Brownstown football itching to play


The football season won’t be real for Brownstown Central until the ball is in the air on the opening kickoff Friday night.

Until that moment when the clock begins to tick, they know anything can happen to get in the way of the game.

Their almost-opener at Corydon Central last Friday went down due to the coronavirus when the team bus was just 20 miles from its destination. Instead of starting the season, the Braves turned around and drove home with empty feelings, among others.

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“I was pretty mad,” said junior lineman Dustyn Kocsis.

Which was basically how another lineman, Treyton Ream, felt, too.

“Anger, very mad,” is how Ream described his thoughts when the late cancellation was announced.

The decision came from the Harrison County Health Department because of a positive COVID-19 test at Corydon.

The Braves returned home and practiced Saturday morning and have been practicing in the heat all week since with their eye on Charlestown, the foe for the scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff at Blevins Memorial Stadium.

Charlestown played last week and fell 40-6 to Silver Creek. Charlestown ended Brownstown’s season last year, 7-6 in the sectional. Opening versus the Pirates is meaningful, said Brownstown quarterback Kiernan Tiemeyer.

“It means a lot,” he said. “They beat us last year.”

After being short-circuited so close to the field last week, the Braves can’t be blamed for a fingers-crossed approach this week.

“I was shocked,” Tiemeyer said. “We want to get out there and play.”

Coach Reed May, in his 28th season with one of the best winning percentages in Indiana history, recalled one season when a Brownstown team had a game called off because of a flood. There is nothing to be done to make up for the lost contest.

“You go on to the next game,” May said.

The pandemic has been part of daily life in the United States since March. High schools shut down and turned to eLearning in the spring, and there were no Indiana high school sports conducted during that season.

“It’s something we’re mentally prepared for,” May said of this recent jolt. “Last spring was hard on those kids (especially seniors who lost out on sports participation). One day at a time. It’s just the way it is. We want to prevent our guys from getting it. They were disappointed.”

Football has been part of the lives of Ream, Tiemeyer and Kocsis since they took up flag football in first or second grade. Since Kocsis is now 6 feet tall and weighs 265 pounds and Ream is 6-1 and weighs 290, one might say they grew into the game.

When asked what he likes so much about the sport, Ream smiled and said, “It gives us a reason to hit somebody.”

The Braves have sweated out conditioning, drills and practices since early July and do not walk off the field without dropping a few pounds.

“Football is a hard sport,” Tiemeyer said. “Working all week makes Friday so much better.”

Is that effort worth it? “Definitely,” he said.

Game day is different than all other days. Tiemeyer said the most fun part of those days is winning, “I hope.”

But as much as the players look forward to the event, they do feel nerves leading up to the start, Tiemeyer said.

One reason game day is different, Ream said, is because the players wear their game jerseys to school. But that’s just a small part of it.

When the countdown really starts, an hour to go, minutes to go, game time, Ream said his mind narrows its focus.

“It’s all quiet,” he said. “You just zone in.”

Stifle those nerves, Kocsis said, and “Let’s go play.”

Presumably, on time without interruption this time around.

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