High School - The Zone

Rival Indiana high school coaches welcome newborn sons alongside special surprise

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An easy introduction to one Indiana’s fiercest high school basketball rivalries is right here for the taking: Warren Central. and Carmel. 

These two Indiana prep powerhouses are pitted against one another year after year inside one of the most talented conferences anywhere.  

This spring, Garrett Winegar finished his first season as Warren Central’s head coach.

Over at Carmel, J.R. Howell wrapped up his third go-around as one of Greyhounds top assistants.

Meanwhile, the anticipation back at home was off the charts as both families were expecting their first newborns. 

Fast forward to this week and two healthy baby boys arrived just 12 hours apart. 

First, on Monday afternoon, Katie and J.R. Howell welcomed Jack Micheal Howell.

During the early morning hours on Tuesday, Guyton Scott Winegar was placed in the arms of his parents, Sable and Garrett Winegar. 

“It is kind of hard to explain,” Garret Winegar said. “I don’t really know how to put it into words, but it is fear and excitement and love all wrapped into one.”

Coach Howell was also at a loss on the major addition to his family. “Us being able to hold him for the first time was just unbelievable.”

As the first memories and photos came together, so did another story that is just as unpredictable.

“I was getting hungry, it was about dinner time, and Katie (Howell) was getting food at the hospital,” J.R. Howell said. “I had tried it, figured I would go outside the hospital, no offense.”

As Howell exited their hospital room, the man in the occupied room next door was doing the same. 

“I was walking by and the (passerby) had masks on,” Winegar said. “You couldn’t really see his face. He said, ‘What’s up, man!’ and it kind of clicked that it might be him. I said, ‘Hey what is your name?.”

After the hilarious, serendipitous run-in, the pair talked for five to 10 minutes about the incredible events of the past few days. Then Winegar couldn’t resist asking: “Do you have a Carmel shirt around?”

Howell did have the Greyhound gear handy, and the picture that followed was a classic: Howell in Carmel gold and blue, and Winegar in Warren Central gold and black. At the bottom of frame, Jack Micheal Howell and Guyton Scott Winegar — class of 2038. 

J.R. Howell said, “It is just funny. We were one room a part and had no idea.”

Both coaches were adamant we thank the doctors and nurses at St. Vincent Women’s Hospital, which continues to help families everywhere shine during these dark times.

Then it came time for the biggest speeches of their coaching careers: A message to mom.

“How strong she is …. how tough she is. It was amazing,” Howell said after fighting back tears. “I don’t know how she did it.”  

A similar message was echoed outside of the Winegar house Friday afternoon.

“With her, I was just so proud of her,” Winegar said. “It was a long, long labor. She did a great job. Seeing how happy she was and now seeing her take care of him. She is going to be awesome. I am just along for the ride.”

Even in Indiana, a bitter basketball rivalry, can only go so far, and, just like most things in life, it is all thanks to mom.

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