State memories: 1991 squad reunites

For The Tribune

In recalling members of Seymour’s 1991 football team, coach Joe Goodman said there are a lot of things that make him proud of that group.

“It was a good group, and the thing that impressed me more than anything else in putting all of this together was how many of these kids have college degrees and are professional people,” Goodman said. “They fit so well as good citizens in our society. You’ve got to be pleased with that, not only with their success on the field, but with their success in their communities now.

“It was a good group of kids, a great time of year and something obviously another team has never done at Seymour High School yet, and we’re proud of that.”

The group got together Oct. 14 to celebrate and remember the 1991 season in which the Owls advanced to the Class 4A state championship game before losing to Hobart.

Goodman said in most of the other years, seniors from 25 years ago were introduced at a home game.

This time he invited all members of the ’91 team because it advanced so far in the postseason.

Seymour posted a season record of 12-2, losing to Center Grove 33-29 during the regular season.

Two-way starter Jason Storey recalled the Center Grove game.

“A lot of us didn’t play,” Storey said. “I went out with a concussion, Shawn Acton pulled his back, Jeff Vance went out with a dislocated shoulder, and (Michael) Batts was out. We had five or six of our starters go out.”

The Owls began their tournament run with a double overtime 27-24 win against a strong Boonville team.

They blanked Mt. Vernon (Posey) 27-0, then topped Evansville Bosse 34-14 in the sectional championship.

Seymour topped Franklin County 28-14 in the regional, then nipped Avon 21-20 in the semistate to earn the right to play Hobart at the Hoosier Dome.

Thad Herzberger, who was a starter at outside linebacker said, “We played a 4-3 mainly. I either covered a wide receiver or a back that came out of the backfield. Whoever was coming out is who I had.

“There were a lot of big games. Evansville Bosse was a big one. I don’t remember the score, but we knew coming in it was going to be a tough one. And Avon, obviously. It was raining, and Craig Flinn got the last interception. That was big. It was a good time.”

The team got to play on turf for the first time in the state final.

“Playing at the Hoosier Dome was the first time we played on turf, so we had to go out and buy shoes and start over from scratch,” Herzberger said. “We played on grass all season, so we had to get shoes for that one game.”

Herzberger, a forest fire fighter who lives in Marion, Illinois, said he thinks the team was a close bunch.

“I enjoyed the camaraderie; it was a good team with good friends,” Herzberger said. “You can tell now we haven’t seen each other for over 20 years, and still have a camaraderie. We had great coaches. I mean Joe and (Jeff) Richey and (Chris) Rose. They just really made us feel like a team, so it’s always good when you feel like a team.

“There was no drama. It was just playing football.”

Chad Reedy, a starting safety, led the Owls in interceptions that season with five.

He also returned kicks and he returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown against Mt. Vernon.

“It was one of many good memories of that season,” Reedy said. “It was a special play, and a special season. On that particular play I had a lot of people blocking for me, which was the story of our season. We had a lot of team members working together to make big plays.”

Reedy, who is principal of a middle school in the Indianapolis area, was glad to meet up with past teammates.

“Tonight was a special night because it reminded us all how close we were during that season and the accomplishments we had,” Reedy said. “But, I think the thing we all earned and the thing why we had so many people back tonight is how important teamwork is. It never gets old, and it’s a special thing even 25 years later how that bond is still there.”

Storey said he started at defensive end in 1991.

During his sophomore year an offensive lineman became injured, so Storey started at a guard, and he remained at both positions for the remainder of his career.

“I didn’t want to play offensive line. I wanted to play defense, but that’s what you do for the team,” Storey recalled. “The one game that we knew we had it was the opening game of the sectional when we played Boonville. Boonville was supposed to beat us — they were bigger.

“Their quarterback and their fullback both went Division I, so that was a team that we should not have beat, and we beat them. After we beat them it was like ‘yeah, we’re pretty good. We’re gonna go (to state).’”

Goodman said 28 players from that team attended the Owls’ game against Madison and the reception at Pizza Palace.

Members of the team watched game film from the state championship at the meetup.

“It was an excellent turnout,” Goodman said. “People came from Illinois, Texas and Los Angeles, so we’re extremely pleased.”

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.