Staying on course

In every sport, consistency always proves itself a part in the formula of success. It’s both a tangible and an intangible thing that every coach wants to see on multiple levels.

It’s why tennis players take thousands of practice serves and golfers go out to the range and hit hundreds of balls with their drivers on their own.

It’s why runners put on mileage and football players go through countless noncontact drills to harden fundamentals.

It’s why hours are spent reading over game plans and watching film.

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While consistency doesn’t guarantee wins, it sure does help.

Each time the Brownstown Central football program, from the outside, appears that it could have a down year, it doesn’t.

The Braves (5-1), who now have put together 25 straight winning seasons, are consistent.

Make no mistake that last week’s Jackson Bowl win at Seymour was a major statement for the Braves. They’re reigning sectional and regional champions in their respective class and plan to repeat.

The Braves have three goals going into each regular season: A winning season, win the county and win the Mid-Southern Conference.

Two of those three goals have been accomplished, and with a little help from North Harrison, which hosts Silver Creek tonight in a matchup of unbeatens, the MSC isn’t out of the question.

I think one of the most underrated facets of Brownstown Central’s programs is their consistency in how they prepare and play and the attitude that carries along with it.

In football, it’s really hard to replicate success week in and week out. Each season has a different outlook with kids moving on with graduation, injuries, coaching changes and transfers.

Before each game, Reed May’s kids know what they’re going up against. The amount of time the coaches and kids put in is unlike the likes I’ve seen anywhere.

That consistency off of the field translates to consistency on the field, which more times than not translates to wins.

Before they take to the field, no matter the opponent, the Braves believe they’re leaving with a win.

Prior to the game against Seymour, I asked Brownstown’s Noah Reynolds what a win at the Jackson Bowl would mean to them.

His response: “It means a lot to us. Everyone thinks we’re not going to be near as good because of all the people we lost from last year. I think I speak for everyone when I say we want to prove everyone wrong.”

Despite the loss to North Harrison the week prior, the Braves wanted to let everyone know they aren’t laying down any time soon.

This week, the Braves travel to Clarksville. The Generals, who would be fortunate to get a win this season, shouldn’t pose a threat to the Braves’ season.

Brownstown is bringing all of its players and hopes to get most all of them on the field against the Generals.

I expect the Braves to wear down the Generals’ personnel, which has — by what I’ve heard — dropped down to around 25 players.

I think the lack of consistency is what may have sunk Seymour, which was gunning for three straight Jackson Bowl wins after beating a very good Bedford North Lawrence team the week prior.

Seymour’s two big scores against the Braves came off of huge plays: A 69-yard TD pass from Alan Perry to Max Otte, and a 79-yard run from Perry.

After that, the Owls weren’t consistent on either side of the ball, as the Braves bullied with the running game and built a substantial lead.

I think Owls coach Mike Kelly’s statement following the game says a lot about the game.

“Their offensive line controlled the game,” Kelly said. “In the second half, we couldn’t get our defense off the field. I’m disappointed in ourselves as coaches that we didn’t prepare better.”

Brownstown never strayed away from its offensive plan, despite trailing 13-0 after one quarter.

Look at the TDs after the first quarter: Gus Hogan ran for TDs of 22, 9 and 18 yards, and Colton Ritz took one to the house from their own 26.

It’s easy to panic and stray from the plan in a heated game, but the Braves trusted their processes — and stayed consistent — to leave with a 31-13 win.

Make no mistake that this week is huge for the Owls.

Well, the next three games are all huge.

The (presumably) lighter half of their brutal Hoosier Hills Conference schedule needs to be dominated if the Owls want to make some noise in the postseason.

Wins against Jennings County, New Albany and Madison can give the Owls the momentum they need.

By no means is their season lost. They can still finish with a winning season and come away with some signature victories.

In their victory against Bedford North Lawrence, we saw the most consistency out of Seymour this season, getting stops, making plays, not losing focus.

Unfortunately for the Owls, that consistency flamed out against the Braves.

Jennings County, which also is 2-4, is coming off of a 60-27 loss to Bedford.

The Owls need consistency, and tonight’s the time to start building it.

Jordan Morey is sports editor for The Tribune. Send comments to [email protected].