Local Sports Headlines: June 23, 2022

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Former Indianapolis Colt Tony Siragusa dies at age 55
Tony Siragusa, the NFL defensive tackle who became one of the game’s biggest players and personalities, died Wednesday at the age of 55. The cause of Siragusa’s death was not immediately available. Affectionately known as “Goose,” Siragusa served as a vital cog in the middle of the Baltimore Ravens’ historic 2000 defense, which spearheaded the franchise’s first Super Bowl title that same season. He started his 12-year career by drinking away his $1,000 signing bonus as an undrafted free agent and left the game as one of its unique personalities who was known for his irreverent sense of humor and memorable pranks.

Before joining the Ravens as a free agent in 1997, Siragusa spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Indianapolis Colts. Known as a blue-collar run-stuffer, Siragusa enjoyed his biggest moment on a quarterback hit. In the 2000 AFC Championship Game, Siragusa took out Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon, driving the All-Pro into the turf and separating his left shoulder. The Ravens went on to beat the Raiders 16-3 to advance to the Super Bowl.

As much as Siragusa relished the spotlight off the field, he was comfortable with doing the dirty work for one of the NFL’s premier defenses, even though it led to countless knee surgeries and no Pro Bowl invitations. A 6-foot-3, 340-pound wall in the middle, Siragusa occupied double teams to allow middle linebacker Ray Lewis to roam freely and helped Baltimore set league records for the fewest points (165) and rushing yards (970) in a 16-game season.

Indiana University Athletics celebrates 50th Anniversary of Title IX
Indiana University Athletics will launch a year-long celebration of one of the most significant dates in the history of intercollegiate athletics. Today is the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Education Amendments and Title IX, the 1972 federal legislation co-authored by IU alumnus and former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh. Among other things, the legislation was designed to address sex discrimination and provide equal access and opportunities to women at publicly funded institutions such as Indiana University.
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,” Title IX reads.
When U.S. President Richard Nixon signed the legislation into law, those words had a wide-ranging impact on college campuses across the country. And one of the areas that was most dramatically impacted was athletics. Prior to Title IX, intercollegiate athletic opportunities for women were virtually non-existent. But thanks to Title IX, the ball began rolling – ever so slowly – to address that inequity and begin the process of providing women with the same type of intercollegiate athletic opportunities that men had enjoyed for generations.

IU Athletics will kick off its Title IX Anniversary celebration two days early with the department will welcoming back current and former student-athletes, coaches, staff, and distinguished guests to the IU Athletics Title IX Reception at the Henke Hall of Champions, the reception, though, is just the start of what IU has planned for the 2022-23 year. In recognition of the fact that not everyone will be able to attend the inaugural IU Athletics Title IX celebration event Tuesday, a series of other Title IX-anniversary related items are also set to launch soon. In addition, IU Athletics will provide updates on other Title IX events as they are finalized.
Among the other items that are on the horizon are:

  • IU Athletics Title IX microsite – Later this week, IUHoosiers.com will unveil a special section devoted to recognizing this special anniversary and the pioneers who paved the way on the IU campus. Among many items, the site will include:
    • Biographies of 30 ‘pioneers’ of IU Women’s Athletics
    • Present-day features on pioneer student-athletes Kathy Ellis, Heather (Crowe) Conner and Jayma Meyer
    • Timeline of the growth of women’s athletics at Indiana University
    • Great moments in the history of IU women’s athletics
  • Inaugural IU Athletics Women’s Excellence Symposium – The first annual one-day symposium will take place on Saturday, August 13, 2022, in Bloomington and will bring together alumni, donors, fans, student-athletes, coaches and staff in support of our 13 women’s varsity sports and our 300+ female student-athletes. We hope to inform, engage and inspire attendees through various speakers and sessions throughout the day. More detailed information and registration will be available in early July. Women’s Excellence was launched in 2021 with the purpose of generating philanthropic support for the continued success of Indiana Athletics’ women’s programs.  For more information on this initiative, visit IUHoosiers.com/we. 
  • Title IX Video Series – Throughout the 2022-23 year, we will share historical and present-day stories and reflections on the significance of Title IX on IUHoosiers.com as well as on our various social media channels. The first two videos will be included on the IU Athletics Title IX microsite later this month.
  • IU Athletics Title IX anniversary logo – Designed specifically to honor the 50th anniversary of Title IX and IU’s pioneers, the logo will be displayed in a variety of ways throughout the year both at on site and electronically.
  • Big Ten Conference Women’s Leadership Summit – This Thursday and Friday, Deputy Director of Athletics Mattie White, Assistant Field Hockey Coach Dani Castro, Faculty Athletics Representative Marietta Simpson,  and three student-athletes – Kiranda Browne (WBB), Ara Cowper (Rowing) and  Mackenize Holmes (WBB) – will be at the Big Ten Conference offices in Chicago to participate in the  Big Ten Women’s Leadership Summit, which aims to educate, empower, and inspire women across the Big Ten Conference to continue the mission set forth by Title IX. The summit will include several intriguing panels and keynote speakers to recognize and celebrate the progress made in athletics as a direct result of the passage of Title IX.
  • Sharing Your Title IX Stories – Throughout the year, IU Athletics will be soliciting feedback from former student-athletes, coaches, and staff members to share their memories from the era HERE. We will then share many of these submissions on IUHoosiers.com and on social media. 
  • Adidas – Adidas will collaborate with the IU Athletic Department to celebrate Title IX in a variety of ways throughout the upcoming year.
  • Title IX Anniversary recognitions at 2022-23 home athletic events – throughout the course of the 2022-23 season, we will be highlighting the significance of Title IX at our home events. Depending on the venue, these recognitions will include video board stories, former student-athlete recognitions, and more.

NBA Draft Tonight
The NBA Draft will be held this evening at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn New York with television coverage on ESPN and ABC at 8 pm. There will be two rounds and 58 total picks. The Indiana Pacers will select 6th overall in the first round. They will have the first pick in second round which is 31st overall and the 58th and final pick in the draft.

Purdue Point Guard Jaden Ivey, Notre Dame Shooting Guard Blake Wesley and Lawrence Central High School and Wake Forest Product Jake LaRavia are among the Indiana prospects expected to be selected this evening. Center Trevion Williams of Purdue could be selected late second round. The Orlando Magic has the First Pick and latest projection has Jabari Smith Jr 6-11 Power Forward from Auburn as the number 1 pick.

Indy Eleven Women’s Soccer remains unbeaten
Indy Eleven’s USL W League side kicked off a two-game Michigan road trip with a 1-0 victory over Kalamazoo FC this evening at Mayor’s Riverfront Park. A goal by Eleven midfielder Addie Chester from 25 yards out early in the second half was all Indiana’s Team needed to improve its unbeaten start to the season to 7W-0L-2D. The road win also pushed Indy Eleven six points clear atop the Great Lakes Division standings ahead of second place Racing Louisville with only three games remaining for each side. By the time the Girls in Blue return to the Wolverine State for their next match next Friday, July 1, at Detroit City FC, they’ll know whether a win or even a draw in that affair would secure a division title with two games to spare.   

The Midwest’s heatwave might have played a part in an opening half hour that produced mostly half chances for both teams, with Indy Eleven holding a slight edge in the quantity and quality of chances but lacking sharpness in the attacking third. As the last quarter-hour of the half arrived it was the Girls in Blue making Kalamazoo’s goalkeeper Nerea Mora sweat, but she stayed cool under pressure to keep the scoreboard at a standstill. The Indy onslaught began in the 30th minute when midfielder Ella Rogers won the ball back and found forward Maddy Williams, who ripped a left-footed shot that forced Mora into a monster of a leaping save. The ensuing corner kick was eventually cleared to the left corner of the penalty area and the feet of Abby Isger, whose rising shot produced another aerial parry by the Kalamazoo ‘keeper. In the 40th minute, Indy defender Robyn McCarthy had space from 35 yards for a shot that bounced just short of the right post, but Mora’s diving save covered it, and another kick save in traffic off the final action of the half kept the Eleven’s attack frustrated heading into the break.

After the scoreless first half, Indy’s spirit was lifted in the 55th minute courtesy of Chester. The decisive play started with Rogers again intercepting a ball in the midfield before quickly delivering it to Chester in a pocket of space, where she was able to score her first Indy Eleven goal from 25 yards out, bouncing her low effort inside the right post. After seeing a fair amount of the ball in the first half, Kalamazoo FC forward and Great Lakes Division leading scorer Bailey Korhorn increasingly had the clamps put on her by the Eleven center back duo of McCarthy and Grace Bahr in the second stanza, allowing Indiana’s Team to ride out the remainder of the match without much worry. Indy kept pushing for additional scoring chances, with Williams’ left-footed shot that whistled over the crossbar in the 70th minute and another attempt from the Purdue product from the top of the area in the 89th minute that took a deflection from close range and bounced just wide off the left post for a corner marking the best efforts at an insurance tally. The much-needed shutout was Eleven goalkeeper Mackenzie Wood’s third of the season and the team’s fourth on the campaign.  

Indy Eleven will continue its Michigan tour with the afore-mentioned trip to The Motor City to take on Detroit City FC next Friday, July 1. The 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff

Indianapolis Indians Coverage

Indians Shutout Memphis

On a blistering summer afternoon at Victory Field, a key two-run double by Josh Bissonette and a gem by the Indianapolis Indians pitching staff quickly defeated the Memphis Redbirds on Wednesday, 2-0. The teams play game 3 of the six-game series at 7:05 pm this evening.

Indians Record: 34-32 (WP:Joe Jacques 1-1 SV:Austin Brice 5) / Memphis Record: 38-30 (LP:Jake Woodford 0-2)

The Indianapolis Indians announced Wednesday that left-handed relief pitcher and former Butler University starter, Eric Stout, has been activated on their roster. He was traded from Chicago (NL) to Pittsburgh on June 21 in exchange for cash and was optioned to Indy.

Former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Gary Brackett will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Indianapolis Indians’ game against the Memphis Redbirds tomorrow night at Victory Field before first pitch at 7:05pm. Brackett, who played for the Colts from 2003-11 and was part of the Colts’ Super Bowl XLI championship team. Beckett will have an autograph session in the Center Field Plaza from 6-6:45pm and will be available to media on the Victory Field Suite Level in the Third Base Suite Lounge from 7:10-7:30pm

For more local news . . .
Check out our archived episodes of What’s Happenin’ and Talkin’ Sports with Nick Jenkinson here