Following are capsule looks at the 32 members of the 2013 All-Enquirer Boys’ Soccer Team, selected by the Enquirer sports staff via nominations from city and area coaches:
Battle Creek Central
The junior forward/midfielder led the Bearcats in goals with 11 and in assists with seven. He was all-district first team, all-region first team, third team Division 2 all-state and was voted team MVP by his teammates.
“Ismael really stepped up and proved to be a team leader this year,” said BCC coach Brad Yoder. “On the field he has excellent control of the ball and he draws multiple defenders with or without the ball which opens up opportunities for his teammates.”
Battle Creek Central
The senior defender had two goals on the campaign. He was all-district first team, all-region first team and Division 2 all-state honorable mention.
“Luis played a big part in our eight shutouts and 19 goals against this year in 19 games, both team records,” said BCC coach Brad Yoder. “Opponents were forced to avoid the middle of the field and keep their play on the ground as Luis won any ball played to the middle in the air or the ground. A vocal leader and team motivator.”
Battle Creek Central
The junior goalkeeper had eight shutouts, 19 goals against, allowed two or fewer goals in all games but one, and had two 100-minute scoreless games in the postseason (regulation and overtime).
“Carmelo played huge in the nets for us this year in big-time situations,” BCC coach Brad Yoder said. “He continually came up with clutch saves when it counted, including two breakaway saves late in our district win at Gull Lake. His two shutouts through 100 minutes of soccer was unbelievable. He also had a shootout victory in districts.”
Battle Creek Central
The senior midfielder had seven goals and six assists for the Bearcats. He was all-district first team with two goals and three assists in three district games, and he had a game-winning goal in overtime against Sturgis during the regular season (Sturgis was a state semifinalist).
“Francisco continued to play great in high-pressure situations,” said BCC coach Brad Yoder. “After scoring two game-winning goals in OT last year, he led us to a 3-2 OT victory over state semifinalist Sturgis in our first SMAC game of the season. A very unselfish player who has great field vision.”
Calhoun Christian/St. Philip
The sophomore forward led the Cougars in scoring with 11 goals and two assists as Calhoun Christian went 8-3-1 on the campaign and 3-0-1 in league play (losing in the second round of districts 3-1 to Quincy). Downey, from St. Philip, was also on the 2012 All-Enquirer team.
“David played aggressive and gave it his all each and every minute,” said Calhoun Christian coach Zach Hiscock. “A great offensive player who has a great work ethic at all times, and who will keep growing every year. He has the potential to play at the college level.”
Calhoun Christian/St. Philip
The senior forward/midfielder had four goals and multiple assists, and was captain of the Cougars for the second straight year. The Calhoun Christian student-athlete was also All-Enquirer as a junior.
“Cameron led us both on the field and off. He gave it his all every single time, and left it all on the line at districts,” said Calhoun Christian coach Zach Hiscock. “He is a player who will be missed for his work ethic and ability to get along with everyone on the team.”
The junior had five goals and two assists and was all-SMAC and all-district for a Beavers team that went 1-14-1 and lost to B.C. Central in the first round of districts.
“Cole is an extremely intelligent player — he always knows where to be and what to do with the ball,” said Harper Creek coach Shel Kunji. “He had endless energy covering the left side of the field for us, both at left back and left mid.”
The junior goalkeeper had a 0.97 goals-against average, making 128 saves. He was all-SMAC, all-district and a team captain for a Spartan club that went 16-6-1 overall, 6-4 in the SMAC, was all-city champ and which lost after two overtimes to eventual regional finalist Okemos.
“Jake is the best goalie in Battle Creek and proved this year that he is one of the best in our league and district,” said Lakeview coach Ciaran Byrne. “Jake is a commanding presence inside his 18, and is a natural shot stopper. As he continues to show growth in his knowledge and understanding of the game, his physical abilities just keep getting better and better.”
The senior defender had two goals and an assist. He was all-SMAC and a team captain.
“Kyle is an outstanding leader. He is one of the most vocal leaders on the field, and manages to organize the entire team from his position as central defender,” said Spartan coach Ciaran Byrne. “He plays with intensity and full commitment. During the past couple of seasons he has really developed into a solid defender who has the ability to end the opponent’s attacks and begin our attack.”
The senior midfielder had 11 goals and seven assists. He was all-SMAC, all-district and a team captain.
“James is a dynamic player with quick feet and a tremendous will to win,” said Lakeview coach Ciaran Byrne. “James brings so much to our team. He is a great goal scorer who also has the ability to create goals for others. When he is on the ball he is a constant threat to the opponent, but James also puts in a full effort defensively. He created countless turnovers by pressuring, tackling and intercepting the opponent’s efforts.”
The senior had 12 goals and two assists for the Panthers, who were 9-9-1 overall, 7-3 in the KVA (second place), and who won their first district title in school history (beating Lakewood-Lake Odessa before bowing out to defending state champ Grand Rapids South Christian in regional play). Collige was all-KVA and all-district.
“Jamie was probably the most versatile player on the team, and strongest in possession of the ball,” said Pennfield coach Steve Kipp. “If we were looking for a go-ahead goal, we usually put Jamie at forward due to his quickness and creativity. When defending against strong teams, he was at sweeper.”
The junior was all-district and all-KVA honorable mention.
“Darian mostly played field/defense, but was our No. 1 goalkeeper,” Pennfield coach Steve Kipp said. “He anchored our defense on the field as sweeper when asked, but he was used in goal against the stronger teams on our schedule. He has college-level potential — soft hands and distribution — as a keeper.”
The senior had two assists, and was all-KVA and all-district.
“Jacob was our best marking back on the team, usually matched to the opponent’s best striker,” said Pennfield coach Steve Kipp. “Hard-nosed and with a superior level of conditioning, Jake was the consistent player in our defensive midfield. His ball control on transition generated many of our attacks.”
The junior, a return All-Enquirer selection, had nine goals and five assists for a Bronco squad that went 5-9 (the team’s best record in six years).
“Frank showed great leadership skills this year along with being the leading goal scorer on the team,” said Bellevue coach Brent Salsbury. “Frank helped the younger players develop their skills and provided the spark for his teammates to continue to play hard.”
The senior midfielder makes his second straight appearance on the All-Enquirer team. He had 13 goals and 15 assists for the Cardinals, and was all-district, all-region, all-SMAC, honorable mention Division 2 all-state and academic all-state, and was voted MVP by his teammates.
Coldwater finished 16-5 overall and 8-2 in the SMAC (won the SMAC title for first time) with notable wins over Lakeview (twice), Portage Central, Gull Lake and Jackson. The Cardinals, ranked in the state polls for five weeks, reached the district final for the second straight year, losing 2-1 to BCC.
“After leading the team in goals with 26 last year, we converted Mo to our central midfielder playmaker this year and he didn’t miss a beat,” said Coldwater coach Ken Delaney. “He was a leader all season long and a 4.0 GPA student.”
The junior forward led the Cardinals with 26 goals and also had three assists, and was also an All-Enquirer selection in 2012. Like his older brother, he was also honorable mention D-2 all-state this season, as well as all-district, all-region and all-SMAC.
“Nooh is always a threat to score,” said Cardinals coach Ken Delaney. “He would have led the area in scoring, but missed several games with injuries. He seemed to play his best against the top goalkeepers.”
The senior defensive midfielder had three assists, and was all-district, all-SMAC and voted Hardest Worker by his teammates.
“Scout and Mo made great captains and great leaders on the field,” said Coldwater coach Ken Delaney. “Scout never gave up on the ball, and played a vital role in our success the past two seasons.”
The senior goalkeeper — a return All-Enquirer honoree — had 107 saves, six shutouts and a 0.94 goals-against average. He was all-district and all-SMAC.
“Ian improved his goals-against average this year and came up with some huge saves in big games for us,” Cardinals coach Ken Delaney said. “His size and quickness helped us only give up 18 goals all season.”
The junior inside midfielder, a third-year varsity player, led the Panthers in assists with 22 and also scored eight goals. He was selected Division 3 third team all-state, all-district, all-KVA and all-region for a Delton Kellogg squad that went 9-10 overall and 6-4 in the KVA.
“Cole was a team captain this year and was voted our team’s MVP,” said Panthers coach Alan Mabie. “Academically, Cole is one of the top two students in his class with a GPA over 4.0. He is on the student council, a member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, a member of the national honor society, and was the kicker on the varsity football team.”
A third-year varsity player, the junior forward was the Panthers’ leading goal scorer with 20 and also had nine assists. He was all-district and all-KVA.
“Lucas academically is one of the top two students in his class with a GPA over 4.0,” said Delton Kellogg coach Alan Mabie. “He is a member of the national honor society, and attends classes at the Battle Creek Math and Science Center.”
The junior forward was the Panthers’ second-leading goal scorer with 19 and also had four assists. The third-year varsity player was all-district and all-KVA.
“Keith had five goals in a conference game against Olivet,” said D-K coach Alan Mabie, “and was named a Battle Creek Enquirer athlete of the week this season.”
The senior defender had two goals and four assists for a Gull Lake squad that was 14-8-2 overall — with wins over BCC, Marshall, Harper Creek and Lakeview — and second in the SMAC East at 5-2. The Blue Devils lost in the second round of districts.
“Jordan started every game at outside back this season, and he’s strong, quick and tenacious,” said Gull Lake coach Scott Minehart. “He was always pushing himself to improve and play and practice harder. He put a lot of pressure on himself to do well game in and game out, and he lived up to those tough standards.”
The senior captain and goalkeeper was all-SMAC, all-district, all-region and third team Division 2 all-state. He will play soccer at Oakland University next fall.
“Wes had eight shutouts and was MVP of our team,” said Gull Lake coach Scott Minehart. “He’s the best goalie I have ever had, and he’s also a great young man.”
The senior forward had 13 goals and 11 assists, and as a defender had two goals and four assists. He was a captain, all-SMAC, all-district, all-region, one of the squad’s MVPs and was honorable mention D-2 all-state.
“Jason led the team in assists and was our second-leading scorer,” Gull Lake coach Scott Minehart said. “He was our go-to guy most of the season, and on varsity since his freshman year. He has great pace and ability with the ball.”
The senior and second-year captain had seven goals for a Lions squad that was 1-18-1 overall and 0-10 in the KVA.
“Joe was a great leader and a hard worker,” said Maple Valley coach Andy Roush about the all-KVA and all-district performer.
The senior left outside midfielder was the Redhawks’ captain. During his career at Marshall, he was awarded all-district, senior excellence award and also the Red Hawk award. Marshall went 7-12-3 overall, 1-6 in the SMAC and lost in the first round of districts to Coldwater.
“Kyle’s job was to distribute the ball as an outside midfielder and was a solid player,” said Marshall coach Anthony Tartaglia. “He has applied to the United States Coast Guard where he plans on continuing his soccer career. He also plays for Michigan Jackson Rush club soccer. He is involved in national honor society, band, diving, and he is also senior vice president at Marshall High.”
The senior scored 23 of Marshall’s 43 goals for the season.
“Dillon is an amazing striker,” Marshall coach Anthony Tartaglia said. “He was born in London, England, and has been playing soccer since he could walk. He plans to continue playing while in college and beyond. Dillon has enjoyed playing at Marshall High, and looks forward to his spring season with Kingdom Premier.”
The senior forward/center midfielder had seven goals, five assists, three blocks on goal, 99 steals (tied for most on the team), and was a team captain. He was all-KVA, all-district, and won the MVP offense award for the Eagles. Olivet went 4-13-0 overall and 3-7 in the KVA.
“Tyler was the workhorse in the middle of the field, using his footwork skills, strength on the ball and his heading ability to help the team,” said Olivet coach Steve Peak. “He was also a real leader and motivator for the team.”
The junior midfielder and second-year captain — an All-Enquirer selection in 2012 as well — had 14 goals and 17 assists and was named all-Independent Soccer League, all-district, all-region, team MVP and honorable mention Division 4 all-state. Quincy went 17-4-1 overall (back-to-back 17-win seasons), 8-2 in the ISL (second place), was a district champ and then lost in regionals to then-No. 1 Grand Rapids Covenant Christian (which finished second to Lansing Christian in the title game).
“Nick was one of the keys to our success,” said Quincy coach Tim Hart. “He has great field awareness. He possesses the speed and determination to make things happen on the field. His control of the midfield created a lot of our offense and also stifled the other team’s runs. At 6-foot-4, he covered the field very well and had great ball control. Truly one of our leaders that made a difference.”
The junior forward had 28 goals and 12 assists, and was first team all-ISL, all-district, all-region, honorable mention D-4 all-state, MVP of the team (with two others) and the team’s offensive player of the year.
“Jake made things happen on the left side of the field,” said Quincy coach Tim Hart. “He was our leading scorer and his foot skills were a key to creating offensive runs. Jake keyed a lot of our offense up front. He has excellent foot skills and great determination and toughness.”
The junior forward had 22 goals and 15 assists, and was second team all-ISL as well as all-district.
“Evan played middle forward and created a lot of offense for us,” Quincy coach Tim Hart said. “He was second on the team in goals scored and also second in assists. Evan was a strong player in the middle who helped lead our team. We could rely on him to create offense at the key points of the game. Excellent determination and intensity.”
The senior defender was second team all-ISL, all-district and a team captain.
“Zack was a four-year starter for our team, and he was the leader on defense,” said Quincy coach Tim Hart. “His speed and toughness set the tone for our defense. We could always count on Zack to stop the top offensive threat from the opposing teams.”
Bawi Lian Sang (BCC), Eden Mawitea (BCC), Habeeb Salimon (BCC), Mac Flook (Calhoun Christian), Brent Finnila (Calhoun Christian), Greg Shepperly (Harper Creek), Travis Garlock (Harper Creek), Noah Eckert (Harper Creek), Kevin Howard (Harper Creek), Jaden Sebring (Lakeview), Austin Anderson (Lakeview), Fernando Hurtado (Lakeview), Cole Dopp (Lakeview), Andrew Eddy (Pennfield), Austin Walker (Pennfield), Jakob Hall (Bellevue), Cory Beaumont (Bellevue), Saleh Mousa (Coldwater), Blaze Watson (Coldwater), Wageeh Saeed (Coldwater), Sean Delaney (Coldwater), Bassam Ahmed (Coldwater), Jeff Minehart (Delton Kellogg), Austin Tobias (D-K), Landon Grizzle (D-K), Jeff Adamski (Gull Lake), Josh Sanchez (Maple Valley), Darius Abbott (Maple Valley), Lucas Robles (Maple Valley), Bryan Venton (Maple Valley), Kane Spotts (Olivet), Bryce McCulloch (Olivet).