By KRIS MILLS – firstname.lastname@example.org
Football season is just around the corner. Both Shelbyville and Triton Central begin their new campaigns on Aug. 23.
Last season, the Tigers finished 10-2 after a loss in the sectional final to Indianapolis Scecina. The Golden Bears were 1-9 under first-year head coach Mike Clevenger.
Here are 10 games, in no particular order, to watch this upcoming season:
Triton Central at Cascade, Aug. 23
Cascade is a new opponent for the Tigers. Last season, TC opened with Park Tudor, winning 57-0. Cascade was 5-6 last season and beat Park Tudor 44-7 in sectional play. Steve Spinks (11-21) enters his fourth season with the program.
Shelbyville at Greensburg, Aug. 23
How far has Shelbyville come since last season? We will get an answer in Greensburg during Week 1 action. Last season, the game was moved to Greensburg after the lights at Shelbyville stopped working. Can the Golden Bears find their footing against a tough rush attack from the Pirates?
Triton Central at Lutheran, Sept. 6
TC shutout Lutheran last season, 31-0, but lost to the team on the road in 2017, 19-7. The Saints, like the Tigers, usually have a nice mix of athletes, which is why this matchup, more often than not, ends up being a game worth watching. Lutheran has won 10 or more games each of the last three seasons.
Shelbyville at New Castle, Sept. 13
2019 senior wide receiver Luke Bumbalough, who will play Division I basketball at Ball State, is gone. This should make for a more even playing field for the Golden Bears, and other programs, when facing the Trojans. Last season, SHS fell 41-18 on a wet night. With the contest being at New Castle this year, it will be played on a turf field.
Triton Central at Indian Creek, Sept. 20
Indian Creek is another program with athletes spread throughout its roster. The Braves have won seven games each of the last two seasons. Last year, TC won the game 35-14. The 14 points, however, was the most given up by the Tigers through the first five weeks of the season.
Shelbyville at Greenfield-Central, Sept. 20
The Golden Bears earned their lone win over Greenfield-Central last season in Week 5, 28-27. SHS quarterback Landon Watson scored two rushing touchdowns and threw for another as the team held on despite being outscored 13-7 in the fourth quarter. The win was the first for Clevenger as Shelbyville’s head coach.
Shelbyville vs. Yorktown, Sept. 27
Yorktown was a much-improved program in 2018. The Tigers shutout Shelbyville, earning their first win over the Golden Bears since 2014. Can Shelbyville, with a year under Clevenger, regain control of their conference foe? Shelbyville, which does not have to make the long bus ride this season, should be locked in.
Triton Central vs. Scecina, Oct. 4
In recent memory, it always seems to be a battle when these two teams line up against one another. Scecina won the first game during the regular season last year, 20-0. TC had a better performance in the sectional final but could not get over the hump, falling 34-30. The Tigers will be out for revenge this season. Playing on their own field should help.
Shelbyville vs. Mt. Vernon, Oct. 11
Veteran head coach Mike Kirschner comes to town with his Marauders on Oct. 11. Mt. Vernon beat Shelbyville twice last season, including a 56-0 win in sectional play. Kirschner was a mentor to Clevenger in his early coaching days, which makes this game unique and interesting to watch. The respect among coaches is still present.
Triton Central at Beech Grove, Oct. 11
Last season, TC sophomore quarterback Erick Hebauf scored the go-ahead touchdown in the closing seconds of the game to lift the Tigers to a 23-18 win. The win snapped a three-game losing streak to the Hornets. Playing this game on the road this season will be a challenge in itself.
Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.