CHURUBUSCO – The Churubusco football team has not played Whitko in a regular season match since 1976.

That will all change when Churubusco hosts Whitko to open the season 7 p.m. this Friday.

Only 21.5 miles separate Churubusco and Whitko High School. The Eagles and Wildcats have only met a handful of times in the last few decades, despite the distance.

“There really is no reason we haven’t played each other. We’re in different conferences, so it’s just a matter of not having any more room to add them,” said head coach Paul Sade.

Churubusco will have its hands full this Friday. Whitko will bring Hunter Reed, a running back who ran more than 1,000 yards last season.

“Their feature back Hunter Reed is one of the best football players we will face all year,” said Churubusco Head Coach Paul Sade. “To have a chance for success we need to play with great pad level on offense and contain Hunter Reed on defense.”

Both teams bring a lot of youth into the opening week.

“Like us, they have graduated a lot of talent,” he said.

“They are young and have some inexperience at some key positions. It is difficult to see a team’s full potential on scrimmage film, because everyone approaches the scrimmage differently. We know Whitko is always coached well and plays physical football. The challenge is to see if we can hang with them physically.”