By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
The Williamston girls soccer team regularly loads its schedule with some of the best competition it can find, both in the mid-Michigan area and beyond.
Many eyes. especially among the state’s best in Division 3, will be on the Hornets’ home stadium the next two weekends.
Williamston hosts Division 3 No. 2 Hudsonville Unity Christian at 6:15 Friday night in a rematch of the 2010 MHSAA Division 3 Final (update: they tied 1-1). On April 28, the Division 3 No. 3 Hornets will host their annual Williamston Shootout with a field including Division 2 No. 1 Plainwell, Division 3 No. 1 Flint Powers Catholic, No. 4 Detroit County Day, No. 6 Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard and No. 9 Frankenmuth.
“I think there is a delicate balance between too difficult or too soft of a schedule. In my opinion, we play and coach at the level of our competition, and if we strive to be competitive at the highest level possible for our team we have to play a challenging schedule – one that demonstrates to our athletes what excellence is like physically, mentally, athletically and tactically,” Williamston coach Jim Flore said.
“This provides the ultimate learning environment, one that we cannot duplicate on the practice field. Playing this type of competition provides our student-athletes with the confidence that they can compete regardless if we win or lose.”
Tickets for Friday’s game cost $5, $3 for elementary students and are free for pre-schoolers and senior citizens. For the Shootout, tickets cost $5, but $3 for all students and, again, are free for pre-schoolers and senior citizens.
The April 28 Shootout schedule is as follows. Field 1 games will be played at the stadium which will be used for this season’s Division 2 and 3 MHSAA Finals:
9:15 a.m. – Detroit Country Day vs. Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard (Field 1)
11 a.m. – Williamston vs Frankenmuth (Field 1)
12:45 p.m. – Detroit Country Day vs. Flint Powers (Field 1)
12:45 p.m. – Frankenmuth vs. Plainwell (Field 2)
2:30 p.m. – Williamston vs. Plainwell (Field 1)
2:30 p.m. – Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard vs. Flint Powers (Field 2)
6 p.m. – 3rd-Place Game (Field 2)
6 p.m. – 5th-Place Game (Field 3)
6:30 p.m. – Championship Game (Field 1)
There also is a junior varsity Shootout the same day, with that field of teams the same except Eaton Rapids is in for Country Day.
Williamston opened this season with a 2-0 loss to Division 2 No. 2 Bloomfield Hills Marian. Since, the Hornets are 4-0-1 and beat Division 1 No. 2 Okemos 1-0.
“Playing high school soccer is not all about winning. It is about how to learn from the experience and make adjustments to be better in the future,” Flore said. “I believe this philosophy has helped the players over the years; I know it has helped me.”
PHOTO: Williamston, including now-senior Adrienne Watts (22), will face Hudsonville Unity Christian on Friday in a rematch of this 2010 Division 3 Final.