Back when the football stadium in Indy was known as the Hoosier Dome, the Bishop Chatard Trojans won the inaugural high school championship. The year was 1984. It was my junior year.
The last 23 years brought about a name change to the dome, a class change for Chatard from 2A to 3A, and several inches to my waistline. But the glory of Chatard football remains.
The Trojan football team now shares the distinction with only one other team as having the most state championships--NINE!!!
I witnessed the first two of those during my sophmore and junior years at Chatard. Though I didn't play high school football, I was a proud member of the squad's 12th man.
The 1984 game was most memorable for its location, the sparkling new gem on the Indianapolis skyline, the $82 million Hoosier Dome. With memories of that game on my mind, I returned to the dome for this year's championship game. I wasn't disappointed. Save for a late fumble, the Trojans would have shut out South Bend's St. Joseph. It was total domination from the first whistle.
I had to be there to witness the last high school football championship to be played in the famed dome. Next year, retractable-roofed Lucas Oil Stadium becomes the shining new gem on Indy's skyline and the dome will be razed. The memories, however, will live on. I'm just thankful that Chatard was able to begin a legacy there in 1984 that lives on today.
Congrats to the Trojans, state champions for the ninth time, an Indiana High School Athletic Association record!
Photo credit: Joe Vitti, The Indianapolis Star, 2007