By PETE SWANSON
For the Daily Clarion
INDIANAPOLIS —He wasn’t campaigning. But like some candidates might do in days leading to Tuesday’s Indiana primary elections, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck delivered a five-point plan as the featured speaker at Thursday night’s Indianapolis Star Indiana Sports Awards Banquet in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Noting that the National Football League draft’s first round was starting as he spoke, Luck told the audience: “If the Colts make a trade, yell it out!”
He also said: “I love high school sports. High school basketball made me a better quarterback because you move differently in basketball. The second semester of your senior year is a special time of life.”
“The advice I’d give is don’t take it (a sport) for granted and don’t cheat.”
More advice came in the five-point plan.
“First: Focus on us, not the defense. A lot can happen that wasn’t expected, but you can control your response.
“Second: A simple thought process. A clear thought process is the only way. As Bruce Arians (now Arizona Cardinals head coach after serving as interim head coach in Luck’s 2012 rookie season) said, ‘No paralysis through analysis.’”
“Third: Snap the ball and get the hell out of the way.
“Fourth: As Matt Hasselbeck (longtime NFL quarterback who backed Luck early the past season and started when injury idled him) says, drive for five. Instead of just turning to watch the running play after you hand the ball off, take five hard steps like you’re carrying the ball the other way. Try to make the opponent think you have the ball when you don’t. Sometimes the most important job is the little one. Know your role.
“Fifth: The eye in the sky doesn’t lie. When you go to the film room, you are humbled very quickly. You must be willing to accept criticism. What you put on tape is your resume. Getting coached hard is good.”
In closing, Luck said:
“It’s great to see all the athletes, coaches, families and officials here. High school athletics are great sports. It’s great what high school sports can do for you.”
Of getting recruited by college coaches, the former Stanford quarterback said, “Recruiting can be stressful, but have fun.”
Indiana Fever standout and four-time United State Olympic Team player Tamika Catchings, in remarks leading to her introduction of Jackie Young as Miss Basketball, could have been speaking of the Princeton Community standout when she said, “It all starts before high school.”
Indiana Pacers sports and entertainment director Quinn Buckner, noting that he played on two state champion basketball teams and one state champion football team in high school, and then on Indiana University’s unbeaten 1976 NCAA basketball champions, preceded his introduction of Lawrence Central’s Kyle Guy as Mr. Basketball by saying:
“I really enjoyed high school sport. It’s pure.”
Colts safety Mike Adams presented the Coach of the Year Award to Center Grove football coach Eric Moore. Indianapolis 500 race car driver Ed Carpenter presented the Team of the Year Award to Carmel swim girls who won a 30th straight state championship. Indianapolis Star sportswriter Candace Buckner (no relation to Quinn), prefacing her presentation of Young as Overall Female Athlete of the Year, said:
“You get to see tomorrow’s great athletes today.”
Young, after receiving the Miss Basketball trophy at 7:40 p.m. CDT, said, “First of all I thank God. I thank my family for traveling with me, and thanks to my teammates and coaches.”
Called to the microphone again at 7:50 CDT to accept the Overall Female Athlete of the Year Award, Indiana basketball’s top career scorer of either gender hugged mom Linda Young and said:
“I thank my coaches and my trainers.”