Cougars in search of sectional repeat

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield-Central Cougars are defending sectional champions and only lost six seniors from 2016, so it’s safe to say that hopes are high for the 2017 season.

One major change is a swap at head coach as Greenfield-Central alum Bobby Holden takes over the position and last year’s head coach Matt McConnell becomes the lead assistant.

“Our expectations are the same as they are every year,” Holden said. “And this year we have a good squad looking to do some big things.”

Holden expects four seniors to provide the backbone for its 2017 edition in captain and defender Sean Julian, Noah Hughes at goalkeeper, Brandon Murphy at midfield and Braden Sticka at forward.

Story continues below gallery

Holden also expects junior defender Adam Lee and sophomore midfielders Caleb Mundell and Zach Bell to be key contributors.

As for formation, Holden, like many coaches this time of the season, hasn’t narrowed down which specific shape his team will line up.

“We don’t have a set formation,” Holden said. “But I know we are an attacking team and we like to put the pressure on teams from the start.”

One major difference for this year’s Cougars will be the sectional field and classification they will face en route to defending that title. Along with Class 3A Mt. Vernon, New Palestine, and Shelbyville, the sectional field will also include Connersville, Richmond, and East Central.

“We are lucky enough to be able to host the sectional this year,” Holden said. “We plan to play it on our grass field, but its great to have the turf at the football stadium as a back up.”

Along with a strong returning varsity squad, Holden is excited about the quality of the Greenfield-Central program from top to bottom.

“We had 41 boys try out for our middle school team last week, and this is the first year in a long time we had to make cuts at the high school level,” said Holden. “It’s always tough to do that, but I think it shows how competitive our program is becoming and how soccer is thriving in this community.”