As if Friday night’s Columbus East at Columbus North football game needed any more added significance, it will be part of the Great American Rivalry Series presented by the United States Marines.
The Great American Rivalry Series features 100 games in 40 states. This is the second year in a row the East-North game has been selected.
The series has a Hall of Fame, and both schools have nominated players. The Bull Dogs nominated Kyle Kamman, who quarterbacked them to wins against the Olympians in 2010 and 2011. East nominated Steven O’Neal, who helped it to wins from 2013-15.
In addition, scholar-athletes from each school will be announced prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff. North’s David Redding and East’s Brayden Burbrink are the honorees.
Tickets for Friday’s game are on sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Friday in the North athletics office. Tickets are $5 and also will be available at the game. Also, a special T-shirt with the slogan “Paint The Town Blue” will be available for $5 at North.
At East, tickets will be on sale from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today and Friday. For $15, fans can have a ticket to the game, a “Torch the Dogs” t-shirt and a $5 gift card to Subway.
The football game won’t be the only East vs. North battles this weekend. The school’s varsity and JV boys and girls soccer teams will square off in a quadrupleheader Saturday at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex.
The JV girls game will begin at 2 p.m., followed by the JV boys at 4 p.m. The varsity girls will play at 6 p.m., and the varsity boys will follow at around 8 p.m.
Although the Wigh Complex is the home field for both East and North, the Bull Dogs will be the hosts for Saturday’s games. That means it will be a big weekend for the North athletics department.
“There’s definitely a lot of planning an logistics, but you have to take into consideration, it takes a lot of help to pull off events of this magnitude,” North athletics director Jeff Hester said.
Dogs look to defend titles
The downside to running the Conference Indiana cross-country meet in Terre Haute is that Columbus North will need to leave at 5 a.m. Saturday to get to the course in plenty of time to warm up.
On the plus side, however, the Bull Dogs will have a chance to get some valuable experience running on the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course that hosts the state finals in late October.
“It will be OK,” North coach Rick Weinheimer said. “That’s just how the schedule plays out. It’s a great course to run on, and we’re looking forward to it.”
The Bull Dogs didn’t have any trouble last season. Both the boys and girls ran to conference titles.
This year, Columbus North is the highest-ranked team in both races. The fifth-ranked girls could face challenges from No. 13 Bloomington North, No. 16 Bloomington South and No. 24 Terre Haute North. The seventh-ranked Bull Dog boys figure to battle No. 15 Terre Haute South, No. 20 Bloomington North and No. 25 Bloomington South.
Columbus North senior Rachel Brougher is the defending champion in the girls race. Bloomington North’s Grace Williams, who also returns, avenged that loss to Brougher with a victory in the Brown County Semistate.
“I’m just going to run my own race,” Brougher said. “I know there will be a stiff competitor there, so my time will be faster. I know that. I’m just excited to race against some really fast girls in our conference, and our team is going to get that experience that we need.”
East to face big challenge
The girls golf season is only 3 1/2 weeks old, and Columbus East already has had several matches washed out by rain.
Because of that, a young and inexperienced Olympians team hasn’t had a lot of practice going into Saturday’s Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament. Floyd Central will host the event beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday at Valley View.
“We haven’t played 18, and we haven’t seen the golf course, so it will be a challenge,” East coach Troy Buntin said. “The golf season is all about finding a rhythm and consistency, and we haven’t had an opportunity to find that yet. Hopefully, we’ll go in and play well.”
Memorial tourney planned
The Inaugural Ray Amlung Memorial Golf Outing/Scholarship Fund will be Monday afternoon at Otter Creek.
An annual schloarship is being started through the Heritage Fund to honor Amlung, who died of cancer last year. His three kids played soccer for Columbus East and Columbus North.
Golf matches rescheduled
The Columbus East at Seymour girls golf match, which originally was scheduled for Wednesday, has been moved to Monday at Shadowood.
Jennings County’s girls golf match at Madison, which was rained out Aug. 1, has been rescheduled for today at Sunrise Golf Course.