Men’s Soccer has high expectations for 2014 season
By Nick Misiak
With the fall semester quickly approaching, many students are preparing to head back to school, but others are already in full swing, including the Schoolcraft Men’s Soccer team. The 2014 fall sports season officially began on August 1 and this year’s squad did not delay on getting back to work preparing for the upcoming season.
The team returns to the pitch after a successful 2013 season in which the Ocelots finished third in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association, fourth in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XII and completed the season with a overall record of 12-6.
The team made it all the way to the Region XII semi-final where they lost a thrilling game to Cincinnati State Technical and Community College by a score of 2-1.
The outlook for this year’s squad is a positive one, and Head Coach Rick Larson, who is returning for his ninth season, has his eyes set on a few pieces of hardware this year.
When asked what his goals were this season, Larson said, “To put us in the best position to win a NJCAA National Championship.”
The Ocelots are led this year by returning forward Nate Bergeson and defensemen Abu Algabri and Brandon Schultz. Bergeson, Algarbri and Schultz will bring experienced leadership to a young developing team. They are looking to replace the firepower in the lineup that was lost when Romario Georgis and Derek Boatright were lost due to graduation in the offseason.
“Expectations are always very high,” said Larson. “I always impress upon the athletes that step onto this campus that want to play men’s soccer that it’s always great to play in a place where expectations are high.”
The team has several newcomers this year, including Alex Pedolski, a transfer from Jackson Community College and Billy Werthman from Livonia Stevenson High School.
“Everyone’s attitude is toward winning a national championship and we look very promising this year,” said incoming goalkeeper Colton Robison.
Larson will be joined this year by assistant coaches: Chris Grodzicki (eighth year), Mike Bona (fourth year), Dave Carver (fourth year) and Ryan Lemasters (first year). League play for the Ocelots begins August 23 against South Suburban. Other home games to watch for are on September 13 when Cincinnati State comes into town and on October 1 when the Ocelots face state rival Muskegon.
For a full schedule, go to http://www.mccaa.org/team/15/4/1548.php.