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Football in Indianapolis is among some of the nation’s best, and it comes in a football state

Posted by craigkelleycolts on November 30, 2013 – 8:12 am

As Indiana state football champions are crowned this weekend with title matches being played at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Metropolitan Conference that is comprised with a strong nucleus of schools in the Indianapolis area has come in for very high national praise.

According to the MaxPreps Computer Rankings formula, Indiana’s Metropolitan Conference ranks among the top 10 toughest high school football leagues in the nation.

The conference ranks as the ninth-toughest nationally and is among other states known for football excellence – California, New Jersey, Ohio, Florida and Michigan.

A state once known for national relevance in another sport now boasts one of the best football presences in the country, and it has been a pronounced trend for about the past 15 years.

The Top 10 Toughest High School Football Leagues (according to MaxPreps):

  1. New Jersey, Big North – United League (Overall Rating: 66.4).
  2. California, Trinity League – (Overall Rating:  60.1).
  3. Ohio, Greater Catholic – South League (Overall Rating: 57.3).
  4. California – Serra League (Overall Rating: 53.4).
  5. Michigan, Catholic Central League (Overall Rating: 49.2).
  6. Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C. – Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (Overall Rating: 48.9).
  7. Florida, 5A, District 2 (Overall Rating: 48.5).
  8. Kentucky, 6A District 4 (Overall Rating: 47.4).
  9. Indiana, Metropolitan Conference (Overall Rating: 46.8).
  10. Florida, 6A District 16 (Overall Rating: 46.6).

MaxPreps rated the schools in the conference:

  1. Center Grove, Rating:  63.5.
  2. Ben Davis, Rating:  58.7.
  3. Carmel, Rating:  54.4.
  4. Pike, Rating:  53.0.
  5. Warren Central, Rating:  51.4.
  6. Lawrence Central, Rating:  44.3.
  7. North Central, Rating:  33.3.
  8. Lawrence North, Rating:  15.8.

Indianapolis ranks in the nation’s top 15 most populous cities, while the state ranks 14th in population according to recent Census Bureau numbers.

Among the leagues rated higher than the Metropolitan Conference, only Kentucky has a smaller population (4,380,415) than Indiana (6,537,334).  In the top 10 in the football leagues cited, New Jersey is 11th in population, while California is first, Ohio is seventh, Michigan is eighth, Florida is fourth and the area around the Maryland/Virginia/Washington conference is among the nation’s most densely-populated areas as well.

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Posted by craigkelleycolts on May 20, 2013 – 9:06 am

Components almost too many to number helped make Indianapolis a rousing success as it hosted Super Bowl XLVI.

Those who visited the city came away with a deep appreciation for the local acuity and spirit that positioned Indianapolis and surrounding areas alongside the 13 previous Super Bowl sites and ahead of most of them.

Local organizers had 8,000 volunteers who invested 150,000 hours in the planning and implementation of Super Bowl XLVI.

Then-Governor Mitch Daniels lauded the efforts that spanned the state he led, mentioning the “seasoned” nature of volunteers who helped rev the engine.

One outstanding memento from the event came back to mind today when reading a local article written by Allison Melangton about the passing of a true Hoosier hero.

Bev Meska of Michigan City displayed the warm human touch that makes the words “Hoosier Hospitality” much more than a phrase.

Meska, then 81, personally knitted 250 Super Scarves that were among the hoped-for 8,000 that would be given to volunteers and provided to many visitors – including both participating teams.

Melangton wrote the Meska was not necessarily a football fan and likely had not watched many previous Super Bowls, yet she wanted to do her part to represent her state.

Like all who knitted the keepsakes, she included a hand-written note to provide background on the scarf.  In the note, she thanked recipients for selflessly volunteering to make Super Bowl XLVI a success.

When the project started, Meska, who started knitting at age 16, didn’t know how 8,000 would be produced.  Knitting 10 Super Scarves was her goal, and her heart took her the rest of the way.

Bev was not alone.  The final tally of scarves made was 13,024, with scarves being made from 45 states, Washington D.C and four different countries (Canada, England, South Africa and Belgium) once word of the project spread.

What was a special time for Indianapolis came because of the efforts of many wonderful people.

Bev Meska was one of those people, and she passed away on May 11.

Melangton wrote that Bev left behind a true legacy.

Indiana is a poorer place without Bev in it.  Her example is found in many residents of this great state, and learning her story and admiring her heart needs to be remembered and celebrated.

Bev, thank you.

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