Aug 25

A heck of a comeback

After both teams failed to score during the first overtime, Marsch hit Crossfield with a bullet pass for an eight-yard touchdown. McDowell would get plenty of encouragement from the emotionally The Road to Paradise: How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana's Football Worldspent crowd of 5,000 at Enlow Stadium as he strolled back on the field and hit the extra point for the stunning 19-18 victory that eliminated the Warriors from playoff contention.

Senior noseguard Jeff “Dogman” Sellers, the epitome of the team’s emotional approach to the game of football, came sliding off the field on his knees in joy.

“It was a vital win — a heck of a comeback — one of the best comeback victories in Castle football history,” Lidy said.

No one could disagree.


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

Chapter 5

Pages 81-82

Aug 20

Those are the moments …

David Brosmer, who was shuttling the play in, waited as Lidy and Sims talked over several possible calls. Brosmer glanced at the play sheet. What he saw jumped off the page.

“Coach, what about the flea flicker?”

“We’ve been thinking about it, but they’ll be keying on you and probably expecting it,” Sims responded.

“Coach, I can beat my man around the corner,” Brosmer said, knowing it would be a linebacker picking him up as he came through the line.

Sims looked at Lidy and after a moment’s hesitation, Lidy nodded his head. Sims nodded in agreement as well sending Brosmer racing to the huddle.

“Those are the moments you go to your grave thinking about,” Lidy said.

Pages 167-168

The Road to Paradise

How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana’s Football World

Congrats Coach Lidy!


Aug 18

Wins like that

“That might have been, in my time at Castle High School, the overall best football game we ever played,” Lidy said. “From the offense to the defense to the kicking game, the whole bit. There might have been a The Road to Paradise: How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana's Football Worldlittle over-confidence, a lack of respect at play for Martinsville. They asked who we were before that game, but I guarantee you, they knew who we were after that.”

After the thrashing, Martinsville complained — about the long bus ride; about the crown of Castle Stadium, which they said was like playing on the side of a hill; and about whether the best team had really won.

“Wins like that — when you’re not only give no chance to win, but are being told you don’t even belong on the same field of battle — are special,” Lidy said.



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

Chapter 5: Learning to Win

Pages 88-89




Aug 16

“My god, what have we done?”

For the first time, the Knights would meet a team just as strong — if not stronger — than they were.

The Road to ParadiseUpon Lidy’s return, he and his coaching staff met Monday night in the family room of Lidy’s Newburgh house and plopped the first of the game tapes into the VCR. After a half hour, Lidy and his staff were thinking the same thing as they watched the gargantuan Hobart players, led by the huge Fonseca, not only beat opposing players on the line of scrimmage, but punish them. An uneasy silence fell over the room. Lidy shook his head in disbelief.

“My god, what have we done,” he said as a wave of uncomfortable snickers circled the room.



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

Chapter 1

Page 13


Jun 23

Take a trip on “The Road to Paradise” July 27 — Barnes & Noble, Evansville

Join “The Road to Paradise” author Thom Wilder at Barnes & Noble (624 S Green River Road, Evansville) at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 27, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Castle Knights’ 1982 state football championship.

“The Road to Paradise: How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana’s Football World” is the story of a team that shocked the Indiana high school football establishment with a championship that the experts said was impossible. Yet, “The Road to Paradise” is much more than the story of that championship team; it’s also the story of growing up in southern Indiana.

Signed copies of “The Road to Paradise” — recently named a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards — will be available.

To date, the story of the 1982 Castle Knights has been shipped to 23 states and seven foreign countries.The world didn’t know who or what the Castle Knights were 30 years ago. They know now. Relive those incredible moments and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the championship that turned Indiana high school football upside down.

Be sure to like “The Road to Paradise” on Facebook.



May 27

“The Road to Paradise” Named National Indie Excellence Book Awards Finalist

PARADISE, Indiana – “The Road to Paradise: How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana’s Football World” was recognized May 22 as a Finalist in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The award is open to all English language books including small presses, university presses and independent publishers. Works published from 2009 to 2012 were eligible for consideration. The award is judged by independent experts from all aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters.

Written by Chicago-based author Thom Wilder, “The Road to Paradise” (Dog Ear Publishing, 2012) is the underdog story of a diminutive yet determined football team from tiny Paradise, Indiana. Given little chance to advance far into the state playoffs, the team of destiny overcame incredible odds to beat the seemingly invincible giants of Indiana high school football.

“It’s a great story about a great team in a great time,” Wilder said. “This undersized football team literally shocked the Indiana football establishment.”

“The Road to Paradise” is currently available in hardcover and paperback at Barnes & Noble, and

Read about “The Road to Paradise.” Learn about the National Indie Excellence Book Awards.

Apr 08

Let’s talk Paradise

Evansville Literacy Coalition Leaders in Literacy Lecture Series

Let's talk Castle Knights football - past and present

Also appearing at:

  • 6 p.m., Thursday, April 18, at Oakland City-Columbia Township Public Library, 210 S Main Street,Oakland City, Indiana


  • 4 p.m., Friday, April 19, at Newburgh Central Library, 4111 Lakeshore Drive, Newburgh, Indiana