Looking Back at the 2021 Chesterton Sports

The top nine athletic moments and five honorable mentions

  1. Girls track had a phenomenal 2021 season, a year full of fast seniors, and some highly skilled underclassmen. The 2021 qualified many girls for the state meet including: Ciara Bonner, Carley Balas, Frances Clancy, Madison Davis, Camryn Dunn, Alyssa Dunlap, Aubree Gentry, Nalani Malackowski, Bailey Ranta, Bridget Raffin, Sophia Raffin, Emma Sieman, and Isabella Smith. The 4×400 meter relay team, consisting of Dunn, Sieman, Gentry, and Smith, came back to Chesterton as the ninth fastest group in Indiana. They added a Chesterton personal record of 3:59.77. The awards for Dunn did not stop at the 4×400, as she placed sixth in the 100m and fourth in the 400m with a time of 56.90 setting not only a personal record but breaking a Chesterton High School Record. Ranta received ninth in the 3200m (a school record she broke 3 times in the season), while also placing sixth in the 4x800m relay with her teammates, Dunlap, Malackowski, and Gentry. The girls track team has begun their workouts for this upcoming season, looking to pick up where they left off, and bring home some more hardware.
  2.  Chesterton High School’s girls cross country team placed third in state during the 2021 season, with a total of 12 Trojan runners participating, along with the other 24 schools who qualified for the state finals. The team compiled a score of 221, including some personal best efforts, and they managed to place in the top five, which Chesterton’s girls XC program had not done since 2003, 18 years ago. This team managed to reach their goals, due to their dedication and commitment to workouts.The girls had a magical season that will not soon be forgotten, and surely those returning, are already working to make next season’s successes very similar.
  3. Chesterton’s wrestling team had a phenomenal 2021 season, finishing as State Runners up. The State Finals meet was a tight contest the entire evening, coming down to the very last match. Unfortunately, Evansville Mater Dei edged our Trojans by just 5 points, 112-107, the two highest point totals ever recorded by teams in the state finals. Hayden DeMarco placed 5th in the 113 weight class, after losing to Anthony Bahl from Crown Point by decision, but still managed 7.0 points for the Trojans.  Chesterton High School’s sophomore Serigo Lemley placed first, becoming an Indiana State Champion in the 120 pound weight class by beating Crown Point’s Logan Frazier 3-2 and receiving 27.0 points. Aiden Torres placed eighth in his weight class, contributing 4.0 points to the Trojans overall score. Ethan Kaiser (145) placed fifth by winning by decision over Hayden Shepard (Western) and earned 10.0 points for Chesterton. Brock Ellis (152) was the state runner up to James Conway (Floyd Central) who won in sudden victory. Ellis added 20.0 points to the team score for the Trojans. Gavin Laymen, like Kaiser, placed fifth in the 182 class, also earning 10.0 points. In the 195 weight class, Gage DeMarco placed fourth after losing to Eli Pack (Culver Academies) in the third place match, obtaining 12.0 points for the team. Evan Bates (220), the former state champion, placed third, scoring 17.0 team points.
  4. In 2021, both boys and girls soccer showed off their incredible talents by having incredible success throughout their postseason.  The boys crushed their competition nearly going undefeated, losing just one game to Lake Central.  Not only were they practically undefeated, the boys showed incredible grit and determination winning a co-DAC title, a sectional championship for the fourth year in a row, and won regionals for the third time in four years.  Sadly, their season ended when the team lost their semi-state game to Noblesville High School, a nationally ranked opponent.  Similar to the boys, the girls team showed exceptional skills by becoming DAC champions. Following the DAC Championship, the team fell to Valparaiso High School (1-0) during the Sectional game.  Even through this loss, the team had much to be proud of after winning 13 out of the 18 games they played throughout the season.  Both teams showed excellent talent and had an outstanding season overall.
  5. Chesterton is very proud of their athletic accomplishments, and are extremely excited and eager for those who decide to take it to the collegiate level. Some of the school’s best athletes will be representing Chesterton and Northwest Indiana all around the state, and our country next athletics season. In 2021, Chesterton had many athletes commit to continue their sport in college. In total, the school saw roughly eleven commits with seven of those being division one. Ryan Donley, a three year varsity baseball player, announced his commitment to Oakland on January 9, 2021. Camryn Dunn, a phenomenal sprinter for the Chesterton track and field team committed to the University of Miami of Ohio and signed her national letter of intent on November 18th, 2021. Next we have Meghan Gaffigan, she announced her commitment on July 13, 2021 and signed her letter of intent to Ivy League school on November 10, 2021. She will be playing volleyball for the next four years, after completing her final season as a Chesterton Trojan with steller outcomes that you will see below in our honorable mentions. On December 3, 2021, Kristina Kokot committed to Indiana University via social media and eight days later on December 11, signed her letter of intent at Chesterton High School. Although Chesterton does not have a rowing team, Kokot was able to earn a scholarship outside of a school sport. Regardless, the school wishes her best of luck in her endeavors as a collegiate rower. Chesterton’s star golf player, Katelyn McCoy announced her commitment to Valparaiso University on the same day she signed her letter of her intent, December 6. Bailey Ranta, one of the most prolific distance runners CHS has ever seen, made her commitment public on September 14. Ranta would later sign her LOI on November 11 to the University of Toledo. Ella Rodriguez, a volleyball player on the court and in the sand, committed to the University of Southern Mississippi to further her volleyball career.  While she won’t play on a court anymore like high school volleyball (Rodriguez committed in Beach Volleyball), she looks forward to the different opportunities beach volleyball provides. Rodriguez publicized her commitment on August 22, and signed her LOI on November 10.
  6. The boys tennis team finished their 2021 season very successfully. The boys brought home the Sectional Championship, defeating Portage in the final. Prior to the sectional win, the boys won the DAC title as well. This win wrapped up an undefeated regular season, and multiple players were awarded postseason honors, including Drake Redman (see below), Fabio Haiduc, and David Archbald. Haiduc was named the team MVP after their successful postseason run. Additionally, the girls also had an excellent season of their own, during the spring portion of 2021.  The girls also won their sectional title, theirs being the first time in 6 years. The ladies finished 3rd in the DAC, with Milena Veltri and Leah Rochford earning postseason honors. Both tennis teams presented an impressive front during their 2021 seasons, and although neither team broke past their regional matches, they still had great seasons to be proud of, and build from.
  7. Near the end of March, the Chesterton High School Gymnastics team traveled down to Ball State University to compete in the State Championship Meet.  The girls placed third overall with a score of 109.90, closely behind Homestead High School (2nd) and champion Valparaiso.  Chesterton’s Mia Pak was a force to be reckoned with all season, and capped it off taking first place in the Bars with a score of 9.725.  In addition, Pak took second place in Vault, eighth place in Beam, sixth place in Floor, and third place in the All Around competition.  Like Pak, Chesterton’s Caitlyn Cook experienced great success placing 11th in Vault, 10th in Bars, 21st in Beam, seventh in Floor, and 10th overall.  Other girls on the team who placed in the top competitors were Erica Smock, Lainey Grothaus, Chloe Larson, and Natatlie Jones. These ladies had a fantastic season and with their talent, helped Chesterton Gymnastics finish in the top three at state once again.
  8. On December 28th and 29th the Chesterton Trojans Boys Basketball Team went to Noblesville to participate in a Holiday Tournament. On December 28th, the Trojans won against Northridge High School 64-40. Coming back the next day, the Trojans won over the host Millers by a score of 64-54. The Trojans fought hard against Norwell in the championship game, winning the tournament with a score of 43 – 39. Chesterton went back and forth with Norwell leaving the spectators breathless.  So far this season, the Trojans have had an undefeated record as of January 20, 2022, 13-0, and are #1 in the Indiana AP Poll and #2 in the state Coach’s Poll. Winning for the first time in history.
  9. Chesterton High School’s football team was proud to announce that four players were selected this fall for the All-State teams.  The students selected for the football All-State teams excelled throughout their time playing at the high school level.  The following players demonstrated outstanding skills and earned a spot on the Senior All-State team: Chris Mullen, Jordan Hughes, and Gage DeMarco.  Like these seniors, junior Isaiah Fowler earned a place on the Junior All-State team, being the only junior from Chesterton to qualify.  Chesterton is incredibly proud to have four qualifiers in football for the All-State teams.


Honorable Mentions

  1. Travis Grayson is a phenomenal athlete. Grayson practices day and night, inside and outside of practice, he is the athlete that every coach asks for. Working hard helps you achieve your goals, whether it is getting better at defending or making your shots more accurate. Grayson has excelled as a shooter, a ball handler, and a floor general shooting aspect. He is now one of six in Chesterton High School history to achieve 1000 career points. He scored his 1000th career point during Winter Break meaning he was only a first semester senior, a true standout that the Sandscript cannot wait to see where he goes.
  2. Four other Chesterton students have signed on to play their respective sports at the collegiate level. They will also be representing Northwest Indiana next school year as they take their athletic careers to the next level. First, Emma Ekblaw committed to Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to play Division 3 volleyball. Second, three sport varsity athlete Carley Balas has signed with Saint Mary of the Woods College in Saint Mary’s, Indiana, to play soccer. The next signee was Chesterton’s starting quarterback Chris Mullen, who signed with University of Indianapolis to play football. Lacrosse player Lucas Cunningham committed to Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Finally, tennis player Drake Redman has committed to Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. The Sandscript also wants to give a special shoutout to all of Chesterton’s NAIA commits as well.
  3. The Chesterton Lacrosse teams had an incredibly successful season in 2021, with the boys reaching the Elite 8 in postseason play, and the girls making it to the regional finals in their season. The girls finished as #6 in the state as well.
  4. In addition to Ekblaw and Gaffigan’s commitments to their respective schools, (see above), the two were selected by the Indiana High School Coaches Association to play at the Indiana All-Star game on November 21st. They were chosen out of 160 players that were nominated by their coaches, and represented Chesterton with 26 other players. Both Ekblaw and Gaffigan leave Chesterton having represented the school excellently over their careers, and finished out their high school season with a bang.
  5. To finish off the honorable mentions list was the Chesterton Girls Golf Team.  The team began the post season off right with senior Miranda Miller scoring as the top Chesterton golfer at the Duneland Athletic Conference, ending the match with her season best of 95.  Following DAC, the team moved to Sectionals and placed 3rd after playing Valparaiso Country Club, which is considered one of the most difficult courses in the area.  This 3rd place finish allowed the team to successfully push through to the Regional competition down at Battleground Golf Course, near West Lafayette.  At this match, senior Katelyn McCoy was able to show astounding talent and missed going to state by only a few strokes.  In addition to the team’s athletic success, they showed incredible academic success with Miranda Miller being named honorable mention for Academic All State and senior Paige House being awarded with Academic All State.  Overall, the ladies had a successful 2022 season and Coach Toby Gentry has plans to help train the girls and get them on their way to becoming a State-qualifying team.