November 24, 2017

Kiser leads Pioneer to Perfect Season, First Football Crown in 20 Years
Junior Jack Kiser ran for three scores and passed for two more leading top-ranked Pioneer to a 42-14 victory over No. 5 Eastern Greene in the Class A State Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The win marked the school’s second football state championship and occurred 20 years after its first team. Both this year’s team and that 1997 squad finished a perfect 15-0.

Kiser ran for 207 yards total and passed for 111 more to lead the Panthers. Danny Gregorich added 88 yards and a score on nine carries and a touchdown.

Quarterback Caleb Hamilton, who finished with 151 yards and two touchdowns, put Eastern Greene on top on their first possession scoring on a 13 yard running play for a 7-0 lead.

Pioneer answered on the team’s next possession as Kiser plunged in from 2 yards away to tie game 7-7.

Kiser scored his second touchdown on another from 2 yards away giving the Panthers a 14-7 advantage with 10:06 left in the second quarter.

The Panthers connected again on a Kiser to Miles Von Toble from 10 yards with 6:16 left in the second quarter. Kiser then found Ezra Lewellen for an 18 yard score with :05 left before halftime. The score was set up on the previous play with the pair connected on a 57 yards pass play.

Kiser scored his third touchdown of the day on a 53 yard rush up the middle with 2:59 left in the third increasing the lead to 35-7.

Hamilton added his second score for Eastern Greene with a 14 yard touchdown cutting the lead to 35-14 with 5:33 left.

Pioneer added a final touchdown as Gregorich scored on a 30 yard carry with 3:33 left in the game. In all, the Panthers scored on six of their eight drives on the day.

Adam Berry is the second year Pioneer coach and is 29-1 in his first two seasons in charge. Joey Paridaen, in his fourth year at Eastern Greene and sixth year overall, guided the Thunderbirds to their first berth in a football state championship game.

Class A State Finals Records

Pioneer’s Garrett Schroder named Ress Mental Attitude Award winner
At the conclusion of the state championship game, the IHSAA Executive Committee named Garrett Schroder of Pioneer Junior-Senior High School as the winner of the Blake Ress Mental Attitude Award in Class A Football.

The Panthers’ team captain has helped lead his team to four sectional championships, three regionals and three semi-state titles.  Schroder is a two-time First Team All-Conference and Academic All-Conference selection, excelling in the classroom as well ranking No. 11 in his class of 75. He also has participated on the swimming, track and field and golf teams for Pioneer.  Garrett is also active in extracurricular activities at school, being a member of the National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Students and Pep Club. In addition, the Homecoming King is actively involved in the community with 4-H and his Church Youth Group and volunteering for such worthy causes as Royal Center Fire Station Pancake and Sausage Breakfasts, National Honor Society Food Drive and the Salvation Army Bell Ringer.

Garrett is the son of Ed and Kim Schroder of Royal Center, IN.  He plans to enlist in the United States Air Force for four years and will attend college after his commitment to this branch of our armed services.

Each year the IHSAA Executive Committee selects a senior player who was nominated by his principal and coach and was determined to have best demonstrated mental attitude, scholarship, leadership, and athletic ability. This Class A award is named in honor of the IHSAA’s seventh commissioner who served from 2000-11.

The Indianapolis Colts presented a $1,000 scholarship to Pioneer Junior-Senior High School in the name of Garrett Schroder. The Colts have been the presenting sponsor of the entire football state tournament since 2009, including the mental attitude awards.