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Goals achieved

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HASHTAG WINNING: Members of the Frankfort boys’ soccer team celebrate after being presented with their second straight sectional championship trophy Saturday night at Lebanon.
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SHARING THE EXPERIENCE: Frankfort freshman defender Damian Lopez greets the Frankfort faithful at the fence after the Hot Dogs won their second straight sectional championship Saturday night at Lebanon.

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

Those around the Frankfort High School’s boys soccer program are enjoying a second straight sectional championship after the Hot Dogs earned a 3-2 victory over Crawfordsville in Saturday night’s title match of the Lebanon Class 2A Sectional.

A lot of support for the Hot Dogs was shown by the community, especially on social media, after the big win as the Frankfort soccer programs continue to build a reputation of success.

“I am so proud of them,” Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes said. “It reflects very well on our city. I tell people often that we need to be proud to be Hot Dogs, and this is yet another reason to be proud of the school system and the young athletes we have. Those athletes eventually become young leaders. There are a lot of reasons to be proud of this, and I am very proud of those young men.”

The Hot Dogs have been one of the big beneficiaries of the IHSAA’s switch from two classes in soccer to three, winning sectional titles in each season since the change was made.

The sectional championships are one of the only similarities between the 2017 Hot Dogs and the current group.

Last year, the Hot Dogs headed into their regional match versus Cardinal Ritter with a 15-4 record, and they were 6-1 in the Sagamore Athletic Conference. This year was more of a struggle. After losing a large group of seniors to graduation, the Hot Dogs limped to a 9-10 regular season record while posting a 3-4 mark in the conference.

But, none of that mattered when the Hot Dogs avenged earlier losses to Lebanon and Crawfordsville on their way to earning their second sectional crown in as many years.

“I was very proud of the way the boys played last week on Wednesday and Saturday night,” Frankfort High School athletic director Ed Niehaus said. “It was quite impressive. They played with a lot of intensity and great character. Even when they were pressed and other teams got more physical, our kids held their ground and kept their heads. I was very proud of how they did that.

“Back to back sectional titles are always difficult because teams look to attack you the second year, knowing that you are the sectional champion,” Niehaus added. “They did a great job of handling it, succeeding and moving on. We are very proud of them.”

The Hot Dogs get another shot at the Cardinal Ritter Raiders starting at noon Saturday, when they square off in the first round of the Greensburg Class 2A Regional. Admission is $7 for the match or $10 for both sessions. The Frankfort faithful are encouraged to take the nearly two-hour drive to Greensburg Community High School to support the Hot Dogs.

For the full story of the Hot Dogs’ sectional win, see sports editor Andy Krull’s game story on B1.