2021 Snapshot: East Central

East Central RB/DB Sam Ringer (photo by Linda Lyness Maxwell)

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” that’s been the football way at East Central for as long as anyone can remember. The Trojans win by establishing dominance in the trenches, moving the ball on the ground and playing tenacious defense. That formula has led to 29 winning campaigns in the last 30 years for the program.

“Our team strengths have always been tough, aggressive defense and offensive line play. We want to control the game by creating turnovers and running the football,” head coach Jake Meiners states.

East Central ran for 2,698 and 38 touchdowns last season. The rushing attack will flourish once again as the Trojans return their top two rushers.  “We need to get better in our passing game. We will not be a team that throws the ball all over the yard, but we need to be more efficient,” Meiners says.

East Central held opponents to 11.4 points per game in 2020. Under Meiners, the defense has allowed 10.2 points per contest while holding 13 of the 23 opponents to seven points or less. If the Trojans can get anywhere near those numbers against their 2021 slate, it will be a highly successful season.

The schedule is brutal! It will more than prepare East Central for the playoffs. Once in the playoffs, the Trojans will have to get by Mooresville, who has ended East Central’s season the past two years and Week 9 opponent Roncalli, the reigning Class 4A state champion(probably twice), if they are to bring home a title. It is a daunting challenge, but you can bet on the boys from St. Leon will be more than up for it.

East Central DB Cooper Hoog (photo by Linda Lyness Maxwell)

Class 4A, District 23
2020 RECORD: 8-3, 3-0 EIAC 4A
COACH: Jake Meiners (19-4 at East Central, two years; 19-4 overall)

Sophie Browndyke, Sr, K – Back for her third year as the Trojans place kicker, Browndyke is in line to break several school records. She was named Class 4A All-EIAC for a second straight season last fall. In her career, Browndyke is 97/110 on extra points and 8/12 on field goals for 121 points.
Meiners on Browndyke: She has an extremely accurate leg.

Cooper Hoog, Sr, DB – Was named the Trojans Most Improved Player last season. Hoog was in on 39 total tackles and had four takeaways (two FRs, two INTs) to earn Class 4A All-EIAC accolades as a junior.
Meiners on Hoog: Cooper has grown into an incredible athlete who locks people down on the edge.

Hunter Sohns, Sr, RB/LB – Will be a factor on both sides for the Trojans. Sohns ran for 557 yards (second most on the team), had 10 receptions for 108 yards and found the end zone eight times (all rushing) as a junior. He was a Class 4A All-EIAC selection.
Meiners on Sohns: Hunter is another guy that can do-it-all on the field.

East Central RB/LB Hunter Sohns (photo by Linda Lyness Maxwell)

Nate Buesing, Sr, WR – Led East Central in receptions last season. Buesing had 19 catches for 173 yards and one touchdown on his way to Class 4A All-EIAC honors.
Meiners on Buesing: Nate is one of the toughest players I have seen play.

Noah Houser, Sr, OL – Had become one of the leaders up front before getting injured in the playoffs. Houser is healthy and looks to anchor the o-line. He was named Class 4A All-EIAC as a junior.

Sam Ringer, Sr, DB/ATH – An excellent player in all three phases of the game last fall. On defense, Ringer recorded 25 total tackles, a sack, five tackles for losses and had two interceptions including a pick-six. Offensively, he ran for 158 yards and three touchdowns. Ringer was named Class 4A All-EIAC (RS) for the work he did on special teams. He returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Ringer did get injured during wrestling this winter. East Central is hoping to get his services back later in the season.
Meiners on Ringer: Sam had an explosive junior season and played everywhere for us.

Josh Ringer, So, RB/ATH – Made the most of his opportunity as a freshman. Despite missing a couple of games with contact tracing, Ringer still led East Central with 714 yards and nine touchdowns rushing in seven tilts. He had five games of 100-plus yards on the ground including three with at least 150. Ringer had a season high 176 yards rushing versus Indiana Class 4A state champion, Roncalli.
Meiners on Ringer: Josh exploded on the scene for us last season as a freshman, which hardly ever happens.

East Central RB Josh Ringer (photo by Linda Lyness Maxwell)

Casey McQueen, Sr, OL/TE – A three-year starter who has played tackle and tight end. McQueen will be a leader of that group again.

Senior OL Lucas Adams, junior QB/ATH Carson Koelling along with sophomores OL Noah Schneider (SO/OL), QB Cole Burton and WR Ryan Brotherton all have the potential to become starters this fall. Linemen Adams and Schneider bring the Trojans even more girth up front.

(86-35 overall)
Sectional Champions (19) – 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2000, 1998, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1989, 1987, 1985, 1980
Regional Champions (8) – 2017, 2016, 2015, 2003, 1998, 1994, 1993, 1985
State Champions (2) – 2017, 1994

Fri – 08/20/21 – at Lawrenceburg (11-2 in 2020) – 7:00 PM
Fri – 08/27/21 – HARRISON (3-7)– 7:30 PM
Fri – 09/03/21 – MOELLER (3-6) – 7:30 PM
Fri – 09/10/21 – at Franklin County (6-3)– 7:00 PM
Fri – 09/17/21 – at Batesville (4-6) – 7:00 PM
Fri – 09/24/21 – SOUTH DEARBORN (4-5) – 7:30 PM
Fri – 10/01/21 – CONNERSVILLE (2-7) – 7:30 PM
Fri – 10/08/21 – at Guerin Catholic (4-5) – 7:30 PM
Fri – 10/15/21 – at Roncalli (13-1) – 7:00 PM
Fri – 10/22/21 – TBD: IHSAA Sectional 23 Playoffs

Eight times in the last 12 years East Central has won 10 games or more. The Trojans have 11-plus wins in five of their last six seasons. They are a combined 65-15 (.812 winning %), in that span.

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