October 8, 2021



Ben Davis High School Volume 87

1200 N. Girls School Rd. Issue 2

Indianapolis, IN 46214 October 8, 2021

Covering Wayne Township since 1933




2 Spotlight Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN October 8, 2021

‘Larger than life’

Head coach, players reflect on famous season 30 years later

By Lexie Bordenkecher


On November 30, 1991,

the Ben Davis Giants

became state champions

for the fourth time

in five years.

But something was different

that year -- the Giants were

named ESPN National High

School Football Champions.

Dick Dullaghan, a Cathedral

High School graduate and Butler

University alumnus, coached

at Bishop Chatard High School,

Carmel High School, and even

earned a spot as the wide receiver

coach at Purdue University from

1980-1982. In 1984, he took the

head coaching position at BD,

and stayed through the 2003 season.

He led the Giants to seven

state titles in his 20 seasons at

BD. After winning back-to-back

state titles in 1990 and 1991, the

Giants had already proved their


Coach Dullaghan claimed,

“We had all these guys coming

back who had won state as juniors,

and they were all just really

good players.”

In the 1991 season, the Giants

won every game by an average

of over 37 points. They finished

with a record of 14-0.

Quarterback and senior leader

Chris Ings has fond memories of

that season, and said, “It wasn’t

just about winning a state championship

again, it was about going


According to Ben Davis radio

teacher and 1993 graduate, Jon

Easter, “This group of Giants set

a record for most points scored

in the history of Ben Davis Football

(a record that was passed by

the 2017 team) and still holds the

school record for total margin of

victory (526 points).”

The team dominated everyone

they played, with the closest

game being a 24 point victory

over Penn in the state championship


“It was just a really good team,

they gelled, they worked together,

they played hard. And

they were easy to coach,” said

Dullaghan, now retired and living

in Florida. He also remembered

specific players who made

big impacts on their team including,

Ings, Chris Stevens, Larry

Langlois, Keith Walton, Steven

Holman, Charles Alexander, and

many more.

In the preseason, the Giants

were ranked in the top 20 in

the nation. Though they moved

up throughout the season, they

hadn’t hit their peak until the

state championship.

“There were other states that

had schools that were ranked

higher than we were, but to be

honest, they kept getting beat,”

Dullaghan remarked.

As the team approached the

Holiday break, all of the teams

across the country that had

been ranked higher than Ben

Davis, had lost. ESPN notified

Coach Dullaghan that Ben Davis

had been named National High

School Football Champions.

A ceremony was held in the

Ben Davis gym, officially crowning

the Giants national champions.

ESPN came to the school and

filmed a show, presenting the

trophy to the team.

“The gym was packed,” Ings

recalls, “We got to parade in.”

Ings also remembers the immense

support in the community

that year.

Dullaghan went on to coach

at Ben Davis for 12 more seasons

after that championship year. He

led the Giants to five more state

championship games, winning

Pages from the 1992 Keyhole recognizing the 1991 National

Champion Giants

three of them.

Matt Moore, a 1993 graduate

and guard/defensive end, said,

“You knew it was a good Friday

night when Coach D started

singing The Crazy Song.”

Many good memories came

out of those years, for both

Dullaghan and the players. The

1991 football season is legendary.

They did what had never been

done before, and hasn’t been

done since. Perhaps one day, the

Ben Davis community will get

the opportunity to celebrate a

national championship again, but

for now we celebrate the legacy

that was established 30 years ago.

Is the 1991 Ben Davis football team the best in state history?

Record: 14-0

Points scored 663 (47.4 per game)

Points allowed: 125 (8.9 per game)

Only Indiana high school team to be named National Champion

Two Indiana All-Stars in Steve Holman and Chris Ings

October 8, 2021 Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN Spotlight


“In the Ben Davis

little league

everything was

competitive. everyone

had an equal

chance of winning

and it paved the

perfect path for

young ones in this

program to fall in

love with Ben Davis


- Chris Evans, 2016 BD

grad now playing with

the Cincinnati Bengals



BD football in good hands

Photos by Andrew Evans
















Coaching records

Bert “Red” Haviland 1937-1942 15-29-4

Leo Lentz 1943 0-7-0

Chuck Stuckey 1944 1-7-0

Ralph Crock 1945-1948 7-23-2

Lou Parnell 1949-1955 31-26-1

John Masariu 1956-1958 11-17-0

Woody Baker 1959-1960 4-14-1

Trent Gipson 1961-1962 2-18-0

Bill McClain 1963-1969 19-48-3

Bob Britt 1970-1972 6-23-1

Bob Otolski 1973 0-0-0

Bob Wilbur 1973-1983 59-53-0

Dick Dullaghan 1984-2003 213-42-0

Tom Allen 2004-2006 25-12-0

Mike Kirschner 2007-2017 95-36-0

Jason Simmons 2018 20-23-0

1937-Present 508-378-12

National Champions


State Champions

1988, 1990, 1991, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2014, 2017

All-Time Series Records

Warren Central 36-58-3

North Central (Indianapolis) 40-32-0

Decatur Central 45-16-1

Southport 27-28-2

Pike 36-12-0

Carmel 24-24-0

Lawrence Central 21-13-0

Indianapolis Washington 14-20-0

Center Grove 15-17-0

Indianapolis Northwest 18-11-0

Perry Meridian 21-7-0

Terre Haute South 25-1-0

Lawrence North 23-4-0

Indianapolis Cathedral 15-6-0

Terre Haute North 18-2-0

Indianapolis Manual 13-6-1

Penn 14-4-0

Avon 11-5-0

Indianapolis Shortridge 3-11-1

Bloomington South 4-10-0

Indianapolis Arsenal Tech 10-1-0

Indianapolis Howe 4-6-0

Brebeuf Jesuit 3-7-0

Franklin 1-6-2

Brownsburg 6-3-0

Indianapolis Sacred Heart 3-5-0

Indianapolis Broad Ripple 1-7-0

Crawfordsville 0-8-0

Beech Grove 4-2-0

Westfield 3-3-0

Speedway 2-4-0

Sheridan 1-5-0

Seymour 1-5-0

East Chicago Central 5-0-0

Lake Central 4-0-0

Greenfield-Central 4-0-0

Ev Harrison 3-1-0

Plainfield 2-1-1

Arlington 2-2-0

Lebanon 1-3-0

Noblesville 0-3-0

Zionsville 2-0-0

SB St. Joseph’s 2-0-0

Louisville Trinity 2-0-0

Kokomo 2-0-0

Richmond 2-0-0

Marion 2-0-0

Indiana Boys Sch 2-0-0

FW Snider 1-1-0

Evansville Reitz 1-1-0

Cincinnati Elder 1-1-0

Danville 1-1-0

Elwood 1-1-0

FW North Side 0-2-0

Crispus Attucks 0-2-0

Jeffersonville 0-2-0

Alexandria 0-2-0

Fishers 1-0-0

Valparaiso 1-0-0

Total 508-378-12

4 Spotlight Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN October 8, 2021

Jones at home in Ohio

Star lineman

still plays


By Raelynn Hughes

staff writer

It’s always sad to see our Giants

leave, but it is exciting

to see them move on and do

big things. Dawand Jones,

class of 2019, is one of these great

athletes who dominated throughout

high school and continues to

do his job in his college career.

Jones has done many things

since leaving Ben Davis, but he

will always cherish the memories

he made at Ben Davis.

“My most memorable moment

of playing football at BD was

playing at Lucas Oil,” Jones said,

”Especially how we beat Penn.”

Many players on the 2018-2019

team went on to play football for

different colleges around the U.S,

but they still have that brotherly


“Most of my seniors from my

class on the football team just

call me and we chat it up, most

of them were some of my best

friends and friends before high

school,” Jones said.

High school and college life

are completely different. Jones’

high school life consisted of

waking up, going to school for

eight hours, having practice after

school, and then going home and

doing whatever he wanted. His

schedule shifted at Ohio State.

“My days are normally class

and tutoring in the morning.

Then practice in the afternoon

and homework after practice. I

have a lot of courses, but there’s

nothing challenging,” Jones said.

Football at the college level is

pretty competitive compared to

high school ball.

“The difference between college

football and high school

football is coming out of high

school, these are grown men with

families,” Jones said. “It’s a different

level of toughness because

that’s all they have.”

Since leaving Ben Davis, Jones

has grown somewhat of a fanbase.

He has more than 16,000

followers on instagram, following

a blue checkmark verification.

“It’s pretty cool to see that a lot

of fans like me for just being myself,”

Jones said. “By them buying

my merch and asking for my autograph,

it means a lot.”

Following all of the publicity

he has been getting, he has had a

few sponsorships.

“It’s really nice to get to see the

business side of the companies

and you get to have business early,”

Jones said. “These opportunities

normally don’t happen until

the NFL.”

Even though Jones has gone off

to do amazing things, he will never

forget his time playing football

at Ben Davis on Friday nights.

“Friday Night Lights just

brings me back going through

that tunnel with the smoke

standing behind the purple line

before they let the Giants out,”

he said.

“Friday Night Lights

just brings me back going

through that tunnel

with the smoke standing

behind the purple line.

before they let the Giants


- Dawand Jones (below in high


What does

Friday Night Lights

mean to you?

“When I think of Friday night

lights. It takes me back to my

junior and senior year. Playing

at Ben Davis just everything

about Friday night lights gives

you chills. It’s hard to explain.

What I remember most is just

being there with my home

boys -- guys I grew up with

and we had all had plans to

play for Ben Davis as kids.”

- Delbert Mimms, 2019 BD grad now

playing at North Carolina State

“Friday Night Lights

is a big part of high

school. Being able to

be on the field and

capture special moments

for the team

for me is one of the

brighter sides of being

in high school.”

- senior photographer

Tabby Lane

October 8, 2021 Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN Spotlight

Boilers have BD feel

Former Giants find a spot at Purdue

By Mary Adams

managing editor

Some people have something

they are passionate

about. This is what defines

us, who we are as people,

and what makes us different from

the person next to us. This could

be anything from performing arts

to academics.

For some people, this is football.

Football is a sport that consists

of two opposing teams, with eleven

players on the field at a time.

They defend their goals, and each

team has their own goal post on

opposite sides of the field.

Points are scored by carrying the

ball across the other team’s goal

line or place-kicking or drop-kicking

the ball through the opponent’s

goal post. For some people, this is

their entire life.

This is Broc Thompson.

Thompson is a Ben Davis graduate

who is a junior at Purdue University.

He currently plays wide receiver

on the Boilermakers football

team. Thompson was on the Ben

Davis football team that won state

in 2017. Thompson grew up playing

with many of the teammates he

won with, and it felt like he “was

in a movie.”

Football has been part of Thompson’s

life since he was a kid. High

school wasn’t the only time he won

a state championship- his highest

moment was catching the winning

touchdown during his sixth-grade

state championship game.

Thompson also feels some differences

between high school football

and college football.

“You go from playing 15-18-yearolds

to playing 18-25-year-old

men,” Thompson said.

Workouts are harder and there

are more running and weight programs.

Thompson started his college

career at Marshall. In 2020, he

appeared in four Marshall games

GIANT CONNECTION Ben Davis alumni Broc Thompson (above) and Elijah

Ball (No. 32) have each found a spot on the Purdue University football team.

(Photos courtesy Purdue University sports information)

and caught 14 passes. In 2019, he

was in 12 games and started four.

After this, he transferred to Purdue.

He wanted to be closer to home

because his brother (Cade, a junior

at BD) was diagnosed with cancer.

This season, he has 30 receiving

yards and his longest reception was

18. This took place at the Purdue-

UConn game, where Purdue won


Thompson finds himself teammates

with a former rival. Purdue

star wide receiver David Bell -- a

Warren Central graduate -- is currently

injured. If Bell can’t play, this

makes it possible for Thompson to


“Start or no start, I believe in myself

and my team,” Thompson said.

Another one of his teammates

is former Ben Davis defensive star

Elijah Ball, a 2018 BD graduate who

missed the 2020 season while recovering

from an inury.

Ball has played in two games this

season. Thompson caught seven

passes for 83 yards in Purdue’s first

three games of the season.

These two are part of a group of

five BD graduates currently playing

in the Big Ten along with Dawand

Jones (Ohio State), Reese Taylor

(Indiana) and Esezi Otomewo



Current Ben Davis alumni

playing in college include:

Class of 2016

Marian University: LeShaun Minor DT,

Azjai Cooper, WR

University of Minnesota: Esezi

Otomewo DE

Rose-Hulman: Noah Thomas

Class of 2017

Indiana University: Reese Taylor DB

Purdue University:

Elijah Ball DB, Broc Thompson, WR

Marian University: SirZion Dance ILB

Hanover: Josh Roberts OL New Mexico

Highlands: Damon Banks DL

Class of 2018

Ohio State: Dawand Jones DL

North Carolina State:

Delbert Mimms RB

Class of 2019

Marian: Miles Anderson, Zach Fox,

Trent Gipson

Prep school: Jaden Brown

UIndy: Jimmy Filsaime, Andrew Zulu

St. Francis: AJ Moore

Farleigh-Dickinson: Adrian Reese

Manchester: Wayne Vaughn

Class of 2020

Marian University: Aneill Boatright DB

Missouri: Daylan Carnell DB

Franklin College: Charles Knuckols DB,

Braden McGowan LS

Papago: Robert Peters WR

Valparaiso: Rylen Richardson WR

Ben Davis alumni who have

played in the NFL include:

Morten Andersen (Class of 1978)

-- Kicker (second

all-time leading

scorer in NFL history).

Corey Harris (Class

of 1992) -- Played

safety for 12 seasons and won a

Super Bowl with the Baltimore


Damarcus Ganaway (Class of

2005) -- Played in training camp

for the NY Jets.

Marqueis Gray (Class of 2008)

-- Played tight end for five teams

during seven years.

Tandon Doss (Class of 2008)

-- Played five seasons and was a

2013 Super Bowl Champion. He

played 30+ snaps in the game.

Isaiah Lewis (Class of 2014)

-- Played for the Pittsburgh

Steelers in training camp and as a

practice squad player.

Asmar Bilal (Class of 2015) --

Was on practice squad for LA

Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders.

Chris Evans (Class of 2016)

-- Currently a member of the

Cincinnati Bengals (see page 11).

“Football (as are most sports) is a microcosm

of life. Friday night’s are an opportunity

to display your preparation

and show how hard you’ve

worked all week. I want our

players to believe the game is

easy because their preparation

during the week put them in a

place to succeed. Friday night’s

are a chance for the players to showcase

their skill, but also level of ownership in their own


- defensive coordinator Russ Sumner

“Friday Night Lights are the culmination

of a week of preparation. We grind

all week and get one

chance to compete

against another

team. It is when we

come together as

brothers in pursuit

of a common goal.

Go Giants!”

- freshman offensive coordinator Luke Melloah

“Friday night lights.My heart races just

saying it. What a great way to end the

shool/work week. It’s a time when my community

comes together

for one common goal.

As a player, it’s hard

sleep the night before.

As you walk into school,

the day of the game, you

can feel the excitement.

You see 100+ guys in

purple jerseys, students

and teachers decked out in purple spirit

gear. It’s a great day to be a Giant.”

- wide receivers coach Bo Thompson



Photos by Tabby Lane, Keionna Scott, Ricardo Torres and Alexndra Contreras

By the


A typical Friday night game


45 volunteers for game


22 ticket sellers

Lindsey’s voice leads the Game Day expereince

By Brooklynn Sharp

staff writer

David Lindsey did not play high

school football but has been the voice of

the Ben Davis Giants since 2007.

Lindsey discussed his role in making

home games an event.

“I started announcing when I was in

high school,” Lindsey said. “An assistant

girls basketball coach told me I had a

voice for announcing and asked me if I

could announce girls basketball games.

“Then in 2005 Mr. Clark, (then the

assistant athletic director), and I were

talking and he found out that I announced

in high school and asked me

if I wanted to announce basketball for

Ben Davis. I started announcing girls

and boys basketball games in 2006 and

started announcing football for Ben Davis

in 2007.”

Lindsey plays an impoirtant role in

making sure the four hour show goes on

as planned.

“I write the scripts for each game with

help from Mrs. McGowan,” he said. “It

takes several hours to get everything

put together for a game. Senior night

and homecoming home games take

quite a bit of preparation.

“Usually the night before or the morning

of the game I send out a timeline for

the game. It is sent to Mr. Easter, Mr.

Goins, Mr. Hayes, Mrs. Earnest, Mr.

Cole, cheerleading coaches, dance team

coaches, Mr. Simmons, Sgt. Major Martin,

Mr. Clark and Mrs. McGowan.

“Then it’s Game Day.”

5 on the chain gang

4 open concession stands

5 IHSAA officials (each

makes $81 per game)

Ben Davis typically hosts

5-6 varsity home games

a year and 20-22 total

football games

90.9 radio frequency on

the FM dial to catch all BD

football games

8 Spotlight Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN October 8, 2021

Where did

it begin?

Popular sport

is big draw

in schools

By Zoe Harris

staff writer

By any measure, American

football is the most popular

sport in the United

States. In a recent survey

by ESPN, 37% of the population

claim it to be their favorite sport.

Yet where did football come

from? How did it become such an

integral part of the high school experience?

American football (hereafter referred

to just as “football”) developed

out of something like a cross

between or soccer and rugby.

Early on, it was clear that there

was no single variety of the sport.

Different schools interpreted it in

their own ways, and there were no

formal rules.

Though football can be traced

back to the 18th century, the first

college football game was played

on November 6, 1869. It was Princeton

vs Rutgers at Rutgers.

This first college game was essentially

a mix of soccer-inspired

athletics, but laid the groundwork

for the modern game as we know

it today.

Modern football as it is know

today can be traced back to the

NFL and its origins in 1920.

When it was formed in 1920,

the NFL was known as the American

Professional Football Association

(APFA). It became the

National Football League prior to

the 1922 season and its champion

was decided by end of the seasonstandings.

A playoff system was

implemented in 1933 that culminated

with the NFL Championship

Game until 1966, when the

Super Bowl was founded.

There is some debate on when

and where the first high school

game was played. Football fans

from the east coast like to claim

that high school football begin in

the 1860s when a group of young

men -- mostly ages 16-18 -- called

the Oneida Football Club of Boston

would play all comers during the

Civil War.

Outside of the east coast, most

historians credit a game on November

29, 1894 between the Oklahoma

City Terrors and Oklahoma

City High School as the first game

involving an organized high school

team. The high school won 24 to 0.

In Indiana, the state high school

football tournament began in 1973.

Ben Davis played its first football

game of the modern era on Septermber

23, 1937 against Warren

Central at Indianapolis Washington.

The Giants won 32-9 and Ben

Davis and Warren Central have

played every year since.

Statewide, the first known game

involving a high school team was in

1891 when a group of high schoolers

played Notre Dame in an exhibition.

Cathedral High School is

thought to have the longest history

of prep football in the state.

Cathedral’s first game was in

1919 and the Irish have recorded

more than 750 wins in their 102

year history of fielding a team.

“Football has a deep history in

this state,” said former BD assistant

coach Steve Purichia, who played

prep ball at Washington and was

a head coach at Chatard and Perry

Meridian before spending 20 years

on the BD sidelines. “Football has

always mirrored life and it has been

that way in Indiana.”

While playing numbers have decreased

in recent years -- studies

indicate a 9% drop of prep players

in the past five years -- there are

still more than one million players

in high schools across the nation,

the highest number of athletes in

any high school sport. It seems the

sport has a solid footing.

FRIDAY NIGHT UMPS Mike Morrell (no hat) is a 1999 BD graduate who spends his Friday nights with this IHSAA

officiating crew. (Submitted photo)

Making the calls

BD grad a Friday night regular

By Anaiah Wright

staff writer

Mike Morrell graduated

from Ben

Davis in 1999.

He spent most

of his high school athletic time

on the baseball field, but remembers

going to football games and

cheering the Giants on.

Today, he works in logistics

with truckers that supply retail

consumers. In addition to his

day job, he is also a licensed IH-

SAA (Indiana High School Athletic

Association) official.

Morrell credits a “Mr.

Woody” (former Ben Davis

basketball coach) for introducing

him to officiating sporting


Morrell’s first interaction

with football officiating was a 6thgrade

little league football game

where he assisted. He was a high

school senior at this time.

Morrell grew fond of helping

out with smaller sporting events

and pursued a license at age 18. He

eventually began working more

elite tournaments, where he had

endless opportunities to better

himself and become a familiar face

in the profession.

He was consistently offered gigs

to go out and ref and it became

something he did on a nightly basis.

As he developed an understanding

of other sports, he began attending

more events, but for different


Today, he officiates football, basketball,

and softball. This is true

for all different age groups and skill

levels. He says the best part about

it is the friendships, connections

made, and giving back to

the sports that gave back to him

when he was school-aged.

For football season, Morrell

primarily referees junior varsity

and varsity games. However,

some mornings he manages to fit

in youth or junior high games.

He spectates extra games often,

which he does with the intent of

bettering himself because he recognizes

that there is always room

for improvement.

“It takes dedication to be

good,” Morrell said.

He says it requires consistency,

and the best way for one to get

themselves out there would be

to attend conferences, camps,

clinics, meetings, and just to just

observe until one is comfortable

enough to land more jobs.

“More than anything else, Friday

Night Lights makes me think of

sounds. The clack of cleats across

concrete as players leave the

locker room. The beat of a bass

drum from

the student band. The roar of the

crowd, the shouts from the cheerleaders,

the thunder of the onfield

action. Coaches screaming,

whistles blowing, shoulder pads

and helmets smacking together...

all of it.”

- lineback coach Jesse Pierson

“Friday Night Lights is an

opportunity to represent

a community, school, and

group of young people

that are chasing a dream.

There is a great deal of

work and pride that goes

into taking the field on a

Friday night knowing that

we represent something

far greater than ourselves.”

- head coach Jason Simmons

October 8, 2021 Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN Spotlight


From humble beginnings

Indiana coach has deep roots in Hoosier state

By Jalen Flowers

staff writer

Tom Allen has always had a

passion for football. It started

in New Castle, Indiana

when he spent time on the sidelines

at New Castle High School watching

his dad coach.

His passion has been evident every

where he has been since then.

“When he was at Ben Davis he

displayed the same energy and enthusiasm

that he now does at IU,”

Ben Davis strength coach Kvin

Vanderbush said. “He loves the

game of football and has always

been a passionate coach.

“ He always cared about the players

on and off the field. He spent

hours and hours studying film to

make sure he had completely prepared

for every opponent.”

Allen has a deep appreciation for

those days.

“I loved those years I was in high

school coaching,” Allen said. “The

best high school team I have ever

been a part of was that 2001 team

at BD. They were guys who enjoyed

each other and had that kind

of bond that made strong relationships,

plus I got to see everyone

from the little league program on

up. It is fun to motivate the high

school players. To me, high school

football is pure fun.”

College isn’t too bad for Allen

either. He had IU ranked in the

preseason polls for the first time in

more than 20 years and he took the

Hoosiers to a bowl game each of the

past two seasons.

Allen likes keeping Indiana talent

close to home. He cruited former

BD star Reese Taylor, who is

now in his senior season as a defenisve


“I have been really really impressed

with his development

since he has been here,” Allen said

of Taylor. “He payed a little offense

at first because he has a high football

IQ since he played quarterback

in high school, but right now he’s

really in a place where he needs to


Allen’s coaching


1992-94 T e m p l e

Heights H.S. (Fla.), Head


1995-96 A r m w o o d

H.S. (Fla.), Defensive Coordinator

1997 Marion H.S. (Ind.),

Defensive Coordinator

1998-2003 Ben Davis

H.S. (Ind.), Defensive Coordinator

2004-06 Ben Davis

H.S. (Ind.), Head Coach

2007 Wabash College, Special

Teams Coordinator/Secondary

2008-09 L a m b u t h ,

Assistant Head Coach/Defensive


2010 Drake, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers

2011 Arkansas State, Assistant

Head Coach

2012-14 Mississippi,

Linebackers/Special Teams Coordinator

2015 South Florida, Defensive


2016 Indiana, Associate

Head Coach/Defense

2016- Indiana, Head Coach

Allen says Taylor has developed

into a defensive leader this offseason.

“He calms guys down,” Allen

said. “This offseason he became

stronger and heavier. He has a tremendous

athleticism and it shows

in his work. He’s not afraid to get

after guys and I like that about


That’s the same attitude Allen

had when coaching here 20 years


“I believe his strongest asset is

that the athletes who play for him

know that he really cares about

them and he is not just about what

they can do for him on the field,”

LEADING THE HOOSIERS Indiana University coach Tom Allen (with hands on knees) has led the Hoosiers as head

coach since 2016. He spent two years as head coach at Ben Davis before leaving for the college ranks in 2007. (Photo by

Demitrias Myers)

Vanderbush said. “He establishes a

positive culture that makes people

want to play for him, and his energy

is contagious. He is a very detailoriented

coach, so is meticulous

about all aspects of coaching and

running a first class program.”

Allen says he starts the recruiting

process by looking at Indiana

players first, but he isn’t afraid to

expand his recruting trail to all areas

of the country. His background

coaching in the south has led him

to recruting heavily in Florida and

other areas typically reserved for

SEC programs.

Because of his national recruting

base, Allen has seen a lot of high

school football across the country.

“Recruiting, we start here at

home and we go from there,” he

said. “It’s about finding guys all

over the country who fit our culture.”

That culture includes the saying

LEO, which stands for Love

Each Other and is the first thing he

preaches to new recruits.

“You have to show kids you

care,” Allen said. “That is my first

priority, not football.”

Allen notices a difference around

the country.

“I think there is a noticeable difference

in regards to spring football

at the high school level,” he said.

“There’s a big difference in the way

football is valued. Basketball is still

big in the north and midwest while

spring football has a lot of popularity

in the south.”

Allen spent two months living

with Vanderbush during a transition

while at Ben Davis. The two

remain close but don’t see each

other much during football season.

“I keep in contact now mostly

through texts or calls, and will occasionally

see him when he is out

on the recruiting trail,” Vanderbush

said. “Our Saturday football

workouts make it difficult for me

to attend college games, so I will

watch his games on television.”


“ That feeling is knowing that the fans are out there and we’re going to strap

up on Friday night to play as best as we can and just go out there and beat

whoever is going to line up across from us. It’s just knowing that

the lights are getting turned on at seven and we are going to

play as best as we can. It is not really the same feeling as college,

because some games are in the morning or afternoon. You

still have that same intensity and mindset to go out there and do

what you got to do and strap up your helmet and play football.

But high school football - Friday Night Lights - is just something

that you will never forget. You can’t take for it granted because

you are never going to get high school again. Four years and it’s

over with. There is no extra year, none of that stuff. It’s a time you

can’t waste. Take advantage of it or you’re never going to get it


- 2018 BD graduate Reese Taylor now playing at Indiana University

“Friday night lights mean so much to me. I

view it as a platform for our student athletes

to showcase their

talents and abilities.

Everyone comes excited

to see what we

can do as a team. It

holds value because

it can eventually set

up our guys for success

down the road

not only in football, but in life as well. I’m

grateful just to be able to be a part of their


- freshman defensive line coach Garland Davis

10 Spotlight Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN October 8, 2021

PURPLE PRIDE Members of Purple Rain cheer on the Giants during the

recent homecoming game against Carmel. The Purple Rain cheering section

is dedicated to supporting all BD activities. (Photo by Ricardo Torres)

Football on-screen

These movies capture the different

By Mary Adams

managing editor

Remember the Titans

In Remember the Titans, football

is everything to the town of Alexandria,

Virginia. Chaos breaks

out when the town integrates a

school, and a new, black, football

coach takes over and the former

white coach serves as an assistant

coach. Coach Boone has the team

attend a camp at Gettysburg College

where there are many racially

motivated conflicts. After the

camp, the racial tension subsides

and the team has harmony. When

school begins, Boone is told if

his team loses a single game, he

would lose his position. His assistant

coach, Yoast, is told if

he loses one game, Yoast will be

inducted into the hall of fame.

While dealing with racial bias

from the community, the team

has an undefeated season. Based

on a true story, this movie can

lead to a roller coaster of emotions.


This Disney movie, Safety follows

Ray McElrathbey as he has

lives of football players

to learn how to juggle football,

school, and caring for his brother.

Ray and his brother didn’t grow

up with a perfect family, with an

absent father and a mother dealing

with drug addiction. While

Ray is attending Clemson University,

their mother gets taken

in. This leaves his little brother,

Fahmarr, to fend for himself.

When Ray finds out, he sneaks

Fahmarr onto campus to live

with him. When his teammates

find out, they warn that keeping

him may cause him to lose his

spot on the team and his football

scholarship. When his coaches

find out, they have to battle with

the school board to let Ray take

care of his brother while still having

his scholarship.


Growing up, Brandon Burlsworth

knew he was going to play

for the Arkansas Razorbacks

as offensive guard. However,

he doesn’t get the scholarship.

This doesn’t stop him- he is determined

to make the team. He

works tirelessly day to day to

become a walk-on for the team.

He faces many challenges along

the way, such as the coach saying

he can’t make it, teammates

constantly making fun of him,

and his father trying to get back

into his life. Working hard on

and off the field finally pays off,

and Brandon becomes a walkon.

Brandon also has a brother,

Marty, who is seventeen years

older than him. Marty protects

Brandon and pushes him to be

the best he can be.


In the 1970s, the Philadelphia

Eagles had a chain of losing seasons.

One day, substitute teacher

Vince Papale, goes and plays football

with his friends and another

team. After the game, his wife

gets mad at him for not bringing

in enough support and leaves

him. The next day, he also loses

his job at the school. While at his

part-time job as a bartender, it is

announced that the Philadelphia

Eagles will be holding tryouts

open to the public. With a bar

full of Eagles fans, they urge Papale

to go and at least try. Papale

goes to tryout, and he is the only

person put through to the team.

Facing pressure from his teammates

and community, Papale’s

story is truly inspiring.

“I like the community and the

spirit that comes with seeing our

team play. I don’t really get into

the big national leagues but seeing

kids that I go to school with

out on the field gives a more personal

feeling to it. The purple

rain organization is doing a good

job of connecting with the BD

population and getting them out

there to games and events.”

- junior Jeffrey Dreyer

“For me, Friday Night Lights has meant

being on the sideline for the last 462

football games with Ben Davis. I see

high school football as an opportunity

to create school and community pride

with a sport that can teach so many

life lessons. As much as any sport, the

things that make one successful in football

are the skills that are necessary to

be successful in life beyond the game.”

- strength coach Kevin Vanderbush

”Simply put, to me Friday Night

Lights is all about community

(students, teachers, administrators,

parents, fans and players).

Representing the Westside is

the greatest privilege I have had

and FNL is the one day we get to

represent who we are as a community.

We shout, we scream and

yes, sometimes we cry but regardless

of what we do, it’s all for

our community.”

- defensive back coach Michael Adams

October 8, 2021 Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN Spotlight

Evans finds his spot




Lexie Bordenkecher

Former Giant

now making

it in Cincy

By Jalen Flowers

staff writer

Work ethic.

Those two simple

words describe

why former Ben

Davis star Chris Evans is currently

playing in the National Football


“The thing I remember the

most was his work ethic,” forme

BD coach Mike Kirschner said

about Evans. “I was in my office on

Thanksgiving morning taking care

of some paperwork that needed to

be done when I heard some noise

coming out of the weight room.

“I went to see who was working

out and it was Chris Evans power

cleaning. I asked him what he was

doing and he said, ‘I can not afford

to take a day off’. That kind of mentality

is why he is in the NFL.”

Evans established himself as a

Ben Davis legend years ago. In 2014,

he led the football team to a state

championship behind 1,900 total

yards and 28 touchdowns, records

in both categories. His senior year

he accumulated 1,600 yards from

scrimmage and 19 more touchdowns

on the ground and in the air.

Evans also impressed academically

in his final years at Ben Davis.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh

was impressed by Evans

performance as an upperclassman

and convinced him and his family

to choose Michigan over their rival,

Ohio State.

Before the NFL, Evans’ determination

led him to Michigan. He

joined the club of former Giants in

the Big 10 conference, along with

Ohio State’s Dawand Jones, Indiana’s

Reese Taylor, and Purdue’s

newest transfer Broc Thompson.

“Chris built his reputation in the

weight room,” Kirschner said. “No

one worked harded in there than


Evans owns records for power

clean and his All-American photos

and articles from his early years at

Michigan are immortalized in the

weight room.

(Photos courtesy of Cincinnati Bengals)

Not only was Evans impressive

on the football field, he played one

year of basketball and was a stud

in track and field. Evans’ recordsetting

10.9 second 100 meter dash

“Friday Night Lights was

everything I worked my

whole life for up until that

point. It was an honor to

go out there and play with

my brothers every Friday

night. The good thing

about game days was the

same guys I played with

on Friday nights were

the same guys I played

with on Saturday mornings

in little league. It

made it that much more

meaningful for all of us.

My teammates, my brothers,

my family, and the

whole community. There’s

nothing like Friday Night


- Chris Evans, 2016 BD grad

and 14.28 second 110 meter hurdles

translated directly onto the football

field. He also was one of the

state’s top long jumpers both his

junior and senior seasons.

The determination displayed at

Ben Davis led to Evans graduating

as a fifth year senior. It also led to 17

touchdowns in his career at Michigan

and two preseason touchdowns

as a Cincinnati Bengal.

Evans has played in all four regular

season games for the 3-1 Bengals,

who host the Green Bay Packers

this weekend.

Through all his successes, Evans

remains first and foremost a Giant.

“My favorite memory was when

we went to the state championship

(in 2014),” Evans said. “Our journey

was a memorable one for me. I remember

that after we won the regional

final, my best friend passed

out in the locker room.

“When he woke up, he said,

‘Man, I can’t believe we won! We’re

going to state!’ It was incredible

to see how happy someone can be

about football. It brought everyone

together – it was an unbelievable


That journey still continues for

Evans. Where it will end is anyone’s


Managing editor:

Mary Adams



Mawaddah Aminou, Aaron Ayala,

Anyolina Contreras, Lily Davis,

Briana Del Rio Drew Evans,

Taubah, Elebute, Makalyn Favors,

Jalen Flowers, Leslie Hernandez,

Zoe Harris, Raelynn Hughes,

Drake Johnson, Nicholas Morton,

Aesha Patel, Mistura Oketokun,

Aunesty Owens, Marques Reese,

Yanelis Rivera, Nadia Rivera,

Brooklynn Sharp, Anaiah Wright


Tom Hayes


Sandra Squire

Spotlight is the official newspaper of Ben Davis

High School. It was created and is maintained

by the Board of Education of the Metropolitan

School District of Wayne Township as part of the

curriculum of the school district. Its purpose is to

allow students to develop and refine their skills as

journalists under the supervision of the principal,

Sandra Squire, and faculty of Ben Davis High


Spotlight represents and exemplifies Ben Davis

High School and is not a public or open forum.

The principal and faculty of Ben Davis High

School are therefore charged by the Board of

Education with the responsibility of exercising

editorial oversight to ensure that contents of

Spotlight reflect Wayne Westside Community

Values, which may be found on the Wayne

website and are available upon request from Ben

Davis High School.

It is the policy of Spotlight to accept letters to

the editor from all readers. All readers must be

signed and verified for permission. The editor

reserves the right to edit the letter for journalistic

and grammar purposes as well as to maintain

a safe environment and to exempt prohibited

material. Letters to the editor can be submitted

to Tom Hayes in room X109 or to the editors.

Letters can also be e-mailed to Tom Hayes at

tom.hayes@wayne.k12.in.us or to the editors.

Readers who submit letters sent via e-mail

must see either Tom Hayes or the editors for

verification if they wish to be published.

Businesses interested in advertising in Spotlight

should contact Tom Hayes at 317-988-7148.

Spotlight publishes at least six issues per school

year and the online version can be found at www.

bdspotlight.com Advertising rates are available

upon request.

“Friday night is the show, after

weeks of preparation (rehearsal)

, Friday

night you get to

dress up, go out on

stage and perform

in front of all your

friends and family.

Big game energy

is electric, and in

our conference

they are all big


- head freshman coach Nicholas


“Friday Night

Lights to me

is all about

passion. Passion

for your

school, for your

community, for

the game, and

for your teammates.”

- freshman offensive

line coach Jon


“High school football

fields full of young

student-athletes working

together to achieve

the ultimate team goal of

a victory, while striving

towards individual accomplishments.”

- freshman defensive coordinator

Tim Gibson

12 Spotlight Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN October 8, 2021

All about the fun

Unified team in its fourth year of providing opportunities

By Jalen Flowers

staff writer

Unified Flag Football has

swept the nation, recently

being added to

the Special Olympics in

Northern California.

Ben Davis is in its fourth year

of playing in the Unified Football

Legaue sponsored by the Indiana

High School Athletic Association.

Unified football provides special

ed students -- defined as those students

with an IEP -- the opportunity

to play with general education

students in a flag football league,

UFF is meant to teach lessons of

unity and sportsmanship. Our Unified

Flag Football team welcomes

students with or without disabilities.

Members of the team are given

the opportunity to take part in

a team sport working towards a

common goal. Our UFF Giants are

led by coach Lori Bear.

“My main goal is for them to have

fun,” said Bear, who played three

sports while a student here and has

previosuly coached our girls volleyball

team. “Seeing our seniors walk

with their parents on senior night

was pretty cool for me to see.”

Bear is in her second year of

coaching the Unified Giants. She

helped with the intial two seasons

but decided to become the head

coach last year “just because this is

so much fun,” she said.

The Giants made it to the state

finals in their first season in Unified

and last year lost in the openeing

game of sectionals to the returning

state champions in Mooresville.

This year, the sectionals were

postponed last weekend due to

rain and were expected to be completed

Monday evening.

Bear enjoys winning, but her

favorite memory is “Alex Mayer’s

game-winning touchdown on senior

night was awesome,” she said.

Coach Bear emphasizes good

sportsmanship and preaches it to

her players. It was the same when

she was a student here playing volleyball,

basketball and softball.

In Unified, players get an opportunity

to play for a state for a

championship. The inaugural tournament

took place in 2018, and has

been a yearly tradition since.

“Come out and watch a

game, you’ll get hooked,.”

- Unified coach Lori Bear

The journey to the championship

starts late in the summer and

extends into the fall. Students

play for several different reasons,

such as junior Owen Pulley who

is preparing for baseball season, or

sophomore Donovan Herron, who

UNIFIED FUN The Unified flag

football team took a 5-3 record into

Monday’s sectional at Brownsburg.

The Giants are coached by physical

education teacher Lori Bear and are in

their fourth year of competing at the

IHSAA level. The team practices twice

a week during the fall and plays between

eight and 12 games per season.

(Photos by Tabby Lane)

preferred UFF over full contact

football to better fit his schedule.

“I had no idea how fun this is,”

Herron said. “Yeah we want to win,

but that’s not the point. Just being

there with people having fun is

what it’s all about.”

The team welcomes any Ben Davis

student regardless of grade or

disability. The teamwork and unity

of our UFF Giants represent the entire

school. Ben Davis students and

fans from all sports are coming out

to support our UFF team. Coach

Lux relishes coaching the team as

it gains popularity. “I am blessed

to be a part of a great community

of high school athletes in Indiana.

Come out and watch a game, you’ll

get hooked.”

“Friday Night Lights holds a special place in my heart

and has for a really long time. To me, it is

more than just a football game. It’s a special

time each fall season that is set aside

for all high schools across our state and

our great country that allows all of us to

take pride in our teams, schools, and communities

as a whole. It is an experience to

cherish and remember, whether you’re a

player, coach, parent, or fan. Friday Night

Lights at Ben Davis High School are the

epitome of being a part of something bigger

than yourself, and for that tradition and

expectation we should be proud.”

- offensive coordinator Caleb Small

“Friday Night Lights means opportunity to

me. When the lights come on, it’s another

chance to prove yourself

to your opponents, to

your community, and to

everyone else. In football,

as in life, opportunities

are limited and will not

last forever. Carpe Diem-

Seize the day! This is the

beauty of high school

football, especially at Ben Davis.”

- offensive line coach Andrew Weyler

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