By Bob Kelly
Mark and Tracy Gleixner never dreamed that getting their children involved in golf would one day lead to so much success on the links. Nor did they know they would attain their goal of finding a lifelong family pastime.
The game was merely an afterthought that would help bring their family together through the years. The Gleixners got their children involved in baseball and golf, among other sports. But it would be golf that eventually won the hearts of his boys over dad’s chosen sport of baseball.
“I really wanted the boys to play baseball, but I can remember to this day when they told me that they preferred to play golf over baseball at the age of 12,” Gleixner said. “It has been a great decision.”
It was soon after the decision that Mark and Louie, both graduates of Roncalli High School, were joined by sisters Anna and Abby on the links, eventually comprising their own fearsome foursome. Anna graduates from Roncalli this year; Abby will be a junior next year.
A combination of dedication and hard work have made the Gleixners a force on the links from a very early age. Robert fired a 71 and won his first tournament as a freshman at Roncalli. Louie had success before moving on to play for University of Southern Indiana for one season. He plans to walk on to play at IUPUI this upcoming school year.
Anna has been an anchor on the girls’ team that has turned in the most successful four-year stint in the history of girls’ golf at Roncalli. Anna helped lead the Rebels to the Marion County and sectional titles while the team finished on the podium at the state finals in each of her four years. She will take her talents to Eastern Kentucky next fall. Abby is just hitting her stride on the links and will be looked to for leadership next fall.
The game of golf has been good to the Gleixner family as it has taken them many places, creating bonds that will last a lifetime. They have played the links of Pebble Beach, which has been home to many majors on the PGA tour, to local courses such as Sarah Shank and Smock, where many of them got their start.
In seventh grade, Robert fired a 75 at Shank while Louie led his team to a 15-stroke margin victory for his team at Our Lady of Greenwood and finished among the top 40 in the state amateur tourney. One of the most memorable times of golf for Anna did not happen when she was on the course.
She was able to get a flag that she has in her room today and a glove that was signed by each member of the United States team that competed at the Crooked Stick Golf Course. Abby remembers her first birdie at 7 years old when she chipped in at the first hole at then-Orchard Golf Course.
Roncalli girls’ golf coach Bryan Hendricks just finished his 18th year at the helm of the program and is familiar with the family.
“The girls are the most competitive that I have ever coached. They are the most dedicated and driven players that I have ever seen. It is just a great family,” Hendricks said.
Mark Gleixner did not hesitate to sum up what the game of golf has meant to his family over the years.
“We have enjoyed watching them play the game of golf and look forward to the day when they can do the same with their kids and we can play along as grandparents,” Gleixner said. “That would be just so cool.”
Mark Gleixner had big plans for his boys’ baseball careers when they were in Little League, but soon after he had to accept they did not want to go down that path and instead chose to blaze one themselves. The rest of the family soon followed in what has turned out to be a love affair with golf.
Walking into Super Bowl Village is an experience like none other. The crowds keep you warm, even in the cold January wind. I see plenty of photo opportunities. There are a few “Super Bowl” signs across the street and even located across windows of the tallest buildings. Everything about the area is so decorative, even to the point where signs of football-inspired fake street names are placed underneath the regular street signs. As I walk down Georgia Street, a few men are doing something with a blow torch. I take a closer look at what’s happening and a colored ice sculpture with the Super Bowl logo has just been finished.
It’s amazing how so many people turn out to take in the action at 5 p.m. on a Friday.
The crowds get thicker with each passing minute. Concession stands are everywhere and there’s even outdoor and indoor lounge seating. The outdoor seating even has contained fires and heat lamps, but the need quickly changes in Indiana with temps rising into the upper 50s.
After a while, it was hard for me to tell that Georgia Street was ever a street because the setting looks so permanent. The former Nordstrom at Circle Centre has even been transformed into “the Huddle at Circle Centre,” but sadly, I didn’t have enough time to go inside. Also, since my last visit, the former Borders has become another Super Bowl party headquarters.
And of course, there’s the zipline … but since I have a thing about being high above ground hanging on a temporary structure, it’s not quite for me. But I have to admit it looks like the kind of fun that can really get the adrenaline rushing. Groups of four and those on their own are smiling, waving and screaming above me as I walk past.
I walk a bit farther and see a few other activities for kids, such as corn hole and football throwing. A trivia contest is under way in a nearby tent. The Super Bowl Village is definitely fun for the whole family.
And the fun isn’t contained to Super Bowl Village.
Monument Circle has a few sights of its own, including an even bigger “Super Bowl XLVI” sign and rows of Indy 500 cars.
It’ll be sad to see all of this go after the Big Game.
But parking fees will revert to normal when the Giants and Patriots leave town. Instead of paying $20 at Circle Centre, it’ll be back to $1.50. Glad I’m not driving today.
Super Bowl XLVI Stadium Tours • Super Bowl fans will have access to the stadium grounds, access to walk on the field and many other exciting opportunities. | When: Jan. 26-30, 8 a.m. | Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, 500 S. Capitol Ave. | Info: Visit indianapolissuperbowl.com.
Colts Cheerleaders • The Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders will be making an appearance for pictures. | When: Jan. 27, 3–5 p.m. | Where: Touchdown Alley, 201 S. Capitol Ave. | Info: Visit indianapolissuperbowl.com.
NFL Play 60 Youth Football • Children will learn flag football, fundamentals, sportsmanship and teamwork from current and former NFL players. | When: Jan. 27, 4–7 p.m. | Where: Indiana Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Ave. | Cost: Children 12 and under, $20; children 2 and under, free; adults, $25. | Info: Visit indianapolissuperbowl.com.
Bret Michaels • He will perform on Super Kick Off Day for the public. | When: Jan. 27, 9:30 p.m. | Where: Verizon Stage, Pennsylvania Street, Downtown Indianapolis. | Cost: Free | Info: Visit indianapolissuperbowl.com.
Zipline • Feel the adrenaline and experience the 80’ tall and 800’ long Zipline operated by Ziptrek Ecotours. | When: Jan. 27-Feb. 4, 3-11 p.m. | Where: Zipline Launch Tower, 258 S. Capitol Ave. | Cost: $10. | Info: Tickets are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visit indianapolissuperbowl.com.
Indy Super Cure-Komen Tissue Bank Donation • Help fight against breast cancer and make a difference. Tissue donors must be 18 or older and register online. | When: Jan. 28, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. | Where: IU Simon Cancer Center, 535 Barnhill Drive. | Info: Register online at cancer.iu.edu.
Super Tailgate Party • Show your spirit! Decorate the car, paint your face and throw in a few snacks, too. Those who win the most attention take home trophies. | When: Jan. 29, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. | Where: Baxter YMCA, 7900 S. Shelby St., Indianapolis. | Cost: Free. | Info: Space is limited so sign up for this free event by visiting the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce website: www.greenwood-chamber.com.
Ultimate Video Game Challenge • Game on! Bring your best skills for the bracket-style Southside Madden Challenge. | When: Jan. 29, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. | Where: Baxter YMCA, 7900 S. Shelby St., Indianapolis.
Punt-Pass-Kick Contest • If weather permits, this will be an outdoor event, so dress warmly. Kids will be divided in similar age groups for competitions. | When: Jan. 29, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. | Where: Baxter YMCA, 7900 S. Shelby St., Indianapolis. | Cost: Free.
Rap-tastic Cheer Clinic • All ages are invited to this instructional clinic. | When: Jan. 29, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. | Where: Baxter YMCA, 7900 S. Shelby St., Indianapolis.
Super Southside Kickoff • Super Bowl lovers of all ages will enjoy a huge assortment of activities from corn hole tournaments, face painting and craft projects to lots of games. | When: Jan. 29, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | Where: Baxter YMCA, 7900 S. Shelby St., Indianapolis.
Get a Kick Out of Health • The Tony Dorsett Health Spectacular offers a free health fair to the public. It will feature free health screenings, cooking demonstrations, giveaways, interactive games and guest appearances by select NFL players. | When: Feb. 1, noon–7 p.m. | Where: Ivy Tech Community College, 50 W. Fall Creek Parkway North Drive. | Info: Contact Tausha Johnson at (707) 416-3564 or Troy Julian at (317) 522-7626.
Foot Bowl 5K Run/Walk • Come enjoy a good run or walk. | When: Feb. 3, Registration: 5-6 p.m.; race begins at 6:15 p.m. | Where: Franklin Parks & Recreation parking lot, 396 Branigin Blvd. | Info: Preregister before Feb. 3 and pay $15; day of race, $20.
Pass, Punt and Party Pub Crawl • All participants must be 21. | When: Feb. 4, registration from 6-7 p.m. | Where: Franklin City Hall, 70 E. Monroe St. | Cost: $20 per person, which includes tickets for a free beer or free signature drink at six unique bars and pubs in downtown Franklin.
Tailgate Party and Competition • Win prizes in the following categories: Best Tailgate Food, Football Trivia, Best Team Spirit, Biggest Fan and Best Touchdown Dance. | When: Feb. 4, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | Where: Parking lot across from the Artcraft Theatre on North Main Street. | Cost: $10. Must be 21 to enter. Proceeds benefit the Mike Duncan Memorial Scholarship Fund.
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Wounded Warrior Amputees will be joined by Southport High School cheerleaders when they play the NFL Stars Team in a pre-Super Bowl football game Wednesday at IndySports Park.
The fundraiser will benefit the amputees who will oppose the team of retired football players from 6-9 p.m. Admission is $20.
Wounded Warrior Amputees try to raise awareness for men and women who have lost limbs in Iraq or Afghanistan. The members play in sporting events with celebrities.
The Southport cheer squad will be on hand to cheer the teams and perform some of their stunts. Also, a Southport Middle School student will sing the National Anthem to open the game. Several Southport High School football players and coaches will also attend.
The Indy Air Bears jump rope ‘show team’ will perform at the Super Bowl Village at 6 p.m. Feb. 2. They will be featured on the turf “field” that has been set up on Capitol Avenue in front of the Indiana Convention Center and directly under the zipline. The team has been performing and competing locally as well as nationally for the past 25 years.
During basketball season, team members perform at halftime of high school and college games around the state. They have already performed at Butler, Ball State and Purdue. Plans call for a performance at halftime of the Indiana Pacer game Feb. 19.
This year’s team members include jumpers in grades 4 through 12. Most members attend school in Franklin Township. A few jumpers hail from Center Grove. One jumper attends Greenwood High School and another is a student at Shelbyville High School.
Head coach Niki Glover is the physical education teacher at Arlington Elementary School in Franklin Township. Assistant coach Valerie Rice is a former team member and is an art teacher at Manual High School.
Peterman Heating & Cooling, 5240 Commerce Circle, will make two people happy winners of tickets to the Feb. 5 Super Bowl.
Through Sunday, visitors to the Indianapolis Home show at the state fairgrounds can register at
Peterman is one of about 900 home service or improvement companies exhibiting at the home show. Firm owners hope the “Big Ticket Give-A-Way” will give them a chance to talk to customers and potential customers as they work their way through booths.
No purchase is necessary to enter. The winner will be announced on the Peterman website, www.petermanhvac.com, on Feb. 2.
Players of all ages pursue golf with an eye to fitness and professionalism
When Brent Nicoson’s University of Indianapolis roommate suggested the Beech Grove native try out for the golf team, he never suspected that it would change the course of his life, but it did. He started working part-time at what was then Royal Oak Country Club while in school and never left. He is a class A member of the PGA and has been a golf professional in his 15th year at the Club now known as Dye’s Walk Country Club.
Not only does Nicoson enjoy the game, he enjoys teaching it and is the men’s golf coach at University of Indianapolis. The team is currently ranked 15th in the NCAA Division 2 class, and they have been in the top 20 in the last five years.
“All our team is from Indiana,” Nicoson said. “Our No. 1 player, junior Aaron Monson, is a graduate of Perry Meridian and is highly ranked in Division 2 golf.” Another top player, Robert Gleixner is a Roncalli graduate who transferred to UIndy from Florida Southern.
The women’s golf team at UIndy is coached by Greenwood resident Ken Piepenbrink and is No. 1 in academics for all college teams in the nation.
The number of young people interested in golf has increased. Nicoson said he believes it has to do with the exposure Tiger Woods gave the game. But not only the game, but how golf is perceived.
“The game has totally changed over the last 15 years,” Nicoson said, “Tiger Woods changed the game because of his work ethic, physical training, mental approach and nutrition. His effect was so big others tried everything to keep up with him: developing fitness and mental toughness using sports psychologists. He raised the standard of the game.”
“It used to be looked at as a non-athletic sport. But now we basically work 10 months out of the year. We spend cold months working out and getting into good physical shape,” Nicoson said, “UIndy is building a multi-purpose dome where golf will have an area to allow players to continue to practice during cold winter months.”
It’s important to maintain a program throughout the year because players in the warm weather regions are playing all year long so local players can easily fall behind.
If youngsters are interested in golf, Nicoson encourages junior players to spend a lot of time playing – not necessarily spending all their time in instruction – but out on the course playing. “They especially need to maximize their time management during the playing season.”
They do show an interest and start early. Nicoson says he has some players starting in his junior clinics by the age of 5.
It’s an expensive sport. Players supply their own equipment, but team members don’t usually have to pay fees to play. Belonging to a Country Club provides the opportunity for unlimited play and students who can’t afford a membership often work at the Clubs for the playing privilege. Scholarships are available at all NCAA Division 1 and 2 level teams.
W. C. Fields said golf was a good way to ruin a walk, but as for Nicoson, he’s enjoying the walk on his career path.
Southport High School girl’s basketball player Linda Mallender, daughter of Chuck and Tina Mallender, will be inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame April 24.
Mallender is Southport High School girl’s all-time leading scorer with 1,364 points – a record she has held for 29 years. She was a starter on the 1980 State Championship team and named to the 1981 Indiana All-Star team. She was named first team All-American and attended Miami of Ohio University on a full scholarship.
During college, Mallender set many records including most assists, blocks and points per season. She was named Mid- American Conference Player of the Year three times, All- Ohio honors, and was voted female athlete of the year in 1981 and 1982. In 1982 she was selected to the sports festival junior national team. In 1983 she was invited to the Pan American trials. Linda ended her career 1984 at the Olympic Trials.
Coach Marilyn Ramsey and teammate Amy Metheny will be hosting a reception in the Cardinal’s Nest at Southport High School on April 23 from 5 – 8 p.m. All are invited to attend.
Beech Grove High School wrestler Steve Duncan has been named the Edward Jones Investments Scholar Athlete of the Month. Duncan is pictured receiving his medal from representative Bryan Denbo. Duncan became the 25th wrestler in the history of BGHS to advance to state finals on multiple occasions. He is a four-year letterman in both wrestling and golf.