et’s be honest — the Indian Creek football team isn’t going to scare a lot of opponents off just by walking out for pregame warmups.
The Braves have as many players who weigh 150 pounds or less on their 55-player roster (13) as they do players weighing 200 pounds or more.
They’re not particularly big. Funny thing is, it might not matter too much.
Coming off of a 7-4 season, Indian Creek makes up in talent what it lacks in big bodies. Most of its skill- position players are back on both sides of the ball, and head coach Mike Gillin is hopeful that his Braves can overcome any physical shortcomings by just playing better football than the teams they’ll be facing.
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“We’re going to do some things to compensate,” Gillin said.
It’s worked in the past — the Braves are 133-40 in Gillin’s 15 years and have put together five perfect regular seasons in that time, reaching the semistate in 2010 — and it may yet work again.
With plenty of veterans back from an offense that averaged 43.6 points during its final seven games a year ago, Indian Creek figures to again be formidable. Receivers Bryce Hogue and Parker Osborn each caught 44 balls last year, and Isaiah Lacey (25 receptions) also returns.
That means plenty of quality targets for first-year starting quarterback Taylor Voris, who took snaps for the Braves’ junior varsity a year ago and has earned rave reviews from the veteran head coach.
Gillin doesn’t want to just have Voris sitting back and chucking the ball 40-plus times a game, however.
Indian Creek Braves
Coach: Mike Gillin
Last year: 7-4, lost to Batesville 49-22 in Class 3A sectional semifinal
Who’s back: Brandon Dunn, junior RB/LB; Michael Perkins, junior RB; Avery Welch, sophomore RB; Parker Osborn, senior WR/CB; Bryce Hogue, senior WR/S; Isaiah Lacey, sophomore WR/S; Brad Trietsch, junior WR/CB; Ryan McGillem, junior OT/DT; D.J. Wilhelm, senior C/DT; Noah Maness, senior OT/DE; Grant Goforth, junior LB; Joe Clevenger, senior LB; Dylan Sprong, junior LB/P; Claire Skillman, senior K.
New kids on the block: Taylor Voris, junior QB; Mikkel Duus, junior K; Kenny Edwards, sophomore OG; Austin Meyer, sophomore OG; Cameron Elmore, freshman FB/DE
Outlook: The Braves are loaded at the skill positions, with most of the top receivers and running backs returning on offense and plenty of experience in the linebacking corps and the secondary. How well the team fares will depend largely on the performance in the trenches. Can the offensive line protect new starting quarterback Voris? Can the defensive front hold its own, especially with mainstays McGillem, Wilhelm and Maness playing both ways? Keep an eye on freshman Elmore, a big young body with loads of potential.
Gillin says: “Our skill positions, we have good depth. Up front, we’ve got to develop some depth. I like our guys. We’ve got some of the same problems on each side of the ball, which I think that we’ll do better at as the year goes on.”
First & 10 with … Joe Clevenger, Indian Creek senior linebacker
1. What would you consider your team’s greatest strength going into this season?
Probably our offensive power with our receivers.
2. What’s something you feel that the team still needs to improve upon?
We need to improve on our running game, for sure.
3. “One game at a time” clichés aside, which game on your schedule are you looking forward to the most?
Lawrenceburg for sure. They’re a good, tough team and it’s Coach’s 300th.
4. If you could pick a theme song for the 2016 Braves, what would it be?
I’d have to go with Notre Dame’s theme song.
5. What’s the most critical part of your pregame routine? Any particular superstitions?
Just go out with a clear head and be ready.
6. What is your least favorite football team, pro, college or otherwise? How come?
Probably the Patriots. I’m a Colts fan; I’ve got to.
7. If you could sit down for dinner with one athlete, who would it be?
Probably Manti Te’o.
8. What’s the biggest difference between last year’s team and this year’s team?
We’re coming in more prepared. We’re older this year, and we’re more ready. I think the leaders are really stepping up.
9. Indian Creek fans will be proud of this team because …
We’re going to give it all we’ve got.
10. If you could write the script for the 2016 season, how would it end?
Hopefully with a championship title.
Indian Creek Braves
2016 football schedule
Aug. 26;at Greenwood;7 p.m.
Sept. 2;at Owen Valley;7 p.m.
Sept. 9;Brown County;7 p.m.
Sept. 16;at Triton Central;7 p.m.
Sept. 23;at Edgewood;7 p.m.
Sept. 30;Cascade;7 p.m.
Oct. 7;Cloverdale;7 p.m.
Oct. 14;TBA (WIC playoff);7 p.m.