By Kyle Daubs

Blake Garrett wants to restock the trophy case.

Even though Charleston has gone 27 years without a losing season, it has been six years since the Trojans have earned an IHSA Regional Championship trophy. After securing nine championships in a span of 14 years, the senior believes it’s time to bring back the winning tradition.

“In our eyes, winning a Regional is something we haven’t done in a while,” said Garrett. “Winning a Regional would have people thinking Charleston is back. People have thought down on Charleston recently, especially with soccer. I 110 percent believe we have the talent and our record should be higher moving forward.”

Charleston finished the 2019 season with a 12-9-1 record, including a 6-5-1 mark in the Apollo Conference. Despite losing William Carillo, the team’s leader in assists, the Trojans bring back 37 of the team’s 81 goals in just two players – Garrett and senior teammate Eugene Ohba. Garrett, who finished as an All-Apollo selection, scored a team-high 25 last season.

“We lost a few major pieces in Caleb (Limes) and Will, but I feel like this year we have something to prove,” said Garrett. “Like a chip on our shoulder. We have a new goalkeeper coming up from JV that has been working out everyday this summer trying to prove himself. We have a lot of seniors that have a great work ethic.”

COVID-19 shut down club soccer, which has forced players to hone their craft in other ways. According to Garrett, the team has made efforts to stay in shape and have remained positive throughout this process.

“We have tried to stay as positive as possible,” said Garrett. “Everybody is treating this like nothing is going good or bad. We just can’t lose our perspective. We can’t control this or do anything about it. As a soccer team, we just need to stay happy, play the game, and look to get better each day.”

For now, Garrett says that the team has acknowledged the possibility of having to wear a mask while playing.

“It would be hard,” said Garrett. “But, it would be better than not playing soccer at all. I love soccer so much . It would be challenging wearing a mask.”

Even with the obstacles in front, Garrett explained that there is a lot to keep him motivated. College soccer is a goal.

But his team goals come first.

“I believe we have the talent to win the Apollo Conference,” said Garrett. “Knowing that my best friends and I are leading the team, we have a great work ethic and the rest of the team will follow suit. Outside of the conference, we just need to play our game and at the level that our talent can play.”

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