It’s not too often that an athlete will openly call himself selfish, but Ely Detty isn’t most athletes. He owns it.
He’s also doing so within a pretty narrow context.
In order to be a great goal-scorer on the soccer field, he explains, you sometimes have to operate with an “it’s all about me” mentality. And in the end, the team benefits from that.
“Most of the time I’m thinking how to get the ball in the net,” Detty said, “and not how can I find someone else to put the ball in the net.”
Detty did just fine with both putting the ball in the net and setting up his Center Grove teammates to do the same on the way to a Class 3A sectional championship. As a result, he is the Daily Journal’s Player of the year in boys soccer.
After scoring four goals in the Trojans’ season opener against Roncalli, Detty found himself getting defended much more tightly by opposing players; the junior was man-marked during every match and sometimes double-teamed.
When that happened, he adjusted, leveraging the extra attention on himself to set the table for the other Center Grove players. Detty had four-assist games against North Central and Pike in September on the way to finishing the season with 16.
Detty credited Center Grove coach Jameson McLaughlin with adjusting the game plan after seeing how closely his top player was being marked.
“He kind of assumed that’s how it was going to be,” Detty said, “so he was big on, instead of being selfish — which normally I am — trying to get the ball to other people and attract other defenders away so that more spaces and gaps can open up for other players to run into.”
While that worked on certain nights, when the postseason arrived the Trojans needed Ely Detty to do more Ely Detty things, and he responded. He scored three goals in a sectional semifinal win over Bloomington North, then scored twice and assisted on the other Center Grove tally in a 3-2 victory over Bloomington South in the title match.
The Trojans lost to eventual state runner-up Columbus North in the regional, a result that disappointed Detty but also gives him motivation to come back stronger in his senior season.
He’ll be able to do so without the pressure of worrying about his future. In October, Detty gave a verbal commitment to play soccer at the University of Kentucky.
“It is really nice not having to stress about going to recruiting camps, and emailing 50 colleges for tournaments I’m going to and all that,” he said. “Out of every school I was talking to, (UK) was the best school I could go to, and it gave me the best chance to pursue my dreams of playing professionally.”
Detty is also working to further those dreams during his club season with the Indiana Fire Academy, an affiliate of the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer. But all the while, the desire to finish up his high school career on a high note remains in the back of his mind.
He wants to be named Indiana’s Mr. Soccer as a senior. And he wants to make up for that regional loss to the Bull Dogs.
“It sucked a lot,” Detty said of the Trojans’ last match this fall. “I don’t think our team played as well as we could have. We came out really slow, and it hurt us. They scored three goals in the first 20 or 30 minutes. It definitely makes me want to go next year and beat them and get a ring.”
Doesn’t sound so selfish after all.
The 2022 All-County team for boys soccer:
Griffin Atkison, Franklin senior: Scored a county-leading 26 goals and added seven assists for a 12-win Grizzly Cubs team … An All-District selection.
Keaton Barnhizer, Center Grove sophomore: Centerpiece of the Trojans’ defense throughout the season … Helped the team win a sectional championship.
Boden Campbell, Greenwood Christian freshman: Made an instant impact for the Cougars, scoring 25 goals and adding 12 assists for Class A state runner-up.
Ely Detty, Center Grove junior: Finished with 17 goals and 16 assists for the Trojans … A first-team ISCA All-State selection.
Colton Flint, Greenwood Christian junior: Made 78 saves and posted eight shutouts, including five in the postseason, to help Cougars reach Class A state final.
Landen Montfort, Center Grove senior: Earned second team ISCA All-State recognition after totaling 10 goals and five assists … also won a state championship in football as a kicker.
Adam Ott, Franklin junior: Anchored the Grizzly Cubs’ rock-solid defense, making 73 saves and allowing just 19 goals … Posted seven shutouts on the season.
Parker Satre, Greenwood Christian senior: Provided much-needed leadership for a young GCA team that hit its stride in state tournament … Totaled six goals and seven assists.
J.D. Sever, Franklin junior: Totaled six goals and six assists out of the midfield for the Grizzly Cubs … an All-Mid-State Conference selection.
Elliott Spangler, Whiteland senior: A leader on the defensive end of the field for the Warriors … named to the All-Mid-State Conference team.
Caden York, Center Grove senior: A key contributor in the midfield for the sectional champion Trojans … chipped in four goals and a pair of assists.
Ethan Baugh, Greenwood; Luke Cambridge, Franklin; Caden Camden, GCA; Jake Callow, Greenwood; Ethan Elsner, Franklin; Preston Fisher, Center Grove; Dylan Harris, Franklin; Xander Honeycutt, GCA; Yahir Lugardo, Whiteland; Fabian Martin, Greenwood; David Mathis, Whiteland; Nick Mullins, Greenwood; Matt Payne, Franklin; Nick Ruzvidzo, Greenwood; Harjap Singh, Whiteland; Chase Stoneburner, Center Grove