Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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November 2, 2012

Orioles ready for Pike

With an exciting finish last Friday at Terre Haute, the Avon Orioles propelled themselves into a sectional final match up against the Pike Red Devils at 7 p.m. this Friday at home.

There is definitely familiarity between the two teams as Avon has bounced Pike from postseason play in each of the last three seasons, including Orioles coach Mark Bless’ first with the team in 2010.

“I’m sure there is some (animosity) of that out there,” Bless said. “We are extremely anxious like we are every year up to this point. The livelihood of our team is a stake and when you are practicing to keep

the team alive, Friday night you are playing with everything you have.”

Not only is there history between the two teams, but there is also a common thread between the two coaches. Pike coach Derek Moyers was hired by Bless when he took over as the coach at Mooresville.

“We are good friends,” he said. “I hired him as my first hire when I took over at Mooresville and brought him on right out of college. He was even more energetic than he is now and we’ve developed a close friendship.”

But those three losses have not sat well with the Red Devils as they look to knock off the Orioles this Friday.

“Three years in a row we have lost to Avon in the sectionals and all three years by three points and two of those years have been on the last play of the game,” Moyers said. “There’s definitely a bad taste in our mouth, but they are a very good and well-coached football team.”

Moyers, the former coach at Cascade High School before taking the Pike position in 2007, had nothing but respect for his former mentor.

All personal notes aside, this should be a great contest between two well-coached teams for a sectional title. It will be Avon’s fifth sectional championship game in a row, but the Orioles have only come away with one title in that time.

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