An old tradition will be revived this week as the state-ranked Hillsboro Indians attempt to wrap up a share of their first conference football title in 20 years when they host the archrival McClain Tigers in the final regular season game.
As a prelude to the contest, the Hillsboro Student Council will host a bonfire with activities starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24 at the old practice field above Richards Memorial Field. Cody Mathews, high student council advisor, said the actual bonfire will start a little after 7 p.m. when it gets dark.
From 6 p.m. until the bonfire, the HHS junior class will be offering $1 chances to take a swing with a sledgehammer at a car. Mathews said there will be a bounce house, the Hillsboro First United Methodist Church food truck selling pizza, cornhole, volleyball, other games, cheerleaders painting faces, music and more. Once the bonfire starts, there will be pep music from the HHS band, cheerleaders leading cheers and one of the Hillsboro coaches will give a speech.
The entire community is invited.
“I have a really good group of kids on student council and they constantly try to think of ways to bring about school spirit and get the community involved,” Mathews said. “They decided they wanted to do a bonfire, they knew we had done it in the past, and it’s rivalry week. We have school spirit inside the school, and now they want to bridge that gap to the community.”
Mathews said community members are welcome to bring a grill and something to cook or other food and snacks.
A win against McClain would give Hillsboro a share of the 2018 Frontier Athletic Conference football championship. The Indians would share the title with the winner of Friday’s Chillicothe vs. Jackson game.
Hillsboro has not won a league or conference football championship since winning its seventh straight Southern Buckeye Conference title in 1998. In all the years the Indians played in the South Central Ohio League, beginning in 1923, their only football championships came in 1930 and 1988.
According to all projections, Hillsboro has already clinched a spot in the Ohio High School Athletic Association football playoffs. In at least six previous playoff appearances, they have never won a game. The closest they came to a win was in 1996 when they lost 7-3 to Jackson.
Hillsboro is ranked tied for 13th in this week’s Associated Press Division III Ohio High School Football Poll. In 1996, the Indians finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the AP poll.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.