CLICK ON THE VIDEO TABS TO SEE WANE'S INTERVIEWS WITH COLUMBIA CITY, DEKALB, EAST NOBLE, BLUFFTON, GARRETT, AND WOODLAN.
FORT WAYNE - The NHC and the ACAC will be stacked again in 2012 as both conferences have a handful of teams that should be in the mix for a league title.
In the NHC Homestead has won at least a share of the last five conference titles. The Spartans return 12 starters in 2012, but must replace all-state quarterback Zach Terrell who will play at Western Michigan this fall. Homestead will rely on IU-bound Isaac Griffith to help lead the offense either at quarterback or receiver.
Carroll is coming off an 8-4 season that was the program's first winning season in seven years. Doug Dinan is looking to replace many players on offense including quarterback Grant Wilson and receiver John Hester. Defensively, the Chargers will be led a strong linebacking group as Carroll returns eight defensive starters.
New Haven will have new look in 2012 as Te'Vaughn Hurse has graduated. Hurse rushed for over 5,000 yards in his career and scored 70 touchdowns. Jim Rowland's club went 8-3 in 2011 and returns 14 starters, including eight on defense.
Bellmont went 6-7 last year under coach Larry Getts, but saved its best for late in the season. The Braves went 3-6 in the regular season but ripped off three straight wins in the playoffs to earn a sectional title. Quarterback Jacob Bergman and running back Brad Busse return to pace the offense.
Columbia City went 6-4 in 2011 and will be strong in the trenches. Randy Hudgins' team returns four starters on the offensive line. The Eagles boast one of the area's most versatile players in senior Jacob Murphy, who has verbally committed to Miami University. The Eagles must replace many other skill position player, though, including Connor Slavich (quarterback), Cody Wildman (RB), and Jacob Johnson (WR).
East Noble will be changing faces at the top as Chris DePew is now at Garrett after leading the Knights for 11 years. Luke Amstutz comes over to lead the program after four successful seasons at Angola. The Knights must replace 1,200-yard rusher Evan Croy. Quarterback Nic Weimer will lead the offense while both lines should be solid.
Norwell went 1-9 in 2011 and has three wins over the last two seasons combined. Knights coach Jeff Miller plans to have 25 seniors on the roster this fall and will have nine starters back on defense. That includes linebacker Piercen Harnish, brother of Colts quarterback Chandler Harnish. Nathan Shelton will be counted on to lead the offense at the quarterback position.
DeKalb hasn't won a game in two years, but the Barons believe things are looking up for the program. Head coach Mike Cochran will have a big senior class including quarterback Evan Cochran.
In the ACAC Leo is the team to beat after the Lions won their first 13 games in 2011 before losing to South Bend Washington at 4A semi-state. Coach Jared Sauder will have to replace the program's all-time leading receiver Gage Corner and all-conference quarterback Ryan Leiter, but will rely on players like the versatile Reid Rohrbacher to help lead the team.
South Adams is coming off a 10-2 season that made conference opponents take notice. The Starfires ended their season with a one-point loss to Sheridan in the sectional title game. Quarterback Dustin Wanner was one of 19 seniors that graduated, and Corey Seffernick will be counted on to take the reigns of the offense.
Adams Central won a sectional title for the first time since 2006 and will look to keep things rolling in Monroe. Quarterback Dalton Combs returns and has racked up over 2,400 yards and 26 touchdowns in his career. Combs is one of 12 starters back for head coach Michael Mosser.
Garrett will have an alumnus at the helm as Chris DePew comes over from East Noble to replace the retired Ron Frickey. The Railroaders went 9-3 in 2011 but graduated one of the school's most productive players in running back Todd Frickey. DePew is counting on Brandon Porter to help lead the way.
Heritage is coming off a 5-5 season under coach Dean Lehrman. Quarterback Connor Sheehan returns after throwing for 1,602 yards and 13 touchdowns last year. Running back Wil Knapke (823 rushing yards) returns as well, but the Patriots will need to replace a handful of graduated player on the offensive line.
Bluffton went 3-7 in 2011, but could have easily seen more wins. The Tigers played seven games decided by eight points or less. Coach Casey Kolkman returns five starters on offense and five on defense. That includes defensive end Briar Gerber who might just be the top defensive lineman in the ACAC.
Woodlan went 1-9 last year in Sherwood Haydock's first season in Woodburn. Haydock and a handful of player came over from now-closed Harding. With a year under everyone's belt expect things to run smoother this year for the Warriors. They must replace quarterback Brock Hines and running back Zac Haydock, but talented receiver/defensive back T.J. Sewell could be one
of the best athletes in the conference.
A Fort Wayne man was arrested after he apparently threw an alcoholic drink on his pregnant girlfriend and then hit her in the ear while her two small children were asleep in the home.
Police have charged six people and are still looking for one woman they believe is living in the Fort Wayne area. She faces meth dealing charges.
A Fort Wayne man is facing eight charges after he spit on a police officer who arrested him. He also spit on nurses and other officers while being treated at a local hospital.
Fort Wayne area firefighters, police officers, and EMT's are competing in the annual Battle of the Badges blood drive this holiday season.
Indiana residents receiving food stamps will begin receiving their monthly benefits on new dates under a state law approved earlier this year.
Police have identified a person of interest in Sunday’s stabbing outside of a home on Bluebird Court, off of St. Joe Road.
Police in Indianapolis say a seventh-grade boy has died after apparently collapsing and being found face down in the snow.
Police are looking for a white man who is 6'0" to 6'2" with a thin build they say robbed a CVS in November. He may have been driving a gray or dark green Ford SUV.
Police from several agencies have responded to multiple crashes overnight due to slick roads from a wintry mix that moved through the area late Sunday and early Monday morning.
A rural Angola man faces six felony charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman.
A local family wants help in making sure their loved one's murderer stays in prison.
Police said a man barricaded himself inside of a home on Genessee Avenue early Sunday morning for more than two hours after threatening to commit suicide.
Detectives believe a three-year-old boy may have shot himself at a home in Indianapolis Saturday night. Police said the shooting appears to have been accidental.
There will be several holiday-themed events this weekend in the Fort Wayne area, including Christmas displays, children’s parties, visits from Santa Claus, and more.
The 122nd Fighter Wing hosted the annual Airman of the Year Awards on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the achievements of members of the 122nd.