PUSHING IT TO THE LIMIT: Brownstown football hosts annual Superstars Night



By Reed May’s measurements, the 2018 Brownstown Central High School football team is the strongest group of young men he’s coached in 26 years.

The Braves’ program held its annual Superstars Night on Friday, with the varsity maxing out in the weight room and testing their speed and agility in the auxiliary gym.

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The high school team did the bench press, parallel squat and power clean before doing the backward 30-yard dash, 40-yard dash and T-test.

Due to thunderstorms, the middle school and 56ers scrimmages, as well as the punt, pass and kick competition, did not reach completion. The blood drive did go on as scheduled.

Junior Braeden Walker was the overall superstars champion while seniors Caleb Bollinger and Robbie Branaman finished second and third.

The senior pride S.T.E.P.P. team of Luke Shelton, Grant Stuckwisch, Justin Brewer, Jake Cope, Dustin Justice, Bruce Spicer, Jalen Tiemeyer, Layden Canary and Justin Howard emerged victorious over their peers in the team portion of the competition.

The Braves knew they had a strong team before Friday night’s lifting.

May said that going into the lifting competition, they had 31 athletes in the 700-pound club and 19 who had accomplished the 225 clean.

“It is one of the strongest teams we have ever had,” he said. “We kind of base it on how many guys we have in the 700-pound power club, which is bench, squat and clean added together, and how many 225 cleaners we have. We add that total up. So, based on those numbers, it could be the strongest team we’ve ever had.

“We haven’t changed anything. Some kids go through four years of weightlifting and get a lot stronger and some don’t. Our numbers are also high.”

While the team has the physical capabilities, they’re still working on the mental part of the game.

“Now, mentally, we haven’t been real sharp sometimes this summer,” May said. “I told the kids (on Thursday) at our organizational meeting that we are strong, but if you don’t know what you’re doing it doesn’t make a difference. We need to get better at knowing our assignments offensively and defensively. If we do that, we have a chance at being a decent team.”

Braves senior Seth Borden said the team is improving as the summer comes to a close and the season approaches.

“This team is a lot stronger than most, and I think we’ve improved since the beginning,” he said. “Throughout the summer, we’ve grinded to get to this point, but we still have room for improvement.”

The numbers in the weight room aren’t the only thing growing at BCHS.

As of Friday night, the Braves, who finished 8-2 last fall, have 72 players, including 27 freshman, in the high school program — the most May has ever had at once.

“We’ve never had over 70. I’m not sure how many times we’ve had over 60 kids,” May said. “Our numbers are outstanding right now. We will probably have a few quit, but to have 72 right now is unbelievable. We are very fortunate to have that many. You like to have over 60, with 15 in each class. We’ve had some years when we’ve had that many, but my first year we had between 35 and 40 kids. We will have a full C-team this season.”

While the younger players didn’t get a full night of activity, they were able to watch the high schoolers work.

Braves senior Matthew Bell said it’s important to be a good role model for the up-and-comers.

“It’s important because it shows them how much you have to work,” Bell said. “You have to work hard if you’re going to be a high school football player. If those kids have a goal to be something in the future, it’s good to come and watch how hard you have to work to have success.”

After the competition, the community came together.

All of the teams, from 56ers up to varsity, and the cheerleaders, introduced themselves to the crowd, and said the names of their parents, in the main gym before awards were given out for the tests of strength and speed.

Superstars Night is typically held at Blevins Memorial Stadium, but due to the construction of the turf field and 8-lane track they used the practice field and aux gym on top of the weights facility.

The original date of completion was July 30, but now they’re looking at August 10. That Aug. 10 date has rain dates added in.

May said the Aug. 10 scrimmage against Jennings County might need to be moved to the JCHS campus, and that the track and parking lot will be completed after the field is done.

May said that the project is currently behind, but should be done before the junior varsity season-opener against Corydon Central on Aug. 20. Varsity will play its first game on Aug. 17 at Corydon. The original date of completion was July 30.

The Braves will be off this week for the Jackson County 4-H Fair, and will return to practicing on July 30. The red/black intrasquad will be held on Aug. 3 at the BCHS practice field.

“We still have quite a ways to go, but this is by far the strongest team we’ve had,” Braves senior Caleb Bollinger said. “We have a lot of potential. We have some good kids coming back. It should be an interesting year. We should have some success.”

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