Greenfield-Central may have graduated nine seniors from the 2014 team, but with returning Hancock County Player of the Year Enrique Ferrara, the Cougars do not intend to treat 2015 as a rebuilding year.
“We’re looking to improve on last year,” said second-year head coach Isaac Beal. “We were conference runner-ups and sectional runner-ups; now, we want to finish first.”
Ferrara, a senior, is the engine of the team, who creates chances on goal via his own shot and by drawing free kicks in dangerous areas.
“He’s a crafty player. When he has a lot of time on the ball he can draw a lot of fouls because the defenders are usually a step behind,” said Beal.
A scheduling quirk placed six of the seven Hoosier Heritage Conference games for Greenfield-Central on the road last season, but Beal is hoping to use the six HHC home games this year as a springboard to a championship.
“We won our last five conference games last year after losing the first two,” Beal said. “With six conference games on our field, we hope to keep that streak going.”
Not only will Ferrara be returning, but a quartet of sophomores in Clay Kelley, Braiden Sticka, Branden Murphy and Sean Julian, who received extensive playing time as freshmen, will be “difference makers” this season, according to Beal.
“Directly after last season ended we sat down and mapped out our goals for this season and how we planned to get there,” Beal said. “We’ve had fantastic work this summer from players like Luke Tuttle and Jack Sifferlen, and we are really excited to start conference play right out of the gate.”
Kickoff: The Cougars opened the season and conference play against New Castle on Tuesday.