Selvius Saves South Christian Title Effort

November 7, 2015

By Butch Harmon
Special for Second Half

COMSTOCK PARK – Grand Rapids South Christian goalkeeper Carter Selvius clutched the Division 3 championship trophy following the Sailors’ shootout victory against Williamston and happily said that no one would pry the trophy from his hands.

That task, however, may have been much easier to accomplish than trying to get a soccer ball past the senior goalkeeper.

Williamston tried as hard as it could to put a ball in the back of the South Christian net for 100 minutes during Saturday’s MHSAA Division 3 championship match at Comstock Park High School, but was unable to accomplish the goal. The match was eventually settled in a shootout with South Christian outscoring Williamston 5-3 in penalty kicks.

“It’s coming to bed with me tonight,” Selvius said, as he clutched the championship trophy to his chest. “I face these guys every day in practice when we take penalty kicks, and I was confident in their performance. I look at them and try to get their tendencies, but they score on me all the time.”

Williamston, however, was unable to score on Selvius during regulation and overtime. The Hornets totaled 24 shots for the match, with Selvius totaling 14 saves.

“Williamston did everything but put the ball in the back of the net,” said South Christian coach Jason Boersma. “This is just unbelievable. We lost this way two years ago, and it’s a horrible way to lose. Carter just made some monster saves. Williamston controlled the pace of play, to be honest.”

The Hornets outshot South Christian 24-5.

“Anytime you outshoot and out-possess your opponent and lose you are disappointed,” said Williamston coach Brent Sorg. “Their goalkeeper just did a heck of a job. He is very good. He made some tough saves, and that kept them in the game. We had our chances, but we just didn’t put it away.”

Selvius had plenty of help on the defensive end of the field.

“My defense has been great all year,” Selvius said. “They have done a great job of keeping me clean and keeping people off me. (Williamston) had a couple of good opportunities, but I was fortunate to get a hand on the ball.”

Defense has been a strong suit of South Christian all season. The Sailors allowed just 13 goals all season as they compiled a 20-3-3 overall record. During the playoff march, they allowed just one goal in seven tournament wins.

“Our defense has played well in front of Carter all season,” Boersma said. “Guys like Austin Clark and Dylan Huisman and Carter have come up big all year. Williamston had four point-blank balls today. They shanked a couple of them and Carter made big saves on the other two. That is how you win big games. I’m proud of my guys.”


Williamston goalkeeper Ian Petri also came up big when he needed, including a dramatic diving stop of a South Christian shot late in the second overtime period.

The match then went to the dramatic penalty kick shootout.

South Christian scored on all five of its penalty kicks. Austin Clark started the scoring, followed by Oliver Weesner, Ryan Doornbos, Selvius and Zach DeKock who fired home the fifth and game-clinching penalty kick.

Selvius helped his own cause when his penalty kick put the Sailors up 4-2.

“I was not on the penalty kick squad at the start of the season,” Selvius said, “but I just stayed after practice and worked on it. I stayed late and worked hard and got better at it, and I eventually made it on. It’s definitely a competition between you and the other goalkeeper. I made some big saves, and I hit a big shot. It was awesome.”

The feeling was much different for the Sailors than it was two years ago when South Christian fell to Flint Powers Catholic in a shootout in the 2013 Division 3 championship match.

Williamston finished 19-6 and MHSAA runner-up for the third time in four seasons. The Hornets fell to South Christian in overtime in the 2012 Final.

“This was the second time in three years we have been involved in one of these,” Boersma said, “so we are kind of use to it. I didn’t want to watch it. In years past we just to have co-champions. In games like today you could have that because both teams played like champions.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) South Christian keeper Carter Selvius secures the ball during Saturday’s Division 3 championship win. (Middle) A Williamston player moves the ball ahead with a pair of Sailors defending.

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.)