Fans of Greek mythology will recall the sad tale of Sisyphus, king of Corinth, whose punishment by Hades was being forced to roll an enormous boulder up a hill only to have it roll back to the bottom when he neared the top, repeating this effort for all eternity.
Fans of Brebeuf’s football team could find similarities to Sisyphus when considering the Braves’ seemingly eternal struggle with the Catholic school from Broad Ripple, who has now beaten them 27 out of the last 29 meetings, including Friday night’s 49-7 blowout in Sectional 28 quarterfinal play, ending Brebeuf’s 2019 season and their two-year run as sectional champions.
The school in question was named for the Bishop of Indianapolis at the turn of the twentieth century, a brilliant and benevolent man who was called the most scholarly clergyman in America. His namesake school’s football team was equally smart in their dismantling of Brebeuf, handing the football to tailback Daylen Taylor 437 times in the first half for 2,403 yards. …OK, it was 17 carries for 95 yards, but- just like Sisyphus- after a while you lose count. QB Kyle Cheek was equally proficient for the Blue School on Crittenden, throwing three touchdown passes in the first half, after which his team led Brebeuf 28-0 and the Braves had one first down and 21 yards from scrimmage.
The schools played a second half, abbreviated once again by the IHSAA ‘mercy rule’ which runs the clock continuously when one team builds a 35-point lead, but the second half really only lasted two minutes and 36 seconds. That was the time required for Brebeuf to score on their first drive, culminating in a 17-yard Hagerman-to-Ellison touchdown to draw within 21, and attempt an onside pooch kick. Said kick was caught on a dead run by Matthew Semler, who returned it to the Braves’ 4-yard line. Taylor scored his second of three touchdowns on the next play. The boulder rolled back downhill. Ball game.
So it went for Mic Roessler’s valiant 2019 squad, who finished 7-3 and had generational talents in their senior class. Players like Jay Higgins and Gabe Wright will be remembered for a long time around here. The 2019 Braves played defense like their hair was on fire, giving up an astonishing 98 total points in eight games, and 98 more in two games against… them.
Saint Jean de Brebeuf was known for his beatific suffering at the end of his life but is remembered for his lifetime of tireless work educating and baptizing natives in unsettled North America. The pushing of the boulder > the painful downhill roll. Football, even against a rival that routinely beats you, is far less serious of a business, but it’s worth remembering something IHSAA-TV color analyst Lance Scheib said near the conclusion of Friday’s game, “Mic Roessler is really building something special here.” Brebeuf Football, like our patron Saint (and unlike Sisyphus) have glorious days ahead of us.