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Updated: Sep 14, 2023

By Dan Stickradt

Director News


40. DETROIT U-D JESUIT (5-7-4): In a rebuilding year the Cubs struggled with consistency at times, finishing third in the CHSL Central Division and losing in a pre-district game to Royal Oak (4-3). Jesuit was outscored 33-29 and recorded only three shutouts. This year U-D has matched last season’s win total with a 5-2-2 start, recording four clean sheets and outscoring the opposition 20-10. Seniors JJ Faraday (F, seven goals), Jean Konate (F, seven goals), juniors Jordan Lee (F, five goals) and Christian Druhna (M) and sophomore Nicholas Gabrys (M) all return to a quality offensive attack. On the backline, seniors Myles Purty (D, three goals), Cameron Simpson (D) and Joseph Stachelek (D) along with juniors

Connor Dugan (D, three goals) and Camden Arndt (D) have solidified spots in the rotation for a team that is allowing just over one goal a game. Freshman Owen Bishop (G) has earned a starting role and is a key part of the resurgence. 39. EAST LANSING (11-5-2): After finishing in a three-way tie with DeWitt and Okemos atop the CAAC Blue Division last season, the Trojans, one of the state better all-time programs, stumbled in the opening round of the D-1 districts with a 2-1 setback to Hartland. A defensive-minded squad last season, East Lansing had nine shutouts and outscored the opposition 35-18. This year the Trojans have started 6-2-2, although a pair of 4-0 losses to Midland Dow and Portage Central stings, the program has again pitched six clean sheets already and hold a 16-10 scoring edge. There are five returning starters back, including seniors Carter Hagan (M), Christian Trunk (M), Xtreme Hauk (F) and Sam Saldivar (M/F) along with juniorCam Essell (CB). Seniors Jorge Loaisiga (CB) and Ben Mayes (D) have stepped into starting roles. unior Asher Hayden (M) is amongst a quality group of newcomers, mainly juniors, who hope to offset the loss of 12 players to graduation and senior Drew Rensing moving to the St. Louis, Mo., area. East Lansing last won a district crown in 2017 and moved up to Division 1 in 2018. The Trojans own five state titles, three state runners-up and 13 total Final Four teams.

38. MIDLAND DOW (14-5-0): Dow turned some heads early last season with a 2-1 victory over then-No. 1 Novi Detroit Catholic Central (2-1), becoming one of two schools to defeat the Shamrocks last season. The Chargers went on to claim the Saginaw Valley League co-championship with Grand Blanc and reached the district finals before losing to state-ranked powerhouse Traverse City West (2-1). This year Dow has picked up right where it left off last season where it pitched 10 shutouts, won 14 games and outscored the opposition 58-16. The Chargers are 6-2-1 with a 33-10 scoring edge and three shutouts this season and tied Grand Blanc (1-1) in its league opener. Dow should engage in another five-team battle for the SVL title this season. Senior goalkeeper Keegan Luick is a two-time All-League and All-District choice, while senior Chase Horneber (F/M), junior Eli Soderberg (CB) and sophomore Nico Scorsone (M) also earning various postseason honors last season. Seniors David Folkenroth (OB), Luke Storey (M/F), Ethan Duling (CB) and Micah Dahn (M) along with juniors Jordan Groulx (M), Justin Alade (M/F) and Ryan Corle (D) are all in the starting lineup.

37. GRAND BLANC (14-9-2): The defending Saginaw Valley League champions came on strong last season, going 11-1-1 over the final 13 games with that sole loss coming in the D-1 district finals to Clarkston (2-1) in a game where the Bobcats led 1-0 in the second half. Grand Blanc outscored the opposition 67-27 last season with nine shutouts after some early-season struggles and tough non-league schedule. Despite losing leading scorer in senior Tyler Philpotts (F, All-State Second Team) to the Michigan Wolves MLS Next Academy, the Bobcats did pick up one player from the MLS Next system and five additional players who played for the Nationals showcase team (non-academy) last fall. Seniors Drew Dowling (M), Frank Grandberry (D) and Eli Busha (M) and junior Evan Croteau (D) are the turning starters. Seniors Jake Ringwelski (M/F), Victor Hiltz (F) and Hadi Bacon (D) and juniors Owen Cooper (D), Lincoln Floyd (M/F) and Eli Pike (G) all come over from the club circuit. Pike shares the goaltending duties with senior Jackson Harchick (G). Junior Brayden Curtis (D/M) is another new starter. Grand Blanc has started the campaign 2-3-4 with one shutout but has shown some offensive flashes with a 24-17 scoring differential.

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36. SALEM (19-5-2): The Rocks have now reached at least the state semifinals 10 times in school history, thanks to last year’s Final Four run which ended in a 2-0 loss to eventual Division 1 state champ Rochester Adams. Salem is trying to navigate a tough league and non-league schedule and if it is able to make another long run this year the Rocks will have to do so with only three returning starters. Seniors Tommy Veresh (G), Bennett Quijano (M) and Yash Bingi (D) are all back, with Veresh and Quijano already gaining some small college looks. Seniors Cooper Nieuwstadt (F), Tyler Berezak (F), Kyle Peterson (F), Sumanyu Kotola (M), Chase Meredith (CB) and Jonathan Wylie (G) along with junior Dylan Fletcher (CB) all have varsity experience. Juniors Jordan Perko (M), Isaac Bomgaars (OB), Bryan Baker (F) and Marcel Jackson (F) are some of the newcomers gaining minutes. Last season the team was an offensive juggernaut with a 67-21 differential and 13 shutouts on the defensive end. This year the Rocks have only outscored the opposition 11-8 but have four clean sheets.

35. BIRMINGHAM SEAHOLM (16-2-3): The Maples stood tall last fall with one of their best seasons which included the OAA White Division and Division 1 district championship. Seaholm recorded 12 shutouts and outscored its foes 59-16, although five of those goals allowed came against Clarkston (5-0) in a regional semifinals loss. This season the Maples are 3-2-2 with a 10-6 scoring differential, although the tougher competition has dropped Seaholm from the top 15 and into the honorable mention category of the state rankings. Senior goalkeeper Joe Farah (All-State Honorable Mention) is sturdy between the pipes and junior Chase Henderson (M, All-State Honorable Mention) is a solid playmaker as he has notched four goals and four assists so far this season. Junior Drew Stice (M/D), Senior Connell Hughes (D) and Noah Booth (M) are some of the other top returnees for a team that is butting heads against tough OAA Red Division competition.

34. ANN ARBOR PIONEER (14-4-3): The Pioneers are one of those teams that never goes away. Even after graduating 16 players the team is off to a 5-1-2 start as the defending SEC Red Division champions. Pioneer has an 18-5 scoring differential and five shutouts after three weeks of play. Last year they posted a 56-18 scoring edge with 12 shutouts behind an experienced team. Seniors Iian Seinfeld-Chopp (M) and Micah Jacobson (M) are a pair of third-year starters that have provided the leadership. Seniors Rafael Carrillo (M), Alexander Koss (D), Brendan Moore (M/F), Jack Templeton (D) and Jack Van Ryn (D) along with juniors Joshua Jacob (M), Alexander Reifler (D), Lucas Strickler (M) and Sory Yansane (D) will all see bigger roles this season. Pioneer lost in the D-1 district finals last season to Saline (2-1, shootout).

33. NOVI DETROIT CATHOLIC CENTRAL (20-2-3): This may seem a little low for the Shamrocks, who were No. 1 or No. 2 all last season in D-1 and eventually reached the Final Four. But Catholic Central did graduate 19 players and 10 starters – five which were All-State players and one was Mr. Soccer – so the Shamrocks started somewhat understandably slow. Catholic Central has picked up the pace with three straight shutouts. The Shamrocks are now 5-5-0 with three clean sheets and have outscored the opposition 24-16. Senior Simon Sawyer (D) is a fourth-year varsity veteran and the sole returning starter. Seniors Brady Schmidt (M), Nolan Karfonta (M), Hudson Todd (F), Nick Gauchey (D), Paul Ibegbu (D) and Garan Vartanian (M) and juniors Joseph Goudeseune (M) and Daniel Bravo (M) are the core back and all will see increased minutes and roles. Senior Luke Saval (F), juniors Charlie Salvatore (F) and Matteo Silvestri (M), sophomores Blake Maroun (G) and Grant Mooradian (F) and freshman James Giacomazza (F) are some of the new players that have made a dent in the playing rotation. There are 26 players on the roster this year and only nine were on the varsity last year.

32. CLINTON TOWNSHIP CHIPPEWA VALLEY (10-4-2): The last time the Big Reds captured a district crown was 2019 and that was a year they reached the Division 1 regional finals. This year’s version is solid with a sturdy backline and some offensive punch. This year Chippewa Valley already has three clean sheets and has outscored some tough opponents 13-8. Seniors Brandon Gojcaj (CB), Gabrielo Pjetrushi (M), Tristan Sevajr (F), Travis Casmi (F/M), Dino Audic (G) and Alex Drenocevic (M/F) have led the charge. This side should challenge for a top three finish in the MAC-Red. Last season the Big Reds showed signs of improvement with a 37-24 scoring edge, four shutouts and a fourth-place finish in the MAC Red Division.

31. BRIGHTON (7-7-4): With a very young team last season, Brighton only finished fifth in the ever-tough and depth-laden KLAA West Division. Brighton only recorded four clean sheets and posted a 37-29 scoring edge. This year the Bulldogs have already sparked significant improvement with four shutouts, a 17-4 differential and a 5-3-0 record behind a tough schedule. There are eight returning starters, led by junior Delvan McGinnis (M, All-State Honorable Mention). Seniors Hunter Haglund (D), Ryan Hemphill (D), Jimmie Johnson (D) and Anthony Klebba (M/D), juniors Owen Buckley (F) and Andrew Bowman (M) and sophomore Reece Mayer (G) are also back. Another player that has made a huge difference on so many levels is senior Colin Robertson (F), who spent the last three years competing for the Michigan Wolves MLS Next Academy. Robertson is being courted by several NCAA Division I Horizon League and MAC schools.


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