Having played basketball and golf in middle school, Chad Stuckwisch knew he wanted to continue to play both sports when he enrolled at Trinity Lutheran.

“In first grade, we were already practicing basketball (at St. John’s Sauers Lutheran School),” he said. “I played baseball until I was 12. My cousins always played golf, and I always enjoyed it, so I played golf at Immanuel my seventh- and eighth-grade years.”

He is in his second season as a starting guard for the Cougars basketball team and leads the team in scoring at 14 points per game.

His high games this season have been 20 against Austin and 17 versus South Decatur. His high game last year was 19 against Borden.

Stuckwisch said he is being counted on for more scoring this season.

“I’ve taken on more of a scoring role this year,” he said. “If I’m open, I’ll take the shot. Last year, we had a lot more people that could score. I’m the point guard, and I’ve been shooting more this year because we’ve needed it.”

The senior considers ball-handling his strong suit.

“I’m a pass-first guy. I’ve been a ball handler all my life,” Stuckwisch said. “I’ll get someone else the ball if the shot is there. I’m always trying to find a teammate that is open and make something happen for our offense.”

He said he would rather face a man-to-man defense than a zone.

“I’ve always liked playing man-to-man and facing man,” Stuckwisch said. “It’s more on you. You don’t have to rely on your teammates as much. I’ll take care of my man, and you take care of yours, and we’ll be all right.”

Stuckwisch said the first part of the season has been an adjustment period for the players, as Brian Stuckwisch moved from the junior varsity to the varsity coaching position this winter.

“Most importantly, we’re trying to figure out how to get team chemistry together,” he said. “Not many of our players have played together on the varsity level. At the beginning of the season, a couple of our players got hurt, and that set us back a little bit.

“Everybody’s back healthy, so things are starting to turn around a little bit, and I’m hoping we can get the season turned around. The first three or four games, we didn’t have a very good inside presence. Getting Kendall (White) back has been a big help.”

The Cougars participated in a summer league at Salem and played 15 games.

Stuckwisch said it was a wake-up for some of the younger players.

“Most of our players off the JV had never experienced varsity playing time,” he said. “It’s more of a physical game. They’re getting used to it.”

This week, the Cougars will play in the Edinburgh Holiday Tournament.

“It’s a good experience,” Stuckwisch said. “We get to face people we don’t get to see on our schedule. It’s good to face people from different areas.”

Stuckwisch is in his second season as a co-captain of the basketball team.

“Being named captain is definitely a responsibility,” he said. “It’s definitely an honor to have coaches trust you with that responsibility. It’s definitely a good feeling.”

Last spring, Stuckwisch played the No. 2 position for the golf team.

“Golf is more of an individual sport, and I like to rely on myself,” he said. “In golf, you have to rely on yourself a little more and make yourself accountable for your game. You can’t count on your teammates to hit a shot for you. It’s all about you, and you have to hit the shot no matter what the circumstance is.”

Stuckwisch said he enjoys playing home matches at Shadowood Golf Course in Seymour.

“Shadowood is a great place to play,” he said. “It’s one of the best courses we get to play on. It’s very well kept, and we’re spoiled to get to play on it.”

At Shadwood, Stuckwisch prefers the front nine holes.

“I feel it’s a little easier,” he said. “I don’t like having three par 5s and three par 3s on the back nine. I like the two par 3s, and the par 5 on hole 5 is a little easier to birdie. I feel it’s a shorter nine.”

His low scores are 39 on the front nine at Shadowood and 79 on 18 holes at Rising Star near Rising Sun.

“I feel my driving is definitely the strong part of my game,” Stuckwisch said. “My iron play has been solid. It hasn’t been good, but it hasn’t hurt me as much as my short game, so I’ll have to change it this spring.

“You always have to have your head on right. You can’t let one shot affect your game. I’d say 18-hole matches are a little more fun. If you win a tournament, it’s more of an accomplishing feat. I enjoy getting to play golf all day.”

Whether he’s on the greens or the hardwood, Stuckwisch always tries to put his best effort forward.

“Practice is very important,” he said. “However you play in practice is how you’re going to play in a game. The mental part of sports is probably the most important because you have to have confidence in yourself that you’re going to make the shot or you’re going to make the putt. Without confidence, you really have nothing.”

He said he has enjoyed attending Trinity.

“I’ve enjoyed the atmosphere. It’s definitely been a good decision to come here,” Stuckwisch said. “I’ve made a lot of friends. It takes a lot of responsibility with managing time for sports and academics.”

Stuckwisch file

Name: Chad Stuckwisch

School: Trinity Lutheran High School

Parents: Terry and Pam Stuckwisch

Sibling: Craig

Sports: Basketball, four years; golf, four years

Athletics honors: In golf, all-county team sophomore and junior years, Cougar Award 2015; in basketball, all-county honorable mention

Organizations: FFA, Student Ambassadors

Plans after high school: Attend college

Favorite food: Steak

Favorite TV show: “The Big Bang Theory”

Favorite musician: Cole Swindell

Favorite movie: “Hoosiers”

Favorite athlete: Jordan Spieth

Favorite team: Indiana Hoosiers

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.