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Carroll boys hoping to impress in regional debut

October 11, 2012
Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School

Brady Wiles made several important on-field contributions to Carroll’s boys soccer program over the past four years.

Yet Wiles’ biggest contribution to the Cougars’ first sectional championship may have come in the halls. The senior defender helped persuade classmates Cameron Crume and Eric Miller and junior Bradley Leonard to join the program for the 2012 season.

In its eighth season, Carroll will play its first regional contest tonight at Caston against defending regional champion Argos.

“The first thing I asked them after the game is, ‘Aren’t you glad you played?’ and they had the biggest smile on their face I’ve ever seen,” Wiles said after the Benton Central Sectional championship victory.

The 6-foot-6 Miller is no stranger to postseason success, having helped Carroll’s boys basketball program to sectional championships as a freshman and sophomore. The forward averaged 9.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks last winter and recently committed to play basketball at Grace College.

Miller, who hadn’t played soccer since his elementary school years, showed he’s also adept scoring in another net as well. His 11 goals rank third on the Cougars.

“Eric Miller brought some senior leadership,” said Dave Falkenberg, Carroll’s coach for all eight seasons. “He’d played in some sectionals before in basketball, so he doesn’t get rattled too easy.”

Soccer is the fourth varsity sport for Crume, who previously played football. He and fellow defender Leonard have combined for six goals and two assists while helping goaltender Seth Eldridge post five shutouts.

“Crume and Bradley are the two hardest workers I’ve ever seen in my life,” Wiles said. “They bring it in practice. They push the starters when they’re not starting and they push the starters when they are starting. They bring intensity every single day, and that’s all you can ask for.”

Soccer became the latest Carroll program to taste state tournament success. Basketball recently won four straight sectional titles, and the softball team won a regional championship last spring.

“Our sectional game in baseball was the largest crowd I’ve ever seen, and the last year, the crowds have been getting bigger and bigger,” Crume said. “Hopefully, we’re bringing up the spirit.”

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