Boys Varsity Soccer Team's Road to taking District Champs, 2nd Overall in OK-Blue Conference
The Varsity boys soccer team had their season ended last Thursday at Cedar Springs after being defeated by the Pioneers of East Grand Rapids 1-2. Although the Lakers didn’t go as far as they would’ve liked, this was the farthest the team has gone in the state tournament since 2013. With 11 wins, 2 losses, and 4 ties, this year’s varsity team was able to secure 2nd place in the competitive OK Blue conference and an exhilarating district championship against the Rockets of Reeths Puffer in overtime.
The beginning of the season didn’t seem to hold the promise of the future success the Lakers had though, with 3 ties to start the season taking place against Coopersville, Reeths Puffer, and West Catholic. After getting used to the new restriction put into place, the Lakers were able to go on a run of 7 wins and a tie, scoring 39 goals and conceding 7. The Lakers took part in the first Ok Blue conference tournament this year, defeating Allendale and Unity Christian to grab a spot in the final then going head to head with the Maroons of Holland Christian. “Losing 0-5 wasn’t the result we wanted, but it sure was a wake up call our group used to our advantage going into districts,” senior Sam Ogden said.
This ability to learn from mistakes and “roll with the punches” was one of the main keys to success this season for the Lakers during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The senior group made up of 6 players- Captain Benjamin Bush, Sheldon Bunnel, Alex Benedict, Jonathan Bricker, Ben Desjardin, and Sam Ogden, provided great leadership qualities and guidance to the younger players to understand what it means to not only play as a Laker, but how to represent your school off the field as well. Bush, Junior Captain Porter Saunders, and Coach Thelen stressed the importance of commitment, roles, and goals of the season which helped the squad tackle problems and opposition as a group instead of individually. Great Season Lakers!!