CHESTERTON | The championship hopes for the Chesterton boys soccer team took a blow last week on the eve of the 2013 season.
Senior Jonathan Blake made the decision to leave the Trojans after securing a tryout with the Chicago Fire junior team last week.
Blake finished his junior season with seven goals and three assists and was expected to be a key contributor on a loaded Chesterton team this season that includes Billy Biehl and John Ward.
“This was a decision that we went back-and-forth on and it wasn’t an easy decision for him,” Chesterton coach James Sensibaugh said. “We sat down and made a pros-and-cons list and he allowed me to serve as devil’s advocate on a few issues.”
Blake weighed the choice before ultimately deciding to try out with the Fire, even though there was no guarantee he would make the team. Sensibaugh understood the decision, but still wanted Blake to face his teammates.
“I had Jonathan come in and tell his friends that he’d be leaving the team,” Sensibaugh said. “This was not an easy decision by any stretch.”
Blake, who committed to Loyola last year, won’t be replaced by any one player. Sensibaugh expects a number of sophomores to get more playing time with Blake no longer on team and the long-time coach believes his team will eventually adapt.
“As we progress, we think we have a pretty good team and it’s a team that will largely be returning after next season,” Sensibaugh said. “Kids will now get some chances that wouldn’t have been able to get them before.”