Seth Ragon said he has had a lot of good times playing basketball and being a member of the track and field team at Seymour.
On the track, he has been a Hoosier Hills Conference and sectional champion, helped the Owls win a sectional and qualified for state in the high jump the past two seasons.
In basketball, he helped the Owls post the most wins since the 2009-10 season this winter.
He missed the end of basketball and beginning of track because of a foot injury but has been coming on strong and cleared 6-foot-5 to place second in the Seymour Invitational, which tied his career best.
Ragon, who is 6-foot-2, calculates each jump.
“If you’re facing the mat, it would be coming in from the left side and taking off my right leg,” Ragon said. “You’ve got to have a lot of momentum, and a lot of back arch is another key to it. There’s a lot that goes into it. The new surface is great. There is a lot more cushion to the surface. I think it’s just a challenge overall. I like challenging myself.”
Ragon said he competed in the 200 and 400 in the past, but this year, he is putting all of his energy into the high jump.
“It’s really important to clear your first attempt every time because if it comes to it and two jumpers jumped the same height, then they break it down to how many clearances and scratches and stuff like that,” he said.
“The wind definitely affects the high jump. Where we had (the high jump area) at in the past, (the wind) was coming from my back, but since we’ve moved it, I think it will be different. The wind is definitely a big factor. It’s harder to jump if it’s coming at your face, and it’s easier to jump if it’s pushing you.”
He said his starting height changes depending on how he feels and the number of jumps.
Ragon started competing in track during his eighth-grade year.
“I went to St. Ambrose and we didn’t have a track team,” Ragon said. “My eighth-grade year, we were allowed to come over and participate with the middle school, so I did that. I think my best back then was probably around 5-8.”
His goals are to clear 6-6 and be a sectional and conference champion again.
“I’d say a big victory for me was last year’s regional,” Ragon said. “It came down to two of us, and we both cleared 6-5, and that’s where it stopped. None of us could get 6-6.
“I definitely enjoy the competition at state. It’s really cool seeing all the great athletes over there, and it’s a great experience. It’s fun. I like the big meets where there’s more jumpers and there are more people there to push you.”
The senior said he was having a lot of fun playing basketball this season until he injured his foot.
“I enjoyed the new coaching staff and how we got together this last season,” Ragon said. “I feel like the team was closer, and we played together more. I felt it was just really good. It was a change for the better, in my opinion.
“It was a different environment, different attitude toward the game. I really enjoyed that and enjoyed that the mood had changed in the players. I was in there to be an energy player, make hustle plays and play the best defense that I could. Toward the end of the season, I started hitting shots.”
The foot injury happened in February, and he missed the Owls’ final seven games.
He averaged 8.6 points per game, and his high-point games were 14 against Edinburgh and 13 against Scottsburg.
He topped the Owls in rebounds with 7.5 per game, was named Seymour’s outstanding defensive player and was named to The Tribune’s All-County team.
He said he enjoyed playing in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.
“I really liked the environment of the home games,” Ragon said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience playing in a gym like that. It’s one of the best high school gyms in the nation.”
He said practice in all sports is important.
“If you ask any coach, they’re going to say you practice how you’d like to play, so that’s definitely a very important part,” he said. “You want to practice just as hard as you’re going to play.
“Mental (toughness) is definitely another huge part. I just picture the bar being lower than it actually is, and that tends to help me. Just don’t picture the bar at all. Just go jump as high as you can.”
Ragon said he has enjoyed being a student at Seymour.
“I think it’s a good school, and I think it’s a really good option,” he said. “We’ve got about all the sports you can have. I’ll definitely remember all the experiences, friends, coaches and everything. It will always be with me.”
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Name: Seth Ragon
School: Seymour High School
Parents: Kelly Nichter, Scott Ragon
Sports: Track and field, four years; basketball, four years
Athletic honors: In track and field, 2016 Hoosier Hills Conference champion high jump, 2015-16 state finalist, 2016 sectional champions.
Plans after high school: Attend college
Favorite food: Ice cream
Favorite TV network: ESPN
Favorite athlete: Blake Griffin