More than 50 former players across five athletics teams at Carroll High School never got to the take the field, the court, the track or the course as seniors in the spring of 2020. The IHSAA’s cancelation of spring seasons before they even began put an end to many of the memories the class of 2020 might have had together — but not before many others were created.
Carroll sports teams collected 14 postseason trophies through just two seasons of action in 2020, including two state runner-up titles. Over the course of the year, a total of 14 new entries were added to the school’s record books.
The Chargers’ boys basketball team finished 2019 with its first ever Summit Athletic Conference Holiday Tournament championship. Going into 2020, the team amassed a 17-5 regular-season record, ending conference play with a 61-53 win over rival Homestead to the knock the Spartans out of contention for the SAC title.
“We didn’t forget the loss last year at home, and I felt like we took that and it motivated us for this game here at Homestead,” Carroll’s Ray Vollmer said. “… Just playing solid for 32 minutes was what we were talking about this whole week. I know they can hit shots, they’re a good team, they’re consistent — they play just like us.”
The Chargers went on to fall to Northrop 44-30 in the second round of sectionals.
Carroll’s girls basketball team won its fourth straight sectional in 2020, defeating Northrop 75-55 in the championship game. It was an act of revenge for the Chargers, who had lost to the Bruins 52-35 during the holiday tournament that same year.
“We felt that we weren’t being taken seriously, so we had a lot of motivation to come back and win,” Carroll’s Emily Parrett said. “… They played as more of a zone, so we had to drop down and adjust to that, and we had to take away TiAuna (White) and Destiny (Jackson).”
The Chargers went on to fall to Homestead 67-29 in the regional semifinals, finishing their season with a 17-7 record.
The Carroll girls cross country team had yet another banner year, extending its sectional streak to 21 consecutive titles, its regional streak to 20 and its semi-state streak to six.
Although the No. 1-ranked Chargers’ loss to Carmel at the state finals was unforeseen, it couldn’t have come from a better team, Carroll Head Coach Phil Yoder said after the Chargers’ state runner-up finish, noting that both the Chargers and the Greyhounds scored better than any other team had at the state finals since 2016. In fact, Carroll scored fewer points in this year’s runner-up finish than it did the previous two years, in which the team scored 101 and 85, respectively, to win the championship both times.
“Carmel had a phenomenal race,” Yoder said. “They ran better than I think anyone ever expected, and getting second to that is nothing to be ashamed of. We scored fewer points than we did in our state championships the last couple years — that’s the lowest we’ve scored at state in Carroll history on the girls side. We had a great race, we were just up against a really good team.”
Senior Zoe Duffus, the school’s record holder for the fastest race (17:45.4), finished her high school cross country career with a state runner-up finish individually.
The Carroll boys earned runner-up finishes at sectional and regional, with junior Preston Sloffer winning the individual sectional medal in the first high school win of his career. The Chargers returned to the state finals as a team after missing the 2019 qualifications, placing 19th overall.
The Carroll football team accounted for six new entries in the school’s hall of records in 2020.
Quarterback Jeff Becker threw 33 passing touchdowns and scored a total of 43 total touchdowns — both new school records — which also put him over the school’s record for most points scored in a season. Becker also set records for most passing yards in a season (2,581) and in a single game, throwing for 460 in a 76-48 win over North Side.
Receiver Mason Englert earned a team-high 1,208 receiving yards, setting a new season record for the Chargers, which was previously held by his quarterback’s older brother Justin Becker.
The Chargers went 7-3 overall, ultimately falling at Warsaw in the sectional semifinal. Their 7-2 finish in the SAC is the program’s best since joining the conference in the 2015 season.
“Those are memories that will last forever for all those guys,” Carroll Head Coach Doug Dinan said.
Though the Carroll girls golf season didn’t yield any hardware, it was one of many triumphs.
Early in the season, the team shot the best collective 18-hole score in the program’s history, winning the Concordia Invite with a 319 at Foster Park with scoring by Maria Krotov (78), Tiffany Chin (79), Emily Linder (80) and Marissa GeRue (82).
The Chargers finished third at sectional. The team went on to place sixth at regional. GeRue, a freshman, qualified for state as an individual, tying for 73rd overall in Indiana. It was the first time a Carroll golfer qualified for the state finals since Ashley Kees tied for second in the tournament in 2009.
“All the girls have definitely stepped up,” Carroll Head Coach Bryan Koehlinger said. “My seniors have stepped up and really worked hard at making those improvements through the summer months as well, and through the course of the season too.”
Injuries were a detriment to the Carroll gymnastics team at the start of 2020 — but not a defining characteristic by the end of the season.
The team finished third at the Concordia sectional and Huntington regional, earning a state qualification and placing eighth overall despite the adversity, which included losing senior Ella Smith to an injury late in the season. Carroll placed two gymnasts in the state all-around. Senior McKinley Carroll and junior Julia Goodine tied for 19th place with 35.500 points each.
“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Carroll Head Coach Rosemary Scheele said.
It was a bittersweet year for the Carroll soccer program, mourning the loss of long-time head coach Rollie Clements before going on another strong run in the postseason in his honor.
“He was just huge, and he passed down all of his teachings to our underclassmen, so we kind of keep him alive in spirit,” senior Logan Gonzalez said.
The Chargers went on to score 30 goals over three straight shutouts at the DeKalb sectional, defeating Snider 8-0 in the championship. The regional semifinals saw Carroll defeat McCutcheon in a penalty kick shootout before falling to Fishers 2-1 in the regional championship.
It was the third straight year the Chargers won a sectional and made it to the regional tournament. The team finished the season with a 15-3-2 record
It was another dominant year for the Carroll girls soccer team, which extended its sectional streak to eight years straight with a 1-0 win over Northrop in the championship at East Noble thanks to a late second-half goal by senior Sarah Mullins.
“This is our fourth time for the seniors. It’s always special to get that trophy,” Mullins said. “That game was fun to play, definitely, and props to Northrop — they gave us a great game. I’m just glad we got to come out on top.”
The Chargers went on to defeat Harrison in the regional semifinal via penalty kick shootout before falling to Noblesville 4-0 in the championship. Carroll finished its campaign with a 13-6-1 record.
Swim and dive
Carroll’s swim teams continued to raise the bar in 2020 with the girls team setting six new school records over the course of the season: 1,000 free (Allison Williams, 11:04.53); 100 back (Mya DeWitt, 53.79); 100 free (Mya DeWitt, 50.98); 200 free relay (Mya DeWitt, Mya VanderHagen, Alexis Jankowski, Teagan Moon, 1:33.86); 400 free relay (Mya Dewitt, Mya VanderHagen, Mallory Jackson, Teagen Moon, 3:26.26); 200 medley relay (Mya DeWitt, Mallory Jackson, Teagen Moon, Natalie Marshall, 1:42.72).
The boys team bested Homestead for its second straight sectional title, while the girls team finished second at South Side. The girls finished fifth at state, and the boys finished eighth.
“We knew it was going to be harder this year since we lost Jack McCurdy and Noah Yarian, but we brought up some really good freshmen this year with the likes of Owen (Dankert) in the 500 and Adam (McCurdy),” Senior Tristan DeWitt said. “They’ve definitely contributed to our team this year, and they were probably one of the biggest parts of our success.”
The Charger girls posted five runner-up finishes at the state finals: Teagen Moon finished second in the 100-yard butterfly (54.72), and Mya DeWitt finished second in the 100-yard backstroke (53.79). Carroll also placed second in three relays. DeWitt, Mallory Jackson, Moon and Natalie Marshal finished second in the 200-yard medley relay (1:43.38); DeWitt, Mya VanderHagen, Alexis Jankowsi and Moon finished second in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:33.86); and DeWitt, VanderHagen, Jackson and Moon finished second in the 400-yard freestyle relay, setting a new school record of 3:26.26.
In the boys state finals, Tristan DeWitt was the 100-yard butterfly champion for the second year in a row, finishing in 47.07 seconds. DeWitt, Dorian Raedisch, Christian Cseri and Chandler Lipp were also state runners-up in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
The Carroll boys tennis team earned the school’s first postseason trophy of 2020, shutting out Leo for the Chargers’ third straight sectional title before going on to fall to Homestead at regional.
The Chargers went 16-5 on the season. Sophomore Griffin Martin finished his 2020 No. 1 singles campaign for Carroll with a 17-6 record. Ethan Koeneman and Cayden Lew closed out the season at 16-8 at No. 1 doubles.
“It’s awesome to have all those guys cheering for us and seeing them win,” senior Josh Jackson said. “It’s really cool to see how our team has grown.”
Unified flag football
It was a first for Carroll — earning a state runner-up trophy in Unified flag football just two years after the program was instated. The team won its third straight sectional title and first ever regional championship.
“It was my dream to go to state. I was hoping to get a win, but in my opinion, we’re always going to be a winner either way,” senior Logan Smith said.
The 2020 Carroll volleyball season saw senior Taya Haffner boost her school-record career assists as a setter, and the team win its 12th straight sectional title. The team went on to fall to McCutcheon 3-2 in the regional semifinals, finishing the season with a 23-10 record.
“We have such a strong program and we’re always fighting as a team together,” Haffner said. “It’s something we can’t do without talent coming up each year. We have girls now playing who are going to be here for a few more years, so that’s something that will just keep benefiting the program.”
Carroll’s wrestling team saw an end to its sectional and regional streaks at the hands of Garrett in 2020, but the team still went on to further success in the postseason.
The Chargers finished fourth at semi-state, sending three wrestlers to the state finals: Evan Ulrick, Matt Lepper and Reeve Muncie.
Muncie placed fifth overall in Indiana at 285 pounds, finishing his 2019-20 campaign with a 41-4 record. Ulrick went 31-12 at 145 pounds, and Lepper went 38-4 at 195 pounds.