Prep football

Merrillville to kick off 2012 season at Lucas Oil Stadium

2012-07-10T18:15:00Z 2012-07-11T15:52:07Z Merrillville to kick off 2012 season at Lucas Oil StadiumBy Al Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com

This isn't Game 7 of the World Series, the NBA Finals or the Super Bowl, but Aug. 17 will be huge for Merrillville football fans.

Coach Zac Wells' Pirates open their regular season once again against state power Warren Central, but this time at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Colts.

"Warren Central's always been such a good team, but to play at Lucas Oil Stadium is pretty awesome," Wells said. "The kids and coaches are really excited. It should be a really cool experience."

Kickoff is 7:45 p.m.

This will mark the sixth meeting between the schools, with the Warriors having won the last four. Merrillville won by forfeit in 2008 and by a 17-10 score in 2007.

"Any time you take on a quality opponent to start the season, you find out real fast where your weaknesses are and your strengths are," Wells said. "The exciting part about playing in Lucas Oil Stadium is the environment.

"A lot of guys who would not get that opportunity will now get that opportunity."

Warren Central returns to Lucas Oil Stadium Sept. 29 to play Carmel. The Warriors have won five Class 5A titles since 2003.

Coach John Hart's program is 41-9 in the last four years, while Wells brings a 56-20 record into this, his seventh season.

"Our approach will be to go out, play hard and enjoy ourselves," Wells said. "And if you make a mistake, make it going hard.

"We've been in the (Duneland) conference race each year. We've won sectionals, regionals and have been in some semistate games. Hopefully our kids will be able to draw from those experiences."

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