2013 Sports Year In Review

By Dean Pantazi - 21Alive
By Eric Dutkiewicz - 21Alive

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What was the biggest sports story in 2013?
December 26, 2013 Updated Dec 27, 2013 at 1:54 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - 2013 was a busy year for teams, athletes and sports with ties to Northeast Indiana.

In the Sports Year In Review, 21Alive's Dean Pantazi looks back at some of the biggest stories.

Web.com Tour Finals: Hotel Fitness Championship
The biggest event of 2013 hands down was the first PGA Web.com Tour Finals Hotel Fitness Championship, four days of an event with a true major league feel, and golf to match it. 2008 Masters Champion Trevor Immelman takes home the inaugural championship.

Komets Move To ECHL
The Komets' first season in the ECHL is pretty forgettable with no playoffs for the first time since the mid-1990s. At the end of the season, veteran coach Al Sims retires, and the reins are turned over to his former assistant Gary Graham, a Fort Wayne native who had won a Southern Professional Hockey League title in Pensacola.

Also, the new season meant the end of careers Colin Chaulk and Nick Boucher. Boucher and fellow former Komets goaltender Chuck Adamson would have their numbers hung from the rafters.

Mad Ants Make D-League Playoffs
The Mad Ants are above .500 for the first time, and make the franchise's first appearance in the NBA Development League Playoffs. Duane Ticknor would get the call to the NBA as an assistant for the Memphis Grizzlies. Former NBA player and European basketball coach Conner Henry becomes Ants' new coach.

TinCaps Advance To Eastern Finals
More than 400,000 file through Parkview Field to see another successful season for the TinCaps. The 'caps make the Eastern Division Finals. The success earns second-year manager Jose Valentin a promotion as San Diego Padres first base coach.

High School Teams Have Impressive Seasons

  • Canterbury Lady Cavaliers win 1A Girls Basketball State Championship
  • Norwell Knights win 3A Baseball State Championship.
  • Northrop Lady Bruins win Girls Track & Field State Championship
  • Lakewood Park Christian Lady Panthers win 1A Softball State Championship
  • Bishop Dwenger Saints finish as 4A Football State Runners-Up
  • Concordia Lutheran Cadets finish as 3A Boys Basketball State Runner-Up
  • Northfield Norsemen finish as 2A Baseball State Runners-Up
  • South Side Lady Archers finish as 4A Girls Basketball State Runner-Up
  • Adams Central Lady Jets finish as 2A Softball State Runners-Up
  • High School Conference Realignment

  • Northeast Hoosier Conference votes to disband in 2014
  • Bellmont, Columbia City, DeKalb, East Noble, New Haven Norwell join Leo & Huntington North to create new conference
  • Homestead and Carroll join Summit Athletic Conference in 2015 (football & basketball only)
  • Garrett leaves Allen County Athletic Conference for Northeast Corner Conference
  • Jay County leaves North Central Conference for Allen County Athletic Conference

    Players of the Year

  • Northrop's Bryson Scott wins 21Alive Boys Basketball Player of the Year, and begins college career at Purdue
  • South Side's Ariana Simmons wins 21Alive Girls Basketball Player of the Year, and begins college career at IPFW
  • Carroll's True Tranquill wins 21Alive/Parkview Sports Medicine Football Player of the Year, and switches commitment from Purdue to Notre Dame following stellar senior season
  • Huntington North pitcher wins Gatorade Indiana Softball Player of the Year and signs national letter of intent to play at Kentucky
  • Concordia's Thomas Starks wins 3A Boys Basketball Mental Attitude Award
  • Bishop Dwenger's Austin Hillman wins first ever 21Alive/Parkview Sports Medicine Scholar Athlete of the Year for the fall of 2013
  • Area Athletes' Pro Careers

  • Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert (Bishop Dwenger) drafted in 1st round of NFL Draft by Cincinnati Bengals
  • Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas (Bishop Luers) drafted in 2nd round of NBA Draft by San Antonio Spurs, but heads overseas to play professionally
  • Norwell pitcher Josh VanMeter drafted in 5th round of Major League Baseball Draft by San Diego Padres
  • Safety Bernard Pollard (South Side) wins Super Bowl XLVII with Baltimore Ravens, then signs with Tenessee Titans in offseason
  • Manager Eric Wedge (Northrop) leaves Seattle Mariners after 2 seasons, and interviews for vacant Chicago Cubs head coaching job
  • City Champions Crowned

  • Pat Kelly wins Men's City Golf Championship
  • Karky Dobis wins Women's City Golf Championship
  • Tom Wood wins Men's City Senior Golf Championship
  • Amy Recht wins 8th Women's City Tennis Championship
  • Tom Murphy wins 3rd-straight Men's City Tennis Championship
  • Blackhawk Swim & Dive wins 1st ever City Swimming Championship
  • Blackhawk Middle School wins record 7 of 10 middle school City Championships in one school year
  • Click on the video icon to see some of the top moments in 2013.

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