Coaching Change

Schlicher named new coach of Gophers, steps away from CHS Football

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Kurt Schlicher has been named the next head coach of Clinton Prairie football as he officially has stepped down at Crawfordsville after three seasons.

Schlicher took over for Sean Gerold in 2019 and in three seasons managed just a 2-28 record with both wins coming in the final game of the regular season against Frankfort.

While the wins were few and far between for the Athenians, Schlicher started to build a culture of hard work and that was shown on the field at points for CHS.

“This was a very difficult decision and went back and forth on it many times,” Schlicher said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if they (Crawfordsville) win 3-5 games next year. The weight training is really starting to show up and they are stronger than ever. I’ve learned a lot of lessons over the last three years but leaving the players is always the toughest thing to do. They’re all great kids and whoever inherits the team next year is going to be fortunate to have a great group who is willing and wanting to be successful.”

Schlicher’s first season saw the likes of Cale McCarty, Jesse Horton, Carson Scott, and Noah Heggemeir, and Manson Simmons as he looked to build the foundation for the future.

COVID-19 impacted the 2020 season for every team and the Athenians battled through injury and had numerous players in and out of the lineup.

This past season after a slow start and falling to both county rivals in Southmont and North Montgomery, Crawfordsville started to show signs of progress ans picked up an emotional, senior night win over Frankort then followed that up with a strong start in the sectional against Western Boone where CHS led the Stars 8-0 after a quarter.

“I’ll never forget Noah’s interception against Frankfort which helped us win that ball game,” Schlicher said as he reflected back on his three seasons. “That second year we just had so many injuries that decimated our team and didn’t allow us to have the year that we wanted to have. Then this past year I was super proud of how we ended the year and that says a lot about the character. Evan Chaney and Alex Hernandez led them but a lot of different kids contributed and there is plenty of talent coming back again.”

The win this past year over Frankfort in honor of fallen teammate Michael Leak stands out as one of the top moments Schlicher noted of his three year stint. Most of all Schlicher will be proud of how this past season his team, despite what the scoreboard may say, never quit.

“That’s the thing that by far I’m most proud of,” he said. “When you’re not winning sometimes it’s easy to not want to do the little things. Last year’s team didn’t do that and that’s one of things I’ll remember the most and that bodes well for the future of Crawfordsville football.”

Schlicher will take over a Clinton Prairie team that went 6-5 a season ago and fell in the sectional championship game to Carroll.

The Athenians will now look for their next head coach to lead the program. It will be Crawfordsville’s fourth different head coach since the start of the 2016 season.

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