Jackson County volleyball fans showed up in force at Jasper High School in support for Trinity Lutheran and Brownstown Central.
Fans clad in blue and yellow as well as red and black put aside their team colors to root on their county neighbors to a state championship berth.
Their efforts were rewarded as both the Cougars and Braves are Muncie bound after sweeping their opponents in a dominant display of Jackson County volleyball.
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Talks of fans from both schools either getting to Jasper early or staying late had been in the works ever since the IHSAA unveiled the semistate pairings two weeks ago.
Once doors were opened on Saturday, it didn’t take long for the Brownstown Central and Trinity Lutheran sides of the stands to fill up. With more than a half and hour to spare, fans were in their seats and ready to cheer on their neighbors.
Their presence dwarfed the opposing sides of Bloomfield and Evansville Memorial, who still had strong showings of support, but were drowned out by the cheers of the Cougar and Brave faithful.
But Saturday’s match extended beyond just the fact that both schools hail from Jackson County.
Many players from both teams play club volleyball with each other during the offseason and have formed fast friendships over the years.
Despite being on different teams, the two clubs came together to support — and later celebrate — each other.
This was especially evident after the Braves rushed onto the court to embrace the Cougar players, and again when the Trinity players flashed No. 1 fingers with the BC players during the trophy presentation.
It also extends to the coaches as both Trinity Faith Wilder-Newland and Brownstown’s Jennifer Shade have coached against, and with, each other both at the high school and club levels several times.
This Saturday, Jackson County fans will get the chance to pack Worthen Arena at Ball State Unviersity with the hopes their teams coming back home with, hopefully, not just one, but two state championship trophies.
Trinity Lutheran will battle Cowan at 11 a.m. with Brownstown Central to follow at 3 p.m.