NIC East-West division expected to be tightly contested again in 2022

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 6:54 PM EDT
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(WNDU) - High school football in Indiana starts on Friday night!

Last year, the NIC East-West division had a tie for first and for third. The tightly contested division is expected to continue that trend in 2022.

The defending champion Penn Kingsmen have had their share of success under Cory Yeoman, who is entering his 20th season as head coach. This year’s team is hoping their off-the-field connection helps that take another step towards a state title.

“In this offseason, we all got together and said that if we want to make a change this year, we’re going to have to be a little closer” says Denton Cline, senior defensive lineman. “We’re going to have to start getting more in sync with each other.”

“It’s easy to guide the ship when the seas are calm, Yeoman says. “But when they’re rough, that’s what’s going to make you who you are, and that’s going to show your character. We’re excited to see how these guys will respond.”

Marian, who finished just behind Penn, will have to replace 16 seniors from last year’s team. But that doesn’t mean anyone should expect a down year from the Knights.

“Every year, every school says Marian’s not going to be the same because we lose a lot of seniors every year,” says Mikey Fuller, senior lineman. “We’re the same Marian. We’re still Marian, so they still got to come see us.”

“They’re hungry,” says Marian Head Coach Mike Davidson. “They want to make a name for themselves as part of this program, and the only way they can do that is go out on and show it on Friday night.”

Their Holy War counterpart, Saint Joseph, is hoping the return of Head Coach Ben Downey will return them to a place of contention.

“I like this team,” Downey says. “They’re feisty. They’re athletic. But we definitely have some habits that we have to correct. And when they start doing the little things right and we can really tap into that athleticism and feistiness, I think we’ll be in good shape.”

But Downey is not the only new head coach in the division. Both Romison Saint-Louis at Elkhart and Frank Karczewski at Adams are hoping to provide a lift to their programs.

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