During her three years at Fort Wayne South Side, 6'1 forward Sydney Weinert has helped the Archers to a 65-10 record, two sectional championships and one regional championship. What lies in store for South Side and Weinert this season is yet to be determined, but after her final year of prep basketball, #50 will be working under the nets in her home town at IPFW.
As a junior, Weinert averaged 13.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.2 blocks and 2.3 steals per game for the 22-5 Archers under head coach Andy Rang. During her time at South, she has proven that she is a steady presence with great hands -- an inside force who gets big boards and big baskets. In last season's loss to South Bend Washington in the 4A North Semi-State, Weinert posted numbers of 16 points and 14 rebounds.
The unanimous All-SAC First Team honoree gave a verbal commitment to IPFW head coach Chris Paul on the first calling day after the summer observation period. She picked the Mastodons over options at Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Missouri State, Toledo, SUNY and St. Francis (Ft. Wayne). The Archer's Co-MVP also received interest from Princeton and Brown.
According to dad Mark, his daughter was swayed to choose the Mastodons after an impressive unofficial visit that focused in on her academic needs. Weinert plans to major in psychology as an undergraduate, with undetermined plans for post-graduate work.
"Chris Paul made it clear that she was his No. 1 recruit," said Weinert. "They recruited her hard and early, and she was impressed with the campus visit that focused on academics first and athletics second. The housing conditions there are superb and she liked the idea of being away from home, but yet close to home. Being able to have her car on campus was important to her, too."
Weinert also likes the idea that she has a good chance to be a part of the Mastodon rotation earlier as opposed to later. The improving Mastodons had a good showing in their first year in the Summit League, finishing 9-9 in conference play, with three losses coming in overtime down the stretch, including a two-point OT loss to league champion South Dakota State. Weinert will join fellow Hoosiers Hannah Thieke (Western) and Anne Boese (Chatard) when she arrives on campus in fall of next year.
As for this upcoming season, South Side will be making a hard run for the 4A State Championship, with South Bend Washington and super guard Skylar Diggins standing in the way. The Archers, who finished last season ranked No. 7 in 4A, have lost two starting guards, but return a very strong and experienced nucleus. Back for South will be seniors Weinert, effective post Jarvisha Jackson, long-range shooter Nia Banks and super soph Brittany Johnson, who has improved her ball-handling skills and speed over the summer. Johnson showed her team worth all of last season as a freshman, capped by a 21-point outing in the 62-54 Regional Championship win over Kokomo. With the addition of some solid freshmen guards, the Archers could be poised for a fourth-straight 20+ win season.
Photo by Greg Alexander at gsanvin.com.