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2023 MSN TOP 50 HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER PROGRAMS (30-21)



By Dan Stickradt

Director News

stickradt@michigansoccernetwork.com

@misoccernetwork


30. HUDSONVILLE (6-9-5): This is a great turnaround story for coach Christopher Deiss and the Eagles. Hudsonville only won six games last season, finished seventh in the depth-laden OKC Red Division, were outscored 31-24 overall and were ousted by Holland West Ottawa (3-1) in a pre-district game. The Eagles did record six shutouts and five ties, so they were competitive at times. This year Hudsonville has turned it around to be listed as honorable mention in the D-1 rankings. They are 5-3-0 against a competitive schedule, already posted three clean sheets and outscored the opposition 19-12. More importantly the Eagles have soared their way into a five-team contention in the conference. Junior Josh Little (M, two-time All-District, All-League), junior Cash Williams (CB, All-District), senior Henry Derrer (F, leading scorer the last two years), Bryce Norder (F), senior Seth Van Ess (M) and sophomore Luke Disler (OB) all started games last season. Sophomore Drew Hersberger (G) and juniors Owen Dibling (M) and Eitan Hefer (F) also return and have migrated to much bigger roles. Two newcomers that have made an impact are freshman Isac Retberg (OB) and sophomore Bryce Hall (CB).

29. BATTLE CREEK LAKEVIEW (16-5-3): The Spartans kind of came out of nowhere last season, finishing fifth in a competitive Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference before reaching the D-1 district finals (a 2-0 loss to Portage Central. Lakeview set a school record with 16 wins, recorded 10 shutouts and outscored its foes 76-26. Some coaches around the SWMAC have labeled the Spartans as a darkhorse. So far this season Lakeview has six shutouts, posted a 52-6 scoring edge and are 10-1-0. Seniors Uk Di (D/M), Hung Ling (F), Bowl Bik (M) and Travis Neal (D) all earned various types of postseason accolades last season. Seniors Luke Schuemann (G), Luke Borozan (M) and Andre Ignatovich (M) and juniors Thomas Arroyo (M) and Isaac Hernandez (M/F) also return. The program captured its fifth straight All-City title already this season.


28. GRAND RAPIDS SOUTH CHRISTIAN (17-2-3): After losing in the district semifinals last season in a loaded district, the Sailors would love nothing more to escape the district rounds and make a long run this year. South Christian has won four state titles, finished as the state runner-up four times and reached the Final Four nine times – all since 2007. While the program graduated another strong class, it’s the next man up for the Sailors who seemingly reload every year with talented club players and multi-sport athletes each campaign. Junior Will Kuiphof (F/M) and senior Nick Logan (D) both earned some type of postseason accolades last season. Seniors Drew Bruinsma (F), Josh Wycoff (F/M), Mike Lind (D), Nick Logan (M), Ben Onderlinde (M), Boyd Tubergen (M), Will Raredon (M) and Levi Huizingh (G) along with juniors Bryce Kilbourne (M), Nolan Fackler (D) and Ike Kwantes (D) also return.


27. DETROIT COUNTRY DAY (15-4-3): Perhaps the winningest program in the last 40-plus years in Michigan, Country Day owns a record 15 MHSAA state titles, has one state runner-up and been to the MHSAA Final Four 21 total times, including last season. Although DCD lost one key player to the MLS Next ranks, the Yellowjackets return eight starters. Seniors Zach Rodger (F/M, All-State Second Team), Steven Bratano (CM, All-State Third Team), Andrew Bratano (CM, All-State Third Team) and Andrew Weir (CB), juniors Finn Hounsell (G, All-State Second Team), Alex Eby (CB, All-State Honorable Mention) and Elijah Chaldun (OB) and sophomore Tino Harat-Saris (OB) are all back for a team capable of making yet another long run. DCD started 5-2-2 and is back in its usual spot well inside the Division 3 Top 15. So far the Yellowjackets have outscored its quality foes 19-8 with two shutouts.


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26. FLINT POWERS CATHOLIC (11-11-2): This is the year that the Chargers have been building towards with a lineup of seniors and juniors and a roster full of successful club players throughout all four grades. Seniors Brady Lendzion (F/M, All-State Second Team) and Landon McAvoy (M/F, two-time All-SVL) have been key cogs to the attack since they were freshmen. Junior Leo Stravato (D/M, All-State Third Team) is also a standout in his own right, while seniors Shawn O’Brien (M), Gage Haynes (M/F), Brendan Sly (M) are also back. Juniors Armando Lopez (G) and Santiro Jamison (D) and sophomores Logan Johnson (OB), Koen Hernandez, Logan Roberts (CB) and Grant Roberts (D) are also contributors, while freshman Colin Johnson (D/M) will help.

25. HUDONSVILLE UNITY CHRISTIAN (13-4-3): It’s no secret that the Crusaders are trying to accomplish something their female counterparts did this past June – win another state championship. After being ousted in the district semifinals to Grand Rapids South Christian last season in a loaded district, another title will be a welcome commodity for a school used to dominating in the sport. So far, the Crusaders are rolling along with an 8-0-0 record, including 3-0-0 in the OKC Blue Division, a No. 1 ranking in Division 3, a 31-6 scoring edge and four shutouts already to boot. Fourth-year starter Colin Nieuwenhuis (M/F, All-State Second Team) and fellow fourth-year veteran Gavin Sage (M, All-League) lead a talented and well-rounded cast. Seniors Isaac Eppinga (D, All-League), Tyler Mulder (F) and Noah Dressler (M) along with junior Nathan Plung (D) started a bulk of last season, while seniors Gideon Huisman (D) and Eli Groggel (M), junior Ryllen Tinklenberg (M/F) and sophomore Scott Vredevoogd (M/F) also saw significant minutes last season for a top 15 team.



24. GRAND HAVEN (14-3-3): After finishing second in the OKC Red Division to eventual D-1 state runner-up Rockford, the Buccaneers are hoping to remain in the title chase once again and also contend for a district championship as well. Senior Kaden Richardson (CB/M) earned some postseason honors last season and leads another talented bunch. Seniors Cade LaRose (F), Enrigue Reyes (M), Evan Womack (CB), Logan Minier (D), Lucas Burns (CB) and Luka LaPointe (F/M) and juniors Logan Shenefeld (G), Peyton Wright (F), Ryan Haag (M) and Vincent Derenne (D/M) are some of the many players keeping the Buccaneers in contention for league and district crowns this season.



23. HOLLAND CHRISTIAN (20-1-3): How much talent was in the Maroons program last year? Well, for starters Holland Christian was ranked high all of last season and went on to win the Division 3 state championship – its third in program history. The Maroons won a loaded OKC Blue Division of several quality teams before going on their run to the tile. Last season’s numbers were sterling 18 shutouts, only seven goals allowed while scoring 67 times and the Maroons only yielded two goals in their final 14 games and those were against top 15 programs in the state tournament. Well, Holland Christian has made the jump up to Division2 enrollment wise and have slowly climbed the top 15 into the top five. There are only three returning starters and six others that came off the bench. Senior midfielder Lake Vanderploeg (All-State Honorable Mention; gaining interest from Messiah College), senior JP Holgsten (D, being recruited by Hope College amongst others) and senior Elliott Cook (M) are the returning starters. There are 15 returning seniors on the roster, including goalkeeper Adam Bergman (6-foot-4), Jordan Rees (M), Lucas Hegg (M), Sam Plockmeyer (F), Caden Petroelje (F) and David VanDuinen (D) all gained substantial minutes last fall. The top newcomer is sophomore forward Reuben Plaggemars.

22. NEW BALTIMORE ANCHOR BAY (15-4-3): After graduating 16 players from its 2021 Division 1 state runner-up team, Anchor Bay reloaded with talented players waiting in the wings and still captured MAC Red Division and D-1 district crowns last season before falling in the Elite Eight to eventual state champion Rochester Adams (3-2). So much for a rebuilding season. For a program that has been very good the last decade-plus competing for championships has become the norm and expectation. Same as this year, where the Tars return some quality holdover talent and expect to challenge Utica Eisenhower and Clinton Township Chippewa Valley for the MAC-Red crown and maybe more. The returning starters are seniors Connor Turala (G, All-State Honorable Mention), Garrett Pouget (F, All-State Third Team), Jace Landa (D, All-League, All-District), Robert Dimoski (D, All-League, All-District) and Max Grammens (M, All-District). There are several reserves from last season that inherited starting roles, including seniors Nate DeWitte (M), Caden Earl (F/M), Antonio Kiricovski (M), Tyler Jenks (M), Vilay Thammavongsa (D) and Ian Alessandro (D), plus sophomore Jake Arnold (G) is the understudy in net once again. Sophomore Camden Parker (M/F), senior Zach Hunegnaw (M) and junior Owen Mittelstadt (D) are amongst the top newcomers. Anchor Bay started the campaign 6-2-2 with four clean sheets and a 23-9 scoring differential.

21. UTICA EISENHOWER (9-3-4): Eisenhower finished in the bridesmaids role twice last season, once finishing second in the MAC Red Division and once a humbling 5-1 defeat to eventual state champion Rochester Adams. The Eagles would love nothing more than to erase that awful taste of such a defeat from their palates this season. Eisenhower is off to an impressive start behind a 31-4 scoring edge, five shutouts and a 6-1-0 record and should engage in a 3-4 team battle in the MAC-Red this season. Senior Jordan Klein (M, All-State Honorable Mention) is one of the first players in the state to commit to an NCAA Division I program after announcing he will be headed to Western Michigan University. Seniors Alban Bojovic (M), Devin Chene (D), Johnny Gueccia (D), Joseph Chiro (F) and Kyle Zelasko (D) along with junior Vincent Talerico (G) all started games last season. Seniors Lucas Giacomazza (F), Mario Kalaj (M), Niko Demopolis (F), Rocco Fedrigo (D) and Marco Ventiimiglias (F) also return.

Sophomores Jon Paul Yatooma (M) and Brendan Klein (M) and junior Gassab Swseis (F) are the top newbies.



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