I can’t take original credit for this realization — that goes to Columbia head coach Chip Bilderback — but it’s quite amazing that the three Marion County public schools only lost to each other on the gridiron during the regular season. It was the Monday after his Wildcats beat West Marion when he pointed it out to me, and man is that impressive.
Columbia is currently undefeated at 10-0, West Marion is 10-1 with its lone loss to the Wildcats and East Marion is 7-2 with its two losses to the Wildcats and Trojans. For the trio to beat every other team on their schedules outside of Marion County speaks to just how good the football being played here is.
I checked the record books as far back as I could find, which was 1970, and there wasn’t one season where the three schools only lost to each other in the regular season. That’s 50 years of football in Marion County, and this is statistically the best the trio has been at the same time.
And now that the postseason is upon us and there are brackets to check out, I predict that each of the three schools will make it to south state and keep the unprecedented success up. The way the bracket aligns in Class 3A, I see the Wildcats and Trojans matching up once again with a trip to the state championship game on the line. Then in 2A, I think the Eagles are going to get south state before they have to deal with Ty Keyes and Taylorsville (10-1).
Just imagine what that would be like to have three teams in south state on the same night, with Columbia and West Marion squaring off for Round 2. I won’t say that I think the Trojans should have won the first matchup because they were outplayed and rightfully lost, but the game was closer than the 33-14 final score indicated.
With three teams vying for a bid to play in south state, this year has the potential to be the best football season Marion County has ever seen.
So sit back and enjoy because you may never get another year quite like 2019.