Trojan Tailgater Brings CGHS Football Support to a New Level
Photographer / Savannah Seale
A long-standing tradition on Friday nights in Center Grove is cheering on the Trojan football team at Ray Skillman Stadium.
Kicking off its second year of a new tradition is the Trojan Tailgater.
Jake Stiles, owner of Coldwell Banker Stiles and proud Center Grove dad, teamed up with other local businesses to sponsor the Trojan Tailgater.
“Last year, Matt Greller and Jeff Browning spoke with Aaron Hohlt to get an official tailgate going for home games,” says Stiles. “They approached Andy Shaul and me, and as they say, the rest is history. With all the home games that we have this year, playing powerhouse teams from Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, we felt like this was our opportunity to do things big. Our real estate brokerage is always doing things for the community in general, and so we decided to put something together and have some fun out here.”
Joining Stiles in this effort are sponsors Barn at Bay Horse Inn, Grant Excavating, Rees Restoration and Sauer Dentistry.
The Trojan Tailgater is a 10’ mobile trailer that houses all the essentials for a fun and delicious tailgate. Every week you’ll enjoy hamburgers and cheeseburgers grilled to perfection, as well as hot dogs, all your favorite sides and fixings, and beverages. Cornhole and the arcade game “Blitz” add another entertaining layer to the tailgate experience.
When the Trojans face their opponents as the visiting team, the Trojan Tailgater hits the road too. Locations of where to join them are posted on their Facebook page @trojantailgater.
Back at home, the community rallies around Coach Eric Moore and the Trojans, cheering for a historic fourth Indiana Class 6A state championship. Center Grove is currently ranked first in their class, per the Indiana Football Coaches Association poll.
“Let’s just call it what it is – we like winning,” says Stiles. “But if we don’t come away with a W, we want to come away with other people understanding what our sense of community is.”
And that sense of community is why the food and fun are free to all fans, including those of the visiting team. Center Grove Athletic Director Joe Bronkella extends an invitation with encouragement to join the Trojan Tailgater every Friday.
“We hope everybody does something like this so when we visit, we can join in with other communities’ tailgates,” says Stiles.
Fans who attend Trojan football games experience an event that is unique and unparalleled at the high school level. From the heart-pounding team introduction as they burst through the helmet and take the field, to the blast of the infamous horn, the clanging of cowbells, the roar of the crowd, the fireworks, friends and family – Trojan pride is legendary.
“When you say Trojan pride, it’s a little different over here, because there is that sense of camaraderie,” says Stiles. “Everybody understands it and that statement of Trojan pride, it really means something.”
The Trojan Tailgater sponsors invite all fans to stop by before the game.
“Trojan pride!” says Stiles. “Go Center Grove!”