FB: Lawrence Central celebrates 5A state title with ring ceremony
March 23, 2013By E. Shawn Aylsworth of Lawrence Central High School
By E. Shawn Aylsworth
LAWRENCE – The finishing touches to a 2012 Class 5A state championship came, ironically, on the opening day of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament for Lawrence Central, which received its titleist rings in a dinner and ceremony March 19 following an unblemished 15-0 dream season.
The Bears, who opened the year ranked a non-descript ninth in the Associated Press 5A rankings, sent notice of their impending perfect run with a 70-0 victory over arch-rival Lawrence North in the season-opening game at home – its fifth straight in the far-northeastside Indianapolis rivalry.
That blowout was the first of 11 in a season where only one opponent – perennial powerhouse Warren Central 21-4 in the sectional semifinal – came within single digits of the Bears. The perfect season was capped with a 39-14 romp over Fort Wayne Snider in the 5A state championship Nov. 24 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
A group of 33 seniors said their final good-byes at the ring ceremony, including wingback Isaiah Townsend (18 carries for 193 yards and two touchdowns in the state finals), fellow wingback Trey White (five catches for 140 yards vs. Snider), and Mr. Football finalist 5’9”, 160-pund quarterback Drake Christen (92 rushing yards with a TD on 15 carries and 8 of 15 passing for 228 yards and another score in the 5A title tilt).
(Click here for the video interview with the Wabash-bound Christen!)
Following the season, coach Jayson West announced he was leaving to take over the head coaching reins at Warren Central. He had been replaced by former Western Boone coach Jed Richman, whose staff, ironically, will include former Warren Central coach Steve Tutsie as defensive coordinator.
(Click here for the video interview with coach Richman!)
It was “a night of celebration and excitement,” first-year athletic director Jeff Irwin said in opening the ring ceremony in the school’s auditorium.
LC’s Bears Athletic Club raised more than $10,000 to foot the bill, and the group’s Sandy Willis – mother of 6’3”, 275-pound junior offensive lineman Kevin Willis – introduced guest speaker Gene Huey, former running backs coach for the Indianapolis Colts.
The soft-spoken former Wyoming standout – the longest-serving coach in Colts’ franchise history (1992-2010) who tutored Marshall Faulk, Edgerrin James, and Joseph Addai – spoke illustratively about what life lessons and experiences had been important to him as a younger man: dependability, accountability, perseverance and courage.
“It seems like you guys got a great support staff,” Huey said. “Congratulations on your championship.”
(Click here for Part 1 of the video interview with Gene Huey and click here for Part 2!)
A recap of LC’s 2012 championship season:
Aug. 17 Lawrence North W 70-0
Aug. 24 at North Central (Indianapolis) W 38-3
Aug. 31 Perry Meridian W 42-6
Sep. 8 at Pike W 34-23
Sep. 14 Columbus North W 42-0
Sep. 21 at Bloomington South W 42-7
Sep. 28 Southport W 47-6
Oct. 5 Franklin Central W 36-22
Oct. 12 at Bloomington North W 31-7
Oct. 19 Southport W 34-13 (sectional)
Oct. 26 at Warren Central W 21-14 (sectional)
Nov. 2 at North Central (Indianapolis) W 21-7 (sectional)
Nov. 9 Pike W 49-21 (regional)
Nov. 16 at Center Grove W 28-15 (semistate)
Nov. 24 (n)Fort Wayne Snider W 39-14 (state championship)
The 2013 schedule, courtesy of johnharrell.net:
LAWRENCE CENTRAL BEARS
Coach: Jed Richman, 0-0 in 1st year at school, 25-9 in 4th year overall
Aug. 23 at Lawrence North‡ 7:00 pm
Aug. 30 North Central (Indianapolis)‡ 7:00 pm
Sept. 6 Louisville Trinity (KY) 7:00 pm
Sept. 13 Carmel‡ 7:00 pm
Sept. 20 Center Grove‡ 7:00 pm
Sept. 27 at Ben Davis‡ 7:00 pm
Oct. 4 at Cleveland St. Ignatius (OH) 7:00 pm
Oct. 11 Warren Central‡ 7:00 pm
Oct. 18 at Pike‡ 7:00 pm