High School Sports

Caldwell's Sindelar breaks TD passing record, sets sights on state title

Elijah Sindelar
threw his 134th touchdown pass last week; the previous  record was 133.
Elijah Sindelar threw his 134th touchdown pass last week; the previous record was 133. Herald-Leader

Caldwell County quarterback Elijah Sindelar is a team-first guy who would just as soon be in the shadows as the spotlight. But after he broke the state record for touchdown passes last week, Sindelar couldn't sidestep the personal accolades.

He had four TD passes in Caldwell County's 63-6 rout of Crittenden County. His last scoring toss, early in the second quarter, was a 10-yarder to Dee Cain.

It was the 134th TD pass of Sindelar's career, eclipsing the record of 133 set by Tim Couch of Leslie County in 1995 and tied by Ricky Bowling of South Laurel in 2008.

"I got mobbed by my teammates, and that was just awesome, seeing their support and knowing they wanted it for me," Sindelar said. "It was overwhelming. I thank God for letting me have the opportunity to break it."

Caldwell County superintendent Carrell Boyd presented Sindelar with the game ball, and the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

"That gave me goose bumps," Sindelar said. "My parents were out there on the field with me, and I gave them a hug. It was all just incredible."

The spectators included Purdue offensive coordinator John Shoop. Sindelar committed to the Boilermakers last winter.

Sindelar began this season needing 39 TD passes to break the record, but he said he didn't think about reaching the milestone until a few weeks ago.

"When I got within 10 touchdown passes, it hit me, 'Wow, I can actually do this.

"My goal was to break it before the playoffs because I didn't want it on my mind, the team's mind or the coaches' mind then. I wanted us to be able to focus on getting to the state championship."

Caldwell County, undefeated and rated No. 1 in Class 2A, closes the regular season at Mayfield, the top team in Class A, on Friday night.

Sindelar has completed 155 of 220 passes (70 percent) for 2,755 yards and 39 TDs this year. He's been intercepted only three times.

"We've had a lot of games this year where Elijah didn't play four quarters," Coach David Barnes said. "So his stats could be even better."

Sindelar's 11,783 career passing yards are fourth-most in state history.

Madison Southern running back Damien Harris has been touted as the leading candidate for Mr. Football, but he's been sidelined almost a month with a knee injury while Sindelar has continued his passing assault.

"I think everybody thinks Harris is probably going to win it," Barnes said. "But Elijah is a great candidate, too. He's done whatever we've asked him to do, and he's put up big numbers.

"If Elijah wins Mr. Football, it'd be great for him and our school, but his main goal is to help us win a state championship."

Sindelar led Caldwell County to a state runner-up finish as a sophomore.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound senior is also a basketball and baseball standout at Caldwell County, but he might not be around to play those sports for the Tigers this school year.

"There's always a chance I may graduate early and get up" to Purdue, he said. "I'll figure it all out after football."