For the first time, Bishop Chatard will host a varsity football game.
On Friday night, the Trojans will play visiting Shortridge at Chatard’s on-campus stadium. The facility was built in 2012 as part of the school’s new athletic complex, but Chatard hasn’t hosted a varsity game due to inadequate parking, a lack of spectator seating and visiting locker rooms.
Chatard athletic director Mike Ford said the Shortridge game was originally scheduled to be played at nearby Broad Ripple. Chatard’s facility, which has bleachers only on the east side of the field, has an official capacity of only around 750.
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“We talked with Shortridge athletic director Kathy Langdon and she said that their crowds had been pretty small this year,” Ford said. “Most of the teams we play, especially rivalry games, we wouldn’t have room here to get all the fans in with just one side of seating. In this situation, it appeared that we would.”
Chatard (5-3) is one of the top programs in Class 3A while Class A Shortridge is just 2-6 and has been shut out in four games this season. The game at Chatard is likely a one-time deal; Chatard will replace Shortridge with East Central on the schedule next year, a game that figures to draw a larger crowd. Chatard plays most of its “home” games at Lawrence North, Lawrence Central or Tech.
Chatard played a preseason scrimmage games against Perry Meridian at home. Eventually, the school would like to have a typical home schedule. But that could be several years down the road, Ford said.
“There is (a plan) but I can’t say it is set in stone yet,” Ford said. “The area is saved on the west side to put in home seats and locker rooms, we just didn’t have the funds to do it (when the stadium was built three years ago). We’ve bought some homes along the baseball field and hope to expand the parking area. But we’re not talking about next year or anything.”
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First title since 1972 for Beech Grove
Beech Grove clinched a share of the Indiana Crossroads Conference championship on Friday with a 27-7 win over Triton Central.
A conference title is a long time coming for the Hornets. Beech Grove (6-2, 6-1) had last won a league title in 1972, when it shared the Central Suburban Athletic Conference crown with Lawrence Central and Warren Central.
Overall, it is Beech Grove’s sixth conference title in its 77-year football history. Monrovia (7-1, 5-1) can share the title if it defeats Scecina on Friday. Beech Grove hosts Mooresville in a nonconference game to close the regular season.