When the Columbus East and Columbus North football teams open their seasons Friday night, they will be hungry for a win.

But nearly 100 players and coaches won’t be hungry for food.

East’s Quarterback Club and North’s Gridiron Club will be providing meals for tonight’s team dinners.

The players will eat courtesy of their respective booster clubs again after school Friday.

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And since both teams are on the road this week — East at Bloomington North and Columbus North at Franklin — the clubs will feed them snacks following the games.

“What our parent group has established several years before has been a real good thing for us,” said Margie Dasovich, parent coordinator for Columbus North’s Gridiron Club. “The coaches do their thing on the field and in the locker room and the training room, and the parents have such a good foundation built on the activities that we do that we really haven’t changed anything. We’re just carrying on the tradition that’s been established.”

At East, parents help prepare and serve pasta dinners for the team on Thursday evenings. On Fridays before away games, they provide submarine sandwiches, chips and cookie.

“It’s kind of a tradition for a lot of the boys,” said Lisa McCarter, president of the East’s Quarterback Club. “They always try to eat the same thing before every game.”

The Quarterback Club’s major fundraisers were a car wash in May and a golf outing in June at Timbergate Golf Course in Edinburgh. Most of the money generated went to purchase new uniforms for the team.

The Gridiron Club also conducts a car wash each year, and it put on a Golf for the Gridiron event in July at Harrison Lake Country Club in Columbus.

“We do all kinds of fundraising that will allow us to primarily feed the guys,” Dasovich said.

The Quarterback Club decorates the field and the surrounding fence before home games. Both organizations are big on tailgating before the games.

“Once the season starts, decorating and food and tailgaiting is mainly what we do,” McCarter said. “We’re hoping to get some of the North families to tailgate with us this year. North and East is a pretty unique rivalry in that we root for each other. We know everybody at North.”

That includes Dasovich.

McCarter and Dasovich have been friends since before their sons — North linebacker Sean Dasovich and East quarterback K.J. McCarter, both seniors this season — were born.

Next Friday, the Olympians and Bull Dogs will square off against each other in the annual crosstown rivalry, this year hosted by Columbus East.

“The North-East game is really the only game where we root against each other,” Dasovich said. “Every other day of the week, we wish each other success and to represent Columbus well. We pray for no injuries.”

Dasovich said the Gridiron Club works with the North cheerleaders to try to get fun things going for the students.

“It’s a great family,” Dasovich said. “It’s not just the parents, but the grandparents and aunts and uncles that want to support the kids who work so hard every day. We’re having fun supporting them.”

While the Bull Dogs are coming off a 5-6 season, the Olympians went 13-1 and came within one play of making it to the Class 4A state finals for the second consecutive year. East, which is now in 5A, won a state title in 2013.

“We’re planning to follow the boys all the way to the state championship, of course,” McCarter said.

If you go

Columbus East and Columbus North will both open their seasons on Friday. East will play at Bloomington North, and Columbus North will visit Franklin. Both games start at 7 p.m.

Come tailgate with parent boosters

Columbus East’s Quarterback Club and Columbus North’s Gridiron Club don’t have official memberships. Leaders of both organizations said anyone is welcome to tailgate with the parent groups.

Parents and fans can keep up with activities of the Quarterback Club and Gridiorn Club via their Facebook pages.

Going the Extra Yard

Get up to speed on the 2015 high school football season by paging through “Going the Extra Yard,” a 32-page preview on Columbus East and Columbus North seasons that appears inside today’s Republic. Inside the section, you will find, for starters:

  • Cover story on senior ends Drew Schoeberl of North and Rhett Myers of East.
  • Feature stories on East quarterback K.J. McCarter and North running back Mitchell Burton, as well as two of the state’s top linebackers in East’s Sam Dwenger and North’s Brice McDaniels.
  • Use of two-way players this year.
  • Team previews, schedules, rosters and much more.
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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.