The equipment trailer hauls all of the gear for the Olympians to all away games, the trailer is provided by Frank Anderson. The Columbus East Football team competes in the 5A State Championship game against Kokomo, Friday, November 24, 2017, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. Tim Sorrells|For The Republic
The equipment trailer hauls all of the gear for the Olympians to all away games, the trailer is provided by Frank Anderson. The Columbus East Football team competes in the 5A State Championship game against Kokomo, Friday, November 24, 2017, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. Tim Sorrells| For The Republic

COLUMBUS, Ind. — While the spotlight will be on the Columbus East football team during Friday’s state championship game against Kokomo, plenty of preparation is taking place behind the scenes.

Five students and the school’s equipment manager, assistant coach Jonathan Martin, are responsible for transporting the players’ equipment to and from their destinations. On Wednesday, they were headed to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, where the Olympians were set to practice that afternoon.

Martin, an assistant coach for 25 years and equipment manager for the past 20, teaches elementary physical education at Richards Elementary School during the day and works with the varsity wide receivers coach during afternoon practice and evening games.

“I’m just kind of the overseer and the driver,” Martin said of his equipment duties.

While the players were boarding two buses to head to Lucas Oil Stadium for Wednesday’s practice, Martin and his student volunteers were preparing about 80 bags of players’ equipment, footballs and other items in a large trailer pulled by a red pickup truck parked near the Columbus East Fieldhouse.

“There’s a lot of things behind the scenes to make the program work,” Martin said.

Read more in Thursday’s print edition of The Republic.

Author photo
Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com