For the first time ever, the St. Joseph High School Indians had the home field advantage Friday night.
They kicked off at the new Father Bly Field against Elkhart Central – their first time playing in their own stadium.
“I think it's more exciting for the old people and the people who have graduated the last 59 years,” said former coach Phil Teegarden. “Because, that was something they always dreamed about -- having their own field and never had it.”
The field was named after Father Bly, who spent decades serving the school.
He was honored in a pre-game ceremony in front of former players, coaches and thousands of fans.
“I think it's terrific we named the field after Father Bly,” said President of the Father Bly Foundation Dick Sullivan. “He’s touched so many lives here.”
But, the always humble Father Bly says Friday night wasn’t about him – it was all about football.
“It's a football game and I don't care if I was in a dog patch or a potato field,” Bly said. “Football is football.”
Despite the rain, the stands on both sides of the field were packed with fans and umbrellas.
They were excited to be a part of history and see the Indians begin a new tradition.
“The home crowd advantage always helps in most sports,” said St. Joe football alum Jim Pilarski. “It’s a distinct advantage and it’s a place they can call home and start to build on a record we started 49 years ago.”