Voice of the Indy Eleven offers high hopes after heartbreak
Greg Rakestraw on Eleven 2024
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The abrupt end of an otherwise successful year has done little to dampen the enthusiasm of the voice of the Indy Eleven.
The team put together a strong campaign in 2023. A 13-10-10 regular season record took the Eleven to the top half of the table and a spot in the USL Championship playoffs.
Then it all went sideways in a 5-0 drubbing to Charleston in the conference quarterfinals.
Greg Rakestraw delivers the play-by-play of the games as they air on WISH-TV and MyINDY-TV. Once the dust settled on the disappointingly short playoff run, we talked with him about the 2023 season and the outlook for 2024. A strong spell late in the regular season has him very bullish on the future.
“The two months that were leading in were so good for the team,” Rakestraw said. “Really, the best they had played in probably a four-year stretch.”
Rakestraw says consistency in coaching sets the team up for a strong 2024. Mark Lowry is poised to lead his third campaign as the Eleven’s bench boss.
“I think he’s really hit on the right mix of players.” Rakestraw points out that several of the side’s strongest players are on multi-year deals, telegraphing a consistency that recent seasons have lacked,” he said. “There’s been almost a couple of roster flips with midseason moves in both ’22 and ’23. I don’t anticipate that during the offseason.”
The Eleven just wrapped up the franchise’s tenth season. While the team has a loyal and passionate core base of fans, Rakestraw says 2023 was the kind of season that could well expand that support. “They saw wins! Their home record improved significantly as the season went along. Now the goal is not just to make the playoffs but to advance.”
Rakestraw says hopes should be very high for the team’s first home playoff game since 2019.