Saturday’s Class 5A championship football game will be a chance for one Columbus East player to fulfill a six-year-old promise to his older brother.
Westin Cordier was a senior on the 2010 Columbus East team that ended its year with a loss to Whiteland in the second round of sectionals, marking his final game as an Olympian.
That season, parents Ira and Kathryn Cordier had a tradition of meeting their son at the 30-yard-line after each game. But after that game, Westin was greeted by his younger brother, Clayton, who was 12 at the time, with tears, hug and a long embrace.
“Westin apologized to him, saying he was sorry that he couldn’t win a state championship for him,” Ira Cordier said. “There was definitely a lot of emotion tied to it.”
Cordier said Clayton looked up to his old brother and said he would one day win a championship for him.
Westin Cordier, who graduated from Columbus East in 2011, will be flying in from Rexburg, Idaho, to attend the state championship game with the hopes that a promise his brother made six years ago will come true.
“He always looked up to his big brother,” Cordier said of his younger son, Clayton.
The brothers were six years apart in age and had little in common until football bonded them together, their father said.
But when Clayton got involved with the Central Middle School Chargers in the seventh grade, he received guidance from Westin, their father said.
Growing up, Westin spent time working with his younger brother on offensive and defensive drills.
And Clayton aspired to be just like his older sibling, Cordier said.
“There’s definitely a bond that was created because of football,” he said.
When Westin’s team lost six years ago, “it crushed me and it crushed my whole family,” said Clayton Cordier, now 18 and a starting defensive lineman for the Olympians.
“I want to go out there and play the best game of my life,” the senior said. “Hopefully I get to fulfill that promise and celebrate with him.”
Clayton said he is excited that his brother will be at Lucas Oil Stadium to watch the game, one that Westin said he wouldn’t miss.
“I want him to hug me and tell me that he kept that promise,” Westin said. “It’s incredible to see it go full circle.”
Ira Cordier said he knows Saturday’s game between the No. 4-ranked Olympians and No. 5-ranked Westfield Shamrocks will be one to remember regardless of the outcome.
“I promise you there will be emotion, win or lose,” Cordier said.
Interest has been so high for tickets to the Class 5A state championship football game between Columbus East and Westfield that the Columbus school ordered an additional 750 tickets — beyond the initial 1,500 — to make available for local fans to purchase in advance.
Tickets for the game, which starts at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, can be purchased at the following times:
- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday inside the main entrance of Columbus East High School, 230 S. Marr Road.
- 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday before the Franklin Central at Columbus East girls basketball game.
Cost: $15 for all students and adults; children who are not school-age are admitted free. Columbus East gets to keep $1 of each advance ticket sold.
A Columbus East fan caravan is planned for Saturday, with participants asked to arrive at the high school’s bus lot no later than 3:15 p.m. The caravan will depart from the high school at 3:30 p.m. and follow the football team bus to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The Columbus East Quarterback Club has organized an Olympian Tailgate Party at the Gate Ten Event Center, located across the street from Lucas Oil Stadium.
- Parking, with 700 spaces, opens at 10 a.m. Saturday, with a $15 parking fee for autos and $30 for a bus or recreational vehicle, payable with a credit card. Reserve parking online by visiting this address: https://squareup.com/store/GateTen
- The Gate Ten Event Center, at 343 W. McCarty St., opens at 3 p.m. It is a 7,500-square-foot indoor event space that offers the opportunity to purchase food or drinks at its bar and food court, with tables for seating and restrooms available.
The East faithful is invited to set up their own tailgating in the parking lot, or come inside the building.
Win or lose, the Columbus East football team will celebrate its 2016 football season when it returns to Columbus after Saturday night’s Class 5A championship game — about 11:30 p.m. in the main gymnasium.