Center Grove football sported many different looks this season

Never to be found in Center Grove’s football record book is a category reserved for the number of uniform combinations worn in a single season.

Rest assured, though, that the six different jersey/pants looks displayed in the team’s 13 games leading up to tonight’s Class 6A final are the most in the program’s 66 seasons.

Sixty-six years from now, that might still be the case.

The offseason purchase of black jerseys and black pants dropped the Trojans traditional, frills-free look into a spin cycle of mix-and-match possibilities for both home and road contests.

Center Grove began breaking in the new threads in Week 2, when it defeated visiting Decatur Central, 56-7. It modeled the same black jerseys and black pants last week in knocking off Ben Davis to claim yet another semistate title.

In the interim, combos ranged from all white to black and white, white and black to white and red.

And, of course, perhaps the most traditional of looks since Eric Moore arrived as head coach in 1999 — the very Alabama-esque teaming of red jerseys and white pants.

It’s what the 2000 Trojans wore in the school’s first title game appearance, and the look Center Grove showed off while wrapping up an undefeated 2020 season.

And it’s what the Trojans are wearing tonight while facing Westfield.

As the designated home team against the Shamrocks, the Trojans could have shaken things up in a big way by going red and black, black and red, all red or all black — the first three being uniform combinations they haven’t sampled at any point this season.

Moore isn’t about to apologize. The red/white is something of a tribute to those who played, coached and cheered for his previous 22 Center Grove squads, as well as his current one.

“Absolutely. That’s tradition,” Moore said, smiling. “I hate (all the uniform choices). Absolutely hate it. But everywhere you turn, the one thing that excites these kids more than anything is uniforms.”

An informal poll of some Trojans players revealed various favorite combinations:

Daniel Weems, senior running back: Black jerseys and black pants. It was new, and it felt good to wear something different than the red and white.

Jordan Cox, senior right guard: Mine is to wear all black because it makes us look good out there. The other combination I like is the white top and red pants (worn in the first-round sectional game at Franklin Central). It’s like the old-school look of how we looked back in the day.

Drew Wheat, junior running back: The all-white uniforms. It fits better than the red, I think. The red jersey … mine is bigger. It’s, like, baggy. I don’t like the way it fits.

Harrison Stomps, senior receiver: All white. They’re simple, but so clean. Never disappoints.

Tayven Jackson, senior quarterback: My favorite is probably the white jerseys with red pants, and the second one is black jerseys, white pants.

Brandon Wheat, senior receiver: All black, because we just play good in all black. Makes us look tough.