News and Tribune

October 22, 2012

HUNTER: Charlestown football equals video game


SELLERSBURG — What an unbelievable season coach Jason Hawkins and the Charlestown Pirates are having in football this fall.

I haven’t gotten an opportunity to watch them live this season, but I have paid close attention through the paper and television. The points they have put up on people is impressive (latest 82-0 victory over Mitchell in the first round of Class 3A Sectional 23).

But what may be more impressive is how few points the Charlestown defense has given up this year (only 6.3 points per game).

How many games have the Pirates had that finished with a running clock?

I can’t help to wonder how that will affect them in a close game in the tournament. Most coaches would like to have that problem, I think, to be so good that you can’t work on some close game situations. I guess that is what practice is for, to prepare for those situations.

What it has reminded me of is playing my Xbox college football game, which I did a few years ago.

I didn’t know much about playing football, so I worked my way through the “easiest” level. By the time I finished, I was (or should I say IU football was) scoring at will against the top college teams in the nation. IU had gone from being ranked very low, all the way to winning the national championship thanks to my quick learning and taking advantage of weaker teams.

I could score on almost all possessions. I had a great running back, a quarterback who would throw it on the money or run for long yardage and receivers that never dropped the ball.

On defense, we blitzed every single play and teams could rarely get a first down. It might not sound like fun to many, but it was to me. Kind of like what the Pirates are doing weekly, it might not seem like fun to many, but I bet it is to them and especially the coaching staff.

I think the most fun I had playing my video game was being able to do things on the football field, albeit in a video game, that had never been done (at least in my vicinity).  

Until this fall and what Charlestown is doing ... in real life.

The numbers on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball are ridiculous … like my video game. It almost seems unfair what they are doing until I remember that their coaches and players have worked very hard for this opportunity, and it isn’t like Charlestown is a 5A or 4A school that will continue to do this forever.

Believe it or not, most good teams are dependent on talent, taking that good team to great depends on the work ethic and attitude of the coaching staff and players which has shown to be at a high level this season at the Greater Clark school.

I don’t know all of the rumors coming out of Charlestown about this player or that player, and thank goodness for that.

What I do know that in the sports world (coaches and fans especially) if there is something going on within the team or with the players, you hear about it. I am sure they are like most high school kids, prone to mistakes and having fun. But I don’t hear any drastic stories about anything bad going on. Which makes me feel that not only are these guys putting up great numbers, but they represent Charlestown for the most part in a positive manner off the field as well.

I hope I am not wrong on this, but what the Charlestown team and coaching staff is doing on the field will be remembered for a long time.

The opportunity they have now to affect people even more off the field is something that can last for a long time.

Perry Hunter is a Henryville High School teacher and a former coach of the school’s boys’ basketball team. You can visit his blog at