The football team captured its first sectional championship victory since 1993, defeating Fishers 42-7. The team was led by quarterback play from senior Liam Thompson, who threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns on 12-15 passing and ran for one touchdown. One of Thompson’s season-long favorite targets, senior wide receiver Richard Hamilton, caught six passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
Senior wide receiver Jordan Bingham caught three passes for 84 yards, including a 71 yard touchdown reception from Thompson.
“It’s a huge accomplishment [sectional championship]. A quarter century is a long time, and so I feel happy for the team, myself and Mr. Loggan,” Bingham said.
Bingham’s is ecstatic for his team’s success and believes Mr. Loggan deserves it.
“[Loggan] has been here almost forever and for him to experience this brings tears to my eyes,” Bingham said.
Bingham has noticed a significant shift in mindset in this year’s team compared to his previous three years as a member of the football team.
“This year’s team is way more motivated than previous teams. In previous years, everyone seemed scared to play, but us this year, we are fearless,” Bingham said.
He attributes much of the team’s improvement mainly to second year coach Kevin O’Shea. O’Shea previously coached at Central Catholic in Lafayette, where he accumulated a 114-10 record over nine seasons. O’Shea won five 1A state championships with the Knights.
“Coach O’Shea is having a big impact on this program. He made us believe in ourselves,” Bingham said.
Before O’Shea’s arrival, the Panthers had not had a winning season since the 2006 team’s 8-4 record and had a cumulative record of 1-29 in the three previous years. This season, the Panthers boast a record of 9-2 and a no. 4 state ranking. The football team’s two losses came against Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference opponents Warren Central on Aug. 31 and Carmel on Sep. 21. The team is facing off against no. 1 ranked and undefeated Warren Central on Friday in the IHSAA Regional Championship.
“We need to focus and have high energy [to defeat Warren Central]. Last game, we looked kind of dead from the start,” Bingham said.