Aug 13

Coming September 1

­­­­­­­How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana's Football WorldSet for Sept. 1 Release

PARADISE, Ind. — Aug. 13, 2012 — Thirty years ago, an unsung team from Castle High School shocked the Indiana high school football establishment by upsetting the seemingly invincible Hobart Brickies to win the 1982 Indiana AAA State Football Championship.

Just in time for the 2012 high school football season, The Road to Paradise: How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana’s Football World, the inside-the-huddle story of that championship team, is scheduled for release Sept. 1 by Dog Ear Publishing. At 244 pages, The Road to Paradise offers a play-by-play adventure through that season as well as a Knights-eye view into southern Indiana football.

The Road to Paradise: How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana’s Football World

$16.95 paperback, $28.95 hardcover

Available Sept. 1


Barnes & Noble

After moving up in classification from AA in 1978, Castle High School would lose its first 19 games at the AAA level. At rock bottom, though, there’s nowhere to go but up and in 1981 the Knights would march to an 8-2 record and storm deep into the playoffs before being manhandled by the defending state champion Carmel Greyhounds 49-13.

How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana's Football WorldHad a fluke season just ended like it was supposed to — in annihilating defeat? Or was that promising season a harbinger of things to come? The answer would come in a perfect 14-0 season in 1982 by a football team that hailed from the disrespected and overlooked southwestern tip of the basketball-mad state.

“I set out to write a story about an incredible football team,” said Chicago-based author Thom Wilder, a 1983 Castle graduate. “What I got was an incredible story about life.”

At its core, The Road to Paradise is the story of the communities of Chandler and Newburgh, two towns from the opposite sides of the tracks forced together in a shot-gun marriage. It’s the story of how a diverse group of young men from all walks of life came together to accomplish something that could never be taken away — no matter what life might throw at them.

Filled with game replays, humorous and touching anecdotes, behind-the-scenes looks and rare photographs, The Road to Paradise is not so much a story about winning, but about refusing to lose — on the field and off. It’s the recipe for how champions are made.


The Road to Paradise: How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana's Football WorldA graduate of Indiana University and Loyola University Chicago Law School, Wilder grew up in Chandler, Indiana, beginning his journalism career at the age of 16 when he joined the staff of the Castle High School newspaper, The Lancer. He quickly becoming Sports Editor and Managing Editor, giving him a front row seat for the Castle Knights’ 1982 march on their “road to paradise.”

To arrange an interview or speaking engagement, contact Thom Wilder at