The way Finn Anderson describes it, soccer is the main sport in his native Germany.

Everyone watches soccer, most play the sport and everyone knows soccer, he said.

“I think the difference is, here, it’s like a hobby or a pastime, and in Germany, it’s like a lifestyle almost,” said his twin brother, Jannis Anderson. “It’s incorporated into your everyday life.”

The Andersons have lived soccer since moving to Columbus when they were 4 years old. The past four years, they’ve been part of a successful Columbus North program.

Tonight, the Andersons will help lead the Bull Dogs into their opening-round sectional game against New Albany at Seymour.

“They have very high expectations of each other and of their teammates and get a little competitive in practice with one another, which is really great,” North coach Andy Glover said. “It adds to the environment that we have here.”

Jannis is a three-year starter at center back and is a captain this year. He played alongside then-senior Mason Shaffer in the center of the defense two years ago.

The past two years, Jannis has teamed with Zach Friend at center back.

“We kind of know each other really well, and we can depend on each other,” Jannis said. “Outside backs, Andrew Goble is doing really well, and Andrew Potter, and sometimes, Todd Liggett drops back. It’s been working out pretty well.”

Finn moved into the starting lineup last year as an outside back. He moved to forward this year.

This season, Finn ranks second on the team with seven goals and five assists.

“In club, I’ve always been playing as a forward, so I’ve kind of known what to do,” Finn said. “But this year, I think they needed me there more than they did in the back line, and I just filled in those shoes.”

Glover said North’s training environment prepares players to play any position on the field. Sometimes, certain players move around during the course of a game.

The Andersons, Glover said, are among those capable of playing multiple positions.

“It’s the strangest thing because both boys can play anywhere on the field and be effective,” Glover said. “You’ll see them in all areas of the field. They very much impact our team. Both are 80-minute players end line to end line, assume their roles and responsibilities and fully invest themselves in those.”

Finn said he would play college soccer if the opportunity presents itself, but is trying to get into the Naval Academy and may play club soccer there. He wants to go into engineering.

Jannis is consider going to Germany for college and joining a club team there. He wants to become an aerospace engineer.

This week, they’ll try to lead the Bull Dogs to their second consecutive sectional title and their third in their four years at North.

“Hopefully, our stamina lasts because we don’t have quite as big of a bench as we did last year,” Jannis said. “We’re all working a little bit harder.”

The Bull Dogs made it all the way to the semistate last year before falling to eventual Class 2A state champion Evansville Memorial. The IHSAA added a class this year, and North now is playing in 3A.

The Andersons think the Bull Dogs can make another deep tournament run.

“We definitely have the players and the team to make it that far,” Finn said. “But we’ll have to get down to business once we start playing and make sure we don’t give up any easy goals.”

If you go

Seymour boys soccer sectional

Today

5 p.m.: Columbus North vs. New Albany

7 p.m.: Seymour vs. Jeffersonville

Thursday

5 p.m.: Columbus East-Floyd Central winner vs. Jennings County

7 p.m.: Columbus North-New Albany winner vs. Seymour-Jeffersonville winner

Saturday

2 p.m.: Championship

Author photo
Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.