Football team opens season against No. 6 Warren Central


Sam Findley

Quarterback Tyler Cherry rolls out looking for an open receiver during the team’s scrimmage at Brownsburg last Friday.

Following two back-to-back undefeated, state-title winning seasons, No. 1 Center Grove will put their 28-game win streak on the line when they face off against No. 6 Warren Central in the season-opening game.

Keeping focus on the moment and not letting outside noise be a factor is important for the Trojans this season. Senior tackle Charlie Gardner recognizes that fact.

“It’s really not any different than it was last year. We all need to be together, operate as a team, and get the guys who are just now starting for their first time feeling our support and bring them up with us,” Gardner said. “I know that we have to show up and do what we always do. It doesn’t matter what game it is; we always go for the win.”

With multiple Division 1 recruits graduating last year, the Trojans are looking to their veterans to carry the team to the same success they’ve seen over the past two seasons. 

Senior running back Drew Wheat is one of those veterans and understands what is required of him. Last season, Wheat led the team in rushing with 1003 yards across 14 games. On top of that, Wheat rushed for 13 touchdowns, posting big numbers on the scoreboard for the Trojans.

“I have to stay confident and go into every game knowing that I am the best player on the field,” Wheat said. “We all have to keep working hard, and I have to go out there and do my best.”

Center Grove faces a tough opponent in Warren Central; at the forefront of the opposition is senior receiver Joe Walker. As a junior, Walker recorded 27 receptions for a total of 565 yards, making him Warren’s number one receiving target. 

Senior defensive back Ethan Watt knows that containing Walker will be a crucial part of the game.

“We have been tightening down our coverages and locking in more and more every day, so come Friday we’ll be ready to keep Warren’s top two receivers locked down and stop them,” Watt said.

Quarterback Tayven Jackson, who threw for 1,842 yards and 21 touchdowns last season, left a large role to be filled. Junior Tyler Cherry looks to step up and take the reins for the Trojans.

“I am excited to play this year. I feel like I learned a lot from Tayven, and he was a great example of what it takes to play at the next level and what leadership looks like,” Cherry said.

Despite all the questions surrounding the Trojans, senior linebacker Matthew Neff has high expectations for the team.

“Everyone has been doubting us all summer, saying that we aren’t what we used to be and that we lost too much talent,” Neff said. “They don’t know what we’ve worked to become. We’re going to go out and shock the world.”