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High Schools

Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Holly Hankenson, center, of Bellmont, Concordia’s Tionna Williams, left, and Te’Ayla Whitfield are three of the top players in northeast Indiana.

5 to watch season previews

Carroll had quite a ride last year by knocking Bellmont off its NHC perch and making another deep postseason run, getting to the Class 4A semistate.

The Chargers will once again be in the mix in the conference and postseason races, along with the Braves. Concordia (3A), Adams Central (2A) and Blackhawk Christian (A) will also be looking to continue their playoff successes of 2012.

Here’s a look at what the 2013 season has in store for northeast Indiana:


Tionna Williams, Concordia: The junior outside hitter/middle blocker had 396 kills last year.

Charlotte Conser, Carroll: The senior outside hitter is a four-year starter, led the team in kills and was second in digs and aces.

Kalisha Goree, Columbia City: The senior defensive specialist committed to Ohio State over the summer.

Burgundy Price, Woodlan: The senior outside hitter had 268 kills and 327 digs.

Abby Snyder, Adams Central: The All-ACAC first team senior libero had 427 digs.


Concordia: The SAC champion Cadets return Williams, senior middle hitter Te’Ayla Whitfield, sophomore middle hitter Erica Shively, junior outside hitter DeJour Young and junior libero Grace Miller.

Carroll: The NHC and regional champion Chargers will bring back Conser, junior Jocie Bolinger and sophomores Jackie Quade and Katie Claxton.

Bellmont: With the senior twins Holly and Bailee Hankenson returning, as well as junior middle hitter Janaya Wilder (324 kills), the Braves look to be as good as always.

Adams Central: The regional champion Jets could be good again with Snyder, junior setter Madi Schwartz, junior middle hitter Haley Gross, junior outside hitter Whitney Peterson among those returning.

Warsaw: The Northern Lakes Conference champions bring back all-conference players senior outside hitter Emily Poe and middle hitter Katie Voelz and will include some other young talent.


Wonder twin power: Bellmont brings back senior All-NHC twins Bailee (setter) and Holly Hankenson (outside hitter) to rule the court like they do on the track in the spring.

State-less streak: No northeast Indiana team has been to the state finals since Bellmont’s Class 3A title in 2011.

New Bishop bosses: Both Bishop Dwenger (Tim Houser) and Bishop Luers (Jay Golsteyn) have new coaches this season.

Small-school success: Blackhawk Christian is building a reputation (as well as collecting titles) as a team to be reckoned with in Class A, and this year appears no different.

Wide-open ACAC: The conference title often ends up in a tie for the title, like last year’s bind between Adams Central and Leo, and could again be the case with 4-5 teams in the mix.