Step by step: Seymour boys soccer shoots for historic conference finish


Nothing could go wrong last week for the Seymour boys soccer team.

Between learning Seymour would get to host a sectional and finding out that the Owls can outright win the Hoosier Hills Conference, coach Matt Dennis couldn’t stop smiling.

The Owls (11-3) can run the table in the HHC and the start of the postseason.

Due to poor field conditions at the Richard Wigh Soccer Complex in Columbus, Columbus East’s sectional needed a new location.

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The IHSAA made the executive decision to bring the tournament to the new turf complex that is the Owls’ home.

Also, Columbus East tied Floyd Central in a 0-0 draw, which means with a win at Bedford North Lawrence tonight, Seymour wins the HHC outright.

Seymour has never held the HHC title to itself, as the Owls tied for the title in 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2009.

“I’m wondering what we did to deserve it and wondering when the other shoe is going to drop,” Dennis said with a smile. “It has been a remarkable year. We’ve gotten some really good results and team play. We turned East and Jeff into wins this year. In those games last year, we allowed eight goals. We’ve allowed seven total this year.

“You work hard and do things the right way, things are going to start breaking your way. I think that they finally have. Getting to also host sectional is going to be huge.”

While in the past the team focused on the bigger picture through the season, the Owls have stuck with small goals in each contest this year.

They’ve broken down each game, focusing on the task at hand instead of the ramifications if they were to lose.

“We never once this season looked at all 16 games,” Dennis said. “When we went to play East, it wasn’t, ‘We have to win because we want it to win conference.’ It was, ‘We want to win tonight because we want to beat our opponent.’ We went to Jeffersonville the next week, and we needed to go show them we can play with them.

“We’ve never looked at this season as an entire season. It’s always been small goals down to the little things. It’s the little things we harp on that paint the bigger picture. In the past, we had these huge goals, and it was too big. You can’t look at it that way. You can short-end your season with one loss.”

The plan going into the BNL contest is to keep to the same focuses.

“We can’t look at the BNL game like a seven-game saga in conference,” Dennis said. “We haven’t looked at any game that way. The BNL game is the BNL game. We want to beat them for a variety of reasons. We can’t put all that pressure on ourselves.”

Getting the entire team involved has translated to success for this year’s team.

This season, the Owls have scored 38 goals from 14 different players.

Of those goals, 27 came off assists.

Giving up just 10 goals thus far, the Owls have put their opponents in difficult situations throughout their campaign.

“It’s always the team first,” Seymour senior Renato Castillo said. “We always work hard and focus on our goals. We need to focus on what we need to do the rest of the way.”

With the Owls hosting the sectional, Seymour could be auditioning for a future opportunity to keep the postseason at home.

“We knew that when we were building the facility, it would be the best in the area,” Dennis said. “Columbus and the IHSAA will have a look at it. If down the road they make the decision for us to keep it, that’s what we’ll do. I would certainly enjoy hosting. I don’t think anyone would argue it gives you an advantage. We’re just happy to have it this year.”

On Oct. 3, Seymour will host Columbus North in the first round of the sectional.

“We just need to stay focused,” Seymour senior Mason Pottschmidt said. “We know that we can beat most of the teams in our sectional. We need to see what worked in our previous games and implement them.”

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