Preview: Boys soccer enter first round of sectionals


Gracie Marsh, Staff Writer

The boys soccer team kicks off sectional play tonight on the road against Franklin Community at 7 p.m. The Trojans have not won a sectional title since 2016, falling to Perry Meridian the past two years.

“Our key motivator to win [tonight’s] game is that nobody on our team has won sectionals and everyone on this team is hungry and looking to win,” senior Sam Brunsman said.

Despite not advancing in the past, the seniors on the team hope to take down Franklin tonight in order to keep moving through the tournament.

“Franklin is a relatively new team, graduating 17 seniors last year so we know that they will not be very physical. But we also know that they have figured out a way to win so far this year, so we will have a couple of special players we will have to keep an eye on,” senior Carson Wilhelm said. 

With a state record 22 sectional titles, Center Grove’s 14 seniors are looking to add to that tally before they leave the program.

“The biggest motivator for me, and I’m sure my team as well, is to just make my senior year count. The past two years that I have been on varsity were ended so soon in the tournament, so I just want more than anything to make a run at State and have a chance at winning it all,” senior Carter Zuch said. “We always take one game at a time, and tonight could be the beginning of something really special.”

Center Grove brings a five-game win streak into tonight’s sectional quarterfinal game, and senior Nick Wilson is hopeful the Trojans can capitalize our their strengths.

“Our team is much bigger and quicker than [Franklin Community] by far. We are also more technically good on the ball. We have a very fast paced team and move the ball a lot quicker,” Wilson said. 

While many fans are looking ahead to a possible semi-final match up with Perry Meridian, Wilson knows tonight’s opponent will test the team, especially early. 

“Franklin Community has high spirits and always aims to score quickly, so I think that coming out alive and burying them early is our best move,” Wilson said. “Franklin definitely has a much smaller and younger team with not as much depth as us. We just really have to wear out their starters early on so we can tally up the score more easily.”

The team believes that their close relationships will help them win against Franklin.

“We all play for each other. We’re not individuals, but instead we believe in brotherhood and camaraderie. We know this approach will take us farther,” Zuch said.