Eagles program continues climb to new heights

   A final look back on the Indiana high school football season sees a combined 30-6 record for Whitley County go down as easily the best ever for three area high school squads.
   The last part of that exciting season ended Friday night in the semistate round but not without plenty of history made by Churubusco in 2010.
   The Eagles second semistate appearance in four seasons began with their fourth consecutive 7-0 start to a season. Not different from any other year at Churubusco, the Wing-T run-based offense controlled the show with senior fullback Kyle Mathewson.
   Records fell in 2009 for Mathewson — longest run 93 yards and single game rushing total of 319 — but the big records that put a rusher in the elite status came in his final season.
   Narrowly missing the single season rushing total in his junior season by 28 yards, Mathewson not only got it this season but the career rushing total in the same game.
   Both records fell with a 226-yard game on sectional opening night against Adams Central.
   His 2,584 rushing yards in 2010 ranks second only to New Haven’s Te’Vaughn Hurse (2,942) in the state of Indiana.
   Churubusco head coach Lee Etzler notes the impact Mathewson had on the Eagles program won’t really be felt until he’s no longer there.
   “I’ll remember a lot when we’re not handing the ball off to him,” Etzler said. “He’s an extremely gifted athlete. He’s a great kid, very humble. That makes you feel even better about his successes.”
   Mathewson and his fellow seniors (Kyle Monk, Hunter Nicodemus, Zack Armstead, Jordan Turner, Spencer Conrad, Charlie Huelsenbeck, Jes Percey, Dustin Arvola, Jeremy Forker) were eyed from a young age as the class to return ’Busco football to its glory.
   As freshmen in 2007, the success started immediately with the Eagles returning to the semistate round for the first time since its only trip in 1983.
   The postseason thrills stuck with those seniors throughout the next three seasons as they amassed two North East Corner Conference championships.
   The seniors’ success has been consistent over the four seasons they’ve donned the black and gold. The Eagle leaders amassed a 40-9 record in their time helping ’Busco accumulate six consecutive winning seasons under Etzler.
   “They worked their tails off,” Etzler said of his seniors. “The seniors have gotten better each week for four straight years. We do not produce the biggest kids in the world but they play very hard.”
   The 12-2 record is the best a Churubusco football team has ever seen in one season topping two previous 11-3 teams from 1983 and 2007.