FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – As we put a bow on 2017, it’s time to look back at great year of sports in northeast Indiana. From state titles to special moments and everything in between – here are the top 15 sports moments of the year.
Vote on which was your favorite of 2017 and we’ll reveal the top moment on New Years Eve.
- It’s deja vu for the Don. A year after shocking the then No. 3 ranked Hoosiers at Memorial Coliseum, IPFW does it again in convincing fashion at historic Assembly Hall. The Dons knocked down 17 three pointers on their way to the 92-72 victory.
- The year of 2017 was also twice as nice for St. Francis. The Cougars repeated as NAIA National Champions in Daytona Beach, Florida as they topped Reinhardt (Ga.), 24-13. And that wasn’t the only trophy they brought back to Fort Wayne as quarterback Nick Ferrer was named NAIA National Player of the Year.
- Homestead became a part of basketball royalty this year. The Spartans beat Pike in the 4A State Title title game to clinch the championship. Guard Karissa McLaughlin also cemented her legacy at Homestead by earning Miss Indiana Basketball. She’s now playing at Purdue.
- Biggie made the big jump to the NBA. Former Homestead and Purdue big man, Caleb Swanigan was selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. With the 26th selection, the Portland Trail Blazers picked Swanigan.
- The feel good story of the year has to be Jaylon Smith. The Bishop Luers graduate tore his knee apart in his final game at Notre Dame. After rehabbing, falling in the draft, rehabbing, finally getting selected by the Dallas Cowboys and rehabbing some more, Smith final saw the field as a professional. The swipe isn’t done, he’s just getting started.
- In a return to prominence, the Canterbury boys soccer team clinched the 1A State Title in dramatic fashion. With just four minutes remaining in their game, Michael Clark scored the game winning goal for the Cavs. It’s their 6th state title in school history, which is also the most in Indiana history.
- Kevin Kiermaier said ‘Show me the money’ this year. The Bishop Luers graduate and Tampa Bay Rays centerfield signed a massive $54-million contract. The two-time gold glover battled injuries this season but he’ll be back in 2018.
- Speaking of the bigs, a few local guys received a call of a lifetime. Northrop’s Garrett Schoenle (Cincinnati Reds), Ball State’s Colin Brockhouse (Blue Jays) and AdamsCentral/Huntington University’s Dalton Combs (Giants) were all selected in the MLB Draft.
- 2017 was a perfect strike for Sydney Brummett. The Homestead grad and Wichita State Shocker won the NCAA Individual title and was named Bowler of the Year. It doesn’t stop there as she picked up the spare and was also selected to Team USA.
- In 2018, a few of super Fernando Tatis Jr.’s home runs are probably still in orbit. The TinCaps shortstop shattered the single-season franchise mark for long balls. Tatis Jr. had 21 on the year before getting called up and you may soon see him in the big leagues.
- Another year, another successful season for the Komets. Fort Wayne retired the jerseys of Al Sims and Colin Chaulk. Legendary radio announcer Bob Chase was also honored as the Komets dedicated ‘Bob Chase Way’ outside Memorial Coliseum where he went to work for 63 years.
- In 2017, Indiana high school hoops was talked about on the floor of Congress in our nation’s capital. Churubusco boys basketball earned a sectional title for the first time in the 99 year history and Representative Jim Banks made sure the entire country know how proud he was of them.
- The most surprising year has to belong to Kolt Kyler. The Pierceton, Indiana boy was just helping his dad on their family farm when he went viral on the internet. Kyler was surprised with cubs tickets and it didn’t stop there. He became a national story and got to enjoy the VIP treatment on a special trip to Wrigley Field.
- The hits just keep on coming in 2017 and Alexa Allen knows all about that. The Leo softball player broke the IHSAA All-Time hits record, getting knock No. 223 – and beyond – to close our her historic career for the Lions.
- And last but certainly not least, is the iron man DaMarcus Beasley. The Fort Wayne native continues his illustrious soccer career and was named to the MLS All-Star team. The 34-year old has now played in four World Cups and has now made 5 all-star appearances.