SCOTTSBURG, IN (WAVE) - They haven't suited up for battle on the gridiron in years, but southern Indiana high school football fans are now bracing themselves for the return of the Scottsburg High School Warriors.
At first glance, finding a group of teenagers pumping iron on a Tuesday evening at the Scottsburg High School weight room might not seem like anything extraordinary.
Turns out, however, the young men are warriors at work. The group of youngsters are now preparing for battle in a war that has been brewing long before they were even born.
"The last year we had it was in 1983," said Scottsburg High School Principal Ric Manns. "So, after 31 years we have restarted the program."
"Ten years of youth football and they've been trying for ten years to get football into the high school," said Scottsburg High School Athletic Director Al Rabe.
After years of waiting, Scottsburg Football is back.
"Last year we piloted a middle school football program and just recently," began Scott County School District 2 Superintendent Dr. Marc Slaton, "our school board decided to go ahead and expand that and offer a JV program starting with the fall of 2014."
The response has been massive.
"We had about 60-70 kids sign up to play," said Rabe.
Both students and the community quickly jumped on board, literally.
"The school didn't really have enough money to come up with the up front costs," said Manns.
"Between our community locally and a scoreboard company, we've had around $45,000 donated towards this cause," said Slaton.
The district's school board has approved a five year plan for the football team that entails developing a varsity team after the first three junior varsity seasons.
"To formulate a schedule and to get into the IHSAA football playoffs," began Rabe, "three years is about what it takes."
Getting to that point, however, falls on the shoulders of new Scottsburg High School Head Football Coach Kyle Mullins.
"It's a little bit of pressure," began Mullins, "at the same time, I look forward to the challenge."
The Charlestown native has his work cut out for him.
"We have some to-be juniors and to-be seniors that haven't played football since youth league," said Mullins.
"Oh, it's really different," said incoming Scottsburg High School Junior Josh Mihalik. "For one, the county league--we didn't do stuff like this, and then it's just, you know, being out of shape and trying to get back at it is difficult."
"It' an interesting situation: upperclassmen who haven't played in six years whereas our current freshmen played last year. So, it's a learning curve for all involved."
The learning curve will not be the only blitz the resurging team will encounter. With the Warriors sharing the middle school field for home games, space will be tight.
"Last year the home opening middle school game projected attendance was around 700," said Slaton. "It was standing room only. It was lawn chairs, it was bring whatever you can to sit on."
Prospective players like Mihalik welcomed the crowds, preferring to play before a packed house for the Warriors return to Friday night lights.
"We get to play in front of a big crowd next season," began Mihalik, "play for my school and wear the colors."
"These kids just want a chance to play for Scottsburg," said Slaton. "We would lose anywhere from three to five, maybe even some years seven kids. When you lose students, you know, you're not just losing a football player, you're losing a family."
The Warriors will play in the Mid-South conference of the Indiana High School Athletic Association. Conditioning will run Tuesdays 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays beginning at 9 a.m. through the remainder of the school year. Summer conditioning will take place Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons.
The Scottsburg High School J. V. home opener is set for Friday, August 22 against Switzerland County.
To learn more about the Scottsburg High School Warriors Football Team, click here.
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