INDIANAPOLIS, IN—Dynasty is a word that was often associated with the Chicago Bulls of the 1990's. Prior to Michael Jordan's NBA heroics, Pat Riley copyrighted the use of the word "three-peat" while coaching the Los Angeles Lakers during their quest to win three consecutive NBA championships in the late 1980's.
While the Lakers were un-able to win three straight titles in 1989, other teams (including the Bulls) have completed trifecta and capped off the dynasty in style.
"It's a great challenge, but at the same time it is a thrill to be here to make that challenge," said Scecina head coach Ott Hurle.
Scecina is no accidental Class A finalist. The Crusaders have a stingy defense that made everyone take notice during a 17-0 shutout of Linton in the semi-state. The Miners were undefeated and had been averaging over 50 points per game heading into that contest. Despite getting shutout, Linton still is the #1 scoring team in Indiana. That kind of performance led to a major Scecina celebration at Key Stadium on the campus of the University of Indianapolis Friday.
"It was a huge crowd, biggest crowd I've seen in a long, long time. When you're able to shut a team out like that, there is reason to celebrate," added Hurle, who is in his second stint as Crusader head coach. He led the Saints to back-to-back state titles in 1990 & 91.
This will likely be a bittersweet weekend for Central Catholic head coach Kevin O'Shea who took over the Knight's program when this group of seniors were freshmen. Despite all of the programs recent success, some of the seniors have been late bloomers and simply learned the ropes from the upperclassmen on how to prepare to be champions.
"They're a special group of kids because they had some talent, but they struggled a bit in junior high, but when they got to high school they were always behind that great group that we had in '09, and then we had another group come in last year that was pretty talented, and Danny (Anthrop) is the only guy that will be a starter on all three teams that have been down here to the state finals," said O'Shea.
While this senior class can claim credit for the 44-game winning streak, Danny Antrhop is the biggest contributor throughout the three-straight perfect seasons. The Indiana Mr. Football candidate is headed to Purdue and has shined during his senior season. Anthrop is averaging 20.9 points per game, a statistic you might be more accustomed to seeing from a basketball star. Stopping the leading scorer in the state finals was the first thing Hurle mentioned to the assembled media members Monday.
"The keys to our victory is going to be containing Anthrop, and moving the ball. Their defensive line is as good as we've seen and as quick as we've seen. We're going to have to get into them and stay with them," siad Hurle. "We've got our hands full, hopefully the defense can overcome the coaching again and do a good job," added Hurle with a smile.
Both coaches have had so much success already in their careers, it will be interesting to see what Hurle has up his sleeves as he hopes to stop the Central Catholic Class A Dynasty at Lucas Oil Stadium Friday afternoon. If the Crusaders are unable to slow down the Knights, some folks in Tippecanoe County might need to call Pat Riley for permission to start printing the "three-peat" t-shirts for the Lafayette Central Catholic football community.