INDIANAPOLIS

Under Friday night’s lights at North Central High School, Gavin Bane strapped his Brownstown Central football helmet on for one last time.

While he put on his usual lid, Bane didn’t have “Braves” transcribed across the chest of his jersey.

Instead of the typical black and red uniform with #14 on either side, Bane wore red and white with “South” printed above an 84.

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After spending the entire week up in Indianapolis, Bane, who recently graduated from Brownstown, competed in the Indiana Football Coaches Association’s 51st North-South All-Star Classic with some of the top talent from across Indiana — across all classes — on Friday.

Bane, who will play for the University of Indianapolis this fall, went to work as a wide receiver and punter/kick returner for the Southern All-Stars.

In the game — which the North claimed, 21-14, on a touchdown with 15 seconds remaining — Bane finished with one reception for six yards. He also fielded a pair of punt returns, which equaled out to near the same yardage.

“It was just awesome,” Bane said. “The whole week was just a great experience. To come out here and have all the fans and coaches here, it’s a great honor to do that for my school.

“Out here, the North-South game is about the biggest thing you can do besides win a state championship. This is the way I want (my career) to end, in front of family, fans and coaches.”

Bane was one of 22 offensive players chosen for the South roster across 10 regions. Ten of the offensive spots were taken by linemen.

No team could have more than two players on the roster, on offense or defense, and each region needed five players represented on the roster.

Despite his low numbers, Bane was targeted the most of any receiver on the field for the South and had a couple of 30-plus yards bombs thrown his way in the end zone.

“I thought I played all right,” Bane said. “There were a lot of passes that were a little under thrown, but (the North) also had a lot of good defensive backs. They got up and knocked the ball down.”

Bane was the 13th Brownstown Central football player selected for the game.

Former Braves who have played in the game include: Carl Bottorff (1983), Matt Rochner (’96), Clay Fritz (’97), Seth Zike (’98), Brant Hurley (2001), Clayton Beard (’02), Jacoby Hines (’03), Chandler Lambring (’05), Adam Mellencamp (’06), Dustin Allman (’07), Teddy Stucker (’09) and Steffen Lewis (’11).

“It’s rewarding not only for Gavin, but for our football program,” BCHS coach Reed May said. “This is our 13th kid who had made the All-Star game, and 12th since I’ve been here. He not only represents his family but our school and community. I was fortunate enough to play in this game way back when and also coached in it. It’s great exposure.”

The All-Star teams ventured to Indianapolis on Monday and spent the week practicing and living together on the UIndy campus.

On Wednesday, the team went to Camp Riley in Martinsville to spend time with the campers.

A banquet was Thursday night before Friday night’s contest.

This summer, Bane has been going up to UIndy to work with the Greyhounds.

“I’ve been working out at UIndy about three times a week and at Brownstown the other two,” Bane said. “There has been a lot of conditioning. I move in on August 6 for camp week. I’m going to have to do a lot more conditioning to get ready for it. It has been fun lifting with the team.”

Bane said that the biggest difference so far is the pace at the college level.

“The intensity, everything is so much faster,” Bane said. “Everything we’re doing is 100 mph. You lift and then run from each thing.”

May believes Bane will have success due to his willingness to improve and desire to win.

“Gavin is a dedicated kid,” he said. “He’s going to do a great job. Any kid that goes to college just needs to keep in mind they’re a freshman again. He was a star player for us, and now you’re a freshmen. I think he will contribute. I’m just not sure when. I think he will do a great job up here.

Bane, who ran the ball early and often for the Braves in a wing-T offense, will work more as a receiver in college like he did at the All-Star game.

“They say wide receiver, but I think he’s more of an inside slot,” May said. “He’s going to be thrown balls when he’s one-on-one with safeties and linebackers. He has great speed, tonight was a step to where he will be playing in college.”

Calling it a career

Gavin Bane leaves Brownstown Central with one of the most illustrious careers on the gridiron. Accolades includeded:

  • IFCA North-South All-Star
  • IFCA Regional 10 All-Star
  • IFCA All-State First Team, Running Back (3A)
  • AP All-State First Team, All-Purpose (3A)
  • IFCA Junior All-State
  • Eight school records
  • 2x Mid-Southern Conference First Team
  • Jackson County Player of the Year,
  • 2x All-County team
  • 2x Kentuckiana Sports Awards, All-Southern Indiana Football
  • 3 sectional titles, 3 conference titles, 1 regional title
  • Six BCHS team awards
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Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.