Powers Charges On After Milestone Win

By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com

May 25, 2018

Art Moody practices what he preaches.

His sermon often reiterates the common sports mantra of taking things one game at a time. So as he was about to finish off win No. 200 as girls soccer coach at Flint Powers Catholic last week, he saw it as it was, a regular-season victory against Flint Carman-Ainsworth.

“I didn’t have any idea,” said Moody, who earned that 200th win May 17. “I didn’t think I would (get to 200) this year. I kind of have a motto and we’ve been going by it for quite a while with the girls, and that’s to make sure they take it one game at a time, and I think that’s kind of how I went, too. We make sure to look at one game, and when the next games comes, if we learn from the game we just had, we can bring it to the next game and we’re going to be successful.”

Success has been a common theme during Moody’s 11-year run at Powers, as he’s compiled a 201-41-20 record in his 11 seasons, which includes a 16-1-3 mark this season for the reigning MHSAA Division 3 champions. The Chargers have won a pair of state titles under Moody (2011 and 2017) and have advanced to five Division 3 Finals.

“When we looked at this year coming up, the question everyone had on their mind was, ‘Can you repeat?’” Moody said. “We had the same thing happen when we won the state championship in 2011 and we came back in 2012 ranked No. 1. It’s kind of funny, because at that time, I got my 100th win, so it’s kind of ironic and history is almost repeating itself with my 200th win following a state championship year. We have little goals, and getting an amount of wins isn’t something I look at as a personal goal. It’s more of a team goal. So it was a surprise, but a good surprise.”

Moody is a New Jersey native who played collegiately at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He coached at Lapeer West High School before taking over the Saginaw Valley State University men’s program in 2006. He’s also coached the Powers boys, and at the club level.

“Definitely my highlight is with my girls at Powers,” he said.

Powers has averaged 18 wins per season since Moody took over in 2008, reaching 20 or more wins on five occasions. Never in Moody’s 11 seasons have the Chargers had a losing record.

The Chargers have won 10 District titles, eight conference titles and seven Regional titles. A run at an 11th District title begins Tuesday at home against Corunna.

Moody took over a successful program that had reached the Finals three times between 2000 and 2007, including the year prior to Moody coming on board. But he’s taken the Chargers to new heights, as the 2011 title was their first.

“(Former coach Tom Anagnost) had those girls getting very competitive, and he had that program kind of getting up there,” Moody said. “Tom definitely introduced Powers soccer into a successful program, so when I got it it was good timing, and I’ve continued his legacy.”

Assistant coach Jeff Tippett, who has been on Moody’s staff all 11 years, said Powers has played mostly attacking soccer under Moody, but that his formations and strategies can change based on personnel, which has made him so successful.

“It’s just Art’s coaching style; he’s got a great coaching style,” Tippett said. “He relies a lot on his assistants. Between myself and Mike Korhonen, he’s very inclusive of us in his gameplan and his coaching philosophy, and I think that helps a lot. Art’s just a good strategist, he can see the game really well, he can read the players really well, and he can put together a lot of things out of what he has to work with.”

Moody also has had plenty of talent to work with, as any successful high school coach would need. One former player, Ally Haran, went to Wake Forest University and was drafted by the Seattle Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League this past January. She’s currently playing professionally in Iceland.

“Once in a while, we do get a couple very, very talented soccer players that can play at the next level, and it’s great to have them come out,” Moody said. “But we also get that other type, we get that great athlete who plays three sports, who plays basketball and then decides to play soccer. They’re not going to play college soccer, but we’re getting them to play at a high level and love the game. That’s more of a delight to me.”

Record-wise, this year’s team is one of Moody’s best, and while he wouldn’t flat out say it’s a team capable of repeating as Division 3 champion, he did say it’s capable of competing at a high level. The Chargers’ lone loss this season came against Grand Blanc, the No. 5 team in Division 1.

He said the team is playing with a target on its back, which is typical for Flint Powers teams in most every sport as the school’s history of athletic success is well known throughout the state. But for Moody’s soccer program, it’s become a little more pronounced, and he’s fine with that.

“They come in the first day of tryouts and that’s the first conversation we have is about expectations and how much heart and determination you have to have to get to that level,” Moody said. “Teams want us pretty bad, and they know if they can beat us, sometimes that’s a successful season for them. It’s something we’ve learned how to deal with. It’s definitely a challenge, and the girls have accepted it. It’s a double-edged sword, because that pressure is definitely something they do have to deal with. But it’s a good problem to have.”

Paul Costanzo served as a sportswriter at The Port Huron Times Herald from 2006-15, including three years as lead sportswriter, and prior to that as sports editor at the Hillsdale Daily News from 2005-06. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron, Tuscola, Saginaw, Bay, Arenac, Midland and Gladwin counties.

PHOTOS: (Top) Flint Powers Catholic girls soccer coach Art Moody, far left, prepares to accept the Division 3 championship trophy last June. (Middle) Moody confers with one of his players during that title-clinching win over Freeland.

Record-Setting Viney Gained Lifelong Confidence at Marine City

By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com

July 17, 2024

Olivia Viney didn’t have to look far for inspiration while taking on the challenge of applying to veterinary school.

Made In Michigan and Michigan Army National Guard logosThe 2015 Marine City graduate and record-setting placekicker simply drew from her own experience as a high school athlete.

“It just really taught me that I could do hard things,” Viney said. “I was very involved when I was in school. I did soccer, theater, travel soccer and then football. Especially with football, I learned that if I put my mind to it, I can do it. That helped me to excel in undergrad. When it came time to get accepted to vet school, it was like, ‘This is what I have to do,’ and I did it. That was very confidence-building. It taught me that I really can do hard things.”

Viney, who graduated from Saginaw Valley State University in 2019 and Michigan State Veterinary School in 2023, is now working as an associate veterinarian at Deporre Veterinary Hospital in West Bloomfield. 

Accomplishing her goals is nothing new to Viney, and not at all a surprise to those who watched her come through the Mariners athletic program.

“She was very serious, she was focused and she was dialed in,” said Dave Frendt, who coached Viney in both football and soccer at Marine City. “She knew what she wanted to accomplish, and she set out to do that. She was a fierce competitor and very driven. She was a good leader in that way where she was kind of feisty, but the team would follow that.”

Viney was an all-state soccer player for the Mariners, leading them to a pair of District titles and a Macomb Area Conference Gold title during her four years as a varsity player. It’s the sport she grew up playing, but the one she was most known for after graduation was football. American football.

The 5-foot-1-ish center attacking midfielder found herself in the MHSAA football record book after hitting all seven of her extra point attempts in the Mariners’ 2013 Division 4 Final victory against Grand Rapids South Christian.

“I think it makes sense,” she said. “There were lots of great soccer players, even that I played with. Great players that had gone through school, so I don’t think it’s weird that people remember me for that. When I talk with people, they’ll connect the dots – ‘Oh, you played football.’

“I was more accomplished as a soccer player and had more accolades. But I’m prouder of my football accomplishments, because it was really setting a pathway for girls that wanted to get into that. It’s so much more common now, or accepted. Even though it’s been almost 11 years since we won at Ford Field, I’m so proud of high school Olivia and what she did, the courage she had. She wasn’t scared of anything.”

Viney graduated from MSU’s Veterinary School in 2023. Viney joined Marine City’s football program as a sophomore, playing on the junior varsity squad. While she was there only to kick, she was all in when it came to practicing.

“Coach (Joe) Fregetto made me do tackling drills and drills in the mud – I really did earn my spot on the team,” Viney said. “I think it was mostly because he didn’t know what to do with me, so I guess just do everything that the guys do.”

She handled varsity kicking duties the next two years, setting the school record in 2013 for most extra points made during a single season – a record that still stands. Former Mariners coach Ron Glodich said that Viney actually never missed an extra point that season, as the four failed attempts were never even kicked.

It was her performance in the Division 4 Final that gained her statewide acclaim, as she hit 7 of 7 attempts, tying a record for most extra points made in a Finals game. It stood until a pair of kickers hit eight in 2022.

One record that never will be broken, however, is Viney becoming the first female to score a point at the Finals.

“Everything was so surreal, I was so nervous,” Viney said. “One of my most vivid memories was that day, or maybe the day before, Coach Glodich said, ‘Just so you know, when you get to the field, the goal posts are two feet narrower on each side. But that doesn’t matter if you kick it in the middle.’

“We got there and watched the team before us so we could get used to it, and I remember thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, they’re so narrow.’ … Seeing myself up on the big screen was kind of almost a little embarrassing, because I knew people were talking about me being the girl. But once we were in the game, it was a lot like any other game. I was just waiting for my turn to go on the field and do my job.”

Viney later was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” – ironically, right below current U.S. Women’s National Team forward Mallory Pugh – but she wasn’t looked at any differently by her teammates, and she wouldn’t have wanted to be.

“That team was all about sacrifice for the team,” Frendt said. “For them to realize, ‘None of us can do what she does, so we better embrace it, because no one else can do it.’ They really made her feel like part of the team. They wanted to protect her, too. But she was tough. She wasn’t going to take anything.”

Viney went to SVSU to study biology and played for its club soccer team. During her time there, she volunteered at an animal shelter and made the decision she wanted to help animals in her career. She works in general practice at Deporre, and would eventually like to work in shelter medicine.

She and her husband Matt, who were married in May, live with their three dogs. She’s not far from home, and in the spring of 2023 she visited Frendt’s college and career readiness class to speak with students at her alma mater. Her presentation and the attention to detail and hard work she put into it, Frendt said, blew his students away. Not that it surprised him.

“That’s poured into her life after sports,” he said of her work ethic. “She just kept plugging away. She’s awesome.”

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PHOTOS (Top) Marine City’s Olivia Viney kicks at the 2013 11-Player Football Finals, also during her spring soccer season, and cares for one of her patients as an associate veterinarian. (Middle) Viney graduated from MSU’s Veterinary School in 2023. (Photos courtesy of Olivia Viney.)