Performance: WMC's Jameson Goorman

November 1, 2019

Jameson Goorman
Muskegon Western Michigan Christian senior – Soccer

The Warriors’ senior keeper is the first to credit the defenders in front of him for Western Michigan Christian’s five shutouts in six Division 4 tournament games over the last three weeks. But he deserves ample credit as well, and came up with a number of key saves in last week’s 2-1 shootout win over top-ranked Grandville Calvin Christian to help his team to the Semifinals and earn the MHSAA “Performance of the Week.”

Fourth-ranked WMC will face No. 2 Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett in Saturday’s Division 4 Final, and it can be argued no team has traveled a tougher road to the season’s final day. After blanking three District opponents, Goorman helped the Warriors to a 3-0 shutout of No. 3 North Muskegon in the Regional Semifinal. Next was Calvin, and Goorman made two saves during the second period of overtime and two more during the shootout, including on Calvin’s final shot to ice the win. He then had another shutout as WMC defeated No. 5 Dansville in Wednesday’s Semifinal, his 14th shutout this season, which took his goals-against average down to 0.57. Goorman joined the varsity for the District as a freshman and then was the part-time starter for the first part of his sophomore year before taking over when his partner in net was injured. He made the Division 4 all-state third team in 2018 and over his career has logged 45 shutouts, seventh-most in MHSAA history.

Goorman also has played baseball and basketball during his high school career, although he has decided to not play basketball this winter. But the court certainly has had a major impact on Jameson as an athlete, directly and indirectly – his grandfather Jim Goorman led WMC’s boys basketball varsity to 504 wins and five Class D titles from 1980-2012. There’s also a family background in soccer championships – Jameson’s dad Jamie was on the Warriors’ 1988 Class C-D title-winning team. Jameson is hoping to continue playing soccer at the collegiate level and also carries a grade-point average approaching 3.5. He plans to study either nursing or accounting.

Coach David Hulings said: “He knows the game and is able to interpret what he sees so quickly that he’s able to do what he needs to do. This year he had two really great saves, one against Reeths-Puffer that kept us in the game and allowed us to finish with a tie. The other was against Leland in the last five minutes of the game. He made a tremendous save and we won 1-0. … In our first game against Orchard View, they had seven breakaways and Jameson saved every one of them. Those were give-me goals, and he stopped them. I don’t know of a goalkeeper in my nearly three decades of coaching who is better 1-on-1 than Jamo.” (Comments first appeared in the Local Sports Journal.)

Performance Point: “I think since we got to the playoffs, we’ve been playing our best soccer,” Goorman said. “I haven’t had to make a ton of saves, other than the PKs, so most of the credit should go to my defense. (Opponents) haven’t had a ton of opportunities. Against Grandville Calvin Christian we went to a PK shootout. I’ve always been pretty good at PKs, so I just go in there thinking I’m going to save every single PK. For me, I was pretty confident going into it. … My sophomore and junior years, we lost in PKs both years in Regionals. We did not want to go out on PKs again, so we’ve been practicing that all year. I was getting pretty confident in our chances in that. My sophomore and junior year I felt really nervous, but going into the last shootout  I felt really confident; I didn’t feel that nervous . I was more excited than I was nervous.”

It’s the guys in front of me: “Brandon Fles, I think he’s one of the top two defenders in the state if not the best defender in the state, in my opinion. He’s been phenomenal since sophomore year. Him and Jake Betten, Isaiah Visker and Brandon Eenigenburg, the whole back line has played really well. I think most of the credit should go to them. There haven’t been too many teams that have challenged me a lot. There’s been some shots, but a lot of them have been from far out and not too hard to handle.”

Playoff path: “Calvin, North Muskegon and Dansville were all really quality teams. … With our team, it’s probably a little different than with any other team. We really like to stay loose, relaxed and just be ourselves for the games. And during practices we stay loose; we have fun. We’re just enjoying every minute of it. … It’s definitely not easy to have fun and stay loose and play hard and keep the intensity up, but I think that’s something we’ve just learned to do well going into the postseason. We’ve been trying to prepare ourselves all year for this, so I don’t think it’s been too hard to bring our best game every single game.”

Grandpa taught us: “It’s awesome being in a family with him. He’s really showed me how to win and how to have confidence, but also not (to) be overconfident and cocky. (He) showed me how to be humble, and I think I really appreciate that – and just how always to have good sportsmanship.”

Pitch play: “(Soccer has) probably come the most natural to me. I’ve had to work harder in baseball to get good at that – I’ve worked at that my whole life. I think soccer has come more naturally, and I’ve put more time and effort into that. I started playing club soccer my eighth grade year. It helped me so much with my feet, helped me get going, and then I started to really love soccer. I played it a lot more, so it became really fun for me, and I love my team. … I think after my sophomore year, I really just started to realize that I loved it more and I enjoyed playing it and I was getting better at it.”

– Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Past honorees

Oct. 24: Austin Plotkin, Brimley cross country - Report
Oct. 17:
Jack Spamer, Brighton cross country - Report
Oct. 10:
Kaylee Maat, Hudsonville volleyball - Report
Oct. 3:
Emily Paupore, Negaunee cross country - Report
Sept. 26: 
Josh Mason, South Lyon soccer - Report
Sept. 19: Ariel Chang, Utica Eisenhower golf - Report
Sept. 12: Jordyn Shipps, DeWitt swimming - Report

PHOTOS: (Top) Muskegon Western Michigan Christian's Jameson Goorman lines up a kick downfield. (Middle) Goorman makes a save during the Warriors' Regional Final shootout win last week over Grandville Calvin Christian. (Photos by Randy Riksen.)

Storch Returns to Retirement After Elevating Alpena Teams From Cellar to Contenders

By Tom Spencer
Special for

December 16, 2022

It wasn’t long ago that Alpena boys and girls soccer opponents took their long bus rides to play the Wildcats expecting an easy win, and most likely by securing the victory by the eight-goal differential rule, commonly known as the “mercy rule.”

Worse yet, the Wildcats also had to take those trips across the northern part of the Lower Peninsula, as well as northern and southern journeys of two hours, dreading thoughts of experiencing yet another shortened game.

Those expectations started to change in 2011, when Tim Storch, arguably the most decorated coach in the history of Michigan high school soccer, took the reins of the Wildcats’ boys and girls programs.  

Storch made the move after retiring from Troy Athens as a teacher and coach of the Redhawks’ boys and girls soccer teams.

Slowly but surely, Alpena’s mercy losses disappeared – and wins over their Big North Conference opponents became reality. Under Storch, the Wildcats went from the cellar to challenging for titles.

But now, Storch is showing some mercy on the Big North – perhaps an early Christmas present. The conference schools won’t see him on sidelines any longer. He’s retiring – again.   

Storch is doing so after leading the Wildcats to wins over all conference opponents except Traverse City West. The Wildcats did get a tie this fall against the Titans, one of the BNC schools that regularly makes a deep postseason run, as Alpena stayed in the league title race most of the season.

“When I came to Alpena it was about trying to make the program relevant in the school, the community, the area, the BNC and northern Michigan,” Storch recalled. “We got to that point after some growing pains. 

“Early on we took our lumps, and we were mercied by everybody,” he continued. “By the end we were competitive with everybody.”

Storch, who started the Athens soccer programs from scratch in 1981, won eight Class A or Division 1 Finals titles with the Redhawks. He’s near the top of the lists of the winningest boys and girls soccer coaches in the state. The last of his 1,109 wins was a 3-1 victory over Bay City Western during this fall’s postseason.  

The Wildcats also beat conference opponent Cadillac in their District opener. They finished 14-6-3 on the season.   

Storch will be dearly missed in Northern Michigan, veteran Petoskey boys and girls coach Zach Jonker pointed out. Jonker’s Northmen picked up a victory over Alpena in the Division 2 District Final – also Storch’s last game. 

"Tim has had a legendary career as one of the most influential figures in Michigan high school soccer over the past 40 years while having an enormous impact on thousands of student-athletes,” Jonker said. “Over the past decade, Tim helped to dramatically raise the overall level of play in the Big North. 

Storch, holding the microphone, elevated the Wildcats’ girls and boys programs since taking over both in 2011. “He is one of fiercest competitors I have ever coached against, but he is also one of the most genuine and empathetic coaches I have ever encountered,” Jonker continued. “I feel fortunate to have been able to build a competitive relationship with him and call him a friend."

Storch’s last game with the Alpena girls also was a District Final, a 3-0 loss May 31 to West.

Storch is proud of what the Wildcats accomplished, noting logistics — unlike in southeastern Michigan — were a big challenge.

“We were an island,” Storch said. “We were big school in the middle of nowhere. 

“We couldn’t get together and have any kind of summer program with other communities because they didn’t have soccer, and if they had soccer they were at a Class D or C level that was way beneath what we were playing in the Big North.”

Storch’s tenure, which included six years serving as the Wildcats’ athletic director while coaching, drew accolades from his coaches and athletic directors. In addition to Jonker, Gaylord AD Christian Wilson, and West boys head coach and girls assistant coach Matt Griesinger gave high praise.

They are among those who will miss the successful coach.

“Tim leaves Alpena in better shape than when he arrived, and that is the true mark of a great coach and administrator,” Wilson said. “He has been an outstanding representative of Alpena High School, both as a soccer coach and as an athletic director. 

“Tim brought a level of stability and expertise and was well-thought of by players, coaches, and community members.”

Griesinger, who has led the Titans to considerable postseason success and upheld BNC dominance since taking over the West program eight seasons ago, was particularly impressed with Storch’s energy and passion for his players evident in every match.

“Tim is one of the most respected coaches in the state, and what he has done for the soccer communities in both Troy and Alpena is not just commendable, but also something that every high school coach should hope to emulate,” Griesinger stated. “Storch is a stand-up guy, and all of us other coaches in the BNC should consider ourselves lucky that our journeys in the sport overlapped.”

Storch is leaving Michigan high school sports as they face a shortage of referees and qualified coaches. He’s not certain of the exact reasons for it, but he points to time constraints and pressures faced on and off the field.

And, he knows the days of a teacher starting a career, coaching sports and sticking with it are long gone.

“My wife has always said I was a dinosaur,” Storch said with a chuckle. “Back in my day, even if you had family and kids, you still made time for coaching. 

“Coaching was part of my fiber — it kind of defined me.”

Storch is quick to point out “soccer coach” was just one of three hats he wore, along with history teacher and friend.

“I’m Mr. Storch to my students,” he recalls telling his student-athletes at Athens. “I’m Coach to my kids, and I am Tim to my friends.

“They are three different hats; I learned how to wear them and how to balance them.”

Storch looks back to all the friendships he’s made around the game of soccer – with former players, fellow coaches, and referees – with excitement for the future.  

He is also keeping in mind former players, referees and coaches who have passed on.

“It is kind of humbling when I think back all the years (to) coaches, referees and players I have interacted with,” he said. “We’re all here for a finite time. 

“We need to make the most of it and hopefully leave the place a better place when we leave.”

Tom Spencer is a longtime MHSAA-registered basketball and soccer official, and former softball and baseball official, and he also has coached in the northern Lower Peninsula area. He previously has written for the Saginaw News, Bay County Sports Page and Midland Daily News. He can be reached at with story ideas for Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Ogemaw, Iosco, Alcona, Oscoda, Crawford, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Presque Isle, Cheboygan, Charlevoix and Emmet counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Recently-retired Alpena soccer coach Tim Storch, left, talks things over with one of his players. (Middle) Storch, holding the microphone, elevated the Wildcats’ girls and boys programs since taking over both in 2011. (Photos courtesy of Therese Shaw.)