GHS Soccer Kicks Off

Skye Isenblatter, Copyeditor

All over the country, high school students are running, passing, and shooting soccer balls, with both the boys’ and girls’ teams working to improve their skills and make it past sectionals and further. The basis of soccer is perseverance. Players that work on their shooting, passing, and ball control will get better opportunities on the field. They also must learn how to read the plays. They must create a quick plan before they even get the ball by seeing whose open and whose making runs towards the goal. By doing this, many skillful teams get tired easily and can’t keep up. The boys’ and girls’ teams practice these skills each year to get better and increase their chances of winning Sectionals, Regionals, Semi-State, and State at the end of the season.

The girls’ soccer team is playing with hopes of making it past sectionals once again this year. Last year, the girls made Griffith High School history by being the first ever Lady Panthers team to win sectionals. With practice five days a week for two hours, a new head coach, and two new assistant coaches, the girls hope to sharpen their skills on the field, which includes ball control, shooting, and defensive techniques. New coach, Mitch Prunty, who was an assistant goalie trainer for the girls last year, returned this year with new drills and positions to help the girls achieve their goals.

The girls kept the same team captains as last year, Seniors Emily Keck and April Mendoza. Keck and Mendoza are both returning starters who were a big part in their sectional wins last year against Gavit and Highland. “I believe sectionals this year will end up with us on top again. The team will be more than ready for what ever is thrown our way, just because I feel like there’s more of a connection and bond this year between all of us. That’s good because it causes us to work together and talk, which is important on the field,” said Mendoza.

This year, the girls’ top opponent will be Wheeler, who is in their sectional bracket for the first time. Wheeler’s girls soccer team went to state in 2018 and lost in the championship game against Evansville with a score of 1-0. However, the girls aren’t scared, because they have a very similar starting lineup as last year, with only losing three seniors, and they all have an undeniable team chemistry.

The boys soccer team is back this year with the same head coach as last year, being Griffith High School Spanish teacher Castulo Perez. However, they have a nearly completely different lineup, as they lost six starting seniors last year. Therefore, some juniors and sophomores stepped up this year on Varsity in the starting lineup.

Senior Jason Miller, junior Kenneth Smith, and sophomore Omar Mehisen are returning varsity players from last year that took over as captains. “I’m excited to be captain this year to watch my team work together to make it further this year,” said Smith.

Last year, the teams main opponent was Bishop Noll, who beat the team in Sectionals and also proceeded to win state last season. However, this year, their opponents for sectionals include Clark and Gavit. “I have high hopes of the performance of our team during sectionals. We have a lot of talent and chemistry. We have also been playing with each other since we were little, so this is our time to play altogether and we’re taking advantage of that,” said Smith.

With both teams hard work, especially the 11 seniors on the girls’ team and four seniors on the boys’ team are determined to work past their goal of attaining a sectional title for their last season.