Numbers Game: East, North remain solid; CC won’t have team, Jets on the brink

While numbers are not a problem with Columbus East and Columbus North, they have been an issue this season for Bartholomew County’s other two boys soccer teams.

Columbus Christian will not field a team this year because of low numbers, and Hauser’s season is in jeopardy after having the minimum 11 players through the first week-and-a-half of practice. The Jets have pulled out of Saturday’s Morristown Jamboree and may have to cancel Tuesday’s season opener against Southwestern (Hanover) and more if they don’t get more players.

Here is a look at the area boys soccer teams going into the 2022 season:

Columbus East

The Olympians are coming off their third consecutive sectional title, but lost eight seniors that combined to score 43 of their 47 goals and had 39 of their 45 assists.

“We obviously lost some very important players,” East coach Josh Gonsior said. “We lost eight seniors that put a lot into the program. We definitely are not rebuilding, but we are looking to continue the tradition that we’ve built over the last decade or so. We’re looking forward to getting into games and see where we need to be to get to that level. I think this is going to be a season where we’re going to use the regular season to get a lot of experience for some guys and peak in the sectional and hopefully go from there.”

The three starters who return from last year’s team that went 13-4-1, including 6-0 in winning the Hoosier Hills Conference, are on defense. Senior Pete Coriden is back for his third year in goal, senior center Ben Sylva also enters his third year as a starter and senior Cam Trueblood returns as the defensive midfielder.

Of the four goals that the Olympians return, senior Jake Hofelich scored three of them. Hoeflich moves from attacking center mid to forward, where he will team with freshman Aarav Nihalani in trying to replace all-time leading scorer Chris Quisenberry, who netted 26 goals last season and now is playing at Loyola.

“Just thinking about replacing the goal scoring of Chris is certainly going to be a challenge for us,” Gonsior said. “I think it’s going to be by committee rather than one person scoring all the goals. I think we have the ability to score goals, and hopefully, we see it in the beginning of the season rather than waiting until late.”

Junior Gui Silva Coehlo, who moved from Brazil, moves into the attacking center mid spot. Sophomore Boston Ely, senior Henry Bush and junior Justin Sylva also could play in the midfield.

“I think the player that is going to be the wild card this year and is going to be big for us is Justin Sylva,” Gonsior said. “He can play pretty much everywhere we need him.”

Senior Sam Witte will join Ben Sylva at center back. Juniors Elijah Goodpaster and Rylan Shaw, sophomores Danny Coriden and Brady Wiltsey and senior Albert Glandiro are battling for the outside back spots.

Danny Coriden and Wiltsey also could play some at forward. Sophomore Ian Scholl and junior Zach Hofelich could see action in the midfield.

Nihalani, freshman outside backs Jonathan Sylva and Eddie Aranda Michel and freshman midfielder Emilio Quintero Aguirre played on the Express Orange team that reached the U.S. Youth Soccer Presidents Cup national final four this summer.

“We’re looking at them to add to that winning culture,” Gonsior said.

Columbus North

The Bull Dogs went 12-6, including 5-0 in winning Conference Indiana last season, but lost to East in the sectional final after beating the Olympians during the regular season.

Most of the starters return from that team, and numerous players who saw varsity action are back.

“The kids are going great,” North coach Andy Glover said. “We have a lot of returning leadership in both the senior and junior class and a lot of emerging talent in both the freshman and sophomore classes. The boys have been working really hard and meeting expectations, so we’re excited to play someone else.”

Senior midfielder Anthony Johnson was an All-District selection last season. The other top returners are junior Aidan Whitley, who scored five goals and led the Bull Dogs with 10 assists, and senior goalkeeper Oscar Ballinas.

Others who started at times last season include seniors Flynn Keele, Trent Liggett, Nathan Imlay and Eduardo Ruiz Cordova; juniors Nico Gotoh, Christian Gomez Cardoso, Misaki Takemoto and Obed Oliva Barrera and sophomore Konnor Gribbons.

Seniors Michael Wolf and Alejandro “Pollo” Alvarez; juniors Sam Loheide and Raul Oliveria and sophomores Thomas De la Cruz, Bryan Rodriguez and Aidan Espejel played mostly JV last year and could see varsity action. Freshman Leo Iorio will look to make an immediate impact on varsity.

The Bull Dogs are seeking their first sectional title since 2016.

“We’ll take it a game at a time and see where it goes,” Glover said. “We just have nothing to lose, so it’s really fun. The kids are having a great time.”

Hauser

The Jets lost six seniors to graduation, and four exchange students who played last season have returned to their native countries.

“It’s obviously a rebuilding year,” Hauser coach Barry Grimes said.

Junior sweeper Zach Weichman and junior forward or midfielder Lakota Robbins are the top returning players. Others coming back are sophomore forward Ethan House, senior defender Cameron Toole junior goalkeepers Luke Bruner and Will Walters and sophomore Kolton Wallace, who can play anywhere, along with junior Kale Schwartzkopf and sophomore Leyton Jordan.

The Jets have added an exchange student from Ecuador and were hoping to pick up a couple more players when they started the school year on Wednesday.

“The hope right now is that we will have enough,” Grimes said. “We need maybe two or three more players. I’ve had a couple people contact me this week that have some interest, so I think it’s going to be a go, but I’m not counting my eggs before they’re hatched. The late start kind of hurt us this year.”

Jennings County

The Panthers have a new coach in Seth Hall, a Madison native who played at Briar Cliff University in Iowa. Hall has been the coach at Shawe Memorial the past two years and also has coached in Florida.

Hall takes over a team that went 9-7-2 last season, including 1-5 in the HHC.

Senior Nathan Davis, who scored four goals and led Jennings with 18 assists last season, will be back in the midfield. Seniors Bryce McIntosh and Brady Reeves also return in the midfield.

Junior Fernando Fernandez is back at forward. Senior Gabe Wells and sophomores Cooper Reeves and Cole Bingham return on defense.

Sophomore Deken Simpson will take over in goal.

“We have some pretty talented kids,” Hall said. “It’s a matter of getting them all to work together. They seem pretty excited and pretty confident, so that’s nice.”

Brown County

Like Jennings, Brown County has a new coach this season. Josh Caplinger, a Seymour native who has been an assistant boys basketball coach at Brown County, takes over the boys soccer program.

Caplinger inherits a program that went 2-8 last season, including 2-3 in the Western Indiana Conference.

Sophomore Silas Cambridge will move from center mid to forward, and junior Carter Norcutt moves from defense to center mid or forward. Senior Ethan Scott will be one of the center mids, and sophomores Wesley Arndt, Cameron Higgins and Caleb Clifford will rotate at outside mid.

Junior Aaron Woodrum returns at center back and will team with senior Caelan Stanley. Junior Eli Webb is back at outside back, where he will be joined by junior Eli Wesley.

The goalkeeper job is up for grabs between senior Bradley Arndt, junior Merrick Reeves and freshmen Billy Hubbard and Dagan Clarke.

“We’re pretty excited,” Caplinger said. “We added a few games to our schedule with teams we think we can really compete with. We have a good group of juniors and seniors that are leading the way, really taking ownership. They’ve really bought in.”

Trinity Lutheran

The Cougars lost six seniors from a team that went 3-14 last season, but return six starters and picked up eight new players.

Senior Andrew Bell is back at forward, and senior Adam Everroad will be back in the midfield or on defense. Juniors Levi Pottschmidt, Andrew Lemming and Zander Roggow return in the midfield, and senior Prader Kiel is back at center back.

Junior Peyton Pollert, who started as a freshman, will be in goal. Junior Connor Nichols, Trenton Burton and Drew Kerkhof will play on defense, and freshman John Harris will be in the midfield.

Seniors Levi Froedge and Eli Ballard are out for soccer for the first time.

“We’ve been putting in quite a bit of work with the time we’ve been allotted in the summer, and the spring, as well,” Trinity coach Todd Jack said. “They’ve been working pretty hard. I’ve seen a lot of improvement in the guys.”

The 2022 boys soccer schedules for Bartholomew County schools:

Columbus East

Saturday;at Perry Meridian;6:45 p.m.

Aug. 20;at Center Grove Classic;10 a.m.

Aug. 23;Bloomington North;7:45 p.m.

Aug. 25;at Columbus North;7:45 p.m.

Aug. 31;at East Central;7:15 p.m.

Sept. 1;Seymour;7:15 p.m.

Sept. 6;at Bedford North Lawrence;7:15 p.m.

Sept. 10;Fishers;12:45 p.m.

Sept. 13;at Franklin;7;45 p.m.

Sept. 15;Jennings County;7;15 p.m.

Sept. 20;Floyd Central;6 p.m.

Sept. 24;New Albany;1:45 p.m.

Sept. 26;Bloomington South;7:45 p.m.

Oct. 1;at Jeffersonville;12:45 p.m.

Columbus North

Saturday;at Southport;11:45 a.m.

Tuesday;Lawrence North;7:45 p.m.

Aug. 18;at Bloomington North;7:45 p.m.

Aug. 20;Jeffersonville;12:45 p.m.

Aug. 23;at New Albany;7:45 p.m.

Aug. 25;Columbus East;7:45 p.m.

Aug. 30;Center Grove;7:15 p.m.

Sept. 1;Cathedral;7:15 p.m.

Sept. 6;at Perry Meridian;7:45 p.m.

Sept. 9;Carmel;7:45 p.m.

Sept. 12;East Central;7:45 p.m.

Sept. 17;Terre Haute North;1:45 p.m.

Sept. 20;at Bloomington South;7:45 p.m.

Sept. 24;Terre Haute South;2:45 p.m.

Hauser

Tuesday;Southwestern (Hanover) 5:30 p.m.

Aug. 20;Southwestern (Shelby);10 a.m.

Aug. 23;Jac-Cen-Del;5:30 p.m.

Aug. 25;at Knightstown;5:30 p.m.

Aug. 29;at Oldenburg Academy;5:30 p.m.

Aug. 30;at Indianapolis Lutheran;6 p.m.

Sept. 1;Trinity Lutheran;5 p.m.

Sept. 3;Providence Cristo Rey;Noon

Sept. 6;Morristown;5:30 p.m.

Sept. 10;Austin;11 a.m.

Sept. 13;at Greensburg;5:30 p.m.

Sept. 16;at Southwestern (Shelby);5 p.m.

Sept. 20;at Morristown;5:30 p.m.

Sept. 21;at Irvington Prep;5:30 p.m.

Sept. 28;at Henryville;5:30 p.m.