CGHS Athletes See Successful Fall Season
Writer / Kevin Conrad
Center Grove High School (CGHS) has not only enjoyed successes on the football field this fall, but also on the golf course, race course, soccer field and tennis court. The Trojans competed at the highest level, winning numerous championship trophies.
Under veteran Head Coach Cale Hoover, the girls golf team had its best finish in the state finals, placing second. The Trojans led after the first round of the state finals, but couldn’t hold the lead on the second and final day of the tournament. Senior Sage Parsetich finished 10th and earned first-team all-state honors.
“We knew going into the season that we had the potential to compete for the state championship,” Hoover says. “Goal number one was to get on the podium, closely followed by bringing home one of the two trophies.”
Hoover says the Trojans struggled to begin the season, but the team remained resilient, winning the county, sectional and regional titles.
“We could not have played worse in the opening State Preview, but I was very proud of how we persevered,” Hoover says. “We had a defining moment in early September that led to massive improvements in our mental approach during our rounds. From that moment forward, the team turned the corner and gained momentum. I thought the last month was possibly the best of any team I have coached.”
The future looks bright for the Trojans.
“We return four starters and have several players waiting in the wings for their opportunity, so expectations will be high for 2023,” Hoover says. “We will want to take another step and bring home the big state championship trophy.”
The CGHS boys cross-country team also posted its best finish ever in the state meet, finishing third. Trojan senior Ty Garrett took fourth, earning all-state honors.
“It was quite the season,” says Head Coach Howard Harrell. “With any journey to the top, we had our ups and downs. Through it all we stuck together, and continued to work forward and upward. It was truly a full team effort. At semi-state the team placed third overall and ran the fastest top-five average time of 15:50. That is off-the-charts good. At state we ran to win, but we still made the podium with a third-place finish. We might not have made it to the tip-top, but there is still quite a view of finishing third.”
Harrell was extremely proud of how his team kept competing throughout the season to get better, winning the county and sectional meets.
“One word that best describes this team this season is perseverance,” Harrell says. “The road to the top is seldom smooth. There will be hills and valleys. There will be wins and losses. The key is to keep moving forward and upward even when you run not so well. Learning from your less-than-perfect races and striving for excellence in the face of adversity takes perseverance. We as a team started with high expectations. We as a team started the season less than stellar. But we as a team kept working together and finished the season so strong.”
Myron Vaughn took over the Center Grove girls soccer program in his first season as head coach. The girls soccer team was one game away from the state finals. CGHS won the sectional and regional championships, and lost 1-0 in the semi-state.
“I couldn’t have been more proud and impressed with the girls this season,” Vaughn says. “Getting to the final four is an obvious mark of their success, but for me, being able to see their work ethic and commitment to excellence was some of the best parts of my first season.”
Vaughn is excited about the 2023 season.
“Returning nine starters and 13 total varsity players to a state final-four team is a huge source of excitement for the staff,” Vaughn says. “We are already looking forward to getting back to work in the summer with high expectations.”
The CGHS boys tennis team also had a first-year coach, David Beasley. Beasley took over the Trojan tennis program after three seasons as the assistant coach under Hall of Fame Head Coach Ivan Smith. Smith remained on staff as the top assistant coach. The Trojans won championships in the sectional, regional and semi-state rounds, advancing to the state final four. The Trojans lost 2-3 in the state semifinals, one point away from the state championship match.
“Super proud of this young team battling through adversity and injuries this year,” Beasley says. “We knew we had a deep bench, but this year was a showcase. We had 12 athletes play in the seven varsity spots, which boasted an overwhelming win percentage when a substitute was required. Out of our starting seven, five players were battling serious injuries. By sectionals, we had the healthiest team we had seen since last year. We were fortunate enough to make it to the semifinal round of the state finals, ultimately falling to the state champs, North Central, by one point. That battle and experience are vital for our team going into next season, as we aim to make it to the championship round next year.”
CGHS Athletic Director Joe Bronkella enjoyed the Trojans’ successes this fall, in his first year in the position.
“One thing that I’ve learned since I’ve been here is that everyone works together to strive for perfection,” Bronkella says. “Everyone tries to lift each other up and celebrate everyone. Center Grove is a unique place compared to where I’ve been. I’ve learned that this school and athletics are what tie this community together. Seeing unity across all sports is something truly special. Our support for each other is evident in our successes. What a successful fall we’ve had so far – seven sectional championships, four regional championships, one semi-state championship and three state finalist teams, with one team finishing third and one team finishing runner-up. Let’s not forget individual finishers in boys cross country and girls golf. What a remarkable fall.”