Tech Hysteria: Return of the Titans

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As Hoosier Hysteria hits full stride, there is a revival of 'Tech Hysteria.'

The return of the Titans is reverberating across the east side high school campus. Arsenal Tech is eyeing its first ever state basketball championship and with it, an opportunity to change the perception of Indianapolis inner city schools.

Linda Parks, Tech Class of '68, walked into the gymnasium looking a little lost.

"I haven't been here in 46 years." she proclaimed with a smile. "I got my class ring on."

Along with their rings, Tech alumni are back with their spirit, and their cash, snapping up tickets to Saturday night's Semi State game.

The Titans are playing their first semi-state game in 48 years. More than an athletic revival, Athletic Director Victor Bush sees a blessing.

"To be honest with you," he said in a serious voice, "I've prayed on it and our prayers are being answered."

Not just for one Indianapolis public school, but perhaps for an entire school district seldom associated with greatness.

For decades it hasn't been easy being a fan of IPS. There's been too much controversy, too much trouble, not enough success stories and not enough heroes on or off the court.

"I feel a tremendous amount of pride," said Tech principal and alum Lawrence Yarrell (Class of '75) as he walked across the basketball court.

Yarrell dreams of the district's first state championship in more than 30 years.

"It will be a win for Tech High School, but it will also be a win for IPS."

Administrators believe winning Indiana's most sacred of all high school championships would prove IPS is educating champions on courts and classrooms. The Tech team has a 3.2 GPA.  Leading scorer Trey Lyles has a 3.8.

"These guys aren't just winning on the court." Bush insisted, "They are great young men."

You can feel the Tech Hysteria in the cramped athletic office. The ceiling is so low, players have to be careful bump their heads on ceiling lights and fire sprinkler heads. The staff is happy and busy answering phones and selling tickets. One alum peeled off a couple of 20's and said,"Keep the change," asking only that it go to students who can't afford the ride to Richmond.

To get to the state championships, the Titans will have to beat Bloomington North on Saturday night.