Last season, Canterbury won its seventh state soccer title. The Cavaliers have more boys soccer titles than any other program, but a number of local teams have the talent to make noise on the postseason stage.
Canterbury: The Cavaliers, who went 12-7-4 in 2018, have lost key seniors. But the remaining players includeJoel Groninger, who hit the clinching penalty kick at last year's state finals.
Carroll: The Chargers went 17-3-2 in 2018, recording shutouts in half of those games. Some 14 members of the team return from last year's run to the Class 3A semistate game.
Northrop: The Bruins have finished atop the SAC in each of the last three seasons. Six players from the 11-4-2 squad were named first-team all-conference, and three (Medard Mikobi, Leo Nino Cuevas and Kirubel Ayalew) return.
Concordia: The Cadets lost to eventual Class 2A champion Bishop Noll in semistate last season.
West Noble: The Chargers were also knocked out of the playoffs by Bishop Noll, losing 3-2 in the Mishawaka Marian regional final. West Noble went 7-0 in the NECC last season, and the future is bright: freshmen scored 42 goals in 2018.
Rocco Zirille, Homestead: The senior scored nine goals for the Spartans in 2018, earning third-team all-state honors.
Jon Bowen, Canterbury: Now a junior, Bowen was the leading scorer for the Class A champion Cavaliers in 2018, scoring 12 goals. Peyton Fosnough, Carroll: Fosnough was the Chargers' leading scorer in 2018, knocking in 16 goals and assisting on 10.
Tedros Berelsman, Warsaw: Berelsman was named first-team all-Northern Lakes Conference and honorable mention all-state as a junior.
Henry Torres, West Noble: The sophomore scored 26 goals in his freshman season.
Cavs' challenge: How will the Cavaliers fare competing in Class 2A now that they've been bumped up by the success factor?
Region drought: If any other Northeast Indiana boys soccer team besides Caterbury wins a state title this season, it will be the first non-Cavaliers team to do so.
Will the Lions roar? Leo went to the regional finals, and went undefeated in NE8 play in 2018. Will the Lions be as competitive this season after losing second-team all-state player Reid Sproat?
Who will win the SAC? In each of the last two seasons, Northrop and Concordia have finished 6-1 in conference play, with a Northrop win over the Cadets separating the teams.
Easier road: Now that Canterbury has moved up to Class 2A, the rest of Sectional 37 has a much easier path to a sectional championship. Blackhawk Christian and Lakewood Park Christian both claimed sectional titles in 2016, and South Adams has just one, in 2007. Neither Wabash nor Whiko has ever claimed one.
– Victoria Jacobsen,
The Journal Gazette