By Adam Yoder
WARSAW – The hiring of Bart Curtis three years ago to lead the Warsaw football program was the next step in growing the Tigers into a Class 6-A football power. After a historic sectional title in 2019, the Tigers earned their first Northern Lakes Conference title in nearly two decades and land in fourth place in the InkFreeNews Top Ten teams list.
Curtis is now 24-9 overall in his time at Warsaw.
In what would prove to be a interesting, and frustrating, fall for many football squads in the area due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tigers were able play a full regular season, going 6-1 in the NLC to share the title with Mishawaka.
Warsaw split its early season, non-conference tilts with a 42-35 win at Huntington North and a 41-21 loss in the home opener to Michigan City.
Defense was certainly a concern, but the Tigers did hold four NLC opponents under 20 points. However, the offense was able to put enough points on the board in combination with excellent special teams week in and week out to help the Tigers finish the regular season 7-2.
In week four, the Tigers would defeat Curtis’s former school, Mishawaka (40-32), to take a stranglehold on the NLC race. A week eight hiccup versus the always tough NorthWood Panthers (22-21), would force Tigers to share the title after they defeated defending champion Concord (35-17) in week nine.
No matter the shared title, it was still the first Warsaw NLC title in football since the George W. Bush administration.
First Team All-NLC honors went to:
Caden Silveus (21.5 tackles, 3 interceptions, 44 rushing yards)
Mason Martz (48 tackles, 2 interceptions, , 1 sack, 144 rushing yards, 55 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns)
Julius Jones (871 rushing yards, 67 passing yards, 7 touchdowns), Juan Jaramillo (990 rushing yards, 43 receiving yards, 15 touchdowns)
Aaron Greene (363 passing yards, 5 touchdowns, 1046 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns)
Luke Adamiec (242 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns, 23 tackles, 3 interceptions)
Honorable Mentions for Warsaw included Zach DeFord, Colton Wampler and Patrick Zollinger.
Curtis shared the NLC Coach of the Year award with Mishawaka’s Keith Kinder.
The defense of the 6-A sectional title would start with a 42-35 win over FW Carroll.
The following week, another potent offense from Homestead proved to be too much for the Tigers as the Spartans ruined the back-to-back sectional title possibility with a 30-22 win in Allen County in the first fan-attended game for the Spartans that season.
The foundation is solidifying, and the championship bricks are starting to be added for the Tigers in the last couple of years. With the Tigers adding Ohio power, Coffman (Dublin), next year, and Warren Central in 2024, it appears Curtis and Tigers feel they’re ready to challenge themselves to prepare to add more.