By Dunn Neugebauer
For The Crier
When Holy Innocents’ football fans look at the 2019 varsity schedule and see a home date slated for Friday, Oct. 4t, they should NOT go to Riverwood. I repeat, they should NOT go to Riverwood.
That’s because that night — homecoming for the record — will mark the first ever varsity football game on the Holy Innocents’ campus in the program’s history. The Bears will take on Mt. Vernon at 4:30 p.m. in a region contest.
“We are excited about this — the first game played here at our school,” coach Todd Winter said. “The atmosphere will be electric.”
Winter is only the second varsity head football coach in HIES history, having taken over for Ryan Livezey three years ago. Livezey is now athletic director at Mt. Pisgah.
In moving forward, the rest of the home games on schedule will remain at Riverwood, a site the school has used the past decade. The first game at Baker is also in conjunction with Holy Innocents’ celebrating its 60th year.
As for the Mt. Vernon clash itself, it should be a good one. Mt. Vernon has won the last two outings, but both by close scores. Also, Winter has the team going in the right direction, as the Bears went 3-7 his first year before improving to 6-6 last season.
The 2018 Bears went to the second round of the playoffs, and in doing so became the first 24-seed to ever advance. They graduated only five seniors from the team that clinched the playoff berth by winning its last two regular season games, both by big margins.
“We are thrilled to celebrate our 60th birthday and 2019 homecoming with the first-ever varsity football game played on Baker Field,” Athletic Director Tony Watkins said. “The energy on campus will be electric for this community-wide event. This should be a big boost not only for our football program, but for our fans, families and student body alike.”
Holy Innocents’ opens Saturday, Aug. 24 at Riverwood against Mt. Pisgah. The two teams have split the last two years; Holy Innocents’ won last fall.
They are preseason ranked #12 and will be led by a host of stars, including running back Michael Cox, who last year broke season records in rushing yards and touchdowns. Perhaps more impressive, he’s had 240 carries and never fumbled.