Ben Davis Giants looking for different ending to story

Ben Davis

For those who remember the old fairy-tale of "Jack and the Beanstalk", the story didn't end so well for the over-sized human attempting to strike fear in the hearts of those around him. So how does Ben Davis Head Coach Mike Kirschner make sure his Giants don't fee, fi, fo, fumble their way to the same finish?

By rewarding them for knocking the Jacks of the IHSAA football world down on almost every single play.

"We have a thing called a hatchet," said Senior Roy Traylor. "That's where you perform above eighty-percent of your plays. And I just want to do that, I just want to do that every single game."

With the talent that Ben Davis traditionally has, dominating at that rate could equal to a large number of victories in 2011. Of course that is something that is hard to obtain when you are still practicing against your own team.

"We are just looking to play somebody else at this point," said Kirschner. "You get tired of scrimmaging yourself, and we are just looking forward to a real challenge from Avon on Friday."

The Giants are ready to kick off the upcoming season and put behind their 6-4 record from 2010, one that ended prematurely to Pike in the opening round of Sectionals in a 45-38 overtime loss. Though the season shouldn't necessarily be considered a failure by any means, with impressive victories over Penn (14-10) and when the Giants hit full offensive stride against Lawrence North (70-14), all the players seem to have one goal on their mind.

"I'm just looking forward to getting back at the teams that beat us last year," said Senior Tray Minor.

Minor and Traylor are two of the very big, and literally big, reasons the Giants can look forward to success in 2011. Minor and Traylor join an offensive line that is returning three seniors, all of them well above six-feet tall.

"Our whole strong side is just big," said Traylor. "We're just above six feet and everything. We are big, we are powerful, a strong upper and lower body. We are going to be very good on our strong side."

The holes the linemen open up will be run through by returning Senior Lamont Osborn, who carried the load of the Giants rushes last year for 491 yards and six touchdowns in eight regular season games. Fullback Matt Brock will be moved over to the quarterback position, where Kirschner feels he has made great strides with a strong arm. Of course he'll have plenty of help with Indiana recruit Caleb Cornett and Montay McDowell at the receiver position.

On the defensive side of the ball the Giants are returning three defensive linemen in Shawn Parks, Shauntavius Dunlap, and Corey Powell, but will also have some speed behind the big men up front.

"When our inside backers are healthy we'll really be excited," said Kirschner. "We have some really good inside linebackers in Marlon McDowell and Anthony Stella, and Justin Garrett. And then we return our whole secondary at Michael Taylor and Na'Shawn Lewis at corner. So we are excited about both the speed, and the experience that comes with that."

Of course this season will be a little bit different for the Giants in purple. The series against northern rival Penn will not be played this year, and instead Ben Davis will open up their non-conference schedule against Indianapolis Cathedral (Lucas Oil Stadium on Aug. 20th) and Pike the following Friday.

"They are pretty much at home at Lucas," said Traylor of Cathedral. "So we just have to come out there and perform, do our best. We gotta be excited to go out there, because it's one of two trips that we are going to be making."

If the Giants were to return to Lucas Oil a second time, it would be during the Class 5A State championship game Thanksgiving weekend. And if Ben Davis were to make it to that game, they'd be the last Giants standing in the land.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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