Nov 07

Columbus East, Gaddis return to Bowl Saturday

Week 13 GameDay Central brought to you by Tracy Zeller Jewelry

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Nov. 7, 2012 — After passing their biggest test of the season, surviving the No. 2 Jasper Wildcats, 31-30, Reitz has an even bigger challenge coming to the Bowl this Saturday: taking on No. 1 Columbus East for the regional championship.

The Olympians’ coach, Bob Gaddis, is all too familiar with the legendary stadium. Before taking over at Columbus East, he served as the Panther head coach from 1991-2000. He also returned with the Olympians for the legendary roller-coaster 61-60 battle between the two schools. in 2007. Many long-time fans, some who had been going to Reitz games since the 1950s, called it the greatest game they’d ever seen.

However, any psychological advantage that might have given is being downplayed by Gaddis.

“These kids that are playing [for Columbus East] weren’t there,” said Gaddis. “It’s a different team and we haven’t even talked about that game to our players.”

Gaddis faced former Reitz coach John Hart in 2007, but this time it’ll be against someone much closer to him in Coach Lewis, who played under Gaddis and later became one of his assistant coaches.

“Tony was a freshman when I came to South Dearborn,” Gaddis said. “His family became very good friends with ours and I hired him right out of college to coach. I used to go over and watch his games in Ohio [where Lewis had been head coach before coming to Reitz]. He’s been a part of our family and I’m happy for the success he’s had at Reitz. It’s going to be fun to coach against him.”

Lewis, who has the Panthers (9-3) on an eight-game win streak, is hoping for his third regional title. It would be Gaddis’  fourth with the Olympians, who are 12-0.

“We’re happy to playing for a championship in November,” added Gaddis. “It’s going to be a great day for football.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday at Reitz Bowl.

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