You go to the Friday night football game at C.W. Post Field and you see some of your old high school football teammates from Battle Creek Central. And then, maybe you see a couple of guys from a few years before, or a few years after.
And then the talk begins.
Which class had the best football team?
Who had the best season?
That’s what we are here to figure out – the All-Time No. 1 team in the E-10 era at Battle Creek Central.
We have had the E-10 rankings at the Enquirer for 15 years now. The E-10 is a weekly ranking we do on our Prep Gameday page at the Enquirer, listing the top 10 high school football teams each week, regardless of class.
To mark the ’15-year anniversary’ we are going to have special All-Time E-10 rankings throughout the football season. Each week, we will rank the top 10 football teams over the past 15 years for the city and local teams in the Enquirer coverage area.
The era we are talking about is 1997 up to last season – 2011. A small sample size – but we do this for two reasons. That’s basically how long I have been here, so I can back up these All-Time rankings. And it goes with our theme of 15 years of E-10.
This week we are tackling the teams from Battle Creek Central.
At a lot of programs, when the talk starts about who had the best season – the discussion usually ends when one person can say three simple words – Nine.. And.. O.
And that would be the case at Battle Creek Central also in the All-Time E-10 discussion for most every team – except we have two 9-0 teams in the regular season during this Bearcats era – the 2001 and 2002 clubs.
But in this case, the 2001 Bearcats squad is the pick as our No. 1 team in the BCC All-Time E-10 by a close margin.
The 2001 team went 9-0 in the regular season and finished 11-1 overall, making the deepest run a BCC team has ever had in the postseason.
And that Bearcat squad could light up the scoreboard. BCC had a 1,000-yard quarterback in Jordan Dickerson, who set the then-school record for passing yards with 1,172. And BCC had a 1,000-yard rusher in Demarko Reed and a receiver in Courtney Evans, who set the school record at the time for catches.
In 2001, BCC averaged 38.5 points per game during the regular season. The Bearcats went on to beat Holt and Howell in the playoffs before losing a tough game in the third round to Grandville, 10-7.
A few more BCC teams had a shot at the No. 1 spot in the All-Time E-10 poll.
The 2002 team also went 9-0 with many of the same players as the 2001 squad. A confident bunch, that BCC team also was a high-scoring team that averaged 34.2 points per game. The 2002 team rolled to another league title and beat Brighton in the first round of the playoffs. However, BCC lost to a Holt team it had beaten the year before in the second round, 34-8.
The 2004 Bearcat team that went 7-2 during the regular season and 8-3 overall had the best record in the era beyond those two 9-0 teams. In 2004, BCC beat a 7-2 Holt team in the first round of the playoffs and lost to a Grand Blanc team that would eventually fall in the third round of the playoffs. The Bearcats would also tie for the SMAC Central Division title.
The record might not show it, but the next best team at BCC is the 2008 squad that finished 5-5. The Bearcats were led by Larry Caper, who would go on to play running back at Michigan State University, and slipped into the playoffs based on computer points. BCC had a monster schedule that season with losses to a St. Joseph team that went undefeated team in the regular season and a Stevensville-Lakeshore squad that would finish 11-2. Plus BCC suffered a crazy 59-58 defeat to rival Kalamazoo Central.
Best of the Rest
Tough to differentiate the next group of BCC teams, with five other squads during the era all coming in at 6-4, with a loss in the first round of the playoffs. So we let the playoffs do the talking. The 2007 team came the closest to getting out of the first round, losing by just a touchdown. The 1999 team also came close to getting out of the first round with a 28-13 loss.
We have the 2006 team ranked next followed by 2005, each making the playoffs, but bowing out by nearly 20 points.
Often, during this process, it will be toughest to decide the last few teams in the All-Time E-10 and that was the case here also as No. 9 is the 2003 squad that went 5-4 and the 1997 team that went 5-4 – but both make the list with wins over city rival Lakeview.
Although it was a close vote, the readers don’t exactly agree with our All-Time E-10 Battle Creek Central rankings. The online poll has the Bearcats team of 1999 as the No. 1 squad in the rankings, followed by the 2008 team. Our No. 1 team of 2001, finished third in the fan voting.
Next up for the All-Time E-10 poll is Lakeview. Get online and vote for which Spartan squad over the E-10 era is the best of the bunch.