Tag Archives: Charlestown

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Run For The Fun Of It

Our Explorer JD Dotson Shares His Favorite Picks  

Story and photos by JD Dotson

There is something in my nature that needs to mix up my scenery, wanderlust that keeps me exploring new places and seeking new adventures and experiences. That wanderlust spills into my running and makes training on a treadmill or counting loops on a track unbearable. Fortunately, we live in an area that offers spectacular scenery, challenging paths and hills, water stops and interesting sights. I have done runs through the middle of giant crowds in urban settings, dodging people, watching traffic, and runs where I didn’t see a soul and was surrounded only by trees. Every scenario is available to us, and if I can keep from being a tourist and stopping to take pictures, I can get a great run in and explore at the same time.

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Parklands of Floyds Fork

www.theparklands.org

One of my top go-to running spots is the Parklands of Floyds Fork. The Parklands are a series of five parks connected by paths following Floyds Fork tributary and takes you through woods, across fields and bridges, winding paths and open spaces. The Parklands offer so many varying experiences for running, from intensive hills and winding paths to flat, straight shots all on jd3more than 19 miles of paved path and 100+ miles of trails throughout. I have run the entire length of the Parklands collectively and never tire of exploring wherever the paths lead. A good place to start for anyone wanting to check it out is Turkey Run Park. The parking lot off Seatonville Road will offer you a couple of options. Head one direction toward The Strand, across Seatonville Road, and run along the creek, across pastures and a few small bridges. It’s relatively flat and beautiful. Or, Option B, head into Turkey Run Park, toward the silo, and experience intense hills, winding, wooded paths, and end by treating your body to a 60-foot tower/109 stair run up to the lookout. The Parklands offer so many running options for every type of runner and nature lover, you will find yourself wanting to explore every inch of the park.

Charlestown State Park

www.in.gov

Charlestown State Park has great paths and challenging options for keeping the intensity level up while appealing to the need for adventure with spectacular views. There is an entrance fee to the park, so take a couple of running buddies and split the fee. The day I visited, I was jd2determined to get my money’s worth, so I got two runs in. My first run was on Trail 6 and began pretty rough. I climbed a steep, rocky hill but was rewarded with a path along a ridge and a sweeping view of the Ohio River. The path led me down past ruins of an ammunition plant and into a creek bed before veering back to the main road. My second run of the day was a few miles up the road at Trail 3 toward Rose Island. For a challenging run, my advice would be to take the first trail off the paved path. The trail will lead you through the woods and downhill. It runs along the water and drops you at the bottom of the paved path right at the foot of the Portersville Bridge. Across the bridge is the entrance to the ruins of Rose Island, which is definitely worth a detour for a quick exploration. Don’t spend too long there because you have to get back to the top via the paved path – and it is steep.

Downtown Louisville and Southern Indiana

www.in.gov

Living in downtown Louisville, a lot of my runs occur through the city. Urban running offers its own unique challenges and experiences, but the rewards are often exciting. I have run into picketers and protests, a huge fire, friends, rescued a dog, took my picture with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, splashed through fountains on a hot day and slid across sheets of ice on a cold one. It is not easy letting your mind wander running the streets of downtown, but the sights and sounds are enough to entertain and inspire. I love exploring a city I am visiting by running it,jd1 making mental notes to revisit parts and taking pictures, but there is nothing better than exploring my own city and finding new paths. Louisville and Southern Indiana share a unique connecting feature that allows urban running away from heavy traffic and offers the best views from multiple vantage points. The 122-year-old Big Four Bridge has two great inclines from either side to get on the bridge for a total length of one mile, including fantastic views of the river and the skylines. Running west along the river in Jeffersonville and under the Second Street Bridge will lead to Ashland Park and the entrance to the Falls of the Ohio. There is a path leading up along the top of the dam and along the river in Clarksville. I enjoy having that mix of running downtown, which includes people watching and quiet, lonely paths. Many of my runs include city running that leads into a park, and we are lucky in our area to be connected to so many parks. The east side of Waterfront Park will connect to paths along the Beargrass Creek trail, which will lead to Cherokee Park in the Highlands. Running west from Waterfront Park will take you along the river, over train tracks, under the highway, through the woods, along a golf course and eventually to Shawnee Park. Head south from Waterfront Park through the heart of downtown Louisville and Old Louisville’s historic neighborhood, beyond the university, down Southern Parkway, and find yourself in Iroquois Park’s 3.2 mile wooded, hilly loop. Running in Louisville and Southern Indiana offers such a wide array of sights and avenues for exploration, and offers adventure in your own backyard while satiating your (my) wanderlust for a bit.

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Southern Indiana Hoops

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By Matt Denison | Photos by Jason Applegate and Darryl Middleton

There’s no better Hoosier State tradition than high school hoops — and there’s no question that basketball this season in Southern Indiana is strong.

New Albany junior Romeo Langford’s rise to national prominence has served as the area’s top headline in recent months. Following the Bulldogs’ memorable state championship journey last season, interest from fans, media and recruiters for games at The Doghouse has set the tone for this hoops-crazed region.

“Interest in our program has always been fantastic,” said New Albany coach Jim Shannon, now in his 19th year as the Bulldogs’ mentor. “But after our state title, it’s been mayhem around here. A lot of it has to do with the attention that Romeo brings; but our team as a whole is playing quite well, and that’s brought in the fans, too.”

Langford, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, is drawing attention and scholarship offers from nearly every college basketball powerhouse in the country, including Kentuckiana’s three major programs: Indiana, Kentucky and Louisville.

“It’s been fascinating to see all of the interest in Romeo,” Shannon added. “The number of fans that stick around after the games — even at road games — to get an autograph or picture with him has been truly amazing.”

The regular season will unwind in February and give way to postseason basketball madness in March. While Romeo and Company have the spotlight, there’s a slate of Southern Indiana teams that are primed to make noise in the state tournament.

HISTORIC SEASON AT HENRYVILLE

Henryville is in the midst of a terrific season, keyed by the duo of senior Braxton Robertson and junior Nick Walker. It’s the program’s best start in more than 70 years, according to coach Jared Hill.

The Hornets opened the season with a 50-47 win over rival Silver Creek and turned in a solid effort at Jeffersonville’s Throckmorton Memorial Tournament during the holidays.

“Our bar is set really high for us (the rest of the season),” Hill said. “Our confidence is high, everybody has bought in and we’re focused. If things pan out, this might be one of the best (Henryville) teams ever.”

PROVIDENCE LOOKS FOR STRONG FINISH

A young Providence team led by a young coach surprised the area last season when it surged all the way to the Class 2-A semistate at Richmond before falling 70-62 to Indianapolis Howe.

“I thought last year would be a building year for this season,” third-year coach Andrew Grantz said. “The postseason experience last year gave our guys a lot of confidence in their abilities. It helped us set our standards higher with what we’re capable of achieving.”

With seven seniors on the roster, Providence began the 2016-17 season with the second-best start in school history, including a 53-50 win over Jeffersonville on Jan. 14. It was the program’s first win over the Red Devils in nine seasons.

“It (was) a really special win for the community and the school,” said Grantz, whose team could rematch with Henryville in the Class 2-A sectional at Crawford County.

January’s Top Players 

COBIE BARNES, FLOYD CENTRAL

6-FOOT-4, SOPHOMORE, FORWARD

“He’s got loads of potential and is just beginning to scratch the surface. He can play multiple positions for us. The sky is the limit for him as a high school player, and he’s got great potential for the next level as well.” — Highlanders’ coach Todd Sturgeon

JUSTON BETZ, PROVIDENCEhr2

6-FOOT-2, SENIOR, GUARD

“He’s undoubtedly one of the best leaders I’ve coached. He wants to excel in every aspect of his life, and is a 4.0 (grade-point average) student. On the basketball floor, he doesn’t just affect games by scoring, but finds other ways to help the team win.” — Pioneers’ coach Andrew Grantz

BAILEY FALKENSTEIN, JEFFERSONVILLE

6-FOOT-2, JUNIOR, GUARD

“He’s really developed into quite an offensive threat. He consistently leads our team each night in scoring and, generally, assists. He’s become more of a complete player during his junior year.” — Red Devil’s coach Joe Luce

CAMERON STEPHENS, SILVER CREEK

5-FOOT-11, SENIOR, GUARD

“(Cameron) leads us in many statistical categories, but his most important ability is leadership. In my 14 years at Silver Creek, he’s by far the best leader I’ve ever had, both on and off the basketball court.” — Dragons’ coach Brandon Hoffman

ROMEO LANGFORD, NEW ALBANY

6-FOOT-5, JUNIOR, GUARD

“Going on three years now, he’s led us in many statistical categories. The impact that he’s had on the game can never really just be measured by statistics, but he certainly does put up big numbers.” — Bulldogs’ coach Jim Shannon

NICK WALKER, HENRYVILLE  

6-FOOT-3, JUNIOR, GUARD

“If things aren’t going well, he’ll get the ball and go score. He’s prepared to put us on hr3his shoulders. His teammates, the kids and teachers at school — everyone likes and respects him.” — Hornets’ coach Jared Hill

February Games to Watch 

FEB. 2 — SILVER CREEK AT SALEM
FEB. 10 — PROVIDENCE AT NEW ALBANY
FEB. 14 — CHARLESTOWN AT NEW WASHINGTON FEB. 14 — SALEM AT HENRYVILLE