Tag Archives: Soccer

Potter’s House Claims Victory over Alliance League Foe Black River: Advances to State Championship

Wednesday night played out much like the rest of the postseason for the Potter’s House Pumas (Wyoming). The senior-laden squad has rode suffocating defense and constant offensive pressure through each round and against a gauntlet of some of the state’s top teams in division 4.

The pumas contest against Black River (Holland) was no exception as the two squared off at Pat Patterson Stadium in Kentwood, MI to decide which would be traveling to Novi this Saturday in hopes of earning a state championship.

Things seemed firmly in control for the pumas from the outset and the #6 ranked team was able to maintain ball control in the Black River zone most of the game. As a low scoring affair, soccer can swing for an underdog on a single play and Black River was not without opportunities of their own.

The River Rats were able to sneak the ball deep into puma territory, past an excellent back line, before being stifled on each shot by Potter’s House standout goalie, Seth Hoeksema.

Hoeksema and the puma defenders posted their second shutout of the postseason and in as many weeks.

While the Potter’s House defense took care of their end, it was time for the attackers to handle things on the other.

Puma senior and Michigan State commit, Jonathan Stout, made several incredible runs, often weaving in and out of wave after wave of Black River a laser-focused defense, but came up short on each attempt. A series of deflected or mishandled passes, Black River tackles and missed shots left things tied at 0-0.

That is until Stout pushed things into a higher gear.

Like a chef, sweetening the seasoning of a fine dish, Stout had trialed his big move several times in the first half. As the teams entered the final stretch in the first forty minutes, Stout once again sliced and diced his way through the defense and took a quality strike from centerfield, burned it past the River Rat goalie and buried the ball in the back of the net. Pumas 1 – River Rats 0.

That is how things would stand the rest of the night and the Pumas advance to yet another round of new territory, this time in the state championship game.

Potter’s House will face Clarkston Everest Collegiate this Saturday at 3pm at Novi High School for a chance to bring home the pumas first state championship in any sport.

Great Lakes Wanderers Take Two in Doubleheader with Chicago Police Soccer Club

December 7, 2019
Great Lakes Wanderers vs. Chicago Police Department SC Women and Men
CedarRock Sportsplex, Cedar Springs, MI
For Immediate Release 

When most are packing away their soccer gear for the winter, The Great Lakes Wanderers Arena soccer teams are focused on the start of their seasons.  The Great Lakes Wanderers founded in 2017 by Pedro Sanchez and Joe Brefczynski enter their second full season of play with high expectations and notable additions.

The men will be competing for their second year in the PASL (Premier Arena Soccer League) the nation’s largest amateur/ semi pro arena soccer league. Looking to improve on last years 1-7 season the Men will be led by area veteran coach Mike Boogarrt and assisted by Grace Christian University Ast. Coach Josh Armstrong.  The men have spent more time preparing for the season competing early in exhibitions against local teams, the Chicago PD Soccer club and a pre-season tournament in Chicago. 

The newly added GLW Women’s team will start their history as Michigan’s first women’s arena team playing exhibition games and a provisional schedule in the PASL’s newly formed women’s division. At the helm of women, Joe Brefczynski and Art Dorsey of the West MI Storm soccer club will share the head coaching responsibilities. They are aided by another Grace Christian Assistant Sean Wilson.  After a couple local exhibitions, the women’s first test was the Dec 7th match vs. the Women’s team from the Chicago PD. 

The Women’s team kicked off the season for the Wanderers with authority. The team featuring HS, College and post graduate women from all over west Michigan scored and scored often in their first contest against the Chicago PD women’s SC.  8 different goal scorers would combine for the 13-4 win over the CPD. Leading the way was former Jenison Standout Lindsay Furness with a hat trick and multiple goal games from several other players including Cedar Springs HS defender Maggie Prins with 2. The goal was firmly protected by Cornerstone University’s Mikayla Johnson with many multiples save efforts. Madison Fett of Fruitport and West MI Storm came into goal and closed out the night with 11 saves of her own. The decisive victory sets the tone for what looks to be a strong inaugural season for the Wanderers Women. 

The Tradition of the Heroes night battle between the Wanderers Men and Chicago PD men’s team entered it’s second year with GLW looking to avenge last years reserve team loss to the CPD. Lead by last years returning captain and SCOR soccer club staff coach Jesse Salazar, the Wanderers would dominate a physical battle for the ball and bragging rights. Former GRFC and BIH standout Anes Suhonic controlled the middle of the field and directed traffic up and down the field. Former Sparta HS goalkeeper Levi Pant came up huge multiple times keeping the score line tight and lead the team to the first home win in GLW history.

Both the Men’s and Women’s Great Lakes Wanderers Arena teams will return home after the holiday on January 4th. Gates will open at 5:30pm at the Cedar Rock Sports plex for fast paced, hard hitting, end to end excitement! 

For more information regarding the Great Lakes Wanderers Contact: 

Joe Brefczynski ( co-founder/coach) 
616-802-0401  BrefczynskiJ@gmail.com                             
Pedro Sanchez ( co-founder/President) 
616-204-4580 Pedro@greatlakesWFC.com

Small Town Rallies Around Local Family Following Unexpected Loss

As much of “small town America” is hollowed out with a resurgence of populations shifting back towards cities and their amenities, jobs, entertainment and the various other benefits that they provide, many might wonder why some resist the tidal urge and choose to remain part of their rural communities.

The dynamic is reminiscent of local news interviewing a hurricane hold-out that refuses to leave despite having every reason to pick up stakes and get out of dodge.

However, what is lost in the flash and glow of city lights are the things that people find so appealing about small-town America: cost of living, familiarity, multi-generational family businesses, low crime, good schools and perhaps most importantly, community.

In a small town, everyone is your neighbor. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that the small community of Kent City, Michigan came together to support one of their own after tragedy struck a local family.

Kent City is just about as deceiving a name as they come. The small town is comprised of an estimated population of just under 1,200 and land acreage that is populated with more apple trees than people.

In a town where everyone knows your name, events that might not rise to the level of front page news in Grand Rapids, a metropolitan area of over 1 million and just 15 miles south of Kent City, a small community can be rocked by them.

Local high school senior, Alex Solorio, passed away unexpectedly on November 25, 2019, just ten days after his 18th birthday.

Solorio, an avid soccer fan, played for the Kent City Eagle varsity soccer team and earned the sportsmanship award at the conclusion of their 2019 fall season. News of his passing impacted the greater Kent City and the local soccer communities that had come to know Alex over the years.

Just a little over a week later on December 4th, local pizzeria Papa Piccione’s, owned and operated by local and Kent City graduate, Jeff Sabin and his wife, decided to use their business to raise funds for the Solorio family in their time of mourning.

Sabin first began using his small business as a means to raise money for various causes in 2012. Since then, the pizza parlor has raised money for families in need, local sports programs and non-profits, and most recently the Solorio family. Sabin did not know the Solorio family personally, but in a small town everyone is your neighbor. Everyone is like family.

We reached out to Sabin to inquire what led him to host the fundraiser:

“I’m a local Kent City graduate and have two kids of my own, so this broke my heart deeply. I have a soft spot for my community and will help them any time I can.”

In the end the fundraiser topped at just over two thousand dollars over the course of the 12-hour day.

There is never “good” that comes out of the tragedy of losing such a young and beloved member of a small community like Kent City, but there can be love and that was on full display as neighbors came to support one of their own.

If there is one thing the residents of Kent City have shown this holiday season, it is that there is still something worth protecting in small town America.

Memorial donations may be made to the Kent City High School Soccer program.

BiHGR FC Closes Innaugral Season in 2nd Place

Grand Rapids has become a fertile market for soccer the last few years, as everything from youth to semi-pro soccer clubs have sprung up in the city and surrounding area of West Michigan. One such club just concluded their inaugural season in second place of the UPSL Midwest Conference – Eastern Division standings, finishing the season with a record of 5 wins 4 draws and only 1 loss.

The team was founded by Grand Rapids local and midfielder standout, Elmedin Zukic. Zukic set out to bind his roots in Bosnia and Herzegovina with his new home in Grand Rapids, forming BiHGR (BiH is the abbreviation for Bosnia and Herzegovina). Playing their home games at Kentwood’s Pat Patterson Stadium, the club drew spectators from the local Bosnian immigrant community and beyond with excellent play on the pitch and great promotions that made it possible for a family to come enjoy a game together with reduced pricing for kids and special discounts on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

BiHGR looks to be a mainstay in Grand Rapids local sports entertainment for years to come and already has an eye on the future with big hopes of growing their footprint in the local soccer community and beyond. For more information on BiHGR visit their website at http://www.bihgr.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BihGR.