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TELL CITY—Tell City starts its second junior varsity soccer season with 17 players, three more than last year.
That turnout should help backers of the sport to convince the Tell City-Troy Township School Board to give it varsity status next year.
Though the board voted to start the sport on a junior varsity basis for two years to see if there was enough interest to go to varsity, the team uses seniors in its lineup and will play a varsity tourney at Wood Memorial this year, said Coach Fred Hillenbrand. “It’s tough to get a junior varsity schedule in soccer.”
Senior Alex Cole and freshman Casey May will share duty at goalie, though May probably won’t play in Tuesday’s season opener because he has been nursing a shoulder injury, said Hillenbrand.
Seven starters return from last year’s 2-3-3 team. Junior Dex Kleeman was one of the team’s defensive leaders.
Jason Hackbarth, the team’s leading goal scorer last year, graduated. Hillenbrand said he does not know who the leading returning scorer is.
The coach expects defense to be the team’s main strength again, though.
“We did not allow many goals last year, and I think we’re stronger in our backfield. And we’ve got a foreign exchange student (Christoph Drexler) who knows the game real well. He’ll play center forward.”
There are two girls on the team, three fewer than last year. They can play on the boys team because Tell City does not have enough players for a separate girls team.