Center Grove Fall Sports Teams Finish Strong
Excitement coupled with some anxiety surrounded the start of the 2020 Indiana high school fall sports season following the cancellation of the spring sports season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many high school coaches and student-athletes were cautiously optimistic that the fall sports season would start, let alone finish, in its entirety. Center Grove High School’s fall sports teams not only started the season, but finished strong with girls golf, boys tennis and boys cross country advancing to the IHSAA State Finals.
The girls golf team opened the season on August 4th versus Greenwood. It was the first CG team event since the Trojan boys basketball team played Greenwood in the IHSAA Sectional championship on March 7th, nearly five months earlier.
Following the win over the Woodmen, CG senior golfer, Meg Fosnot, was just as excited about starting the season as the victory itself. “I was hoping we would get started. Now that we’ve gotten started, I think we are going to have a great season.”
Yes, indeed, the Trojans did have a great season. CG won the Johnson County Tournament and IHSAA Sectional titles, took third in the IHSAA Regional and tied for eighth in the IHSAA State Finals.
The top three teams in the girls golf Regional qualify for the State Finals. The last time the Trojans advanced out of their extremely competitive Regional was 2015. Fosnot was thrilled her team got through the Regional this year with a third-place finish. “On the day (of the regional), you just have to have everything working for you. Everything has to line up just right. We managed to pull through and do it.”
Competing in the State Finals was the icing on the cake for Fosnot, who was playing her final tournament as a CG Trojan. “It was huge to get our team there this year and for us to place so well in our first year back in five years was just fantastic.”
The CG boys tennis team had high expectations for its 2020 fall sports season with the return of 10 seniors. The Trojans did not disappoint, taking first place in the County Tournament, IHSAA Sectional, IHSAA Regional and IHSAA Semi-State and advancing to the elite eight of the IHSAA State Tournament.
CG senior, Luke Embrey, played number two singles for the Trojans and earned Academic All-State honors with an impressive 4.73 grade point average. Embrey was very proud of his team’s achievements, especially during a pandemic. “The fact that we were able to overcome the adversity of having three of our varsity starters get quarantined the night before sectionals and still win Sectionals, Regionals, and Semi-state. It was a great accomplishment for us to make it to State and to see the many hours of practicing and playing pay off. It was also a season where we didn’t know if there was going to even be a season or when it might end so, it was quite rewarding to make it to State.”
Embrey says the sport of tennis and playing it under Center Grove head coach Ivan Smith is unmatched. “Tennis, unlike many other sports which rely on physical size and strength, is a sport in which the amount of time you put in is almost entirely related to the success that you will have as an individual. If you are passionate about tennis and your effort matches that passion, you can be very successful in Coach Smith’s program and have a lot of fun doing it.”
The CG boys cross country team earned its first trip to the IHSAA State Finals last year, placing fourteenth. The Trojans’ motto for the 2020 season was “Aim High.” Mission accomplished. The cross county team returned to the IHSAA State Finals taking fourth place. The Trojans also took first in the Johnson County, IHSAA Sectional, and IHSAA Regional Meets.
Sophomore Drew Costelow was CG’s top runner throughout the season and finished 32nd in the state meet. Costelow was overjoyed by his team getting a podium finish at State. “The feeling was amazing, getting on that podium at state. We have this saying that pain is temporary but pride is forever. That saying came into play when we stepped to the start line at state. We knew when we stepped to the line that it was 15 minutes of pain and once we crossed that finish line at state, pride will be forever. We finished 4th as a team, which is the highest in school history. Our coaching staff was outstanding this year. Coach Harrell, Coach Stewart, Coach Hewitt, and Coach Fry all coached us to the top and all believed in us that we could get on that podium.”