Panthers set the bar high for season

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Fall Sports Previews

By Kristin Beck

Expectations run high from Head Coach Ben Crutcher for his experienced Carroll County High School boys soccer team. The team boasts six seniors, as well as six or seven juniors who have all been playing together since seventh grade under their head coach. This is Crutcher’s eighth year with the soccer program and sixth year as head coach.


The Panthers open their season against St. Francis at the Louisville Soccer Park on Aug. 17. Their first home game is on Aug. 21 against Mason County.

Last year’s squad started the season slow, but finished strong with a record of 4-10-3, Crutcher said. The team also won Carroll County’s first Two Rivers Invitational. Crutcher said his goals are to defend their title this season as well as double their win total.

This was a vast improvement over the 2008 team that finished 0-14, giving Crutcher high hopes for this year’s team.

“It’s just the little things we need to work on and come together as a team, but I see no problem with us doubling our win total,” he said. “… They are fully capable of that and much more.”

Crutcher also said this is the first year NCKC will have a conference, which he hopes the Panthers will win. In the past, there have not been enough teams to compete.

Highlights on the schedule include the second annual Two Rivers Invitational, a rivalry away game against Gallatin County and a senior night match up against Owen County.

“We’ve never beaten Owen County in the soccer program’s existence,” Crutcher said.

Crutcher said the team will lean on senior E.B. Martinez to lead the team.

“He’s our only captain. He’s an excellent leader, and I expect him to do great things on the defensive side of the ball,” he said.

Crutcher also expects senior Sebastian Badillo and junior Erick Lewis to play well in the midfield. Another major contributor will be starting striker freshman Michael Hall.

“He has lots of potential, and we expect great things from him this season and the next three seasons,” he said.

Last year’s team was the second most successful team in the program’s young history. The team scored 26 goals, the most in program history, and gave up 46 goals, the least in program history, giving this year’s squad plenty to live up to.