Team for the ages

More than 35 players and coaches from the 2013 Scott County High School Class 6A state championship football team were introduced to the huge crowd at Friday night’s football game after their induction into the SCHS Athletics Hall of Fame. The Cardinals scored 778 points in the magical 15-0 season.

Hall of fame inductions usually are afforded to coaches who are long gone from the film room and players who can feel every arthritic pain to remind them of their glory days.

That isn’t the case at Scott County High School, where the legendary leader remains active, and many members of a letter-perfect football team only recently graduated from college.

Half this year’s induction class for the SCHS Athletics Hall of Fame, held at Elkhorn Crossing School, celebrated a football program that remains at the forefront.

Coach Jim McKee and the 2013 Class 6A state champions were extended that measure of local immortality Friday afternoon along with two other living giants, softball coach Richard Krebs and band director Tom Brawner.

“I told ’em, ‘I guess maybe somebody around here wants me to retire,’” McKee said of the symbolic gesture, “But I feel really good, and I’m only teaching one class now, so that gives me from 10 o’clock until 3 o’clock free, so I’ve got more time.”

There may have been another method to the madness.

By holding the ceremony on the same night as its inaugural game against Great Crossing, Scott County guaranteed itself a turnout of more than 30 alumni players, creating a Miami Hurricanes vibe on the sideline for the rivalry clash.

The school’s only undefeated football team went 15-0 in 2013, holding off Meade County, 21-14, for the title.

Challenges from Henry Clay (37-34) and Male (24-10) led up to that emotional victory on a frosty night in Bowling Green. Prior to that, the season was one long highlight film for the team led by Scott Daniel at receiver, Clay McKee at quarterback, running backs Keith Guy, Theo Price and Kevin Claussen, Daniel Berry on the line, and defensive stalwarts Grayson Miller and Thomas Daniel.

McKee said a close but agonizing loss to Trinity, 21-14, in the 2012 semi-state round paved the way.

“Great team, great players. I’ve never been a guy that tries to say, ‘Last year, we almost made it, and we lost, and this year we’re gonna do better.’ You should’ve done better the first year. But I knew walking off the field in 2012, not that that loss was going to fuel us, but I knew what we had coming back,” he said.

“We running clocked the first 12 opponents that year. We overcame Scott getting hurt (leg fracture, late regular season). No offense to any of these guys, but Scott was really, really good. He could play offense, defense, return kicks.”

SC scored a staggering 778 points (an average of 52 per game) and allowed 294.

McKee used Friday’s mile post to shrug off any suggestions that he’s near retirement. The youngest of his three sons, Cade, graduates after this season.

“Trinity had Carmel down 41-6 at one point (Friday) night, and when I saw the Douglass-Trinity score, what shocked me wasn’t how bad Trinity beat Douglass, what stood out out to me was, ‘Man, I’m glad we don’t have to play Trinity anymore.’ I think with the enrollment of our high school right now, we look to be 5A for the foreseeable future, so I’d say about 10 more years,” McKee said. “I’m looking at a solid 10 more.”

Krebs continues to serve the community in coaching as an assistant with Georgetown College football. Brawner directed SC’s marching band for 19 years, part of nearly a half-century in music education.

Kal Oakes can be reached via email at sports@news-graphic.com.

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