Fast and Furious!

Indiana high school football sports

The Castle Knights' Steve Yeager, Pat Lockyear and Rodney Russell celebrate their team's early score against the Hobart Brickies in the 1982 Indiana state AAA football championship game in Indianapolis -- Photo by TONY FREELS.

I want to say “thank you.”

I’m pleased to announce that 15 months after I first began researching The Road to Paradise, the book (all 85,000 words of it) has left my desk and gone to the publisher. An August release date is expected.

This project would have been impossible to undertake without the help of many people. Thanks to Pat Lockyear and Johnny Evers, who were instrumental in helping me get the project off the ground. Special thanks to Kathy DiDomizio and her editing talents. A tip of the hat to Kevin Swank and Tony Freels whose incredible photographs (many of which you’ve seen right here) will grace the pages of The Road to Paradise.

I started this book because it was a great story that needed to be told. I finished it because it became a labor of love. It was my desire to tell a detailed account of all that occurred that season as well as significant events before and after. The graciously provided reflections of the players, coaches and administrators were vital in this endeavor. Thank you for sharing your amazing stories.

I had three immediate goals in undertaking this daunting project:

First, I wanted to record this amazing story for posterity’s sake. As the years have gone by, the edges of the story had started to get fuzzy for many of us. The Road to Paradise strives to put it all in sharp detail.

Second, I wanted to tell not just the story of this football season, but also the individual stories of those who made it up that team and the community that supported it.

Finally, I wanted to explore the perfect storm of events necessary for championships to occur. I sought to discover just how championships like this are made. If there was ever a recipe for such a thing, it’s right here. We could all learn a thing or two from the 1982 Castle Knights.

I believe The Road to Paradise accomplishes all these goals. I hope you will agree.

Coach Evers reminded me once of a quote from the movie “Field of Dreams” that I believe sums up the essence of that time in our lives when the character Moonlight Graham says:

“You know, we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening. Back then I thought, well, there’ll be other days. I didn’t realize that that was the only day.”

Oh, but it was one helluva day! And it came with a lifetime of memories for all of us. I’m honored to have recorded them.

Please keep checking back for more details. I’ll be posting additional pictures and updates over the coming months. Please feel free to share additional info and photos if you have them. I’d love to share them on the Web site.

Oh, and me? I’m hitting the golf course. Fore!

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