I’ve mentioned poor EHS several times when sharing my sports reporting exploits. They are the team that had A) a seven-year losing streak and B) have won only five games in the past decade. It was my week to draw the short straw1 and for the first time, I headed down to cover one of their games.

It promised to be a long night. The previous week they played, and beat, the only school they’ve defeated in the past ten years.2 No matter who they were playing this week, the odds were stacked against them.

It went as expected. EHS was able to burn some clock on offense, but never really threatened and their opponents put the game away early.

There was something unusual about the game, though. Or, more specifically, about how I had to cover it. Last summer EHS planned on building a new press box. They accepted bids, chose a contractor, and set a date to begin construction. In anticipation of that, they tore down the old press box and had the appropriate materials ordered and delivered.

On the day construction was set to begin, no contractors showed up. Calls were placed, promises made, and it was expected construction would kick off soon.

That never happened.

So now they have a football stadium without a press box. I sat in the stands with the rest of the crowd, juggling my paperwork and trying to keep track of everything in the semi-dark. Add in the severe drought that’s gripped central Indiana for months, and it was near impossible to see yard markers. The field was mostly dust, and once play moved inside the 20s, neither I nor the scoreboard operator had a clear view of where the ball was spotted.

This isn’t some poor me post, complaining about not having posh accommodations to track a high school football game. Rather it’s just another sign about how difficult the situation is for EHS football. The school won three sectional championships in winter and spring sports last year. Their rosters are growing, giving coaches a chance to run real practices and develop young talent. But in football, things remain tough.

  1. Or, as I prefer to think of it, it was the most difficult assignment of the week and my editor chose me to tackle it. 
  2. That’s right, they’re five-for-the-last-decade and all five wins are against the same school. Despite that, they still have a losing record against that team.