Bill Beck
Bill Beck
In Side Lines, Bill Beck offers observations, quips and queries about Elkhart County sports, often heavy on high school football and Notre Dame. Now and then, he puts a twisted spin on a variety of hot topics.

Other Stories by Bill Beck
Sports editor Bill Beck covers high school and Notre Dame sports for the Elkhart Truth.

Yes, the Minutemen did play at Rice Field a long, long time ago

Will Friday be the first time the Minutemen play at Rice Field?

Posted on Nov. 8, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 8, 2013 at 8:59 a.m.

I was reminded this week by Sean Leonard that Concord once used Elkhart's Rice Field as its home field when the school began playing football in the early 1960s, so yes, the Minutemen program has competed in varsity football games at that stadium. Concord has just never played Elkhart High or Elkhart Central -- anyone named Blue Blazers.

Also had Elkhart Memorial grad ask if the Minutemen ever played the Crimson Chargers on Rice Field before the school built Charger Field and joined the NLC. There were a handful of non-league games in the mid-to-late 90s. EMHS joined the NLC in 2001.

It's just great to have Concord and Central play for something special -- a sectional championship. The Minutemen have the emotional edge with QB Trevor Wilmore returning, but I see a game closer than most expect. Concord will have to bring its best rush defense to handle Central tailback Joe Phillips. Minutemen will win with special teams play.

Jimtown and Twin Lakes. Don't blink because you may miss a quarter. Both teams will want to run and run and run. It'll be a tug of war. Edge to the Jimmies only because TL struggled with CMA and Fairfield. I know the Indians have played a great schedule, but I like the Jims' defense to make enough stops in this one. ... For the same reason, I think Lake Central to hold off Penn in a real tug of war in 6A. To keep asking Zac Oakley be the lone offensive threat is tough to sustain. LC is home, a cruddy, soft field. Kingsmen may have a tough time getting offense going.

Here's how John Harrell's Indiana football website looks at the games.

Concord (8-2) at Elkhart Central (4-6) 

GAME TIME: 7:00 pm ET, Rice Field (WTRC, 1340 AM). 

COACHES: Tim Dawson, 174-106 in 25th year at Concord. Levon Johnson, 15-26 in 4th year at Elkhart Central. 

SAGARIN RATINGS: Concord, 72.23, 58th overall, 14th in Class 5A. Elkhart Central, 54.21, 150th overall, 26th in Class 5A.

LAST OUTING: Concord defeated Elkhart Memorial, 23-7. Elkhart Central defeated Goshen, 35-21.

VS. COMMON FOES: Concord 4-0, Elkhart Central 3-0.

OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Concord 45-59, Elkhart Central 50-53.

SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: No meetings.

PREDICTION: Concord, 35-17


Twin Lakes (7-4) at Jimtown (9-2)

GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Knepp Field. 

COACHES: Justin Gardiner, 11-11 in 2nd year at Twin Lakes. Mike_Campbell, 62-14 in 6th year at Jimtown.

SAGARIN RATINGS: Jimtown, 73.43, 45th overall, 6th in Class 3A. Twin Lakes, 59.81, 124th overall, 23rd in Class 3A.

LAST OUTING: Twin Lakes defeated Fairfield, 27-21. Jimtown defeated Rochester, 14-6.

OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Twin Lakes 68-50, Jimtown 62-53.

SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: No meetings.

PREDICTION: Jimtown, 31-21.


Penn (11-0) at Lake Central (9-2)

GAME TIME: 6:30 pm CT, Burial Grounds (WGCS, 91.1 FM; WTRC. 95.3 FM; WEFM, 95.9 FM).

COACHES: Cory Yeoman, 117-25 in 11th year at Penn. Brett St. Germain, 27-15 in 4th year at Lake Central, 77-27 in 9th year overall.

SAGARIN RATINGS: Penn, 96.01, 6th overall, 6th in Class 6A. Lake Central, 79.02, 28th overall, 15th in Class 6A.

LAST OUTING: Penn defeated Chesterton, 30-0. Lake Central defeated Merrillville, 31-0.

VS. COMMON FOES: Penn 4-0, Lake Central 3-0.

OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Penn 54-60, Lake Central 62-52.

SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Penn, 4-0.

LAST MEETING: Penn, 20-0, Oct. 6, 2000.

PREDICTION: Penn, 28-14 


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