Little wonder that Brittany Maners calls this "my least enjoyable week of the year."
Her family will be split Friday night when Princeton Community football men, coached by husband Jared Maners, host Gibson Southern, coached by her brother Nick Hart.
"I think both teams are playing well and I hope both play well Friday," said Brittany, who met Jared a decade ago when both were basketball players at Oakland City University, where the now wife also played volleyball.
"But Go Tigers!" she quickly added, explaining, "My husband lives in my house and I have to put up with him."
The feelings are different, but not opposite, in Indianapolis suburban Brownsburg.
"I'm staying neutral. Brittany and Jared have children, Nick and his wife Christy became parents last month when Brady Michael Hart was born, and I can't make our grandchildren mad because I don't want them hitting me," said father and father-in-law John Hart, in the 34th season of a head coaching career that has brought 288 wins around 87 losses, including a 4A state championship with Evansville Reitz in 2007 and a 5A state championship with Indianapolis Warren Central in 2009, plus a 101-21 record at Mount Carmel from 1990 through 2000.
"They're both doing a great job. Nick has taken Gibson Southern to a different level (70-10 record in not quite 6 1/2 seasons). Jared has done well in building a program since coming to Princeton last year. He's building the program a step at a time, not trying to do too many things at once."
There are more family ties. Derek Hart, second son of John and Janet, quarterbacked his dad's first two Warren Central teams, including the 2009 state champions, and now is Brownsburg offensive coordinator. Kristen Hart Madorin, second daughter of John and Janet, is volleyball head coach at Owen Valley, the Spencer school where Jared Maners starred as quarterback and basketball player before two years at Wabash Valley College and two at Oakland City. Owen Valley volleyballers took a 5-1 record into Wednesday night's match vs. Eastern Greene.
What does Nick Hart bring to the football coaching table?
"Oh my gosh!" said John Hart.
"He has so many of his mom's qualities, including her smartness. That helps quite a bit. He also has a great work ethic and the ability to get kids to play together and play with a passion. He showed his offensive knowledge in quarterbacking our Reitz team when I moved there from Mount Carmel, and he served as our offensive coordinator at Reitz and Warren Central right after finishing college. He was Derek's offensive coordinator. He hires quality people for his staff, and he gets kids to buy into the program."
Jared Maners' coaching strengths?
"So many of the same qualities as Nick. He brings a passion to the game and he's one of the most competitive people you'll ever see," said the father-in-law, who helped his son-in-law get into football coaching after graduation from Oakland City, where he scored 1,050 points in just two basketball seasons.
"From my days at Reitz, I've been friends with Archie Owen, Evansville Central's head football coach before becoming Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corp. athletic director. Archie hired Jared as defensive coordinator. As a quarterback you learn a lot about defenses, and Jared became the great assistant like I thought he would. Like Nick, he gets kids to buy in and play fast."
John Hart is familiar with both teams that will clash at 7 p.m. Friday in Princeton. His third Brownstown team, unbeaten in four games and ranked No. 2 in 6A by the Indiana Football Coaches Association after last Friday's 21-7 win over previously unbeaten and No. 2-ranked Avon, scrimmaged the Titans in summer. And he saw the Tigers scrimmage Evansville Central.
"Gibson Southern's defense is really good. So big and physical," father and father-in-law said. "Princeton played hard and with good awareness. Friday's game should be a good one."
Brownsburg's Bulldogs, after gaining a measure of revenge for last season's 62-27 and 47-25 losses to Avon, will take a 4-0 record Friday vs. Fishers. "We've done well considering that we have a lot of first-year varsity guys," John Hart said.
"Ben Easters, a sophomore, is starting at quarterback. Donovan Marcus, a great young running back who I think will be a Division I college guy, is a junior. Our defensive front seven (line and linebackers) are as good as I've ever had. Our nose tackle Dane Middlebrook, as a junior, already has an offer from Ohio State.
"We've done well, but we'll get a lot better. We'll have to, because Avon is one of the best teams I've seen and they're in our sectional."
John Hart's head coaching career, which began at age 22 at Edwards County in Albion, Ill., is not about to end. "Nick Saban is 67 and still coaching Alabama, so I'll stay on the sideline as long as I can. I've coached a lot of great kids, and I still enjoy the kids and the game," said the family's coaching leader, whose 288 wins share sixth place among Indiana's current head coaches and are tied for 12th all-time. Both lists are led by Sheridan's Larry "Bud" Wright, a 413-time winner. Jasper's retired Jerry Brewer stands second all-time with 368 wins, Heritage Hills' retired Bob Clayton fifth with 320. Another 10 or 12 years and the now 56-year-old Hart could trail only Wright.
Any plans after his head coaching career?
"I'll probably end up working for Nick or Jared."