IndyStar is recognizing the Indiana high school athletes of the week presented by Defenders. Top Hoosier athletes are nominated by their athletic directors and coaches. For more information about our Indiana Sports Awards, contact Matthew VanTryon at email@example.com or Matthew Glenesk at firstname.lastname@example.org. These athletes were chosen for the week ending Oct. 22.
Evan Stambaugh, Lebanon
Good luck stopping the Lebanon offense.
Through the team’s first sectional game against Beech Grove, the Tigers averaged more than 45 points per game. They have a running back with more than 1,000 yards rushing. A player with more than 1,000 yards receiving. Three players with double-digit touchdowns.
Oh. And one of the best quarterbacks in the state.
Through the Beech Grove game, Evan Stambaugh had thrown for 2,829 yards and 38 touchdowns, both the highest number in Indiana. He’s averaging nearly 300 yards and four touchdowns per game. In the sectional opener against the Hornets, he threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns, good for a 144.7 quarterback rating.
It certainly helps that he has so many pieces around him. He says his four receivers and running back are “some of the best athletes in the state.”
“Really, my job’s not too hard,” he said. “I get those guys involved and they do what they do. In all of our play calls, every single guy is an option. My job is to find the open guy. In every single one of our plays, all our guys have the opportunity to catch the ball and do something with it.”
While Stambaugh is right, he’s also underselling himself. He’s nearly doubled most of his numbers from last season, his second as a starter. There is one key number that has gone down. He threw 13 interceptions in 11 games as a junior. Through 10 games this season, he’s only thrown nine.
“We always knew Evan had special ability,” said second-year head coach Neil Kazmierczak. In the past, he would make a lot of great plays but would also make mistakes. This year, he’s done a great job of playing within himself and letting the game come to him.”
It also helps Stambaugh that the running game is so effective. The Tigers average 181 rushing yards per game and have scored 23 touchdowns on the ground. While the passing game will always be the focus, a mix keeps the defense on its heels.
“If you try to adjust to one thing, we’re going to hit you with the other,” Stambaugh said. “It’s really pick your poison against us. It’s really hard to contain us throughout a whole game.”
Owen Hallas, Chesterton
Hallas had two assists in the team’s 2-0 win over West Noble in the semistate semifinals last Saturday. In the semistate championship against Harrison, he had a goal and an assist in the Trojans’ 2-1 win that clinched their first trip to state since 2007. A senior, Hallas has 26 goals and nine assists in 18 games played.
Sommer Domal, Penn
A goalkeeper, Domal had nine saves in two semistate games last Saturday. She had four saves in the team’s 1-0 win over Noblesville in the semifinals and had five more in the team’s 2-0 win over Munster in the championship. Domal has 67 saves and 10 shutouts on the season. Opponents have scored just nine goals against her in 1,410 minutes.
Quinn Gallagher, Guerin Catholic
Gallagher became the second runner in school history to qualify for the state meet last weekend. He set a new school record with a time of 15 minutes, 23.6 seconds and finished fifth overall in the Shelbyville Semistate. He was the third-place individual without a team.
Jenna Barker, Seton Catholic
Barker is the first female runner to advance to the state meet in school history. A junior, she finished 13th overall in the Shelbyville Semistate with a school-record time of 18:23.3.
Jay Natarajan and Ethan McAndrews, Carmel
Carmel’s Jay Natarajan and Ethan McAndrews won the doubles championship last weekend, 7-6 (4), 6-4 over Park Tudor. The Greyhounds are just the third program to sweep the team, singles and doubles titles in the same year. New Albany (1967) and North Central (1995) are the only other teams to accomplish do so.
Madison Hammill, Center Grove
A freshman, Hammill finished the season with the second-most assists (1163) in the state. She double-doubled in each of the Trojans’ three sectional games and had a season-high 58 assists in the sectional-clinching 3-1 win over Franklin Central on Oct. 20. Hammill has committed to play volleyball at the University of Wisconsin.