JOHNSTON, Iowa – Four straight trips to the state semifinals. No state titles. “That’s been our huge motivator. We want to get back there and take back what was so close last year,” said Johnston senior Nolan Wengert.
Johnston graduated Sam Graving, the Gatorade Player of the Year, and lost class 3A’s 4th leading scorer, Elvir Ibisevic to the United State U-17 Men’s National team. How did they respond? “No single player could replace those guys,” said Johnston head coach Heath Weeks, “but as a team we can make up for any single player.”
The Dragons bought into Weeks’ message and have started the season 11-0. They fell back on suffocating, impenetrable defense. “When I look at that goal I just like that’s mine right there, and I’m not going to let anything get between me and that goal,” said sophomore goalkeeper Alex MacGregor.
He’s kept his word. MacGregor blocks 95.5% of the shots he sees and has allowed only two into the back of the net.
But the Dragons hunger doesn’t stop at defense or championships. Michael Admire has the rest of the story.