Rockford's Lewis Aims to Finish On Top

October 16, 2012

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Dewey Lewis received two rare opportunities as a freshman at Rockford High School that helped set him up for a long and successful high school soccer career.

He was promoted to the varsity soccer team – something that usually doesn’t happen at a school as big as Rockford, or in a program as successful.

And he got the opportunity to play with his brother Sean, a senior at the time who now plays goalkeeper at Western Michigan University.

But Dewey had plenty of learning to do before setting himself apart as possibly the state’s top high school player this fall with the Rams heading into their Division 1 District opener tonight at Okemos.

“When I was a freshman, I didn’t want to put in the extra work. I was willing to do the minimum I needed to do to get by,” Lewis said. “But the past couple years I’ve become more mature. My effort has gotten better, and that’s allowed me to make the team better.

“You can be extremely skilled and everything, but if you don’t put in the effort, there’s not a good chance you’re going to succeed. A big part of that is having both the skill and effort, but you’ve got to be willing to put the team before yourself.”

And frequently, Lewis has put Rockford’s team on his shoulders as well.

The senior forward, a Second Half High 5 honoree, entered this week’s postseason play with 52 goals and 46 assists for his career. Last season he broke the team’s single-season scoring record with 20 goals and made the Division 1 all-state third team. Although the career assists just make the bottom of the MHSAA record book list, his body of work from a statistical standpoint doesn’t necessarily jump out compared to some of the ridiculous numbers put up by others over the years.

But context is important. Few players above him on those lists played four years for an MHSAA power, surrounded by similarly-skilled teammates and against competition to match.

This season, bouncing all over the front line and midfield in order to avoid increased defensive attention, Lewis has 17 goals and 12 assists, and Rockford was ranked No. 2 in Division 1 heading into Monday’s games.

“This year his performance has been more dynamic because there’s been so much added pressure. Teams are trying to take him out of the game, but he has nearly the same stats,” Rockford coach Steve Thomas said.

“But that’s what’s great about Dew. He’s a pass-first guy. He’s so willing to give the ball up, to put the ball into a more dangerous situation. I would categorize him as one of the most unselfish kids I've been around.”

The two butted heads at times early in Lewis’ career. Partly, it was because of some of that immaturity that Lewis admits. He also came to the Rams playing at a high club level, but had to adjust to the more physical style of the high school game.

His first two seasons, Lewis was “just fitting in” to those teams, Thomas said. He’d talk with Lewis after practices and express his expectations for his young but talented forward. Sean also kept tabs on his brother, refusing to let him slack off.

At the end of his sophomore season, everything started to click. That next summer, Dewey played a significant role on a Grand Rapids Crew club team that won a U-17 national championship. Last fall, Lewis became the first junior Thomas knows of at Rockford to be named a captain.  

He was selected for the same this fall, but not after making a major decision. For the first time, Michigan high school players were forced to pick between high school soccer and playing for U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams that also play during the fall. Lewis was among the elite with the option to do both.

Many from his grade, especially from the Detroit area, chose academy teams. But Lewis – who has committed to play at Michigan State University next fall – decided to stick with the Rams.

Part of his reasoning came down to the high school atmosphere – Rockford played East Kentwood in front of 2,000 fans last season. Part was influenced by the opportunity to play with his hometown friends one more time. And the biggest part likely came down to style of play – he considered the higher-skilled competition he’d see at the academy level, but thought he might benefit more from the harder work and effort he’d have to put in to succeed at the high school game.

And getting one last chance to succeed at this level is the biggest reason he’s back in orange and black this fall. Hailing from any other region of the state, Rockford could have made deep runs in the MHSAA tournaments his first three seasons. But the Rams fell to East Kentwood during the District tournament to end each one, and East Kentwood went on to win the Division 1 championship in 2010.

The Falcons are the only team ranked ahead of Rockford this week, and would be the District Semifinal opponent Thursday if the Rams can get past No. 7 Okemos tonight.

“I think I learned a lot from this season, and going forward it made me a better player in different areas that I wasn’t improving on before,” Lewis said. “There was a lot of pressure to be one of the stars on a high school team, and it helped me learn about dealing with the pressure.

“I don’t like leaving things half done. It was nice to come back and be able to finish things off."

PHOTOS: (Top) Rockford's Dewey Lewis works between two defenders during a game earlier this season. (Middle) Lewis works to pass an East Kentwood player. Rockford could play East Kentwood in a District Semifinal on Wednesday.

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.