IndyStar is recognizing its first eight American Family high school athletes of the week as part of our new Indiana Sports Awards. Athletes are nominated by their athletic department and IndyStar staff will choose the winner. All weekly winners will be part of our Athlete of the Month contest and eligible for our Athlete of the Year award.
For more information about our the Indiana Sports Awards, contact Jennifer Brugh at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nat Newell at email@example.com. These athletes were chosen for the week ending Sept. 5:
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Name: David Coffey
School: Brebeuf Jesuit
Coffey continued a strong season by winning the Marion Invitational on Saturday, beating two All-State runners from last year’s state meet. His time of 15:24 is the best in Indiana so far this season, according to coach Karl Knerr.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
Name: Allie Dalton
School: Greenwood Christian Academy
Dalton is one of the top girls runners in the state, finishing fourth in the state meet at Greenwood last season. She transferred to Greenwood Christian and has adjusted well on and off the course, according to her coach. Allie is currently undefeated for the Cougars thus far with a personal best time of 18:01.
Name: Hunter Johnson
Johnson completed 25-of-38 for 445 yards and 6 touchdowns in the game against Lawrence North. The completions, yards and touchdowns are all school records. The junior is one of the country’s top quarterback recruits, recently committing to Tennessee.
Name: Kealy Ester-Bode
School: Covenant Christian
Ester-Bode led her team last week with six goals in four games. In the match against Plainfield, she scored two “world class” goals, according to her coach.
Name: Devynn Merriman
School: Center Grove
Merriman has stepped into a setting role for her team. She led the offense with 31 assists and 5 aces in a sweep of Carmel. While this hasn’t been her primary role, she executed the offense flawlessly to give Center Grove a 2-0 record in the MIC.
Name: Bailey Carter
School: Twin Lakes
Carter, a team captain the last two seasons and one of the school’s all-time leading goal scorers, has the team off to a 2-1 start with 6 goals and 3 assists
Name: Emma Purcell
School: North Central
Purcell was recently named All-MIC golfer and All-County golfer for Marion county.
Name: Zach Hennessey
As senior captain of the boys varsity tennis team, Hennessey helped lead his doubles team to win the John Shirley Invite on Aug. 29, beating out Guerin Catholic and splitting sets with North Central. He is a true leader and helping his teammates get better, according to his coach.