FHC Varsity Soccer Season Wrap-up


Peyton Fester, Sports Reporter

The season that started as a catastrophe, ended as a triumph. The varsity boys soccer team finished off the year as OK White conference champions. The team had high hopes going in as they were attempting to defend their State Championship title from just a year ago.

However, FHC soon found out that this season would not be the same without the talent from last year’s team. In particular, FHC was without former senior striker Anthony Bowie. Anthony is now in his freshman year at Western Michigan University and plays on their team. Anthony was a very tough talent for the team to replace. It was apparent early on when FHC had only two goals through the first five games.

“Obviously, replacing forty-two goals [from Anthony] in one season is really hard to do,” said senior captain Kevin Conn, who was the leading goal scorer for FHC this season. “With all his goals that he scored, it wasn’t just him scoring it. His presence of getting assists and contributing to let other people score was huge. Obviously, he was a big loss.”

However, FHC found their groove and ended up scoring an abundance of goals throughout the season. Many of those came from Kevin and freshman forward Sam Postelwait.

“I’m glad that I could be a part of a team that counts on me to get goals,” said Sam, who finished with nine goals on the season.

Sam, who is certainly one of the smallest in stature, might have had one of the biggest impacts. Sam scored the lone two goals in an overtime win over the conference juggernaut FHN. The win set up some much needed momentum and helped FHC continue a streak of wins that led to an unthinkable conference championship.

“I’d say our identity was sort of like a dark horse,” Kevin said. “People for sure thought that we were not good because of all the seniors who left, but we surprised some teams by winning conference.”

Amidst all the doubters, plenty of the season was salvaged by teamwork and determination to prove those critics wrong. Soccer boils down to what team can have the right chemistry and proper communication. FHC did not have either to start off the year. Senior captain Noah Saleh was the first to notice.

“I think a lot of the issue here is communication,” said Noah, following a frustrating loss against Rockford early on in the season. “We’re not talking enough. We don’t direct each other on how to play the game.”

Sure enough in a couple of weeks the team was back on track and was talking more than ever. Not only spectators noticed, but players themselves realized that they were doing things right.

“I feel like we started working more as a team instead of individuals,” Sam said. “We started talking more, passing the ball, and not trying to dribble as much.”

Most of the credit can be handed over to head coach Blair Lincoln. However, the leadership on the team was a crucial key to keeping away a catastrophic season.

“I think Jared Ireland was the main leader,” Sam said. “He was always talking even if he was sitting on the bench. Ian Kastner might not have gotten the most minutes, but he was always talking by far the most. Noah was always talking, and so was Kevin. It helped.”

This leadership from the sidelines transferred over to the pitch and propelled FHC to a 13-6 record (10-2 in conference play). The Rangers finished off the season with a stellar nine game win streak and were crowned OK White conference champions to cap things off. Unfortunately for FHC, they faced a tough opponent in the District Semifinals. FHC faced off against East Kentwood and lost 2-0. Not every season can end with a state championship. Regardless, most, if not all, fans were impressed with the way the Rangers season shaped out.

“I told this team from day one that nothing was going to come easy, and everything had to be earned,” Kevin said. “We wanted to prove to people that we were good.”