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Regionsports.com

BAD TO THE BONE – PANTHERS PAY VISIT TO SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME FOR 21 STRAIGHT YEARS By Chris Ramirez Column 1

In 1988 the Panthers started a sectional championship game appearrance streak that has lasted for 21 consecutive seasons. Photo courtesy Of GHS

GRIFITH – It’s often said that records are made to be broken, and most of the time that’s true. Some records on the other hand, seem as if they will stand forever. Wilt Chamberlin’s 100 point performance and Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak are two such records that come to mind. Locally, Hobart’s 19 straight sectional and 15 straight regional titles are records that will likely belong to the Brickies for eternity. Roosevelt’s nine state track titles and Munster’s 29 consecutive boys tennis titles may never be challenged either. One other local accomplishment worth noting is the Griffith Panthers sectional championship game appearance streak. Starting in 1988, the Panthers began a run that has continued on longer than anyone could have imagined at the time. For twenty-one consecutive football seasons, the Griffith gridders have managed to fight and/or claw their way into a sectional championship game – regardless of class, format or opponent. Over that span, two head coaches have guided the Panthers to 13 sectional titles – more than any school in Northwest Indiana over that span. By the time you read this article, Griffith may have added another year to the total or the streak may finally have come to end. Either way, it’s a Region record that isn’t likely to broken. As it stands now, Lowell and Merrillville are tied for the second longest current streak at just six seasons, which means for at least the next 15 years, the mark will remain. A check of the top 50 programs in the state shows only Penn in close range at 19 straight. Who knew then the 27-14 loss to Hammond High on November 4, 1988 would mark the beginning of a streak that continues to this day? Steve Wroblewski, or “Robe” as he’s known, was a Les Thornton assistant in 1988, and said this of the streak, “It’s amazing really. I didn’t realize it had gone on that long,” he said. “I knew we (Thornton staff) had five straight at the end, but 21 in a row? That’s really something,” he continued. “I’m glad Radtke has kept it going all these STORY CONTINUES ON PAGE 39 - SEE BONE


Page 36 oct 14 2009