The Warren Central High School football team has had a spirited quarterback competition in preseason practice . . . and Warriors interim coach Steve Tutsie couldn’t be happier.
Senior Anthony Cooper and junior Jeff George Jr., a Brebeuf Jesuit transfer, have family connections to the position. George’s father is the former NFL quarterback of the same name and Cooper’s brother, Dexter Taylor, was the 2005 Indianapolis Star Indiana Mr. Football.
Tutsie said both quarterbacks will play when the Class 5A No. 2 Warriors face Merrillville in the season opener at about 8:45 p.m. Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“You get in the fourth quarter and you play the hot hand,” Tutsie said.
As a former defensive coordinator, Tutsie knows two quarterbacks can give opposing defenses headaches. Tutsie said George and Cooper are handling the competition professionally.
“I saw Jeff George Sr. throw and obviously I don’t know if anybody can throw like that,” Tutsie said. “But his son runs better than his dad did, I promise you that. To say Jeff is our thrower and Anthony is our runner is ridiculous because they’re both good at that.”
Avon seeks to end skid
Avon, ranked No. 9 in 5A, has lost six straight season openers to 5A No. 7 Hamilton Southeastern. However, the host Orioles might have an edge because of HSE’s running back woes.
Royals running back Jamitreus Crockham tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee earlier this month. Senior running back Ryan Ripp is expected to miss the game, too. HSE coach Scott May didn’t disclose Ripp’s injury but said there is just a small chance he will be cleared to play Friday. Ripp and Crockham each rushed for more than 1,00 yards last season. Junior Hunter Hardee will get more carries if Ripp can’t play.
No matter who is injured, Avon coach Mark Bless said he knows the Royals will be sound and well-coached as always.
“We’ve been preaching to our players that it will be a physical game,” said Bless, in his third year as Orioles coach. “We know this game is important in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference race, and it’s been six years since we’ve had the upper hand after Game 1. So I think our kids know how important the game is, and they’re practicing like it.”
Chatard stadium debut
Bishop Chatard will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the stadium of its new $2.5 million athletic complex at 6:45 p.m. Saturday between the junior varsity and varsity girls soccer games.
Athletic director Mike Ford said the stands hold about 720 fans so there is not enough room for parking and stands to host varsity football games. He said the school would like to acquire surrounding properties and expand someday.
Ford said the school’s football team will practice in the stadium and soccer, lacrosse and track events will be held there. The campaign exceeded expectations by $500,000, raising more than $5 million in funds.
Brownsburg’s football game at McCutcheon has been moved from Friday to noon Saturday. McCutcheon athletic director Ryan Walden said the game was moved to avoid a conflict with Friday’s funeral of Tammie Beeker, the wife of McCutcheon Principal John Beeker and mother of senior player Jack. She died Sunday. . . . Pendleton Heights’ game at Muncie Central starts at 7 p.m. Friday.