By Al Stilley
“Once a Flash, always a Flash.”
That comment by former Franklin Central High School football standout Joe Cougill echoed the sentiments of 15 greats who were the inaugural inductees Friday into the Flashes Football Wall of Fame.
They were honored during a special ceremony at halftime and they didn’t want to stop talking with each other on the sideline while the FCHS marching band performed.
Retired coach Chuck Stephens and retired athletic director Larry Hanni and many faithful football boosters were instrumental in putting together a remarkable gathering of greats.
“We wanted to really connect the past with the present,” second-year Flashes coach Jayson West explained. “This football program was really, really good for a long time and we’ve had many good players come through here. There can be good football here again.”
The Flashes own four state championships - 1980, 1981, 1982 (Class 2A), and 1990 (4A) under coach Chuck Stephens - and three-time 4A runners-up in 1986, 1988 and 1989.
“I hope this means that today’s Flashes realize what hard work can do,” Cougill said. “I’m humbled by this honor and, as a former coach, I’m well aware that an individual needs a whole bunch of people around him to be honored.”
Carl Kendrick also was taken aback by the honor and said, “I’m shocked by this honor. I’ve had so many people tonight tell me it’s an honor to meet me.”
For Kevin Kinnee, it was a double weekend honor as he became the first Flashes player to be inducted Saturday into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.
Franklin Central defeated Perry Meridian 37-7 in the home opener on a perfect night for football and celebration that ended with aerial fireworks.
Coach Chuck Stephens - head coach 1975-1990 ... first team to win 3 straight state titles in a row ... four undefeated regular seasons.
Don “Doc” Glesing* (Class of 1956) - award accepted by daughters Terri and Karen and son Steve, member of 1980 and 1981 state championship teams ... 1957 co-county athlete of the year.
Joe Cougill (1969) - 2-year all-conference and 1-year all-county ... 4-year letterman in both football and basketball ... played at Indiana State University.
Dan Smith (1972) - 4-year starting quarterback ... 1973 county athlete of year ... Indiana’s all-time total yardage leader ... 1979 valedictorian.
Mike Otto (1975) - Co-captain and most valuable offensive and defensive lineman ... all-conference, all-county ... played at Indiana University on 1979 Holiday Bowl championship team.
Burt Austin (1982) - running back on 3 state championship teams ... all-time Flashes leading scorer and rusher ... 1983 county athlete of the year .. 4-year letterman at Ball State University (BSU).
Carl Kendrick (1987) - Starting offense/defense lineman on 1986 state runner-up team ... all-conference, all- county, all-state ... lettered 4 years at BSU.
Brian Glesing (1988) - Senior captain of 1988 team ... 1989 mental attitude award winner Indiana North-South game ... 4-year starter football and baseball at Hanover College ...
Kevin Kinnee (1989) - Starting linebacker as a soph on 11-1 conference title team and linebacker/quarterback on 1988 and 1989 teams ... two-time all-conference, all-county, all-state ... played at Butler University and BSU.
Copatrick Dartis (1989) - 3-year letterman and 2-way starter ... 4-year starting defensive back at Ball State University ... played on championship team in Football League of Europe.
Laron Moore* (1990) - award accepted by mother Anna, brother Jordan and uncle Jerome ... starting running back on teams (1988-1990) ... 1990 all city-county player of year ... 3-year letterman at Notre Dame, played in 3 bowl games.
Charlie Stephens (1990) - started on 2 state runner-up teams and 1990 championship team ... 1990 all-state ... 3-year letterman at Purdue.
Grant Gray- (1992) - starting defensive back on 1990 title team ... 2-year all-conference, all-county ... 3-year starter at Ball State University ... 1997 undrafted free agent Indianapolis Colts.
Chris Brammel (2000) - 3-year letterman as quarterback and linebacker ... all-conference, all-county ... 3-year starting quarterback at St. Francis (Ind.) University two-time national championship runner-up.
Donald Washington (2005) - 3-time all-conference, all-county, all-state ... 2006 county athlete of year ... 3-year starter at Ohio State University, played in four bowls ... 4 years with Kansas City Chiefs and 1 year with Pittsburgh Steelers in NFL and 2 years in Canadian Football League.