Chapter 2: What Have We Done?
A year, a week and a day after the Carmel disaster, the 1982 Castle Knights football squad has answered the immediate question of whether they can ever get past the Greyhounds. Even though the Knights have gotten their revenge by dominating Carmel the week before, they find themselves to be the Rodney Dangerfields of Indiana high school football; they simply can get no respect.
Maybe it’s because they would be playing the Hobart Brickies, yet another Indiana football powerhouse known for its bruising, punishing brand of football, for all the marbles — the Indiana state AAA football championship.
The Knights aren’t the first team from the far southern tip of Indiana to vie for the football title in state’s highest classification. A few had been there before, particularly the Reitz Panthers, who had a half dozen “mythical” championship trophies on display in their school on Evansville’s west side.
No team from southwest Indiana, however, had even come close to taking the title since the state instituted a playoff system in 1973 that allowed the matter to be decided on the field rather than in the polls. Reitz had the best chance in 1977, marching to the title game in Indianapolis where they were taken apart — as the “experts” predicted — by a bigger, stronger Portage Indians team from northern Indiana.
If the Knights didn’t know known such history lessons firsthand, they are reminded by a constant barrage of media reports extolling that they have absolutely no chance against Hobart. Not this team. Not with this opponent.
The Knights are expected to take their beating and go home, proud of having had the opportunity to visit the state capital city to lose an important game.
Would the Knights listen? Would they take their beating and simply go home? Was beating Carmel destined to be Castle’s “championship” game?
No one is sure, not even the Castle coaching staff.
As the half dozen coaches hunker down to watch Hobart’s game tapes the day after the Carmel victory, an uneasy silence befalls the room.
After a half hour of watching the colossal Hobart players destroying their equally gigantic opponents, a lone voice in the back of the room finally breaks the silence and asks what’s on everyone’s mind:
“My god, what have we done?”
Next — Chapter 3: Life in Paradise