EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The Castle Knights fell just short of a 3A state title back in 2017, and for the seniors on that team who felt that sting as freshman, their goal was simple: finish what they started and get back to state.
The Knights delivered on that goal in emphatic fashion, taking down Franklin Central 3-1 in the IHSAA 3A Semi-State Championship.
“It feels good. It feels really good,” said Castle coach Mike Reiter. “This is a group that when we started back in July because of COVID, our coaching staff and I kind of thought that these guys are talented enough. Obviously, the only question was would they mature, would they grow and would they play for each other. So, the last two or three weeks they’ve really developed that, and that’s been the key. It’s fun. It’s fun to be back.”
Castle senior Sam McConnell led the charge for the Knights, converting two headers off of corner kicks to give his team a 2-0 lead in the first half. Castle junior Jackson Mitchell added another goal late in the second half to put the game out of reach.
McConnell was one of those seniors vying for a second chance at state glory.
“We went freshman year and we said we’d be back, and it doesn’t even feel real right now,” McConnell said. “We’re in the top two teams left; it’s crazy. So, we’ve got a chance.”
That chance will come against Chesterton, who they’ll meet in the 3A state championship next weekend.
(This story was originally published on October 24, 2020)