Getting kicks on pitch: Ethan Pheifer

At age 15, Ethan Pheifer is used to the question: Is he a swimmer who plays soccer, or a soccer player who swims?

“I get asked that a lot, and I don’t really know,” said Pheifer, who is about to start his freshman year at Franklin Community High School. “I think I’m pretty good at both.”

Soccer, however, is the sport that will always have the distinction of being the first Pheifer, a 5-foot-9, 120-pound left midfielder, played as a Grizzly Cub.

Franklin returns three of its four leading goal scorers from last season’s 14-2-2 squad that lost, 2-0, to Center Grove in the championship match of the Trojans’ Class 2A sectional.

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Pheifer looks forward to whatever opportunities present themselves at the varsity level.

“It’s pretty exciting being a freshman,” said Pheifer, who in middle school also participated in cross-country, wrestling and track and field. “Nerve-racking, definitely, but I’m ready to take on the challenge.”

In the pool, his specialties to this point are the 100- and 200-yard backstroke and the 100 freestyle. Pheifer also plans to run track in the spring where he’ll likely be used as a distance runner.

But with the season-opener at Bloomington South looming (Aug. 17), the freshman’s thoughts are focused on soccer.

“Ethan is really quick and can run all day. He has just been a guy that finds holes in the defense and punishes them for not staying connected,” Grizzly Cubs coach Tony Harris said. “He is tougher than his frame shows and can take a hit and keep going.

“I am really excited about his future at Franklin.”

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Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at mbeas@dailyjournal.net.