By Corey Elliot Flyer correspondent
Hendricks County Flyer
---- — The Ben Davis Giants boys’ soccer team has all the pieces to the puzzle. It’s now about getting them all to fit together.
An abundance of veteran leadership and an all-state caliber goalkeeper results in an optimistic coach with goals that he feels are achievable.
After losing to Brebeuf in the sectional last season, Ben Davis didn’t sit around feeling sorry for themselves as they understood their futures were bright. Almost all of Giants coach Andrew Rolinson’s roster is intact and of the returning players, there are only four underclassmen.
This year has the makings of a special season.
“We have a lot of experience returning,” Rolinson said. “A lot of the guys coming back this year have a lot of varsity experience. It’s early in the season but my expectation is we have the potential in our program to compete at a high level.”
Of the returning players with valuable varsity experience, Rolinson has higher expectations for some than others. A starter since his sophomore year between the pipes, senior Jenson Kemple was an all-Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference player last season. Along with captain Danny Alvarez, Kemple may be the Giants’ most valuable player.
“I consider Jenson as one of best keepers in the state,” Rolinson said. “He’s been a starter since his sophomore year so he’s going to be someone I look to for a lot of leadership. I’m also relying on Alvarez to really step up and take a huge leadership role organizing our defense.”
Playing in the MIC is always a good measuring stick for conference teams to gauge how far off or how close they are to achieving preseason goals. Considered one of the toughest conferences in the state, Rolinson says he knows what his Giants are up against each game throughout the season.
This year, though, it may just be the Giants that are the hunted.
“The MIC is the top conference in the state every season,” he said. “We have quality programs and a lot of potential every year so we use it to gauge where our strengths and weakness are. This is my third year as head coach and every year has been more competitive. It’s our goal every season to win our conference. It’s a tall order, we’ve been competitive but this season competitive isn’t good enough. This year our goal is to win our conference, county tourney, and win our sectional.”
Conference, county, and sectional?
That’s a lot riding on this year but Rolinson and his Giants feel those aren’t the only goals they’re capable of achieving.
“I think we can compete at a state level,” Rolinson said. “I’ll have a better idea come mid-season but my expectations are realistic and those expectations begin with the potential in our program. We have the potential to compete.”