I think it’s pretty clear that the NIC is the strongest football conference in Indiana right now.
Penn, South Bend Washington and South Bend St. Joe will ALL play for state titles this Saturday – each program with their own unique story to celebrate.
Penn has a history of success. But after back-to-back losses in the sectional finals the last two years, I'm happy that this senior class is experiencing a magical run. The Kingsmen are undefeated, and should be favored Saturday.
Four years ago, South Bend Washington was 0-10. Kudos to Antwon Jones for coming in and making an immediate impact, and transforming what had been the worst team in the city into one of the best in the state.
And we jokingly said last week that St. Joe coach Ben Downey deserves a raise. It's no joke. Under Downey, St. Joe is 10-1 in the playoffs over the past two years, and they're going back to the state finals with a chance to finish what they started a year ago.
ONE COMMUNITY. Three potential state champs.
And think about this:
If St. Joe and Washington are good enough to be state champs, what does that say about Marian? The Knights beat them BOTH this year!
I can't remember one team beating MULTIPLE state champs in a single season ever before in this state.
Like I said, right now, the NIC is king.
I hope local football fans flock down to Indy this weekend and cram that stadium. I hope the Penn and Washington fans arrive early to root for St. Joe. And that the St. Joe fans stick around to pull for Washington and Penn.
This community could take over Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday.
Win or lose, it's going to be a very special day.