By Angie Antonopoulos
Connor Delp, a senior and varsity football player at Center Grove High School, is a natural at playing football, said his father, Cory Delp. He noticed early on when throwing a football with him when he was younger that he wanted to play and didn’t need prodding.
“It’s been fun to see Connor grow as a player,” Cory said. “Connor has really stepped up and leads by example.” He said the players really hold each other accountable.
Connor, who plays #5 as a wide receiver and a wingback, began playing football in the first grade with the Center Grove Bantam Football League and started playing school football in sixth grade. He also ran track through middle school and high school. During Connor’s freshman year playing junior varsity, Connor demonstrated his versatility playing several positions, including running back, receiver and quarterback.
“Wide receiver is a great fit because I can catch and pass and be able to work around the field,” Connor said. “I made my first touchdown last year.”
He said he enjoys the team aspect of football and that many of his teammates have played with him since they were in football league when they were younger. “We’re super close,” he said.
This year, the team’s goal is to bring home the state championship for the Trojans. Last year, they lost to Carmel High School. The Trojans have a great reputation, with two state championship wins in 2008 and 2015. They also competed in the state finals five other times.
The varsity football team is led by Eric Moore, head football and boys track coach at Center Grove High School, where he has worked for 22 years as a physical education and weight training instructor.
“Coach Moore is a great coach,” Connor said. “We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for him. Everyone in the community has a lot of respect for him.”
Currently, the Trojans are ranked No. 1 in Indiana and have been all season. They also rank in MaxPreps’ Top 25 highs school football teams after beating Cathedral High School.
“Our theme this year is Start 2Finish,” Moore said. “With a talented senior class, we hope to fulfill our dreams and bring home another state title. We hope Connor’s big play ability can get us another big win.”
Coach Moore describes Connor as a young man with “high quality character” and as “one of the best leaders” in the Center Grover varsity football program.
“His contribution to the team is as an offensive weapon,” Moore said. “Connor can score from almost anywhere on the field. He is a gifted runner and an excellent receiver for the Trojans.”
Moore also said Connor is a great mentor for younger kids, having served as an assistant in Moore’s youth football camps and helping kids work on skill development in sports through volunteering with the Trojan Power Club.
“It’s been great to watch him grow as an athlete and play wherever they needed him,” said Connor’s mother, Nicole Delp. “One thing that drives him is positivity. You want your kids to have those opportunities to be a part of a team.”
THE DELP FILE
5 feet, 10 inches
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Cory and Nicole Delp