Lawrence North prepares to take back the Bell from rivals

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Lawrence North prepares to take back the Bell from rivals

Hannah Johnson, Photography editor

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The stadium lights, synthetic grass and the thought that the professionals played on that field can feel almost overwhelming for everyone attending games at Lucas Oil, including senior Keyshawn Smith, who was merely a freshman when he attended the Lawrence Preview night three years ago.

“Freshman year, I couldn’t really get the feeling of playing at Lucas Oil  because I didn’t play in the game. But now, with me being a senior and starting, it’s going to be fun because I know everyone is going to be watching now. I looked up to the seniors [three years ago at the game], I know that the lower classmen are going to be looking at me like that,” Smith said. 

Every three years, Lawrence Township all together has a chance to present what the township has to the community and future students involved with athletics and/or other extracurricular activities. This year’s Lawrence vs. Lawrence night will take place on Sept. 6. Students and other community members attending can buy presale tickets in the athletic office during school for $10. Tickets will be $15 at the gate. Athletic Director Michael Penrose is excited for the township on this night to show the community what the schools endure.

“[We are] looking for a win. We’re always looking to beat the Bears but this night in particular is going to be special because this will be an opportunity for the district to showcase different things that we have available to our kids. We have the elementary school Lawrence Township football league, we have our seventh and eighth grade football teams that will be able to take the field to play. We’re going to have the Marching Pride of Lawrence Township, our choir, dancers and of course we’re going to play a football game,” Penrose said.

LN’s Head Football coach Patrick Mallory has never thought about each game the football team has into detail. He looks at every game with the same idea.

“[We look at every game of] just playing the game because it is our next game. We can’t look past anything else and that’s the way it’s gotta be because it’s the next game,” Mallory said.

Just like Smith, senior Kaliyah Crockham, a Marching Pride performer, was merely a freshman when she performed three years ago at Lucas Oil. She is looking forward to the chance to win and getting to perform on such a large stage. 

“I am excited to see if LN wins and another chance to perform at Lucas Oil,” Crockham said.

LC has won over the Dwaine Bell trophy from LN for the last 13 years. Smith is looking forward to the chance to end LC’s winning streak and win the trophy back. 

“Of course I want to win, and I know that we’re going to get the Bell back this year. I feel as far as it being a rival game, I wouldn’t necessarily treat it like that. I will treat it as I personally treat any other game. I play every team the same. No team gets more respect than other teams for me, but I am looking forward to playing at Lucas Oil,” Smith said.

To the football team, getting to each game resembles a present. They’re thankful to all be there in that exact moment. This year since the team has an opportunity to play at Indiana’s professional stadium, that will be the present of that game, along with a possible win.

“A lot of people say that everyday is a gift, so really it’s going to be the gift that I get another game. It’s pretty special when you get to play in our states’ NFL stadium. I don’t like not having a home game, I don’t like that about it but it’s something that really draws in the township whether it’s here or at another school or at Lucas Oil. It really just draws in a big crowd,” Mallory said.

There are many kinds of crowds, though and some are full of energy, the kind that makes excitement bubble beneath your skin and vibrates right down to the bones. This type of energy is contagious. For Crockham, she was a part of it throughout her performances.

“[I love] the crowd’s energy, I think that that is the best part of it and just being a part of it all,” Crockham said. 

This year will make 14 years of LC’s winning streak if they find a way to win over the Wildcats. Smith is hoping that this special night will put the Bell back into LN’s possession. 

“We’re going to get the Bell back and it’s been a long time since we had it. Taking it back is going to be fun,” Smith said.

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