Brian Harbin is well aware of the history. After all, as head football coach at Franklin Community High School since 2009, he’s played a part in it.
So while the Grizzly Cubs’ 11-game losing streak to longtime county rival Whiteland might provide the ultimate incentive for some in his profession, Harbin prefers his coaches and players look in the mirror, as long as it’s not the rear-view variety.
“The big thing is that it’s our season-opener for our conference,” said Harbin, whose 2-1 squad travels to Whiteland (1-2) tonight to play in a stadium that hasn’t witnessed a Franklin victory in 16 years. “Our focus is on ourselves.
“We’re not playing the past. We’re playing 2012, and that’s what we’re focusing on.”
Last season’s game offered plenty of late-game suspense, with the Warriors holding on for a thrilling 36-34 victory in a game that ended with the Cubs fumbling deep in Whiteland territory. The Warriors’ five wins before that were by an average spread of 29 points.
Both programs are trying to get back on track. Class 5A Franklin came up short last week at Class 3A Greensburg in a 31-15 loss to the undefeated Pirates, while Class 5A Whiteland — after a season-opening triumph against then-Class 4A No. 3 New Palestine — has lost to Center Grove and Decatur Central by a sum of 57 points.