Roennecke Rallies Roeper to D4 Title

November 1, 2014

By Ron Rop
Special for Second Half

KENTWOOD – Simon Roennecke long will be remembered for the individual effort he turned in Saturday in the MHSAA Division 4 boys soccer championship game.

The high-scoring sophomore scored all four goals as he led Birmingham Roeper to a 4-2 victory over Grand Rapids Covenant Christian on a sunny, cool afternoon at Crestwood Middle School.

Roennecke’s four-goal game not only gave Roeper its first-ever MHSAA Finals title in any sport, but sent Covenant Christian home with its third straight runner-up finish in Division 4.

“I never could have dreamt this,” Roennecke said. “My touch was on today, and I felt it throughout the first few minutes of the game. I had one chance in the first half when I took on a few defenders, and after that I felt I could do that the rest of the game.”

“He’s a competitor; he’s a gamer,” Roughriders coach Ed Sack said of Roennecke. “He’s come up all year for us, as a sophomore, it’s incredible, and to score four in the state final … come on, please. He’s just a wonderful human being and soccer player.”

Roennecke got loose from the pressure of three Chargers defenders and fired a low, 20-yard shot that found the net just inside the goalpost.

However, the Chargers came right back and within seven minutes produced the equalizer. Junior Colin Riemersma knocked down a loose ball, was able to elude Roughriders goalkeeper Calvin Lind and tuck a shot into the open net.

Both teams had other scoring chances during a wide-open first half, but neither could break the 1-all deadlock after 40 minutes of play.

Covenant made some noise in the offensive end in the early minutes of the second half, but came away empty-handed.

Then Roennecke struck a second time. Again, he was able to beat a defender, get into range for a shot and fire a well-placed, low shot inside the far post. That gave the Roughriders a 2-1 lead.

“He’s just an opportunist,” Sack said. “He’s got guts and he’s a competitor.

“I think what a lot of people didn’t recognize is that the Oakland County leading goal scorer, Max Whipple, was playing defense the second half.”

Roennecke completed his hat trick with 11:41 left in the second half when he broke in on the left side and fired a shot that, again, snuck just inside the far post.

Minutes later, the score became 4-1 on another low shot from the left side.

“He played a good game today,” Chargers coach Mike Noorman said. “He was a hard guy to cover.”

Covenant Christian was able to cut the deficit to two goals with 5:32 remaining when senior Jared Minderhoud unleashed a hard shot that Lind could not handle cleanly. The rebound ended up on the foot of Riemersma, and he wasted no time hitting the back of the net.

From there, the Roughriders were able to keep the Chargers’ offense at bay and wrap up the title.

“It’s amazing. I mean, this is the first state championship we’ve ever had,” Roennecke said. “To win it takes a lot of hard work.”

While Roennecke was putting on a show up front, it was the stellar play of senior Michael Matthews in the back that kept the Chargers at bay for much of the afternoon.

“He is our third-best attacker, and the only game we lost was 7-6 in double overtime the third game of the season because I was selfish and had him an attacking mid,” Sack said. “I realized if you score six goals you can still lose a game unless you have a strong defense. He’s the anchor … he’s the rock back there.”

For the Chargers, it was a disappointing finish to another strong season.

Covenant Christian finished the season 21-4-2 and was undefeated in the River Valley Conference, which sent a team to the MHSAA Finals for the ninth straight season and 16th time in the last 17 years.

“I wanted so badly for these guys to be the champion of the year, but the goal that we had at the beginning of the year was to win a different crown, to play as hard as we could to represent our school in the name of Christ,” Noorman said.

“They are a great team,” said Sack, whose team finished 23-1. “What a great league they must play in, but our two leagues must be the two best in the state for D4.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Birmingham Roeper's Simon Roennecke works to get past a group of Grand Rapids Covenant Christian defenders Saturday. (Below) Roeper's Max Whipple battles the Chargers' Brock DeBoer for possession. (Click for all team and action photos from Hockey Weekly Action Photos.)

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.