Who are the best LaVille High School athletes this century?

By Scot Shearer | Jul 10, 2024 2:17 PM

South Bend Tribune prep writer Austin Hough starts a three-week series looking at some of the best athlete's from around the area. Hough opens his series with LaVille and plans to follow up with others in the coming days. To follow Austin as he takes a visit over the last 25 years, please visit * * * * * Who are the best LaVille High School athletes this century? Here's 10 to consider. The end of the 2023-24 school year marked 25 years of high school sports in the 21st century, including the 1999-2000 campaign. As we hit the quarter-century mark of the 2000s, the South Bend Tribune is listing the 10 best athletes — plus some honorable mentions — from the 10 high schools in Saint Joseph County that have been in the IHSAA the entire century so far, plus neighboring New Prairie. The series will stretch throughout the month of July. The first in the series is LaVille. Here are our Top 10 Lancer athletes since 2000, listed in alphabetical order. Blake Berger, class of 2015 Berger’s biggest impact came on the basketball court, as he currently sits as the boys program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,473 points. In his senior year, he led the Lancers to its first Bi-County Tournament title since 1974 and a sectional championship, just the fifth in program history at that point. He was named the school’s male athlete of the year in 2015. Amanda Bodnar, class of 2003 Bodnar excelled in three sports, earning 11 varsity letters across volleyball, basketball and track and field. She was the 2003 state runner-up in the discus throw, with her 137-foot, 7-inch toss still standing as the school record. She also helped the girls basketball team to a sectional championship that year. Alex Cartwright, class of 2019 Cartwright had a decorated wrestling career, culminating with a state runner-up finish in the heavyweight division at the 2019 state finals. He was a three-time sectional champion, adding regional and semistate crowns his senior year as well. Joe Ciesielski, class of 2005 Ciesielski’s name is still all over the LaVille football record books. He’s second all-time in career scoring and career touchdowns, third all-time in rushing yards and fifth in passing yards. He owns the longest play from scrimmage in program history also, a 98-yard run against Glenn. He was a 2004 football all-state selection for his efforts. Michael Good, class of 2024 The most recent athlete of the list, Good was a three-sport star for LaVille. He’s in the top five of nine football records, including setting the most touchdown receptions in a single season record last year with nine. He helped the Lancers basketball team win the Bi-County championship in 2023. And this spring, he set a school and Goshen regional record with a discus throw of 178-03 feet, advancing him to the state finals. Hannah Herbster, class of 2014 Herbster still holds 11 LaVille softball records, including being the program’s all-time winningest pitcher and most career strikeouts. She was a three-time all-conference selection and an ICGSA all-state honoree her senior year, competing in the North-South All-Star Classic as well. Herbster was also a prolific basketball player, ranking eighth all-time in program history in points scored. Ethan Kertai, class of 2017 At a school that has traditionally used run-first offenses in football, Kertai ranks number one in rushing yards (4,528) and points scored (408). He holds eight other football program records and was an all-state football selection in his senior season. He was also a two-time HNAC track champion his senior year in the long jump and 4X100-meter relay. Kelsey McKee, class of 2004 McKee played an impressive five sports: volleyball, cross country, basketball, softball, and track and field. She earned 10 varsity letters during that time. Career highlights are ranking fourth all-time in girls basketball scoring with 1,015 points and having the lowest ERA for a softball pitcher in program history at 1.85. Allison Medors, class of 2021 Medors made her biggest impact in softball. She was an all-state selection her senior season and is in the top five of seven different statistical categories, including the single-season and career home run totals. She also played volleyball and basketball, earning 10 total varsity letters. Owen Smith, class of 2023 Smith was the Male Athlete of the Year for the school in 2023. He reached the boys track state finals as a senior, finishing in the top-15 of the 300-meter hurdles race. Smith holds the football program record for most career touchdown receptions and is second all-time in career receiving yards. He was also part of a boys basketball team that won HNAC and Bi-County Tournament titles in the 2022-23 campaign. Honorable Mentions Hannah Amor (2010 graduate), Luke Beehler (2019 graduate), Ryan Bettcher (2015 graduate), Aryn Eash (2018 graduate), Stephanie Lechlitner (2007 graduate), Adam Steinke (2017 graduate).

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