It has been a process in the making for Centerville Bulldogs Boys Soccer program. The boys soccer program hasn’t seen a Sectional Championship in six years after a rebuild of the program was needed. Coach Ricardo Torres took over the program in a time of need. The Bulldogs were looking to get back to their dominant ways and winning Sectional Championships. Coach Torres coached both his sons Dante and Ricky for years, as they both moved through the Centerville program. These two helped lead the start of the change by setting an example within the program. Without these two, the fuel wouldn’t be as strong for the Bulldog program over the past few seasons.
After the Bulldogs came up just short last year in the Sectional Championship against favorite Knightstown the Bulldogs had one message and goal in mind after that defeat. That message and goal was to come back in 2021 and dethrone the Panthers and claim their first sectional championship since the 2015 season.
Centerville got their draw and new it wasn’t going to be easy. It was going to take three wins to take the crown. The first game being a tough task at hand a really good Seton Catholic Cardinals team. This being a rivalry game for both squads and a game that ended in a tie in the regular season, you knew both teams would come ready. However, it was the Bulldogs who outlasted the Cardinals 1-0 in the opening night of tournament play.
This win moved the Bulldogs to the next round of the tournament where they would take on a Wapahani team they faced a few weeks ago. Although this time the season was on the line. In a win or go home game both teams played tough until the final whistle. However, Senior Goalkeeper Ethan Bain continued his successful 2021 season pitching his second straight shutout in the 2021 sectional. The 1-0 shutout win over the Raiders put the Bulldogs in the championship again. This time again it was against favored Knightstown who was looking to win their third straight sectional title.
The Bulldogs started a bit slow on championship Saturday. The Knightstown Panthers took an early lead with momentum on their side heading into the break. Senior Goalkeeper Ethan Bain spoke to his team at halftime telling them that they needed to play with more energy in the second half and fix some of their miscommunication on defense. The Bulldogs did just that as fellow Senior Jacob Fordonski helped take control of the defense and brought the energy the team needed. Centerville tied this up 1-1 with the Panthers, and fans could really sense the change of momentum. With momentum on their side, and GoalKeeper Ethan Bain playing a tremendous game in the goal the Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead over the Panthers.
The minutes ticked down on the clock as the Bulldogs and their faithful could sense their time has finally come. Ethan Bain watching from back in the Bulldogs own bet watched the time tick down. Ethan said, “The time just felt like it was moving so slow. It was the greatest feeling ever. Knowing we were just a few more ticks away from celebrating as a team. I remained confident and composed to make sure nothing wild would happen. When that buzzer and whistle sounded, I couldn’t feel anymore prouder for my guys.”
Senior Jacob Fordonski said, “It was the best feeling in the world. There is no better feeling than winning your first Sectional Championship, having to work hard and come from behind to do so.”
The Bulldog faithful let their Bulldogs hear on the field as the cheers roared throughout the Panthers home stadium. It’s been a long time coming and the said rebuild for the Bulldogs was coming full swing. Fordonski said, “Being part of the rebuild has been great. It has been that way most of my highschool career. The process was long and tough, but putting all the blood, sweat, and tears in is what got Centerville back on top. I feel my impressions and dedication to this team having really help rejuvenate the culture here.”
Ethan’s continued success in the goal making save after save has been the biggest fuel to the Bulldogs success. Only allowing one total goal throughout the whole Sectional with two shutouts helped pave the way. Continued workouts and evolving his game each and everyday is what paved the way for Ethan. “He’s one who wouldn’t leave the field until he did something to the best of his ability”, said Fordosnki.
Centerville now turns their attention to this week where they will play their first Regional Boys Soccer game in six years. The Bulldogs will face Cascade (11-5-1) on Thursday, October 14th at 6pm at Knightstown High School. The winner will face the winner of Southwestern (10-4-1) and Providence Cristo Rey (12-1). The Regional Championship is scheduled for Saturday, October 16th at 2pm at Knightstown High School.
Both Fordonski and Bain said, “No matter what happens this week, we want our teammates to use what they picked up from us. Use it as fuel each and ever game for the future, and continue the success and traditions of Bulldog Soccer”.