Floyd Central’s 2012 season ended with a disappointing 3-0 loss to eventual sectional champion Jeffersonville in the sectional semifinals.
The Highlanders’ sectional championship drought has reached six years and new coach Tim Rice has been brought in to try to turn around the fortunes.
Seniors Varun Alse, Chase Gossman, Zach Lewis, goalkeeper Travis Foster and junior All-Area forward Henok Jones provide a solid foundation.
“We aren’t sure what this season will hold,” Rice said. “We anticipate it will take awhile for the team to feel comfortable in our system and style. With that said, we do expect our guys will work hard and give great effort, which will hopefully bridge the gap in the first half of the season until they feel more comfortable in our system.”
Rice said he wants to build on the tradition set at Floyd by the coaches who came before him.
“Floyd Central already had a great tradition before we got here,” he said. “We come in wanting to add some culture, pieces that we think will challenge guys to drive themselves and their teammates to reach greater heights. It will help us build an even bigger foundation for the future.”
There is a buzz around the Providence program.
The Pioneers are coming off their deepest tournament run in school history a year ago, making it to the semistate final, and coach Brandon Rogers has an influx of freshman talent.
Still, the loss of Pierce Crawley, Andrew Wimp and Cody Schrank is a big blow for the program.
“We have some major holes to fill from last year’s graduating class specifically on the offensive end, so I’ll be looking for some of the underclassmen to step up and fill some key roles,” Rogers said.
The Pioneers should be strong defensively and in the midfield and Evan Hollkamp returns as the team’s top striker, so Providence enters the season looking to match or surpass last season’s success.
“Given the new class system, our goal every year should be to make it to the state finals,” Rogers said. “We came very close last year, and I think we can do the same again this year if my seniors step up and take on leadership roles within the team.”