Indian Springs boys headed to championship game

Indian Springs School junior forward Alex (A.J.) Jamroz heeded the advice of his coaches in the opening minutes of a Class 4A-1A semifinal match against Randolph in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Final Four at John Hunt Park in Huntsville.

Jamroz, Indian Springs’ leading scorer, blasted a shot into the upper left pocket of the net less than six minutes into the contest May 7 to give his team an early lead in a 2-0 win over Randolph.

Jamroz said the game plan was to put Randolph in a deficit early and keep pressure on the Raiders throughout the match.

“We wanted to go at them early,” Jamroz said. “We wanted to score one early and get them on their heels.”

Indian Springs will face UMS-Wright in the Class 4A-1A championship game May 8 at 11 a.m.

Sophomore forward Jake Shuford added an unassisted goal in the second half with just over 28 minutes remaining in the game to seal the win.

Indian Springs (18-5-1) scored a goal in each half, but coach Rik Tozzi said the team’s defensive pressure made the difference.

Indian Springs defenders keyed on Randolph forwards and goalkeeper Doye Travis, who recorded four saves, didn’t allow a shot to get past him.

“Defensive football wins championships,” Tozzi said. “I don’t think soccer is any different.”

Jamroz said Indian Springs came into the game with a plan to shadow Randolph forward Eric Ly.

“We tried to mark (Ly) across the field,” Jamroz said. “We wanted to shut him down and keep him out of it.”

Tozzi was pleased with his team’s defensive effort.

“We defended and countered very well,” Tozzi said. “We had three good chances and we hit two of them.”

Tozzi said he was concerned about his team tiring in the second half. Indian Springs dresses only 13 players, and Tozzi said they will have to recover in time for the championship game.

Indian Springs is seeking its second title in school history. The boys captured their first Class 4A-1A title in 2008.

“We’ve got to get our legs back,” Tozzi said.