A double overtime goal gave South Christian High School in Grand Rapids, Mich., a Division III boys’ soccer state championship this fall.
South Christian Sailors lift their state championship trophy.
After 95 scoreless minutes in the final game, Kevin Doornbos, 18, booted a game-winning goal to give the Sailors their second title in three years.
“It was the best way you could end,” said Doornbos, a member of First Christian Reformed Church in Byron Center, Mich. Doornbos will graduate this year. “It felt really good to end with a goal in the finals and winning the state championship.”
“We knew at the beginning that we had a chance to have a great year,” said coach Jason Boersma, a member of Providence CRC in Cutlerville, Mich.“But a run to the state title requires your team to stay healthy, and close games have to go the right way.”
Boersma said that the key to the season’s success was every individual player having a role to fill.
“Our depth was our strength,” he said. “We did not have that massive superstar player who was just going to take over. We played 18 players deep all the way through the playoffs. Come the end of the game, we had flat-out worn teams down.”
While Boersma boasted a solid team on the field, its players were also solid guys off the field. “We had a great team,” said Taylor Buist, 16, of Cascade Fellowship CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich. “It was a really great experience to come together with those guys like a family. Every person on the team contributed.”
“Everyone likes to score a goal and feel good, but they couldn’t have cared less about who scored the goal,” said Boersma. “They cared more about the whole than themselves.”
What about the team’s chances at a repeat title next season? “We’re losing a lot of seniors, but we’re optimistic about next year,” said Buist, who will play next fall. “We definitely have the same opportunity and we’re looking forward to it.”