HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL, IN PREPS

Is this Center Grove team the best ever?

The blogs, fan forums and Twitter are in a frenzy over the Center Grove Trojan’s dominating 47-0 win over then No.5 ranked North Central Panthers this past Friday. There are even article headlines stating the IHSAA Class 6A title should just be handed over to the Trojans now. Some fans are making the argument that this is the best team in Indiana history. Wow! We will admit, Indiana Preps started the push for Center Grove to be the favorite at the conclusion of the 2019 season. All offseason, we’ve boldly claimed the championship is theirs to lose. In our annual preseaon Pick ‘Em, we picked the Trojans to win the 2020 Class 6A state championship.

However, we are just past the midpoint of the season. Yes, the Trojans have been as good as advertised through five weeks. Center Grove has outscored their opponents 200-26 in five wins, while shutting out MIC foes Warren Central, Carmel and North Central. Many believe the Trojans will not be tested until the final game of the regular season and have October 16 circled, when the Cathedral Fighting Irish lock horns with Center Grove. Both teams will likely be unbeaten and this rivalry always is a hard hitting game. Will either team hold back and keep their eyes on the bigger prize? Quite possibly. Either way, it is easily building as the game of the year.

Center Grove quarterback Tayven Jackson looking to complete a pass against Carmel. – photo by Lindy Scott

The argument has been made this is an off year for the usual 6A powers. Warren Central and Ben Davis have struggled early. Carmel and Avon are just above average teams that should get better as the season progresses. These are the teams that usually make the argument to be apart of the discussion as potential champions. Remember in 2016, Carmel had a 4-4 record after week 8, only to make a strong run and win six straight games to claim the IHSAA 6A title. That year the Greyhounds upset the favorite Center Grove in the championship game.

Anyone who knows this game, understands that anything can happen from now until late November. The injury bug, upsets and letdowns are all apart of this sport. The Trojans should be the heavy favorite moving forward. However, there are a few teams worth mentioning. The Brownsburg Bulldogs will be a test for any team in the South bracket of the tournament. The knock on the Bulldogs recently, has been their disappointing losses in the post-season. With a tough sectional that includes Avon, Carmel and Pike, the Bulldogs will need to play at their best to make it out. As history tells us, never count out Carmel. If the Trojans do make it to Lucas Oil Stadium, their opponent will not be a laydown easy win either. With Carmel out of the picture, the northside of the bracket will likely have a new face. Teams that are standing out early are the Merrillville Pirates, Elkhart Lions and the Lafayette Jefferson Bronchos. Neither of these have a blemish on their record so far and all have been pretty impressive in the early going. The Pirates and Lions probably have the more talented roster to compete with the likes of the Trojans or Bulldogs. Lafayette Jeff is well coached and their roster is nothing to slight at.

We’re a long ways away from crowning any teams. Even more from dubbing or comparing teams to the likes of the 2006 Warren Central team or the 1991 and the 2001 Ben Davis team. Indeed, there’s plenty of football left. We admit the 2020 Center Grove Trojans have been very fun to watch. At this point, we still believe the blue ring is theirs to lose.

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