By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Top-heavy objects are notoriously and scientifically easier to topple over. Once in motion, they’re difficult to stop. And if the center of gravity can be shifted to a lower point, balance can be achieved.
That’s Bedford North Lawrence’s lineup as the season looms. It’s a little top-heavy with three returning veterans expected to lead the way, it just needs another lower scorer for balance.
The first three should be constant, with seniors Jett Jones and Colton Staggs back after solid campaigns in 2022, with sophomore Tyler Bellush ready to show his improvement and physical maturity. The key will be finding a consistent contributor from someone among the other five players on the roster.
“The big thing is we have three kids that are going to compete for the top three spots,” BNL coach Jeff Hein said. “They’ve been dueling it out in practice, which is good. It’s a matter of finding a fourth scorer. There are several options. We have to move those guys into the pack. That’s what we have to do to be able to compete at the level we want. We have five kids competing for two spots. It will change, match to match probably. It looks very even.“
The Stars look very strong at the front. Jones finished last season with a strong 76 in the regional at Champions Pointe, missing a playoff for a berth in the state finals by one stroke. Staggs was a fixture in the middle of the five-man rotation and will compete for the top spot. Bellush is the most intriguing of the top trio with his development.
“Jett and Colton will be fine,” Hein said. “Tyler is the most improved we have. He’s really played well in practice, and hopefully that continues. He’s gotten bigger and stronger, taller with a longer swing arc and can hit it farther. He spent a lot of time working on his game. And with his maturity, he’s grown up a lot from last season. He will push Jett and Colton pretty hard for the top honors.”
The other two spots are open for the taking. Houston Corbin, a senior who made the regional lineup, will be one of the contenders, while the rest are sophomores (Carson Root, Dillon Lewis and Drew McKee) and a freshman (Parker Foddrill).
BNL’s potential postseason road has changed. The Stars will still compete in the sectional at Bloomington, and those qualifiers will now shift to the regional at Country Oaks. BNL is shooting for a chance to reach the state finals.
“We want to get out of the sectional and get out of the regional,” Hein said. “The regional site has changed, which is an advantage for us. I like our chances of getting out a lot better. For some reason, BNL didn’t play well at Champions Pointe. Last year we felt we had a chance, but Jasper took that spot. We didn’t play well. Hopefully we can grab one of the top three in the regional.”
The Stars will open the season in the Seymour Invitational at Shadowood on April 1.