No Damper on this Rivalry

October 20, 2011

FREELAND – The Ovid-Elsie and Ithaca boys soccer teams play each other at least twice a season as members of the Tri-Valley Conference, and often again during the postseason. Usually those games are meaningful – both regularly are among the best in their league as well as district title contenders.

But a gesture brought on by Wednesday’s seemingly statewide downpour likely will become one of the most memorable moments of this rivalry.

Ovid-Elsie jumped to 6-0 lead by halftime of the team’s Division 3 district semifinal at Freeland. With winds blowing rain sideways and 30-40 mph, chances of an Ithaca comeback were slim.

The Yellowjackets had another bad turn when one of their defenders was injured running down an Ovid-Elsie breakaway early in the second half. Play stopped, and the Marauders’ defenders stood together to block each other from the rain and wind.

Soon, they were joined by two Ithaca forwards. Then midfielders from both sides joined. Eventually, all 21 players still on the field, aside from the one who was injured, formed a tight huddle near Ovid-Elsie’s net. The huddle was completed when Marauders goalkeeper Thomas Powers slid in among the mass of legs and emerged in the middle of the group.

“One of my players told me they were just playing rock, paper, scissors in there,” Ovid-Elsie coach Craig Thelen said.

“Both teams respect each other, play hard against each other. We split this season, and we split wins almost every season.”

Separated by 25 miles, the Ovid-Elsie and Ithaca players know each other only through soccer, Thelen said. But the rivalry, while physical, is friendly. That mutual respect likely grew Thursday.

As the person who submitted this photo wrote, “Like they say, ‘It's not whether you win or lose, it is how you play the game.’ This is how we should play a little more often.”

Ovid-Elsie eventually won 8-2, and faces Alma in the district final at 6 p.m. Saturday, also in Freeland.

Record-Setting Saving, Historic Scoring Send Grosse Ile to 2018 Boys Soccer Finals

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

May 17, 2024

Grosse Ile’s Division 3 runner-up season in 2018 included multiple MHSAA team records for defensive and offensive success.

The Red Devils set a record with 21 straight shutouts and 24 total over 29 games, and also finished third all-time scoring 158 goals.

Their 23-game winning streak that season remains tied for seventh-longest as Grosse Ile finished 27-2.

See below for more recent additions to the MHSAA boys soccer record book, and click the heading to see the record book in full.

Boys Soccer

Keeper Ethan DeJager and Grandville Calvin Christian were nearly unbeatable in 2020, finishing 19-1-2 and runner-up in Division 4. They set a record allowing only four goals for the season, while DeJager is fourth on the season shutouts list with 19 over those 22 games and tied for the second-longest shutout streak at 13. DeJager was a senior that season.

Seth Davidson capped his four-year varsity career this past fall on three records lists for shutouts – 15 over 22 games this past season, 26 for his career and nine straight as a senior. Berkley as a team also made the fewest goals allowed list, giving up only 11 in finishing 18-2-2.

Caden Saxton capped a memorable four-year Flint Kearsley varsity career in the fall with four entries in the record book. He made the assists list with 27 over 21 games as a senior and also the single-season points list with 65, and made career lists in those categories with 63 assists and 149 points, respectively, over 71 games.

Jonesville advanced in its District this past season with an 8-5 overtime win over Blissfield on Oct. 12, and Warrick Elder played a big part scoring six goals. He’s a senior.

Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep’s run to the Division 4 Semifinals saw contributions from several players, and junior James Whiting was among those leading the way. He made the assists list with 30 over 22 games, and also the total points list with 49. He also sits on the career assists list after three seasons with 66 and one more season to play.

Holland Christian made the team list for 12 straight shutouts from Sept. 8-Oct. 19, and 15 shutouts total over 20 games this past season. Junior Adam Bergman was in goal for all 15 including the 12 consecutive.

Muskegon Oakridge senior Arturo Romero-Serrano capped his career in the fall with his second season reaching 40 goals, netting 42 total to finish his four-year career with 105 and also on the MHSAA career points list with 125. He also added a second six-goal game, against Muskegon Catholic Central on Aug. 25.

Monroe Jefferson’s season came to an end Oct. 11 in a District game against Riverview, but senior Gabe Gelso finished with a state record. He made 49 saves in the 9-0 defeat as the Bears had only eight players total.

Ian Klenk added eight more shutouts in goal this past fall to finish his three-season varsity career with 25 in 60 games and make the career list in that category. He’ll continue his career at Kuyper College.

PHOTO Grosse Ile's keeper Brendan Ebler (1) gathers the ball and charts his next move during the 2018 Division 3 Final.