One week divides the end of the regular season from the start of the postseason in five of Indiana high school football’s six classes.
This can lead to head coaches wondering how long to play a specific player or players in Week 9 for purposes of rest and/or injury prevention.
In Johnson County, this doesn’t apply — at least this evening — because of what’s at stake.
Story continues below gallery
Greenwood is at Whiteland with both programs jockeying for position near the top of the Mid-State Conference standings.
Indian Creek plays at Sullivan in the Western Indiana Conference championship game.
Edinburgh, with a victory, is guaranteed only the program’s third four-win season since 1996.
Center Grove hosts Cathedral, which is not a conference foe but a 12-time state champion and the all-time winningest program among the state’s high school football programs.
In other words, little to no rest for the weary.
“Because Whiteland is such a rivalry game, we’ve really focused on Week 9 and trying to get better and improve our execution,” Greenwood coach Mike Campbell said.
“Our kids understand and Whiteland’s kids understand it.
“We’ll take care of our kids in a game, obviously, but we do that in Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and so on.”
Campbell added that a head coach might feel differently if Week 9 involves a nonconference opponent.
However, in every one of Campbell’s 11 seasons in charge, the Woodmen have closed the regular season playing a Mid-State program. It was Plainfield from 2006-10 and Whiteland ever since.
Franklin, which tonight hosts Mid-State rival Decatur Central, has played the Hawks in Week 9 since the 2011 season. Prior to that it was league foe Martinsville (2006-10) and former Mid-State member Beech Grove (1995-2005).
With only 32 teams making up Class 6A, defending state champion Center Grove has a bye week before opening sectional play at home against Jeffersonville on Oct. 28.
Trojans coach Eric Moore admits he considered resting key personnel last season for parts of last year’s game against the Irish.
His competitiveness prevented him from doing so.
“We’re not resting anybody this week. We’ve got a good thing going having won seven straight games, and we want to keep it going,” Moore said. “Last year I thought about it a lot — but no, we want to win.”
Cathedral is the fourth Week 9 opponent Center Grove has faced in Moore’s 18 seasons as coach. The others include Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference opponents North Central (1999-2005) and Warren Central (2006-12).
The Trojans also traveled to Cincinnati LaSalle to close the 2013 regular season before starting the series with Cathedral the following year.
Indian Creek coach Mike Gillin has always viewed Week 9 the same as the eight Friday nights before it.
“I’ve never treated it any different than any other game. For many of my years at Indian Creek it was South Decatur, a conference opponent and an important game. I’ve never gone into a game thinking I was going to rest a guy,” Gillin said.