Ranger boys to meet Spartans ThursdayOctober 11, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
BRETZVILLE - Forest Park boys soccer emerged in 2020 to win their first sectional championship since 2013, with the repeat coming during the weekend.
The Class 1A-No. 8 Rangers (13-4-2) are set to play their first game of Regional 24 Thursday at No. 5 South Knox after the 4-0 shutout of North Posey in Saturday's Sectional 48 championship game.
Rangers coach Mike Foerster said before the season began that he would be disappointed if they weren't playing in the final game of the year, and he wasn't talking about the sectional championship game.
"The boys know it, they feel it," Foerster said after Saturday's win over the Vikings. "I know they can feel it, something clicked from last game (an Oct. 7 4-1 win against Tell City) to this game, and I'm hoping we keep rolling that forward. But I've said before, we have to row in the same direction. If we have guys that don't think we're going to make it, we're not going to make it.
"And right now, I think everyone's on board, everyone can sense it," he added.
Senior midfielder JD Kerber, who notched two goals and an assist, didn't say directly if he feels the team has a state run in them.
"We just got to keep pushing forward," Kerber said. "We got to work hard in practice all the time and come regional, we got to work hard and never take anything for granted."
Foerster told The Herald on Saturday that the Rangers are playing more team ball this year, and he said chemistry would be integral in keeping things going.
Chemistry is something Kerber can attest to as a part of this group.
"A lot of us, we've been playing together since we were real little," Kerber said. "I think we've just clicked over the years, and we work really well together."
"They have to be want to be here together, they have to want to play longer," Foerster said. "We haven't always had that in the past with past teams - so that's key for our success moving forward."
Junior forward Wilmer Contreras exited the game due to an injury in the second half on Saturday, but Foerster said in a text message Monday evening that Contreras trained and is fine.
Forest Park bowed out, 7-2, in the 2020 regional against Providence, and this year, the Rangers will try to win their second regional championship in program history - after the 2013 season.
Foerster had a lot of good things to say about Forest Park's defense - saying that the goal was to post the shutout, which they did.
"We're going to try that for every game for the rest of the way," he said.
"We got to come ready to play," Kerber said. "I think last year, we were a bit nervous. And hopefully this year - we got the experience under our belts - we'll be able to come out better this year."
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