Exchanges between two of Johnson County’s more successful high school coaches are known to carry a similar theme.
Dan Carmichael isn’t reluctant to exhibit his partiality for the sport of soccer when speaking to or texting Eric Moore, a football guy who is more than happy to reciprocate.
Masters at getting under one another’s skin — albeit good-naturedly — they’ve had decades to practice.
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Carmichael, 57, and Moore, 55, are first cousins.
Moore, who led Center Grove to football state championships in 2008 and 2015, talks like, laughs like and even slightly resembles Carmichael, the boys soccer coach and athletics director at Greenwood Christian Academy.
“We have a great relationship,” Carmichael said. “I think we’ve always been close back to when I was in first or second grade.
“Both of us grew up in a big family. An athletic family. And you can see that with the competitive nature we both have. Eric and I both enjoy laughing, too. Even my wife says, ‘You guys are so much alike.’”
Getting Carmichael and Moore together even for a few minutes is difficult due to their respective work schedules.
Besides his daily administrative duties, Carmichael is in his sixth season in charge of Cougars’ boys soccer. Greenwood Christian Academy is enjoying another successful season after winning Class A sectionals in 2013 and 2015.
Moore, along with presiding over one of Indiana’s premier grid programs, also teaches physical education at Center Grove.
No matter how much time has elapsed since their last visit, Carmichael and Moore are able to fall right back into their routine.
Arriving before Moore to a recent photo shoot at Center Grove’s football stadium, Carmichael passed time kicking a soccer ball he had brought along — if for no other reason than to agitate Moore.
He even texted his cousin a photo of himself kicking the ball in the stadium’s south end zone.
Moore’s text response?
“I know he can’t run fast enough to tear the turf,” he said. “His weight might smash it down a little. I may have to get it rolled before the next game.”
To which Carmichael fired back: “My boys play on the real stuff. Shoot, we get ready on a bus half of the time. (Moore) has more food sitting around his offices and locker rooms than I have at home.”
Alan and Cora Logsdon raised their six children (five girls and a boy) during a much simpler time outside of Bloomington.Mary Logsdon, the oldest child, eventually married Max Moore, with Eric being the third of their six children.
Mary is 88.
“I always loved my aunt Mary. All the sisters were such caring moms, but aunt Mary was always my go-to aunt,” Carmichael said.
Lois Logsdon, Alan and Cora’s third-oldest, wed Darrell Carmichael. They, too, had six children, with Dan being second-oldest.
Some of both men’s most revered childhood memories are celebrating Thanksgivings at their grandparents’ residence with cousins, aunts and uncles during the 1960s and 1970s.
Football games played on Alan and Cora’s television set, no one daring to turn the channel.
In time, teams were chosen and a football game played in the couple’s backyard.
“Dan and I grew up together. When I was a kid I would spend weeks with different aunts and uncles,” said Moore, whose father passed away when he was 15. “I always enjoyed my time with my aunt Lois and uncle Darrell, who did an unbelievable job raising kids.
“Back then on Sundays there wasn’t anything to do, so families actually met. And we had a very close family. We would all meet at my grandmother’s house out in the country every other Sunday. And you’re talking about 80 people.”
Moore describes the scene as “sports heaven” due to the athleticism and competitiveness of those present.
If it wasn’t football, it was something else. Riding bikes. Running in a nearby field.
“We just did crazy things that kids in the ’60s and ’70s did, and we always did them together,” Moore said. “And our cousins were our friends. Nowadays, as you talk to kids in classes and stuff, they don’t know who their cousins are.
“I still know all my cousins. I don’t get to be around them as much as I did 30 years ago, but we all still know each other.”
Growing older, Carmichael and Moore hit the inevitable fork in the road.Carmichael graduated from Indianapolis Baptist High School in 1977 before attending Marantha Baptist Bible College (now University), a school of approximately 900 students in Watertown, Wisconsin.
Moore is a 1979 Edgewood High School graduate. He went on to attend Indiana University, where he played football for the Hoosiers.
Both found their way to Johnson County.
Moore’s football squad is 6-1, ranked No. 3 in Class 6A and in contention for another Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference title. His win percentage in 18 seasons at Center Grove is a mind-numbing .752 (167-55).
Carmichael, since taking over as the Greenwood Christian boys soccer coach in 2011, has led the program to a 54-39-4 record. The Cougars next week attempt to advance to a Class A sectional championship match for a sixth consecutive season.
“Eric is all about football. You still would never be able to get him to kick a soccer ball,” Carmichael said.
Coaching the same season makes it difficult for Carmichael and Moore to attend the others’ games.
Nonetheless, Moore has said he will be there should GCA soccer make it to the State Finals at IUPUI’s Michael A. Carroll Stadium. Carmichael surely would return the favor a few weeks later if the Trojans advance to Lucas Oil Stadium for a second consecutive season.
“I’m really, really proud of Dan because he’s made so much out of his life. We both came from a long way,” Moore said. “And I’m proud of his coaching, even though it’s soccer.”
Credit Moore for getting in the last verbal jab.