Driving around Brownstown this week, it’s evident everyone has caught the F.E.V.E.R.
Signs with that acronym are spotted in front of homes and businesses in the county seat, signifying the Brownstown Central High School football team’s theme, “Fun. Exciting. Vibrant. Enjoyable. Rewarding.”
Those words perfectly describe the Braves’ season so far, which includes Mid-Southern Conference, sectional and regional titles.
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Tonight, they will travel to play Lawrenceburg for a Class 3A semistate game. The winner will play in the 3A state championship Nov. 26 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
This is only the third time Brownstown has made it to semistate, but no Braves team has made it to state.
At the beginning of the week, the football team’s Parents Offering Positive Support Club encouraged businesses to “paint the town red and black” by participating in a decorating contest.
By Tuesday, several signs were placed around town with messages such as “One team, one dream” and “We can, we will, end of story” and along sidewalks near the school.
Businesses got involved by decorating their windows or putting messages on their signs.
At Anytime Florals, 721 W. Commerce St., the sign outside reads “Braves is our name. Winning is our game. Good luck!”
Lisa Martin, co-owner of the business with her husband, Tom, said they have had messages of support on their sign all season.
In the six years they have been at their current location, the couple have shown support for the school’s teams. Besides messages on their sign, they have sent balloon bouquets, candy bouquets and other gifts.
“It’s just a show of support for the team,” Lisa said. “It shows the teamwork, basically how the whole community comes together.”
The nice part is they always receive thanks for the gifts.
“We get notes and cards from them thanking us for the support,” Lisa said. “It’s just a part of the community being together, which I like that. I like small town. I like the fact that a lot of them are family and are friends of our family. It makes it nice.”
Tom said the school’s athletes appreciate businesses’ support.
“It’s nice to have kids in the school that appreciate the businesses, that do come in and thank us for the support,” he said. “It’s real nice.”
The Martins, both Brownstown Central graduates, also support the football and basketball teams with radio sponsorship.
Lisa said she has been to a few games this season and likes what she sees on the field.
“I like how the kids all seem to get along real well,” she said. “They seem to be good to each other.”
Lisa said they are happy to see the football team make it to semistate.
“A lot of times in our business, we always see the sad end of it, so it’s kind of nice to have the happy occasions, too, and to show them support,” she said.
The message on Snappy Tomato Pizza’s sign at 201 S. Main St. reads “Congrats BCHS. Regional champs.”
Co-owners Bob and Donna Bishop regularly promote school activities on their sign.
“The simple fact is we think it’s important,” Bob said. “This town has taken care of my kids and my family, so we just feel the need to give back.”
The Bishops’ three children participated in a variety of sports when they were in high school, including basketball, football, baseball and track and field.
“My kids grew up in this town, and they took care of us,” Bob said. “This town is a great town to live in. People just need to support their town.”
Bob said the football players often come into the restaurant on Saturdays to eat, and they always thank him for messages on the sign outside.
“It’s kind of like a ritual for them,” he said.
The Bishops haven’t been able to go to any games this year because they stay busy managing three stores, but they made it outside the night of Nov. 11 when the Braves rode on firetrucks around town after defeating Evansville Memorial 30-7 at home for the regional title.
Bob said it’s exciting to see the football team have success.
“They made it further than my son made it. They made it to regional but never won,” he said. “This is exciting. There’s a lot of spirit. This is fun for all of us.”