Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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July 1, 2014

Former Brownsburg star getting started

The past seven months have been a whirlwind for Brownsburg and current Indiana University soccer player Jack Griffith.

After graduating in December, Griffith made the trip to Bloomington to get a head start on his freshman season and acclimate to new surroundings.

“It was nice to get down early and get accustomed both to the team and to college as a whole,” Griffith said. “If I’d gone in the fall, I’d have had to get used to the team dynamic in the heat of the season.”

While the decision to leave midway through his senior year was not easy, Griffith has seen life in a new light with added responsibility.

“It’s a lot different, and most of the work is on yourself and you really have to manage your free time,” he said.

IU brought in four players following the winter break, including Griffith’s new roommate, fellow freshman Michael Riedford. The other two — William Lukowski and Matt Flodesy — were transfers.

As Griffith was beginning to get a foothold at IU, his father was injured while riding a bike in Florida. Griffith said his father sustained a punctured lung and broken bones after hitting a tree, and suffered further complications while in the hospital.

Griffith spoke with his coaches about going to see his father and got the green light, but schoolwork and tests held him back. As his two sisters went to visit their dad, Griffith reluctantly stayed at IU.

“It was really tough for me, and it was a big mess for a while,” he said. “I really wanted to go visit him … but he reassured me to not come down. It was right away as I was getting used to college and hit me real quick.”

With a tough experience behind him, Griffith focused on IU’s spring season, and with a few team injuries, saw some playing time as the Hoosiers took on Indy Eleven, the Mexican Youth National Team, Butler and Notre Dame.

IU lost 3-1 to the Eleven, 1-0 to Notre Dame, fought to a 1-1 draw with Butler and fell 3-0 to Mexico, but the playing time gave Griffith something to build upon.

“The players are faster, the ball moves faster, decisions have to be made faster and players are more physical,” he said. “The referees let more things go and let us play a little more. You really just have to be bigger, faster and stronger on this level.”

With the spring season behind him, Griffith focused on schoolwork and returned home to walk with his senior class at graduation and meet up with some familiar faces.

Following that, he took off to Sao Paulo, Brazil to take in some of the World Cup. Griffith stayed with a friend’s aunt and uncle, and got to witness the France/Honduras match.

“It was awesome and a great experience,” Griffith said. “We had planned for a couple of years to travel down and see the World Cup. I approached the chance when offered like it was a once in a lifetime experience.”

  Follow Hendricks County Flyer Sports Editor Jake Thompson on Twitter @JacobEThompson.


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