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Shelbyville Central Football Honored at BCS Board Meeting

Noah Maddox
Posted 12/15/23

Shelbyville Central Football was recognized for an incredible 2023 campaign both on and off the field on Thursday night.

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Shelbyville Central Football Honored at BCS Board Meeting


         Shelbyville Central Football was recognized for an incredible 2023 campaign both on and off the field on Thursday night.

            The Golden Eagles won 10 games for the first time since 2019, won the Class 5A Region 5 title, and made it to the second round of the playoffs where unfortunately their season was cut short in a 20-14 home against Centennial.

            Shelbyville Central principal Charlie Pope, head coach Jud Dryden, and senior leader Ean Matusek were on hand at the Bedford County Schools board meeting in the Central Office to make the presentation.

            “When we hired Dryden [in 2022] we were looking for a high character guy,” Pope said, “Wins and losses ebb and flow.”

            Dryden has certainly been the type of high character hire that Central was looking for. After coming on staff before the 2020 season as a defensive coordinator, Dryden was promoted to head coach in June of 2022. In their final year of 6A ball, the team went 1-10, but both Dryden and Pope stayed the course, knowing that the next round of school reclassifications were coming.

The Golden Eagles did a complete 180 for 2023, and after losing their season opener to 6A Siegel in a shootout, they went on a 10-game winning streak, finishing the regular season at 9-1 (6-0), capturing the Region 5-AAAAA title,  going on to beat Hillsboro in the first round of the state playoffs.

            However, as wonderful as it felt to ride the flow of a 10-2 season, off the field success was just as important.

            “These guys have put in well over 1,200 community service hours as a team this year,” Coach Dryden said, “It goes back to the heart of who we want to be as a group.”

            The service hours include hours through Cooper Steel, helping park cars, working with SACP, and much more.

            Senior Ean Matusek, in his second year on the football program’s leadership council, was on hand to show off the gold region champs plaque and to present a game ball to a special member of the school board.

            “One day I’m going out to the field to start cleaning up to get ready for the upcoming Friday night,” Dryden said, “and when I got there, someone was driving around picking up trash all by themselves.”

            That “someone” was Barton Williams, the voice of the Golden Eagles on Shelbyville’s station, WLIJ 98.7, and a member of the school board for District 7. After Dryden thanked Williams, Matusek walked over to hand him what looked like a used football.

            “This game ball is the one used to score the final touchdown vs Hillsboro [in first round of the playoffs], and it’s signed by every member of the graduating senior class,” Dryden said, unable to hold back a massive smile.

            Shelbyville Central beat Hillsboro 41-7 in that first round matchup, and Williams was noticeably moved by the benevolent gesture.

            “This is something you put up in your office,” Williams said as he professed his gratefulness to Matusek, Dryden, and Pope, thanking them profusely.

            It was a touching moment to close the presentation, and some fellow board members even chimed in to thank Dryden for the great work he has done as he prepares to enter his third season at the helm of the Shelbyville Central football program.

Shelbyville Central Golden Eagles, Football, Bedford County Board of Education, BCS, Central Office, Charlie Pope, Jud Dryden, Ean Matusek, Barton Williams.