It has been a long road with lots of bumps and stops, but Soccer is now in Schoolcraft for the boys in the fall and the girls in the spring. The team played their first game in August and has eight more on the schedule.
The boys team is made up of players who have played club, AYSO, indoor and backyard soccer. There is a blend of kids from all four high school grades.
“The original roster had 17 kids who signed up to play. Once we started calling and emailing we found out a few of them were no longer interested or had other things going on. So we had to start recruiting. We talked to several kids and I even picked up a kid that was walking by one day when we were on the soccer field shooting the ball around,” according to Lori Freer who was one of the prime movers to get school board authorization for the sport. “When school is not in session, it is hard to recruit and reach all the kids. So we used word of mouth and the schools face book.”
To date the roster has 18 boys who played their first game at home against Lawton. The first goal was scored by Kam Snyder a sophomore on the team. At half time the score was one to one. The goalie Nic Freer had saved over 20 shots on goal by halftime. The score ended 4-1 Lawton, with the coaches saying how proud they were of the boys played.
Coaches (head) Scott Fitzsimmons and (Assistant) Brian Ladd are volunteering their time to get the program up and running. Ladd has coached TKO since his kids were very young and Fitzsimmons has coached AYSO, Indoor and helped with Portage Lightning teams. The captain Austin Ladd is a defenseman and a junior this year, his leadership on the field will be valuable this year and next, they said. “The first few years will be team building years, but we have a group of 8th graders coming up next year that have played club soccer for a long time,” Fitzsimmons said.
For Freer it was very emotional when the game began she said. “It was all worth it when you have a kid stop you during the game to say thanks for setting this up this is so much fun. Another player I texted after the game to see what he thought and he had a blast! I had five kids tell me they had a lot of fun playing in their first high school soccer game. That’s when I knew it has been all worth it. It’s all about the kids for me,” she said.
There has been so much talk about soccer. Now there is a youth program starting up on the 13th of September for ages 4 years thru 8th grade. If anyone is interested in playing youth soccer they can contact Lorie Freer at 269-806-8161.