New look Gibson Southern football team still has major potential

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By Pat Hickey of the Courier and Press

FORT BRANCH — Gibson Southern High School football will have an entirely different look this upcoming season.

Additions this fall at Jewell Memorial Field will be a new press box, a new brick entrance way from the north end, as well as — for fans who cannot make it on Friday nights — a new radio station affiliate in WVJC 89.1 FM, which will broadcast every home and away game.

Isaac SellersThose are all off-the-field changes, but there will also be plenty of on-field differences. Thirty-two seniors graduated from last year’s team, which advanced to the Class 3A Semi-State for the third time in many of their four-year careers.

Roughly half of the 32 departures started on offense, defense or in rare cases both — leaving only five returning starters. It’s been a different and challenging offseason for the Titans’ coaching staff.

“Maybe as a coach, it’s a little bit more fun with this type of group,” said head coach Nick Hart, who’s 47-7 overall entering his fifth year with the program. “I think we have the potential to be really good, but we’re not there yet.

“Last year, it was maybe a few years of comparison of houses and more turnkey. It’s a bit more of a fixer-upper project this year, so there’s more sweat-equity involved and that makes it more challenging for us.”

More challenging, but also potentially more rewarding.

Leading the chDakota Weissarge will be junior quarterback Isaac Sellers, the brother of Nick, who starred in the position for the past three years. Isaac played occasionally as a sophomore, rushing 37 times for 234 yards and two touchdowns.
“It’s cool, especially that aspect (getting handed down the reigns) from my brother,” Sellers said. “That adds something special to it that a lot of guys don’t get. I learned a lot from him so it’s a cool experience.”

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, Sellers completed five of seven passes for 118 yards last fall. Amazingly, that 71.4 percentage was short of Nick’s 73.4, which led the state.

Time will tell if Isaac can be as accurate as Nick, but one thing is for sure: he is “significantly” faster, according to Hart.

Said Sellers: “He had a lot stronger arm and was stronger running the ball, but I think I’m a little quicker.”

The Titans also return starting guards Dylin Bennett and Dakota Weiss, slot receiver Chandler McKee and Caleb Carpenter, another receiver who is transitioning to safety.

A preseason Indiana Football Coaches Association 3A all-state nominee, Weiss hopes that he and 12 other seniors make the most of what they have left.

“We’re only guaranteed nine games,” Weiss said. “So nine games and we’re done. I’m just looking forward to going as hard as we can for as long as we can.”

Gibson opens the season August 19 at Forest Park.

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