Times Sports Editor
The 2009 football season is not quite two weeks old as Friday evening held scrimmages around the state for prep squads. The Northview Knights were no different as they took the field under the leadership of head coach George Gettle, now in his eighth-season with the team.
But if you asked anyone around the team, this year has already been filled with tribulation as Gettle's father was direly ill during the summer. However, on Friday night, under the bright sunshine of the Northview gridiron, George Gettle Sr. was there on the sideline with his son enjoying the start of another football season. The moment was not lost on the younger Gettle, who acknowledged that the situation changed his perspective.
"I just wanted to start by thanking a lot of people in the community and a lot of parents on this team that really stuck behind me this summer. My Dad was in a very grave condition this summer and I just want to thank the lord, and to thank all of these people for praying for me because I was worried that my Dad would never get to see me coach again and to watch my son play football," Gettle said. "The lord answered my prayers and I learned a very important lesson. Sometimes I let football control my life, but what is most important is those people around you that love you and your family. I'm a changed man because of it and I just wanted to let all of those people that rallied around me that without them, I would have never made it through this summer. I just want to thank the lord for saving my father."
The Knights took the field against Terre Haute South in lively spirits and energized while facing unfamiliar faces for the first time in two weeks. The situational scrimmage saw each team's offenses start at its own 35-yard line for 15 plays and then move to a goal line series for 10 plays followed by a series from the opponent's 35-yard line.
Northview's starting offense saw quarterback Trent Lancaster successfully rip off runs of nine, 15 and 10 yards in the first series of plays before a sack on fourth down ended the drive. Starting over at its own 35-yard line, the second drive ended after a fumbled reception.
Lancaster got the bulk of the carries from the quarterback spot, carrying 14 times for 73 yards. However, the passing game was a little sluggish as Lancaster was pressured up front.
Gettle acknowledged that he saw some good things from his team, but was waiting to look at the film to figure out where corrections needed to be made.
"There were some positives, but obviously we'll figure out the negatives (today)," Gettle said. "We didn't do a great job of pass protection. Throughout the first series we moved the ball pretty well and we were successful with some runs."
Lancaster completed one touchdown pass, a 10-yarder to Jonathan Bradshaw in the goal line series.
On defense, Northview did some good things up front, clogging up the line of scrimmage as linemen, Beau Judd, Aaron See, Junior Hubbard, Taylor Pinnick and Brady Silvers had some success. Most of the Braves' success running the ball came from getting to the sideline with their own quarterback, Bryn Schwartz.
The Knights did gather in a pair of defensive fumble recoveries, one each by Aaron See and Pinnick.
"Overall the kids had some fun and there's no scouting that goes into scrimmaging, sometimes you get a little confused and I think we did get confused on some of our assignments," Gettle said. "But that's okay, that's part of it. I thought the kids put out pretty good effort and that's what watching film is for (today). That's what all next week is for, correcting the things we didn't do well tonight and getting them right for next Friday."
The Knights open the regular season on the road Friday night against Franklin at 7 p.m.