Kyle Parry verbally committed to play men’s soccer at Marian University in July completely unaware that a current teammate would also be one in the future.
Seems fellow Center Grove senior Brian Wheeler had a 24-hour head start on his good friend.
A little over a month later, Trojans outside wing Hayden Gorall let it be known he, too, would be suiting up for the Knights, an NAIA program coached by Mike Smith, beginning the 2016-17 school year.
Story continues below gallery
Parry’s soccer universe had just gotten smaller. And better.
“It’s something special and something very rare that two of your best friends who you’ve played with since you were 9 years old would carry over to college,” said Parry, a starting forward who enters Saturday night’s Class 2A championship match against Harrison (West Lafayette) as the team’s second-leading scorer with 15 goals and six assists.
“Brian had verbally committed a day before me,”Parry said. “I didn’t know he had until (Smith) told me. I was thrilled.”
It isn’t like Marian men’s soccer thirsted for Center Grove representation.
Junior Dalton Mudd is one of the Knights’ three goal keepers, while freshman Bradley Bennett plays midfielder. Both former Trojans have made two starts so far this season for Marian (7-9-2) in its first 18 matches.
The Parry-Wheeler soccer dynamic began as teammates for the Flames, a U9 travel team coached by Wheeler’s father, Kevin. Brian Parry, Kyle’s dad, served as the Flames’ assistant coach.
“Me, Kyle and Hayden go all the way back to when we were young kids,” Wheeler said. “Being able to play college soccer with them is honestly a dream.
“I never thought we would be playing college soccer together.”
First-year Trojans coach Jameson McLaughlin has no doubt all three will flourish at the next level of men’s soccer.
“From what I hear Bradley Bennett is getting some quality minutes at Marian, and these kids at their respective positions are just as capable,” McLaughlin said. “I feel we have a good relationship with Marian as well as some of the other college programs around.”
Three members of the State Finals-bound Center Grove boys soccer team will be playing next season at Marian University:
• Kyle Parry, forward – 15 goals, 6 assists
• Hayden Gorall, outside wing – 6 goals, 6 assists
• Brian Wheeler, center back – 1 goal, 6 assists