COLUMBUS (WCMH)– The concept of “give and take” helps build relationships. It can also help build football programs. That is the thought at Briggs High School.
The Bruins opened the 2018 season on the road at Olentangy Berlin. The boys from the Southwest side of Columbus could not believe their eyes. Thousands of people filling the stands and tailgating when their bus arrived. They also enjoyed playing on a virgin turf field.
“I think my kids were kind of shellshocked,” said Briggs Head Coach Micahel Zink. “There student section was probably larger than any of our student sections will ever be.”
Regardless of who won — the Bears destroyed the Bruins — the gold and purple from Columbus City Schools chose to go back to Olentangy Berlin to play the season opener instead of hosting the game. The Bruins will get a share of the money from the gate.
“We have a young team with only three returners,” explained Zink. “It’ll be the same thing this year. They sell out. We have like four people in the stands.”
Jaden Osborne is a third-year player for the Bruins. He plays tight end, receiver and outside linebacker.
“The atmosphere,” Osborne sighed. “Everybody is there. I feel like it’s going to be different this year.”
Osborne was not referencing the stadium, the fans, or the tailgating. He was talking about football.
“I feel like we have more big men than we did last year,” Osborne said, defending his comments. “I feel like it’s going to be positive.”
Most players would rather suit-up at home. Osborne thought it felt like playing in college.
“I wish we could play at home more,” said sophomore team captain David Downs. “So my family could come watch more.”
The 33.7-mile drive on Interstate 71 northbound takes about 45 minutes. That can be prohibitive for loved ones from Briggs to get to the game. A lot of Briggs High School students live close enough to school that they walk. In turn, they don’t have transportation to get across town.
“Sometimes they don’t have that transportation piece,” said Zink. “So our crowd will probably be pretty small.”
Traveling to the northern part of the metro will leave a few fans behind, put a few dollars in the purse of the football team, but it’s really about opening the boys’ eyes.
“This is about getting them [the boys] exposed to other things that are out there,” Zink emphasized. “Most of them just see what’s inside I-270, and that gives them the opportunity to see other things and that kind of experience of items that are going on.”
“It was nice to compete against an OCC [Ohio Capital Conference] team,” Downs shrugged. “I just wish we played better.”