Zionsville High Hockey Team State Champions 2024

Zionsville Hockey Club Wins State Championship

Ben Highsmith, coach of the Zionsville Hockey Club, is thrilled about winning the Class 4A state championship.

“The championship game was a very surreal experience,” Highsmith says. “We had a specific game plan going into the championship game and were defensive minded. We bought into our game plan and went out and executed it. The emotions going into the game and then throughout the game was something that we had prepared for all year, and I feel that our strong mindset was what made us different from our opponent. We had great leadership that was able to lead our team during tough times in the game.”

Highsmith notes that winning the 4A state championship in hockey is very tough to do.

“Only a few schools in the 50-year history of Indiana High School hockey have been able to do it,” he says. “4A has been dominated by Culver Academy, so for Zionsville to be champions is very special and a huge accomplishment. The game itself was a battle from the start. Evansville has some very skilled players that we needed to shut down and then to catch them in quick transition. We took some penalties, and one big moment of the game was having to a kill a five on three, where Evansville had a two-man advantage. Our only goal and game-winning goal came from Noah Farb and was assisted by his freshman brother, Charlie Farb. This is a very cool memory that the Farbs will have forever.”

Highsmith is proud of the team.

“Our starting goaltender, Jackson Herbold, had a great game and registered a shutout,” he says. “Jackson played incredibly and was our rock, not only in the championship game, but the entire season. Our other senior goalie, Zach May, went down earlier in the season with a torn ACL, and Jackson stepped up and took the workload for the rest of the season.”

Highsmith says teams can take good goaltending for granted at times.

“We were very blessed, however, with our two goaltenders,” he says. “These two gave us confidence that any game we went into, we had a chance because of our goaltending. Our defense was incredible all season and was intimidating to opponents all season long. They had a great game and shut down the potent offensive of Evansville. Leading the way was John Zack, our captain, Rex Woolington, Chairo Jugg, Casey Schumacher, Luke Kirkpatrick and Ryan Fleming.”

Highsmith adds that the team’s offense bought into their identity as a team.

Jackson Herbold making a save.

“This was even though we were a defensive team,” he says. “We had guys that could score and create offensive going forward. Leading the way for the forwards were Noah Farb, Silas Donovan, Alek Molinaro, and Kane McClurg. One player I would like to give a shoutout to that wasn’t able to be there physically, because of an injury sustained the weekend before in the state play-down games, was Zach Goggins. Even though he couldn’t be there with us because of ankle surgery, he was the energy guy for the team and his motivation for us before the game really helped.”

Highsmith says the positive season was one to remember.

“It was different from the start of the season because we knew we had a team that could win state,” he says. “I have always believed that champions are created before they win the championship, so I believed right from the start we were champions. We had a record of 36-10, and finished number-two in the state. We won the regular season Hoosier League. We also won a regular-season tournament in Chicago, Illinois.’

Brett Shahbaz, president of the Zionsville Hockey Club, says he also couldn’t be prouder of the team for winning the championship.

“The state championship game was epic,” Shahbaz says. “Both teams had a lot of great chances, but in the end it was the Zionsville Arctic Eagles who had the only goal of the game. Zionsville’s goalie Jackson Herbold was perfect in net with 19 saves.”

Shahbaz says it was a great season.

“The season was definitively one to remember,” he says. “Besides winning the final game, the next-best win came in the state semifinal game six days earlier against Culver A, the defending 4A state champion – their seventh title in a row.”

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