BY DAN STICKRADT
WEB AND CONTENT EDITOR
DEARBORN – Simply put, Dearborn Divine Child has emerged as a model of consistency. The Falcons 2 earned their ninth district title in 10 years in 2023 and eventually reached the Division 2 regional finals.
Divine Child, which finished third in a competitive CHSL-AA Division this season, has also reached at least the Elite Eight in Division 2 a total of four times in the last decade, including finishing as the state runner-up to Mattawan in 2016 – a game that reached a shootout before the Falcons fell 1-0.
The program keeps turning quality teams with this year’s side finishing 12-8-3 with a 56-40 scoring edge with four shutouts.
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“I think playing a tough schedule has helped out a lot each year,” beamed Divine Child coach Dean Kowalski. “Even our district is tough with Melvindale and Hamtramck. Those teams are very good and you wouldn’t know it because their kids are often not All-State or play club soccer. But the years they’ve been our district it’s made it a lot tougher.”
This year’s squad was led by senior Salvatore Thomson (AM/F), one of the top players in school history. He was All-State First Team last season and a preseason Top 45 Field Players to Watch List by the Michigan Soccer Network.
“Salvatore is one of the best players we’ve had here in a long time,” said Kowalski. “He’s been a leader of our younger players and has had a great career.”
Junior Luke Webber (D/M), who has struggled with injuries, sophomore Grifin Beams (CB) sophomore Louie Salvatore (M), junior Owen Marchywka (G), junior Ethan Davis (OB), junior Sean Slusser (M) and junior Ali Kheirbek (F) are some of the team’s top players.
And for a squad that only seven seniors in its program, the Falcons hope to be back. There are 11 juniors and five sophomores on varsity plus some quality younger players coming up through the ranks.
“I hope they can continue it next year after us seniors are gone,” said Thomson, who is a college recruit and one of several All-State Dream Team candidates across the state this season. “It’s exciting how far we’ve come, especially the younger guys.”