Saturday, November 21, 2015

Your provincial moment for today

I've never been one for blatant pompon waving. The Blob has always held to the philosophy of No Cheering In the Pressbox, even if it's not, technically, a pressbox, and even if cheering is allowed if  the Blob feels like it, because, well, it's my Blob.

That said, here's your two-bits, four-bits for today: Hooray for the Summit Athletic Conference.

Conventional wisdom back in August was that it was getting a significant upgrade this fall with Homestead and Carroll joining the fold, and nothing that's happened since has dispelled any of that. Two SAC schools are headed to Lucas Oil Stadium for state championship games next week, which means there'll be more Fort Wayne schools there than Indianapolis schools. And that, friends, happens, like, never.

And should unbeaten Woodlan take down Whiting tonight in the 2A semistate, there'll be three Allen County teams playing downstate next week.

So sis-boom-bah, and all that, for the Snider Panthers and Bishop Dwenger Saints, who both cruised last night against overmatched opponents. The Saints hammered South Bend St. Joe 41-7 in the 4A semistate, and Snider ball-peened Kokomo 56-20 in the 5A game. Neither result was particularly unexpected; St. Joe was 8-5 coming in, having upset No. 1 Lowell in the regional, and Kokomo, while undefeated, plays in the chronically underwhelming North Central Conference.

Now the Saints get 12-2 East Central and Snider gets the winner between Castle  and 5A behemoth New Palestine, the defending state champion and overwhelming favorite to repeat. And if you're the Blob, you're shamelessly rooting for both the locals.

You root for Dwenger because of Chris Svarczkopf, the Saints' coach and all-around stand-up guy who's watched this season from the sideline as he battles lymphoma, and to whom the Saints have dedicated their season.  And you root for Snider because of its coach, Kurt Tippmann, another standup guy who's taken Snider to the championship game twice now in the last four years.

Mostly, though, you root for them out of sheer provincialism. Two champions out of Fort Wayne would be an absolute tonic not only for high school football in these parts, but everywhere that's weary of Indianapolis' dominance of the landscape.

Indy will always get its moments, because it's Indy. But the Fort needs a moment once in awhile, too.

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