Announcements and Important Events
Parents Tom & Alexis Boyden
Adrian — Since you could walk, you have had a soccer ball at your feet. We remember your first mini-soccer net for the yard that shouted GOOOAAAL everytime you sunk one, and taking you to World Wide Sports Center in Ann Arbor when you were just three years old to learn from Coach Pedro. It was such a joy to play with you on the field jumping through hoops and rounding the cones, and it continued as you grew and started on the rec teams in Ann Arbor where the Wolfpack v. parents games always ended each winning season in laughter. Then, to watch you really take off when we moved to Grand Rapids as you began to play at the regional and national level with Midwest United, and join the varsity team here at GRC, has filled us with pride. From Coaches Poponey (POP-uh-nee) and Seba (SEE-bah) to Coaches Bruce and Dersh (and all those in between), soccer has taught you the value of being a part of something greater than yourself, to know a good idea when you see it, how to be playful yet fierce, and how to persevere when things look bleak. The skills and lessons in “GRIT” you continue to learn on the pitch will serve you well as you journey through life, and we will always be your biggest fans!
Love, Mom, Dad and Vivian
Parents: Aric & Marie Dershem
Anton — We knew when your first word spoken at 9 months old was "ball" that you'd be playing sports. It has been a passion your whole life. What a gift for us to witness that passion grow and strengthen; driving you to become your best self, shaping you into a leader, and allowing for pure enjoyment of a game you love. This past spring and summer, you asked your dad to train you day after day. You worked out relentlessly And now, seeing all of that hard work pay off, we love watching you play with confidence and strength. For Dad, coaching you has been an incredibly special way to connect through a passion you both share. For mom, watching you work so hard and seeing that hard work pay off has been such a joy. We are so proud of who you are, and so excited to see what plans God has for you. We are so thankful for your kind heart, competitive spirit, your ability to connect with others, and your faith in God. We love you.
Parents: Brett & Kristi Elzinga
Trent — You have been enjoying the game of soccer for many years. What started as Saturday morning rec. soccer at age 5 or 6 turned into a sport that made the most of your natural gifts.
One of the memories that still makes us laugh (now!)…is when you were in 4th grade playing rec. league soccer – you dribbled up to the goal and scored early on in the game. The goalie for the other team was so mad he came right up to you and punched you in the stomach! You doubled over and needed a minute to catch your breath. After a timeout and a juice box to ease the pain, you went back in and scored another goal or two that game.
You’ve been able to play soccer with some of the same guys for the past 12 years…growing and learning from each other along the way. And, we’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Keep enjoying the game and giving your all. We love to watch you grow on and off the field! We are super proud of you and look forward to seeing where God might use your many gifts and talents. Until then, enjoy your senior year and your last year of high school soccer.
We love you bud, Mom and Dad
Parents: Jim & Jayne Rauwerda
Joey — You have always played soccer with a determined strength. We saw this strength even before you were born. When mom was pregnant with you, you broke her rib with what must have been an incredible defensive play.
You have taken this strength and applied it not only to soccer, but to God and his glory. We see that your work on and off the field displays your commitment to your Christian faith. You take joy in soccer and in your entire your life.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
We are proud of you, Joey, and we love you so much! You are a blessing, and we are thankful to be your parents.
Love, Mom and Dad
Parents Jeffrey & Lisa Schra
Xander — Do you remember when Coach Dersh was your coach in first grade--for baseball? A couple of years later, we knew that soccer would really be your sport when we were living in Austria and you wanted to join the local team before you spoke any German. You were willing to put yourself out there to play a sport you love, and you grew a lot in the process. That's been true playing Eagle Soccer as well, and we're grateful for coaches and teammates who have challenged you and made you better as a player and as a person. For 13 years, we have enjoyed watching you play. We have also loved watching you grow into who God has made you to be. We're excited to see what comes next for you. Whatever that is, may you always find ways to love others using the gifts God has given you!
Love, Mom and Dad
Parents Jamie & Beth Skillen
Sam — You are a steadfast friend and brother. He'll give you the shirt off his back, as evidenced by Hans wearing his Nascar shirt with a blazer to school on gameday. Sam would drop everything for his brother, from spending days on Legos, to feigning interest in Dungeons and Dragons. He likes to laugh, but enjoys making others laugh even more, especially if it's at his own expense. He loves his people well.
Sam's interest in fixing things is evidenced by his fascination with cars and his plans to work in emergency medicine. While there is still a broken leaf blower at home with his name on it, we know he'll make it work again…someday.
And if you want to see Sam at his happiest, follow him to the mountains, where you’ll have trouble keeping up with him on a long hike.
Sam. We are so proud of the person you are becoming. You’ve weathered some storms that were not of your own making, and you’ve come out stronger and more compassionate. We can't wait to see where you go next. We love you.
To quote poet Mary Oliver: "Tell us, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Parents Tom & Laurie Welch
Matthew — It has been both an honor and privilege to watch you grow in your soccer skills throughout the years. From your days in the backyard with your sisters and brothers to St. Louis playing for St. Clement with your grade school friends to travel soccer with Scott Gallagher. Then, onto Michigan, where you played with Rapids, Midwest United, and the GRC JV team 1 year and Varsity Squad for 3 years. In all your years of soccer, you have utilized your many gifts and talents to honor the Lord and remain true to yourself. It has been our true joy watching you play every sport you’ve wanted to try over the past 13 years and truly become a leader both on and off the field. We look forward to whatever the future holds for you. One thing we know for certain is that if anyone is willing to stop and listen to you, you will talk!
Keep Praying, Keep Playing and Keep on Smiling & Talking
We love you Matthew!!
Mom, Dad, Victoria, Thomas, Paul, John, Katherine, Nicholas, Andrew, Caroline & Alexandra
Parents Tom & Gail Zandee
Jared — What a joy it has been for your parents and siblings to watch you grow and thrive in this sport of soccer. Your love for the game started young when you watched your older sisters play and you couldn’t wait until it was your turn to be on a team. Your competitive spirit, unselfish play and vision for the whole field have been hallmarks of your game. Some of your highlights include the friendships you have made, your undefeated season in 10th grade, and of course your indoor team with friends that played together for 7 years. We are incredibly proud of you as a soccer player but even more proud of who you are as a person. As you head off to college to pursue business, architecture or whatever your entrepreneur spirit leads you to, we know God has big plans for your life and we look forward to seeing where He takes you.
Love you tons – Dad, Mom, Amber, Annika and Elly.
On behalf of the coaching staff, your teammates, and all the Eagle fans, thank you Seniors, for all the contributions you have made to the Eagle soccer program and Grand Rapids Christian High School. You have personified GRIT for our team this year. We are so proud of you and so excited for your future. Congratulations and GO EAGLES!