Announcements and Important Events
Today in Community Time, we celebrated our state championship boys soccer team and individual cross country state champion Madelyn Frens.
First, a special thanks to Coach Aric Dershem and Coach Doug Jager and their assistant coaches for their leadership of our boys soccer and cross country programs.
Our boys soccer team focused on the following beginning this past summer:
- Recognize that playing our game is a blessing. We need to give 100% in response to this blessing.
- How we respond when things don’t go our way is up to us.
- Improving is a daily choice – we need learn and get better every day so we can play our best soccer when the games matter most.
- The team is greater than any individual – we are better when we play together.
As the team entered this season, they started on a strong foot, before stumbling with 3 consecutive losses – including a 4-0 loss to Gull Lake. Following these losses, the team regrouped and went on an 8-game winning streak, winning the OK White regular season with a 6-0-1 record. But learning happens more from failure than success. The 6 games leading up to the state tournament found the soccer team with 1 win, four losses and 1 tie (a 4-4 game against EGR). These results were disappointing, but they taught the team a lot about themselves, including that they had to be better defending free kicks and change their attack.
As the state tournament began, the team focused on getting better and being the best version of themselves each time they took the field, winning the district championship with a 2-0 victory over EGR. The team continued to build momentum, winning the Regional title with a 5-1 win over Spring Lake and a 2-0 win over Petoskey (the #8 and #9 teams in the state). This was the first time the team won regionals since 2001.
The lessons learned along and the commitment getting better every day brought the Eagles into a tough state semifinal match against top-ranked Gull Lake. A rematch of the 4-0 loss early in the season. The Eagles team-oriented play and commitment to each other brought them a 2-1 victory and a place in the state finals.
Each step along the season brought lessons learned and the opportunity to grow as a team. With 25 games of learning behind them, the Eagles embraced the moment and defeated Bloomfield Brother Rice 2-1 to earn the first state championship in soccer for GRCHS since 2001 and the third in school history.
Congratulations to the 2021 Boys Soccer team!!! You really did show us what soccer played with grit looks like!
Madelyn has been a wunderkind since she arrived as a highly touted freshman runner.
Now as a senior after 4 years of cross country she is a three time all-stater in cross country. She was third individually last season. She was regional cross country champ all 4 years, as well as league champion all 4 years.
Last spring Madelyn broke through and won her first individual state title in track in the 3200m. She holds our school record in both the 1600 (4:57) and 3200 (10:35).
This senior season was harder in many regards as she spent much of it sidelined with an injury. Madelyn was able to work through her injury by cross training, biking, using the zero runner, and using the boost (a type of treadmill that supports the runner so they don't run on full body weight). Madelyn returned to racing at our third league jamboree and remarkably won despite limited time actually practicing running. The injury continued to be a concern though, and so cross training was still the order of the day much of the time. Madelyn showed so much grit through her recovery and she was able to gradually add in more running and racing.
Her last three race were amazing, all wins at the most important time of the year. She took the OK White league crown on October 20, then regionals on October 30, and finally the state title with a time of 17:52 on November 6.
Madelyn will be attending Grand Valley State University next year.
Congratulations, Madelyn for your 2021 individual state title in Division 2 Cross Country!!!