Boys’ Soccer: The Epitome of Perfection


Time ran out, players rushed the field and the crowd went berserk. The Rangers were victorious and now the new state champions.

“When that final whistle blew, there was validation for our team that we are the best soccer program in the state of Michigan,” coach Blair Lincoln said.

When the season started in August, winning the state championship was just a dream. The players, the coaching staff, and the FHC community were all oblivious to the fact that in just twenty six games, the dream would become a reality. Completing a remarkable season, the Rangers finished 23-0-3, topping it off with a win of the Division One state championship.

Facing Canton High School at 3:00 pm on November 7, the stakes were high, as all eyes were on the prize. Starting out with a goal early in the first half by senior Anthony Bowie, the Rangers were off to a fast start. Through well planned tactics, FHC was able to retain possession of the ball during the majority of the game. With the late goal by junior Mo Haji, FHC defeated Canton with a score of 2-0. The 2015 Rangers became the first boy’s soccer team in FHC history to win a Division One state championship.

“Winning was an unbelievable feeling,” Bowie said. “ All of the hard work we had put in throughout the season had finally paid off. It was something we had been talking about all year, so it was incredible to go out there and actually make it happen.”

Not only were the Rangers crowned the kings of Michigan soccer, they did it without defeat. Throughout the season, FHC only allowed 17 goals, helping contribute to their plethora of wins. The Ranger’s defense served as the backbone of the team, securing games late. Led by seniors Matt Zadel and Anes Dzidic, “Clamp Nation,” as the defensive unit referred to themselves, held strong throughout.

“Jared Ireland in goal, stepped up this season,” Zadel said. “Our defense as a whole gave our team a chance in every game by holding the opposition to low scores.”

Along with team accomplishments, individual accomplishments weren’t short in coming either. Bowie, who was injured last season, was named Mr. Soccer by the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association. The title of Mr. Soccer is given to the best high school player in the state of Michigan. Along with the label of Mr. Soccer, Bowie was selected to the high school All-American team during the second half of the season.

“I feel blessed that I was able to stay healthy, and I owe it all to my teammates,” Bowie said. “They are the reason I received these honors.”

With a senior-stacked roster, numerous FHC players are moving up to compete at the collegiate level next fall. Seniors Anthony Bowie and Max Postlewait plan to attend Western Michigan University and hope to help contribute to the team’s success. Jacob Ireland has committed to Davenport University, and CJ Strawser is undecided, but still plans to play.

Throughout the season, the Rangers had a target on their back. They played the majority of the season being ranked first in the state, and shuffling around within the top ten in the nation. With a tough schedule and the ability to handle opponents with ease, FHC displayed their dominance and proved they deserved to be near the top all season long.

“We expected to be ranked high, and loved playing with that target on our back,” Lincoln said, “Pressure is what you make of it, and we used that energy to scare our upcoming opponents. We used it as an incentive to not lose a game or our status as a state contender.”