When Columbus East shut out Bloomington South on the soccer field two weeks ago, one player was a major factor.
Time after time, senior defensive midfielder Caleb Glass turned away attacking attempts by the Panthers, who were ranked No. 7 in the state in Class 2A at the time. That helped the Olympians post a 2-0 upset victory.
“He’s frustrated many opponents,” East coach Brad Barber said. “Bloomington South was a great example. Their players came off the field talking about Caleb and how much he shut them down.”
That’s pretty much what Glass has been doing the past four years for the Olympians, who will take a six-game winning streak into this week’s Columbus North Regional. They will play East Central about 8 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals.
Glass also got involved in the East offense in Saturday’s 5-0 sectional final win against Seymour. He dished out a pair of assists to help the Olympians win their first sectional title in 10 years.
“Caleb has been a rock for us on defense for the past four years,” Barber said. “We moved him into the defensive mid role this year, and I believe that’s the most important player on the field. He’s been an outstanding center back for us for two years. But we knew he had more to offer in the attack, so because of that, we moved him around a little bit.”
A three-year starter, Glass has moved from midfield to outside back to defensive mid.
“I get to not only defend, but I can be smart with it and sometimes attack, but a lot of times just distribute and get it to that attacking player,” Glass said. “So I like it.”
“We wanted to take advantage of his attacking abilities,” Barber said. “He does so much to break up the opponent’s attack. When he wins the ball, he’s able to find feet and go forward, and he proved that in (Saturday’s) match. He is a deterrent of most people’s attacks because he is so good at putting himself in a good position and tackling the ball.”
Glass is one of eight senior starters for East.
“For the most part, our seniors have always been playing together,” Glass said. “So it was good for bonding. Then, being able to play with some of the younger kids that are younger brothers is kind of neat.”
Glass is part of an athletic family. His twin brother Cordell is a diver for the Olympians. Their older brother Christian played basketball and baseball at Columbus North and now plays baseball at Xavier. Older sister Autumnlynn played soccer at East.
Playing soccer in college remains a goal for Glass. He is looking for an engineering school that has a good soccer program.
“I believe Caleb has the ability to play at the college level,” Barber said. “He possesses the determination, hard work and leadership skills that college coaches desire to have in their program.”
For now, though, Glass and his teammates are focused on helping the Olympians add a regional title to the Hoosier Hills Conference and sectional titles they’ve already won.
“The mentality has to be there,” Glass said. “If we joke around and don’t focus on keeping our body nourished and making sure we stay healthy, we might not (win). But if we play the way we played, I think we’ll be able to do it.”
Columbus North boys soccer regional
6 p.m.: Floyd Central vs. Connersville
8 p.m.: Columbus East vs. East Central
7 p.m.: Championship