History of Castle Football

A History of Excellence in Athletics

The Castle football program started in the fall of 1959. However, the 1960 season was the first official IHSAA season. This was one year after the new high school opened its doors in 1959. During that first year, Castle only played several area high school JV teams. All of the players on the ’59 team had never played on an organized football team before. The concept of Castle football was new to everyone. The first team was coached by Phil Aramowicz. He began coaching for the Knights in 1959 which consisted of coaching the junior high and high school teams. Coach Aramowicz coached two seasons with his second year (1960) being the only official IHSAA season with a 1-7 record.

From 1961-1963, Castle had two more head coaches that helmed the Knights. The 1961 season was coached by Dean Whitesides with a 0-8 record, and the 1962-63 seasons were coached by Vernon “Tank” Wilson. Coach Wilson ended his coaching career with the Knights 6-10-3. After Coach Wilson’s final season in 1963, Coach Dave Austill was hired as the next head coach. He led the Knights to their first winning season in school history in 1968 with a record of 6-4 and posted their first win against their Warrick County rival the Boonville Pioneers in 1970. Austill coached the Knights for nine seasons (1964-1972) with a record of 21-64-2.

From 1960-1974 all home games were played in Boonville at Hemenway Field (1960) and Boonville High School (1961-1974). Castle received their first true “home field” when the new high school was built in 1975. It currently stands as Castle’s home field. Castle Stadium’s football field was named and dedicated the John Lidy Field on September 6, 2013 with a 17-0 victory over Evansville Reitz.

In 1973, Coach John Lidy took over and began the creation of one of Southern Indiana’s outstanding football programs. During Coach Lidy’s 30 years as head coach, he guided the Knights to a 209-112 record and posted first wins against all S.I.A.C. teams. Throughout this span Castle won five SIAC titles, six sectional titles, four regional titles, two semi-state titles, and two state titles. In 1982 Castle won its first state title at the 3A class level (the highest class in 1982). In 1994 Castle won its second state title while competing at the current highest class (5A). Coach Lidy was inducted into the Indiana High School Football Hall of Fame in 2000. Coach Lidy coached his last game for the Knights in 2002.

For the first time in 30 years, Castle had a new coach in Andrew Coverdale for the 2003 season. Coach Coverdale guided the Knights to a 16-17 record from 2003-2005 and posted the Knight’s seventh sectional title in 2004. In 2006 Castle hired within the program for their seventh head coach in school’s history with Doug Hurt. Coach Hurt, a former Castle center and defensive end on the 1994 state championship team and All-State member, has guided the Knights to a 128-69 record in 17 seasons. Since 2006, Hurt and the Knights have won 2 SIAC titles (2011, 2012), 8 sectional titles (2008, ‘10, ‘12, ‘15, ‘16, ‘18, ‘20, and ‘22), and 3 regional titles (2015, ’20, and ‘22).

In 1973, the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) established a three class state playoff system in football. In 1983, the tournament split into four classes, in 1985 into a five class system, and in 2013 into a six class system, with 6A for big schools and 1A for the smallest schools. As of 2022, Castle competes in the 5A class division and ranks in the top 5 of student enrollment for that division. Castle has had 39 winning seasons out of 62 seasons with a school record of 380-288-5. The Knights have won a total of 7 SIAC titles, 15 sectional titles, 7 regional titles, 2 semi-state titles, and 2 state titles in that span.

For a complete look at the history of the Castle football program, read Castle Football: The First 50 Years by John Gilles. To order Castle Football: The First 50 Years email John Gilles at castlefootballalumni@gmail.com or visit http://www.artbookbindery.net/castlefootball.html.