Feb 05

Brown signs with Butler University

Will Brown announced his decision to attend college and continue his football-playing career.

Brown, an all-state defensive back and co-ReitzFootball.com Player of the Year, will go to Butler University. The Bulldogs are in Indianapolis, Ind.

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Feb 05

Tristen Clark signs with Lindenwood University

Tristen Clark announced his decision to attend college and continue his football-playing career.

Clark, an honorable mention all-state tight end, will attend Lindenwood University in Belleville, Ill.

The Lynx program is only in its fifth season and competes in the NAIA.

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Feb 05

Three Panthers named to IFCA Region 9 All-Star team

Three members of the Reitz Football team were selected by the Indiana Football Coaches Association as part of the Region 9 All-Star team.

  • Will Brown, outside linebacker/strong safety
  • Tristen Clark, tight end
  • Kerrion Ringo, running back

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Feb 05

Galloping Ghost of West High helps 1927 become No. 4 Most Offensive Team in Reitz Football history

1927 Varsity team picture

The varsity team picture for the 1927 Panthers (Source – 1928 Ohihill Yearbook)

The 1927 Panthers are No. 4 on “The Top 10 Most Offensive Teams in Reitz Football History.” Overlooked by many, that year’s team went unscored upon in their first six games and only allowed nine points all season. Central was the only setback for the ’27 Panthers, beating them, 7-6.

While that win gave the Bears the city title, Reitz would win their first-ever conference championship. While the SIAC would not exist until 1935, the Panthers were members of the Tiny Ten Conference and took the title in the fall of ’27.

1927 Tiny Ten Standings Conference Overall
W-L Pct. W-L Pct.
Evansville Reitz 7-1 0.875 7-1 0.875
Mount Carmel (Ill.) 5-1-2 0.750 5-1-2 0.750
Princeton 6-3 0.667 6-3 0.667
Evansville Bosse 6-3-1 0.650 6-3-1 0.650
Henderson Barret (Ky.) 6-3-1 0.650 6-3-1 0.650
Evansville Central 4-4-1 0.500 4-4-1 0.500
Carmi (Ill.) 4-4-1 0.500 4-4-1 0.500
Boonville 4-4 0.500 4-4 0.500
Evansville Memorial 3-4 0.429 3-4 0.429
Petersburg 2-5 0.286 2-5 0.286
Mount Vernon 1-3 0.250 1-3 0.250

Note that the ’28 on the graphic refers to the graduating class of 1928, which of course played football in the fall of 1927 (Source – 1928 Ohihill Yearbook)

At the time, the 7-1 record was the young West Side school’s best to date. Reitz outscored her opponents 327-9 and averaged 40.88 points per game.

Elmer W. Weber’s 1927 squad featured several outstanding players, four of whom would be named all-city and all-Tiny Ten (Carver Browne, Bill Droll, Sr., Edgar Engel and Herman Korressel). Droll & Engel were both all-state.

Droll, described by the 1928 Ohihill Yearbook as the “galloping ghost of West High”, lead the 1927 team with 117 points (14.625/game) and is a member of the Reitz Football Hall of Fame.

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Jan 25

20 years of covering the Reitz Football Tradition: Part 1

In the early days of the website, Mike Whicker was gracious enough to write this piece on the tradition of Reitz Football. Not sure why I had taken it off in the first place, as it’s a great read. I’ll be revising it soon but wanted to post this to give you an idea of some of the site’s early material:

Reitz High School Football

The Tradition

The year was 1922. Reitz was infant in high school football circles. The Panthers were annihilated by a Herman Byers’ captained Central football team, 104-0. Few suspected or dared believe, Byers would return as coach two decades later to shape budding football power into a feared juggernaut, the state’s perenniaal No. 1 candidate.

The Panthers began showing signs of maturity in 1930 when they shared the city championship with Memorial. By 1933, players like J.D. Eakins and Doc Hape made the school a bona fide power and Reitz claimed its first mythical state championship.

Eight years later in 1941, a few months before World War II engulfed the nation, the Panthers tossed their hats into the ring for a second mythical state title.

Yet that mystical aura of invincibility, which has become synonymous with Reitz football didn’t explode until Ocotber 1, 1948. That was when Reitz laid siege to a string of No. 1 rankings. On that night a crown estimated at 15,000 people spilled over Reitz Bowl to watch the Panthers destroy Pete Ruczinski and his mighty East Chicago Rossevelts’s Roughriders, 32-6. Roosevelt owned an unbeaten record stretching back into 1944, with only a 7-7 tie with Memorial straining the run. The Roughriders claimed state titles in 1945-46-47 and were bidding for four straight.

Reitz swept away the title in 1948 with such standouts as All-Staters Pete Fischer, Malcom Cook, Bob Hertzberger, and Tommy Wilson. They went on to claim more titles in the polls during 1953-57-60-61 under Byers.

Don Hansen, later an All-Big Ten linebacker at Illinois before begiining a 12-year pro career, anchored the 1961 team. It was an awesome team finishing unbeaten, untied and unscored on. That is a feat that never can be bettered anywhere.

When Byers resigned after the 1968 campaign, his Reitz teams stood 189-51-15; less than two losses per season under 27 campaigns.

Bob Padgett was promoted from Freshman Coach to replace Byers in 1969 and the beat went on. Padgett’s teams drilled 79 opponents and lost to 13; less than 1.5 setbacks per season. In 1971, the Panthers team rolled 10 straight foes for the state championship. In 1976 and 1977, Padgett’s teams finished regular season play unbeaten before bowing in the state football playoffs with 11-1 and 12-1 records respectively. The 1977 team was state runnerup.

Bob Ashworth followed Padgett in 1978 and promptly guided the Panthers to a 8-1 record after being rated No. 1 much of the season. The tradition endures.

Bill Hape returned to Reitz High School in 1983 where he had been an All-State linebacker in 1965. The playoff system was instituted in 1985 while Hape was coach. He spent 8 years guiding the Panthers. The 1986 team was undefeated in regular season play, losing only to Jasper 9-7 in the second round of the Sectionals on a last second field goal.

Bob Gaddis followed Hape to The Hill in 1991. In 1992, the Panthers were 11-2 and in the final four. In 1995, Reitz finished 8-2, their two losses coming both from North, who subsequently lost in the state championship, by a total of ten points. The 1996, squad finished the regular season undefeated, losing only to Harrison in the playoffs by seven points. They finished 9-1. Gaddis is committed to Reitz football and the tradition that it carries.

Byers, who was instrumental in building the formidable football foundation, best explains the aura surrounding Reitz football: “With me, football meant everything. Then, the West Side is a community of its own. You don’t find any better people. Everybody there backs football. It’s a neighborhood thing linked with success. Quite a few fathers had sons who grew up to play for Reitz. But the traditon goes with winning.”

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Jan 22

Welcome to our 20th year of covering Reitz Football!

wpr.jpgWe have reached quite a milestone! We have been covering the Reitz Football Tradition since 1996, so this is our 20th anniversary!

We’ve got some exciting things in store, so we’ve moved from the free self-hosted wordpress.com to Hostgator, which will allow us do some awesome customization!

FYI – links on the site will no longer contain reitzfootball.wordpress.com, it’ll only be reitzfootball.com from now on!

So if you see wordpress.com in the URL, you are on the old page. We’ll keep the old one online for now, but it won’t be udpated.


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Dec 31

Former Panther coach John Hart returning to Indiana


Hart coached Reitz to their 2007 state championship

Former Reitz head coach John Hart will return to Indiana this fall, it was announced this week. Hart is the new head coach at Brownsburg High School, a 6A football team in the Indianapolis area.

Hart coached the Panthers from 2001 to 2007. He was at Warren Central from 2008 to 2011 then Huntley (Ill.) for the last four years.

Hart has compiled a 266-82 win/loss record in 30 years of coaching.

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Dec 29

Most Offensive Team in Reitz Football history is 2003

2003 Most Offensive

The most offensive team in Reitz Football history was not a state champion. They didn’t even win semi-state. Or regional, for that matter.

But that’s part of what makes 2003 so fantastic. They scored an average of 45.31 points, almost more than four more per game than any other Panther team in school history, AND they did it in only 13 games.

Think about it…some teams played 14 or 15 games and still didn’t score more on average than the 2003 squad.

With 589 total points, they were only eight behind 2007’s team that scored the most points in a single season in school history.

Coach John Hart, in his third year, would guide the Panthers to a No. 1 ranking before being upset, 31-20, by Center Grove in the Class 5A Regional Championship.

They had four players named to all-state (Zach Barrett, Andy Deig, Nick Hart and Daniel Woods). Deig and Hart are also members of the Reitz Football Hall of Fame.

In 2003, Deig set the single-season Panther record for tackles (209). Hart also set single-season records for passing yards (1,797), longest touchdown pass (72 yards) and passing touchdowns (27), although all three records have subsequently been broken.

  • note: team records are only available for 1992-99, 2002-10 and 13-present; please let us know if you have any years that are missing

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Dec 28

581 points in 14 games make 2010 No. 2 Most Offensive Team in Reitz Football History

2010 Most Offensive

Often overshadowed by the 2007 and 2009 state championship teams, the 2010 Panthers had an incredible run that cannot be ignored.

They scored 581 points in 14 games to average 41.5 points per game. The Panthers won city and SIAC championships and finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in every poll. Reitz went on to win sectional and regional titles before falling to eventual state champion, Indianapolis Cathedral, 56-28, in the semi-state game.

The Panthers had five all-state players, including Ke’Andre Vaughn and Matt McIntosh, who shared the team scoring title with 84 points.

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Dec 18

Deig picked Academic All-Star

The 2015 Reitz Football team can add another honor to its resume as Evan Deig, the Panthers’ senior quarterback, was selected as an Indiana Academic All-Star, it was reported by the Evansville Courier & Press.

Deig, only one of 25 high school football players from around the state to receive the honor, will be presented with the award before Sunday’s Indianapolis Colts game.

Click here for the full story from the Courier & Press

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