Performance: Portage Central's Minh Le

October 2, 2017

Minh Le
Portage Central senior – Soccer

A three-year varsity player, Le scored Central’s first two goals in an eventual 3-1 win over rival Portage Northern on Sept. 19 to earn the Michigan Army National Guard “Performance of the Week” for Sept. 18-24. Portage Central hadn’t beaten Northern since 2014, and the win helped the Mustangs move up two spots to No. 2 in last week’s Division 1 state coaches rankings. After Saturday’s loss to Grand Haven, Portage Central is 12-2-3 and ranked No. 4.

Le is part of an experienced group coming off an 11-6-4 finish in 2016, and the Mustangs this season also have downed reigning Division 1 champion and current No. 8 East Kentwood. Le is focusing on soccer this school year but previously also ran cross country and track and played basketball. He’s also active in the hallways; he’s serving his fourth year as a student council representative and also served as treasurer as a junior.

Carrying a 3.7 grade-point average, Le intends next year to continue playing soccer while studying biochemical engineering at Hope College. But there’s still plenty to accomplish in high school, starting with helping to power Portage Central as it pursues its first MHSAA boys soccer championship. The Mustangs could see Northern again in a Division 1 District Semifinal. 

Coach Andrew Rice said: “Minh has a great first touch on the ball, and he hardly loses the ball off his first touch. This allows him to make positive decisions with the ball at his feet. His work rate is second to none; he doesn't have to be told twice on what needs to be improved. When we are at our best as a team is when individuals like Minh bring their commitment to success through dedication and their work ethics. We talk in the program about being humble and staying the course. Being ranked as high as we are for the first time in program history is obviously an accomplishment. But at the end of the day we know it is just a number, and someone has to be there. Minh is one of the seniors that leads by example each day what it means to stay humble and continue working towards the end goal, which is bringing the first state championship to Portage Central.

Performance Point: “It was all about teamwork. I’m super glad we got over the hump,” Le said of Central finally downing the rival Huskies. “It was hard work. We were struggling a lot last year about it. We couldn’t figure anything out. So we focused on the following year, which was this year, and working together as a better team, and bringing a better mindset to the game and being smarter on the ball. … We take advantage of the field. Ours is one of the widest in the state, so we usually play wide and we took advantage of that (against Northern) because a lot of teams can’t. It was all about good looks, I guess.”

Rise to the top: “We just have to work harder at this point. The season’s almost over. Everyone’s mentally and physically tired. We just have to work through it and get the job done. … I’ve been training a lot more (by) myself, actually. In the offseason, I’ve been working harder than usual, looking forward to this year, my senior year.”

Problem solver: “Other classes, sometimes, I don’t do well in. But chemistry and all the math stuff, I’m pretty excellent at. And I get more interested every year I learn. I just have a different mindset to school, and I love equations and making things different and figuring out a solution.”

Voice of the people: “I love being a part of the student body and getting involved in a lot of stuff. For me, (student council) helped me connect with more of my peers that way and helps them get a voice (in) the school. I was always interested; I didn’t really take a chance (to join) in elementary school, (but in) middle school when they gave me a chance and I joined, I loved it.”

Revving with Ronaldo: “(Cristiano) Ronaldo is one of my best heroes. Growing up I watched him. Before every game I watch a video of him scoring goals and doing different skills. I still do to this day. It gets me more motivated, gets me more hyped up.”

Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2017-18 school year, Second Half and the Michigan Army National Guard will recognize a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom or protect lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

Previous 2017-18 honorees:
September 21: Olivia Theis, Lansing Catholic cross country - Read
September 14: Maddy Chinn, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep volleyball - Read

PHOTOS: (Top) Portage Central's Minh Le works to keep possession of the ball. (Middle) Le heads the ball during his team's win over East Kentwood. (Top photo by Evelyn Greathouse; middle photo by Jim Cottrell.) 

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.