Jonah Wichman has been around the Columbus East football program for so long that coach Bob Gaddis sometimes forgets that he’s only a sophomore.
The East coach is thrilled with that because it means he’ll have the youngest of four Wichman brothers for another two years. All four have played football and baseball for the Olympians.
“They’ve played a lot of snaps for us,” Gaddis said. “It’s been a great family run for them. They’ve just always been around.”
Oldest brother B.T. Wichman, who graduated in 2013, played mostly safety for East. He now plays baseball at University of Southern Indiana after stints at Murray State and Gulf Coast State.
Christian, who was a year younger, was a linebacker and saw spot duty at running back for the Olympians. He played a year of football at Thomas More and a year of baseball at West Georgia and is now a student at Ivy Tech.
Noah, who graduated last year, was a cornerback and now plays football at Taylor.
“(Jonah) kind of reminds me of B.T. the way he moves and plays, but he has a little bit of all of them in him,” Gaddis said. “They were all a little bit different, but a little bit the same. They’re all fun-loving kids and always have a smile on their face. They come to practice to compete everyday and are good athletes.”
Jonah Wichman agreed with Gaddis that his game closest resembles that of his oldest brother.
“I think I’m most like B.T. right now,” Wichman said. “He was probably a little more athletic than I am right now, but we’re similar.”
This season, Jonah Wichman has two of the three interceptions for East, which is 6-1 and ranked No. 4 in Class 5A heading into Saturday’s matchup with Jeffersonville at Lucas Oil Stadium. He picked off a pass early in the game in the Olympians’ lone loss at Columbus North.
Friday, Wichman intercepted a Madison pass on the final play of the first half and returned it 68 yards before being knocked out of bounds.
“We’re really happy with him,” Gaddis said. “It’s not easy to play corner because you’re out there by yourself. We had hoped that he could step in and play that position, and he’s done a great job with it.”
In the offseason, Wichman took part in the Olympian Speed School and lifted weights after school. He had his sights on a starting spot on either at cornerback or wide receiver.
After playing freshman football last year, Wichman made the jump to varsity starter.
“Definitely the size and speed and just the atmosphere is a lot different,” Wichman said. “You have to be on guard at all times. Our DBs have been working really hard in practice, and we do our best to get better every day.”
Jonah Wichman said he has been to almost every East football game since B.T. was a freshman in 2009. He used to imagine someday suiting up himself and being out on the field with the rest of the Olympians.
Before the season began, Jonah Wichman said he received some sound advice from his brothers.
“I got a text from all my brothers, and they just told me to stay on top of practice and don’t do anything stupid outside of football or in the classroom,” Wichman said. “They’ve always been good in the classroom and have conducted themselves in a respectful manner on the field.”
Name: Jonah Wichman
School: Columbus East
Sports: Football, baseball
Favorite sport: Football
Other activities: 4-H in Jackson County