1993 to 2018, Sectional Champions

When the Panthers secured their first sectional championship in 25 years the crowd erupted in excitement. The Panthers defeated Fishers 42-7 in a blowout win. Even after the Panthers’ 42-32 loss against Warren on Friday night, many alumni are reminded of the 1993 semi-state team, the last time the Panthers won sectionals.

The 1993 team was undefeated at 13-0 before falling to Bloomington South in semi-state on a rain-filled night. This team was filled with superstars, with four Division I football players going on to play at Wisconsin, Ball State, Indiana and Michigan State. Although there are no Division I commits on the current team, there are a number of players with offers and on the brink of commiting.

There are many similarities between the two teams. One unavoidable comparison is the shoot-style offense. The shoot offense involves a 2-by-2 set up with a split end out wide and another slot or tight end-type player on the inside. This style has led both teams to be high scoring offenses.

This similarity in offenses has to do with the fact that both coaches, Kevin O’Shea and Al Harants, both went to Franklin College and were coached by Indiana Hall of Fame coach Stewart “Red” Faught.

Both teams successes are also attributed to a surplus of star players. The 2018 Panthers have stars on all sides of the ball. Six Panthers were elected to the Metropolitan Scholastic Conference all-conference team this year, and the 1993 team had plenty of studs as well.  Running backs David Mosley, Tony D and David Collins each rushed for 1,000 plus yards.

Many of these stars are still actively involved in football, some directly with North Central. Quarterback John Clippinger still returns for games occasionally. Doctor Rettig, the current team doctor, has a brother who was the center for the 1993 team, so ties with North Central football go back 25 years.

The 2018 Panthers were looking to go one step further than the last sectional champions and earn a state trophy, but they unfortunately fell short.

Connor Thompson

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