Hello Griffith Families,
Because we were unable to host our Annual Winter Sports Awards Night this year due to these uncertain times, we would still like to honor our winter sport student-athletes and award winners to provide them with the recognition all their accomplishments deserve.
We have plenty of athletes and some great seasons to celebrate! This winter season had its ups and downs, but our student-athletes truly shined. We are extremely proud of our Panthers! We must never let any circumstance allow us to forget that it is great to be a Panther!
The Athletic Department would like to thank everyone who helped this winter season be a great success. Athletic events don’t just happen, they are a combined effort of more people than can be listed here. It is our hope that everyone involved in not only our winter season, but also athletics as a whole, knows how truly appreciated they are, from our student-athletes and coaches, to our community, game workers and custodial/maintenance staff combined. The Athletic Department would also like to thank our student-athletes’ parents for all your support throughout the season. You are the backbone who make our athletic teams possible!
In order to properly recognize our winter sports and give them the kudos they deserve, this will be a lengthy post, but we hope you’ll stick with us as we highlight each sport and their amazing season, followed by a list of the Winter Season’s Award Winners!!
Boys’ and Girls’ Bowling
Dominating and winning a Conference Title. Advancing through their Sectionals, Regionals, and both teams qualifying for the State Finals. Morgan Schoon took first place in Sectionals! Elisabeth Lawson, Runner Up, Chelsea Matthews and Brianna Langel also advanced to Regionals. On the boys’ team, Nathan Ward was Runner Up and Eddie Olszewski also advanced. Making the All-Conference Team: Morgan Schoon and Aubrie Svilar along with Eddie Olszewski and Nathan Ward. An extra congratulations to our Lady Panthers Bowling team on bringing a STATE title home!! Never before has there been someone at the high school level to hold both a team State title, along with an individual State title, so congratulations to Morgan Schoon on such an astounding accomplishment! Let’s hear it for our Bowling teams with one of their own chants, “Aye, Aye Captain! I Can’t Hear You!”
Boys’ and Girls’ Swimming
They may have been small in number, but their accomplishments were not. Coach Barb tell us all about our boys’ and girls’ swimming and diving season!
Coach Barb’s Speech <———– Click the Link
Our Girls’ Basketball team definitely turned a few heads in the right direction throughout the region this past season. Some season highlight wins include a victory over East Chicago at the beginning of the season and then a win over Hobart during the Wildcat Winter Classic after an early season loss to the Lady Brickies.
Overall, the Girls’ Basketball team finished the season with a 15-9 record, the best finish since the 2012-13 season. The Varsity team posted a 5-2 record in the GSSC, the first winning season the Griffith Lady Panthers has had since joining the Greater South Shore Conference. The team is looking forward to a bright future, despite losing leading rebounder, senior Briah Strezo.
Congratulations on a great winning season, Lady Panthers! You make us proud!
The Griffith Panthers Boys Basketball team ended their season with a 13-11 record, after a quick exit from Sectional play on March 3, 2020. Though they didn’t make the run in post-season play as they had hoped, and their overall record this year was not as good as their 2018-2019 record, the team had several successes to recognize.
Along with their overall 13-11 record, the Panthers finished 5-2 in conference play for a second place finish. A particular sense of achievement came for the boys with a strong win against a powerful Merrillville team, marking the first time in almost 20 years that a Griffith team defeated Merrillville. In addition to the wins on the court, the Panthers also had players achieve 1st Team, 2nd Team, and All-Conference player status. Senior Helal Issa was recognized as a Top 10 student at Griffith for his academic achievements.
Boys, as you all prepare for the 2020-2021 season, we’re excited to see what the future holds for you and the younger players who were able to gain some Varsity level experience during the 2019-2020 season. We know the valuable playing experience is going to be key in building your program and keeping us so proud of all you do!
Lucas Metz + Donald Cole Reitz + Gabe Campos + Connor Cervantes = Wrestling Regional Qualifiers. And three of those young men, Cole, Gabe and Connor advanced on to Semi-State, as well, this past season!
Connor Cervantes, a freshman finished the year 25-12. Throughout the year, Cervantes made significant strides and steadily improved to become a semi-state qualifier. We’re looking forward to seeing him come back next year to take the next step. Gabe Campos finished his Senior year with a 36-8 record, wrestling tough throughout the year and even bumping up in weight when needed to fill the line-up. All his hard work led to a first place finish at the Conference Tournament this year.
The Pantherettes had an incredibly successful season this past year. As a year-round sport, these girls put in countless hours of hard work to prepare for the season. The Pantherettes were undefeated in their dance season and won Regionals for the third year in a row! Unfortunately, the season was cut short and they were not able to attend State this year, as it was cancelled, but they are all very grateful for the successful season they had and the memories they made! We couldn’t be prouder of you, ladies!
The backbone of a thrilling football or basketball game is the cheer team, hyping the fans and ensuring the athletes on the field and court know how supported they are during their contest!
Our Varsity Cheer Coach, Leslie Manuel had a few words regarding the season she asked us to share – “I want to thank the Athletic Department, both Mr. Dimos and Diana, as well as my Junior Varsity coach, Natalie Halley, with the success of this season. The Griffith Cheerleading program had a strong and memorable season. The majority of this team were seniors who had been cheering together for nearly 10 years. This year, we were able to take the varsity team to the State Finals. We did not place, but enjoyed our time and the environment the state competition provides. A few cheerleaders stand out this year, among many great athletes. The strong leadership and success of this team is in part because of our team captain this season, senior Andria Johnson. Our Most Valuable Player award goes to a cheerleader who has excellent jumps, tumbling, stunting technique and is a great role model for incoming cheerleaders. Our Best Mental Attitude award goes to a cheerleader who always put the interest of the team first and maintained a positive attitude throughout the season. She kept spirits high and increased moral. Our Most Improved Cheerleader this year goes to a first-year cheerleader who responded well to constructive criticism and made significant improvements in her motions, jumps, and stunting throughout the year. Thank you to all our cheerleaders this year and cheer parents who made this year possible.”
2019-2020 Winter Sport Award Winners
Swimming – Girls’ Varsity
Most Improved – Samantha Benko
Best Mental Attitude – Claire Labadie
Most Valuable Player – Emma Keene
Rookie of the Year – Claire Labadie
Academic All-Conference: Kylee Taylor
Girls’ 1st Team All-Conference:
– 200 yard Medley Relay: Claire LaBadie, Emma Keene, Haylie Keene, Kylee Taylor
– 200 yard Freestyle Relay: Haylie Keene, Claire LaBadie, Kylee Taylor, Emma Keene
– Haylie Keene: 50 yard Freestyle, 100 yard Freestyle
– Emma Keene: 200 yard Individual Medley, 100 yard Breaststroke
– Claire LaBadie: 200 yard Freestyle, 500 yard Freestyle
Girls’ All-Conference Honorable Mention
– Kylee Taylor: 200 yard Freestyle, 100 yard Backstroke
Academic All – State: Kylee Taylor
Swimming – Boys’ Varsity
Most Improved – Terrence Salazar-Ray
Best Mental Attitude – Jesse Trujillo-Smit
Most Valuable Player – Thomas Taylor
Rookie of the Year – Jesse Trujillo-Smit
Rookie of the Year – Ty Helfen
Boys’ 2nd Team All-Conference
– 200 yard Freestyle Relay: Connor Begeske, Ty Hellen, Jesse Trujillo-Smit, Thomas Taylor
– Connor Begeske: 100 yard Freestyle, 100 yard Backstroke
– Thomas Taylor: 200 yard Freestyle
Boys’ All-Conference Honorable Mention
– 200 yard Medley Relay: Thomas Taylor, Ty Hellen, Connor Begeske, Jesse Trujillo-Smit
– Thomas Taylor: 100 yard Breaststroke
Wrestling – Varsity
Best Mental Attitude – Jalen Torres
Most Valuable Player – Donald Cole Reitz
Most Valuable Player – Gabriel Campos
Academic All-Conference: Donald Cole Reitz, Justin Perez
All-Conference : 1st Team – Donald Cole Reitz, Gabriel Campos
Academic All – State: Donald Cole Reitz & Justin Perez
Basketball – Girls’ Junior Varsity
Most Improved – Nina Zielke
Best Mental Attitude – Kelsey Price
Best Mental Attitude – Alicea Gutierrez
Most Valuable Player – Ella Rasberry
Basketball – Girls’ Varsity
Most Improved – Marisa Esquivel
Best Mental Attitude – Briah Strezo
Most Valuable Player – Julissa Hamm
1st Team – Ariel Esquivel, Marissa Esquivel
2nd Team – Julissa Hamm, Cierra Pipkins
Honorable Mention – Briah Strezo
Basketball – Boys’ Junior Varsity
Most Improved – Peyton Thomas
Best Mental Attitude – Anthony Armistead
Most Valuable Player – Jacari Phillips
Basketball – Boys’ Varsity
Most Improved – Tyler Knezevich
Best Mental Attitude – Helal Issa
Academic All-Conference: Helal Issa, Kylan Brown
1st Team – Oshawn Lee, Ronnie Stark
2nd Team – Helal Issa
Cheerleading – Junior Varsity
Most Improved – Jessica Pavlinac
Cheerleading – Varsity
Best Mental Attitude – Angel Lomax
Most Valuable Player – Hayley Ratliff
Pantherettes – Varsity
Most Improved – Grace Wolven
Best Mental Attitude – Kayla Rooke
Most Valuable Player – Sara Mehisen
Congratulations again to all of our student-athletes and winter teams! It’s Great to be a Panther!