TIPTON — They’ve been here before, and with the window closing on the current seniors’ careers, Tipton’s football squad is looking to break through to the semistate round in those seniors’ final opportunity to do so.
The Class 2A No. 7-ranked Blue Devils (9-3) captured their fourth-straight sectional title last Friday in a 37-21 win at Delphi, and tonight will look to win their first regional title since 1994 when they welcome Oak Hill to town.
“That’s 19 years, and a win [tonight] would put this ballclub in elite company, where only two other teams in school history have been,” Tipton coach Aaron Tolle said. The Blue Devils also won a regional in 1988. “That’s been our approach, and I don’t think there’s any doubt our team is going to be very focused and zeroed in. I think they have been, for the most part, all season long. They’re very tournament experienced. This is the fourth straight year they’ve been in this game, and I think our guys are eager to be successful in one.”
It’s Tipton’s fourth straight year hosting the regional round, falling at the hands of eventual 2A state champion Fort Wayne Bishop Luers each of the three years previous. Luers moved up to Class 3A with the IHSAA’s success factor, opening the door for someone new in the 2A North to earn the nod to the state finals.
“There’s eight teams left [in 2A] and that’s the ultimate goal for all eight of them,” Tolle said. “We’re really looking forward to this. This is the first time we’ve played Oak Hill in football in school history to my knowledge. I think that’s pretty cool. They’re a program a lot like us, a public school that’s used to having a lot of success in football. I think it’s kind of neat that we’re getting to play a CIC team, which is our old conference. I think you wrap all of those things into [tonight], and the fact that it’s a regional ballgame, and it’s going to be a great atmosphere.”