an All-TRC honoree in Carli Nance, who finished seventh at the TRC Match, but saw Maconaquah finish just out of reach at both the conference match and sectional.

The Tigers were 2-2 during September, finishing fourth at the TRC and sixth at the sectional.

North Miami finished near the back of the pack through the short September stretch, finishing ninth at the TRC meet and 11th at the sectional.

An enforced lineup change did not help matters late in the season but the team did finish with significantly better scores at the two big meets over the previous season.