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High Schools

Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
Canterbury’s Shane Crines, left, heads the ball past Covenant Christian’s Luke Smith in the first half of their Class A state championship game Saturday at IUPUI in Indianapolis. Canterbury won 5-0.
High school state finals

Cavs capture 5th state crown

– A historical chapter was written for the storied Canterbury boys soccer program Saturday at IUPUI.

The Cavaliers’ 5-0 win over Covenant Christian produced a second straight Class A state title. In the process, Canterbury equaled Indianapolis North Central’s state-best five championships.

“Canterbury soccer is a tradition, and we just kept it going,” said senior Chase Moyle, who won the mental attitude award. “It was a great season. We had our ups and downs. Eventually we switched things around, and it all worked out in the end.”

“They are all special,” said Canterbury coach Greg Mauch, who has coached all five state title teams. “This one is very special because it comes from a group of guys who started as fourth-graders and came together as a team and have been able to hold it together for a number of years.”

The 2011 Class A state champions, the Cavaliers also won single-class titles in 1997, 1998 and 2001 in making their state-best 10th state finals appearance.

“This is every senior’s dream,” said senior Cole Walker, who had a goal. “No one wants to lose in the tournament, and everybody wants to make it to a state championship. To make it two years in a row and win is just unbelievable.”

Canterbury won the 2011 Class A state title 3-0 over Evansville Mater Dei in the first year of class soccer.

“Coming into the season, we had our doubts about getting back to the state final after losing so many people,” said senior Spencer Heller, who also scored a goal. “It was a struggle for us, but we had our role players step up for us and got it going in the tournament.

“It has been a dream to win state, and to do it twice is truly amazing.”

The four state games were played at IUPUI’s soccer stadium after 16 years at nearby Kuntz Stadium.

Covenant Christian came into the match with a misleading record under .500 because of seven forfeits. But the Warriors were playing in their first state finals and were overwhelmed by a more experienced program as the No. 5 Cavaliers (16-6-1) dominated the No. 6 Warriors (10-13-1).

A 4-0 halftime advantage gave the Cavaliers a cushion to substitute freely in the second half.

“We knew at that point it was locked up, and we just had to go out there, play a little defense and get everybody in,” Heller said. “Once we got that first goal, we were just hyped up and everything fell into place. This is perfect.”

Five different players – Walker, Heller, Jacob Fritz, Rece Buckmaster and Shane Crines – scored goals.

Britt Watts had two assists, with other assists coming from Walker, Buckmaster, Heller and Al Stovall.

“We went to the goal with a little bit of passion, and we were able to finish a few, which is always a nice thing and especially when you can finish it in the first half,” Mauch said. “It takes some pressure off.

“They worked it around, got it to the open man, and they actually finished with some confidence.”

Canterbury will move up to 2A next year, based both on their success and enrollment.

A pep rally will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at Canterbury.