2009-08-26 / Sports
HARBOR BEACH PIRATES
Can the Pirates make it two in a row?
The Harbor Beach soccer team had one of their best seasons in school history in 2008, finishing 20-6-1 overall and winning the Greater Thumb East championship with an undefeated record in league play. To top that off, they won a district title and advanced all the way to the regional finals.
If you think that’s good, it possible history could be made again in 2009 as all 11 starters return and a total of 21 players from last year return (three of whom were all-state selections). Six freshmen also join this year’s squad.
Returning players who will play a big role this year include senior Christian Bender, junior Doug Booms, senior Ethan Booms, senior Alex Delpiere, wide midfielder and junior Scott Grekowicz who directs the team on the field and according to coach Phil Bowen is one of the best players he has ever coached.
Bowen looks forward to his returning players and believed they can take the team farther than the 2008 campaign. “We should have a very good team this year with a goal to improve on last year’s accomplishments,” said Bowen.
Last year the Pirates had a defense that recorded 11 shutouts and an offense that scored 76 goals.
To continue their success Bowen feels that the squad needs to improve their skills and tactical understanding of the game while working with the younger players to help them adjust to the level of play. With the success of last year, Bowen believes the most important factor will be the team’s ability to avoid overconfidence and to play up to their ability.
She lost some key players from last year to graduation in setter Jamie Talaski, libero Becky Hanson and strong hitters Lindsey Messing and Kaylee Lochrie.
Wolschlager will look to her seasoned returnees including middle hitter Bri Woycehoski and setter Brooke Maurer for leadership on the floor. According to Wolschlager, Woycehoski is a very aggressive and quick middle hitter. “She is an all around great player and very coachable.”
Wolschlager will look to Maurer for her ability to motivate her team. “Brooke Maurer is an aggressive consistent passer and setter that is motivating for the team,” said Wolschlager.
with a lot of height with their middle hitters. She feels they are overall a good passing team with several good hitters and servers.
Even with the experience the Pirates bring this year, they are a relatively young team with several new players. Wolschlager said that it feels like a complete new team this year. “The girls will have to come together and figure out how to work and play as a team.”
Wolschlager looks for the girls to finish in the top half with her team looking forward to playing Marlette, Ubly and Brown City. To finish well in the league this year, Wolschlager believes it will take team unity, quickness and the drive to win.
After a disappointing season and only three wins, the football team would like to turn things around.
Coach Troy Schelke will split the QB duties between Sean Sorenson and Ryan Maurer depending on the situation, with both bringing strong leadership to the field. Shane Ginther and Brian Dekoski will handle the running back responsibilities.
The Pirates will employ the Wing - T offense with a strong running game and what hopes to be an efficient passing game that Shelke looks to improve over the season.
Tony Guza and Tom Combest will be two of the key returnees on the line that bring size, strength and intensity.
Harbor Beach will run a 5-2 on defense that will take discipline and strong tackling to get the job done. Nick Bourlier and Cory Wilkowski both return and could be the difference in the defensive scheme, while Maurer and Sorenson hope to have an impact in the secondary.
Even with the experience that returns to the field, Schelke still has concerns about how his team will perform. He believes a strong defense will help his team improve with Deckerville and Ubly being the teams to beat this year.
The girls cross-country team finished first in the league and regionals last year and ended the season with a ninth place effort at the state finals. Ali Wessels capped the effort by finishing third in the D4 race and earning allstate honors.
The team will be small this season, and will miss the experience of Holly Buchholz, Amanda Guza and Lynette Roggenbuck according to coach Linda Wright.
They will however have some good talent returning in seniors Wessels and Alicia Erdman. Others on the team include Chelsea Lesceski, Danielle Roggenbuck, Allison Guitar and Brianna Particka. The lone boy is junior Ben Roggenbuck.
According to Wright, the strength of both teams is their work ethics and hard work, but she is concerned with the number of athletes coming out for cross country. Wright is hoping to be a top contender at league, regionals and at the state level.
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