September 15, 2011
Big Rivals Night at Lucas Oil Stadium Friday, September 16
Avon versus Brownsburg, 5:45 p.m.
East Central versus Batesville 8:30 p.m.
Avon versus Brownsburg: An Indianapolis Star headline once said it best: Avon vs. Brownsburg football equals rivalry. These intense Hoosier Crossroads Conference rivals (a mere 7.7 miles apart) battle it out on the field not just for bragging rights; a conference championship potentially hangs in the balance whenever they meet. Even with the likes of perennial football power Ben Davis and newcomer Pike, the Avon Orioles and the Brownsburg Bulldogs have taken the Sectional 6 title back to Hendricks County the past two seasons.
Since 1994, Avon holds a 12-9 advantage over Brownsburg in their slugfests. The two schools have alternated regular season wins dating back to 2000. In post-season play, the Orioles and the Bulldogs are an even 2-2.
This year the Orioles (9-4 in 2010) under second-year Head Coach Mark Bless will vie against the Bulldogs (7-4 last season) under sixth-year Head Coach Brett Comer. Bless called the rivalry electrifying while Comer told the Hendricks County Flyer, There is some mutual respect there
East Central versus Batesville: This one’s a grudge match. The last time the East Central Trojans met the Batesville Bulldogs (Sept. 18, 2009), the Bulldogs victory moved the Trojans record to 49-3 for the last 52 Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference games. Those three losses were all to Batesville.
Batesville always has been the thorn in our side in the conference; said former EC head coach Don Stonefield, now athletics director at the 1973 consolidation of the former North Dearborn and Sunman high schools.
The EC/Batesville rivalry is one of the best in EIAC football, according to the Dearborn County Register.
East Central, the largest 4A school in the EIAC, has earned 15 sectional championships, five regional titles, two semi-states and one state crown, with 19 conference championships. Tim Belmer is in his fourth year as head coach of the Trojans. Batesville, which competes in Class 3A, has earned eight sectional titles, including six straight (2001-06). Eric Heppner is in his sixteenth year as head coach for the Bulldogs.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets: $11 at the schools, through Ticketmaster and at the door. Children five and under are free. Both the Avon and Brownsburg Chambers of Commerce are selling $5 tickets for the VIP Experience Tour, which includes a visit to the press box, a luxury suite, a tour of the field level of Lucas Oil Stadium, and other areas not generally accessible to the public.