Jul 14

Growing Pains

The Ghosts of Wheaton: How the 'Red Grange' Tigers Conquered Illinois High School Football

1991 Tiger football captains and Coach John Thorne accept the Runner-Up trophy after the team’s heartbreaking 21-14 loss to Chicago Mt. Carmel in the Class 5A title game. The gut-wrenching, last-minute defeat would become the battle cry of the magical season that was to come.

Jun 20

The Ghosts of Wheaton — Championship Hardware

The Ghosts of Wheaton: How the Red Grange Tigers Conquered Illinois High School Football

Wheaton Warrenville South defensive back Mike LaFido holds the 1992 Class 5A Illinois State Championship trophy after the Tigers’ 40-34 double overtime victory over Joliet Catholic Academy.

Dec 09

The Perfect Gift For the Champion in Your World

How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana's Football WorldAvailable at:

Barnes & Noble– Evansville

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Dec 08

Come on … Stuff Your Stocking!

How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana's Football World

 

Available at:

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or right here at

Thomwilder.com

Sep 28

The Road to Paradise Travels Through Memorial

How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana's Football World

 

Indiana high school football sports Indiana high school football sports

 

The 1982 Castle Knights Championship Run

Game 7

Castle       33

Memorial    6

Oct. 8 — Enlow Field

ON THE ROAD TO PARADISE — At 6-0, Castle expected a tough match up against its next opponent as the Knights traveled to Enlow Field to take on the 5-1 Memorial Tigers.

Playoff scouts in attendance got much more than the Castle power running game that they were expecting when senior quarterback Mike Davis exploded for 277 yards passing on seven of 12 attempts.

The Tigers stunned the capacity crowd of 7,000 by scoring first, thanks to a 63-yard run by Memorial running back Mark Wooten that set up quarterback Bob Scheitlin’s four-yard run moments later.

For the first time in the 1982 football season, the Knights would find themselves behind on the scoreboard. Down 6-0, Coach John Lidy sent in a play the team had been perfecting in practice all season — 600 Fleaflicker. Davis hit junior receiver Deon Chester who instantaneously flicked the ball to the trailing running back, senior David Brosmer who raced untouched on his way to a 69-yard touchdown.

Up 7-6, it would soon be all Castle. After the break, senior fullback Neil Chapman caught a pass from Davis and waltzed into the end zone untouched for a 32-yard touchdown. Five minutes later, Davis would hit junior receiver Joe Huff on an 88-yard touchdown strike (the longest in Castle history at the time) for a 19-6 lead.

In the fourth quarter, David Brosmer reversed field and scored from the 17 and senior running back Joe Dillman scored from the 14 to finish the scoring in the 33-6 drubbing of one of Evansville’s best teams.

David Brosmer rushed for 106 yards (an eight-yard per rush average) and Dillman added 78 yards on 11 carries.

Memorial Coach Ralph Weinzapfel told reporters after the game exactly what was on every coach’s mind as they prepared for the Knights.

“They’re good in most aspects of the game,” he said. “It’s going to take a good team to beat them.”

Next up on The Road to Paradise — the Terre Haute North Patriots.

Inidana high school football sports

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Sep 25

The Road to Paradise Travels Through Central

How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana's Football World

 

Indiana high school football sports The Road to Paradise: How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana's Football World

 

The 1982 Castle Knights Championship Run

Game 5

Castle       41

Central       0

Sept. 25 — Central Stadium

ON THE ROAD TO PARADISE — Fresh off the varsity program’s first win ever at the Reitz Bowl, the now-six-ranked Knights would travel to Central Stadium to take on a resurgent Bears team that had surprisingly powered to a 3-1 record.

Twenty-one first quarter points would put the game away before most people were comfortably in their seats. Junior running back Chris Brosmer found pay dirt first for the Knights when he sliced off left guard behind a great block by senior tackle Steve Yeager halfway through the first quarter.

Chris Brosmer takes a knee Indiana high school football sportsTwo minutes later, the Knights went back to work after a Central punt with senior running back David Brosmer hauling in a pass from senior quarterback Mike Davis and, juking the defender out of his shoes at the 20-yard line, taking it in for a 60-yard touchdown.

With less than a minute left, the Knights surprised the Bears when senior end Kenny Brown flipped a 30-yard pass to David Brosmer off a reverse, giving the Knights a first down at the Central 13. Three plays later, Brosmer followed pulling guards Rodney Russell and Dan Thurman into the end zone for a 21-0 lead.

A leaping interception by senior Craig Day ended the next Central drive giving the Knights the ball at the Bears 27. After a four-yard loss on first down, David Brosmer took the hand off on a draw play and raced 31 yards for the score and a 28-0 halftime lead.

The Road to Paradise: How the 1982 Castle Knights Upset Indiana's football world. Two quick second half scores — a four-yard run by senior fullback Neil Chapman to cap a six-play, 56-yard drive, and a four-yard run by David Brosmer to cap a five-play, 47-yard drive that included a spectacular 38-yard dash by the senior running  back.

David Brosmer stole the show, wrapping up 114 yards on 10 rushes while brother Chris added 50 yards on nine carries.

Castle earned 19 first downs to Central’s five, out rushing the Bears 285 yards to 49 yards, and out passing them 175 yards to 50 yards.

The win would push the Knights’ record to 5-0 while Central would drop at 3-2 as it embarked upon a season-ending six-game losing streak.

Next up on The Road to Paradise — the Braves of Terre Haute South.

Inidana high school football sports

Available at Barnes & Noble

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thomwilder.com

Jan 30

“The Road to Paradise” outline

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.School City of Hobart

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

Jan 29

“The Road to Paradise” outline

 

Chapter 1: Friday the 13th

A funny thing happened on the way to the coliseum.

Actually, it wasn’t that funny that the bus carrying the 1981 Castle High School football team to their semi-final playoff match-up with the Carmel Greyhounds got lost on the way the stadium.

When the Castle Knights finally arrived, the 10,000-seat stadium was already packed and buzzing with anticipation. As the young team with no prior playoff experience before this season stepped off the bus, the lights never seemed brighter, the crowd never seemed bigger, the consequences of what was at stake never seemed more important. They felt the pressure of the moment and the hopes and dreams of all southwest Indiana squarely on their shoulders.Carmel Greyhound

This was more than just another game for the Knights; it was uncharted waters. The entire state was paying attention to the match-up of this unknown team from the southern tip of Indiana against the defending state champion Carmel Greyhounds, who hailed from the epicenter of the Indiana football universe.

The “experts” of such things predicted Armageddon, disaster and pestilence. And they were right.

The powerhouse Greyhounds annihilated the upstart Knights 49-13 in a game that in reality wasn’t even that close. The lingering question after the debacle wasn’t about what happened that night, but how would the program would respond?

Had the Knights reached the pinnacle of their success or would there be more to come?

Next — Chapter 2: What Have We Done?