(EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to some technical difficulties, NOS is reposting some of its fall and winter sports All-Area teams from the 2011-12 school year.)
BY DAN STICKRADT
One state championship team.
One state runner-up squad.
Three more teams in the Final Four.
One additional team in the Elite Eight.
That is just the beginning of the of some of the success put forth by boys soccer teams and individuals this past fall inside the www.northoaklandsports.com coverage area.
Auburn Hills Avondale captured its first-ever state championship in Division 2. Rochester Hills Christian made a surprise run in the Michigan Association of Christian Schools Division I state title game before finishing as the runner-up.
Troy (Division 1), Auburn Hills Oakland Christian (Division 4) and Troy Bethany Christian (MACS Division I) all reached the state semifinals, while Troy Athens (D-1) also reached the Elite Eight.
Several other schools also had fine seasons, with Holly, Rochester Adams, Rochester Stoney Creek, Clarkston and Ortonville Brandon all found their ways into the top 10 or honorable mention in the rankings at one point this season.
Troy (OAA Red Division) and Troy Bethany (FBAC Red Division) also won league championships this past fall.
Individually, one area player rang up All-State Dream Team honors. Additionally there were 23 total players from this region that earned some type of All-State accolades while dozens of others earned all-league or all-district honors.
All of these standout players can be found on the 2011 All-North Oakland Area squad.
The first and second teams are made up of four forwards, four midfielders, four defensemen, two at-large players and tow goalkeepers each, plus honorable mentions for each school.
Dave Muczynski, who guided Avondale to the state championship, was selected as the Coach of the Year.
Below are the brief profiles of the members of the All-Area First Team:
JASON LESLIE, Troy: While Troy wasn’t a team that rang up a lot of goals, the did win the OAA Red Division and make a run to the Final Four. Leslie emerged as the team’s top offensive threat and clutch player as a senior, finishing the year with 11 goals and seven assists for 29 points. He was named to the Division 1 All-state Second team amongst numerous postseason honors.
“Jason was our leading scorer this year, including all of our team’s three goals in regional play,” said coach Brian Zawislak. His role on the field was to score for us, but he also took on the vocal leader role off the field. He is extremely good in the air and has really worked at developing a good sense for reading the game.”
SUNNY SHETTIGAR, Troy Athens: The four-year varsity veteran and three-year starter has committed to Cornell but not before he left his mark as one of the area’s most dangerous snipers. Shettigar finished with 16 goals, five assists, one four-goal game and 27 points coming out of the OAA Red Division, where he led the division in scoring. Shettigar earned All-State Second Team status in Division 1 for a team that went on a 14-game unbeaten streak at one point, finished second in the league and reached the regional finals.
“Sunny has good 1-v-1 ability and awareness around the goal,” said coach Todd Heugh. He scored 12 goals in the regular season in a tough league and four goals in the postseason in a tough district. We played a very tough schedule and he really picked it up in the second half of the season. He led out league in scoring this season.”
CONNOR BRIGHT, Clarkston: This junior had a breakout season, leading his team in scoring and finishing second in the OAA Red Division with 15 goals, seven assists and 37 points. He was tabbed All-State Third Team in Division 1.
NATHAN CHAPMAN, Auburn Hills Avondale: This senior saved is best for last, earning All-State First Team honors after leading Avondale in scoring with 17 goals and 10 assists for 44 points. Chapman, also a state champion on two relays in track and field last June, was a marked man because of his speed and athleticism and he drew the mark of the opposing team’s top defender game-in and game-out.
“Nathan was more than most (noticeable) player. He’s a tremendous leader,” said coach Dave Muczynski. “He sacrificed a lot for the betterment of the team. He would draw so much attention and he was the type of player that would make others around him better. He’s so unselfish.”
DANNY SWANSON, Auburn Hills Avondale: Swanson may be best known for his game-winning goal off a restart in the regional finals win over Lapeer East or his assists off a free kick on the game-winning goal in the D-2 state championship win over Spring Lake, but the three-year starter was a consistent player throughout the season. He finished the year with seven goals and 15 assists for 29 points and was named All-State Honorable Mention Division.
“Danny is one of the most technically-skilled players that I’ve coached,” said Muczynski. “He came through in the clutch for us so many times, especially in the state tournament. “He has great field vision, which allows him to find the open teammates. He also is great on restarts. He is also the type of kid that everyone likes to have on your team. He’s a vocal leader, a funny kid and a very good soccer player.”
NICK SOBZYNSKI, Rochester Stoney Creek: The senior earned multiple postseason honors this season, including All-State Third Team status in Division 1 after holding down the center of the midfield for the Cougars.
DYLAN KNOTT, Rochester Adams: Ranked amongst the state’s top 25 players, Knott is a Division I recruit who excels as both a set-up man or goal-scorer. Considered the top field player in the OAA Red Division, Knott earned All-State First Team honors in Division 1 this season after earning second-team as a junior and third-team as a sophomore. He finished the season with 10 goals and six assists.
“Dylan is a masterful 1-v-1 artist. He is faster than most players in any game,” said coach Josh Hickey. “Adding to that attribute to very quick feet and masterful ball control, even at full speed, makes him one of the most dangerous players in the OAA. His ability to beat players on the wing to gain the line became almost a trademark move. He is also a true and natural captain and team leader in every sense of the word.”
ZACHARY DOEPKE, Troy: Holding down the central midfield position for the Colts, Doepke wasn’t flashy but the type of player that rarely made mistakes. Although he finished with just four goals and two assists, Doepke was a fine defensive player who was quick to get the Colts moving on the offensive side of the field as well. The two-year starter earned All-State Second Team honors.
“Zac was the engine that made our team go,” said Zawislak. “He really worked at controlling the tempo of the game and he led by example. His presence just seemed to calm the other players down on the field, and that’s what good players do, they make the other players around them better.”
DREW PERRIN, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian: This four-year starter and three-sport athlete was a team leader in every sense of the word. Also a point guard in basketball and a four-event state qualifier in track and field, Perrin was the vocal and on and off-the-field leader for the Lancers, who won at least a district championship in each of his four years and also reached the Division 4 Final Four for the seventh time in school history. He finished the year with 10 goals and four assists for 24 points, most coming when he was pushed up into the offensive third of restarts. He was All-District all four years and All-State First Team each of the past two years.
“We played in 25 games this year and as a team we let in 22 goals. We had a very young team and the anchor as our sweeper,” said coach Caleb Combs. “He was one of our team captains in every way.”
WES RUSS, Auburn Hills Avondale: The sole senior in Avondale’s backline, Russ was the veteran anchor and leader for a team that recorded many upsets throughout season. Russ only made All-OAA White Division and All-district but was an invaluable piece to the puzzle for a team that captured its first state title in its first-ever appearance in a Final Four.
“Wes is one of the best one-v-one defenders that I’ve ever coached, but he was more than just a great defensive player,” said Muczynski. “We moved some people around this year and he had a junior, sophomore and a freshman playing next to him on defense, plus a sophomore goalkeeper. He had a difficult job and he did a great job for us.”
DAVID EICHER, Troy: A steady force in the backfield, Eicher was one of the reasons why the Colts were one of the tough teams to score upon across the state this season and a true unsung hero, serving as the sole senior in Troy’s talented back line. The Colts gave up only 13 goals all season, pitched 15 total shutouts, finished 20-3-1 and only gave up more than two goals in a game twice all season. Troy spent a month ranked No. 1 in the state and never dipped below sixth in the state rankings and its bread-and-butter was organized defensive play and goalkeeping.
SANDY MOUCH, Troy Athens: With A coaching switch last summer, Mouch was one of the many players that played a different role this season and the two-year captain was shifted into more of a defensive position, either as a stopper or midfielder. He collected three goals and four assists. Named to the All-District and All-OAA Red Division teams, Mouch provided three goals and four assists and was a huge part of his team surrendering less than a goal a game.”
“Sandy was a very experienced varsity player and we asked him to do some different things this year to help our team, as we graduated our entire back line and goalkeeper from last season and he was one of the players that helped us defensively,” said Heugh. “Sandy was usually on the defensive side of the ball as a defensive midfielder. He was capable of moving up into the attack if we needed him to.”
CAMERON CRAIG, Ortonville Brandon: The senior midfielder more than held in own in the center of the filed for Blackhawks. Displaying fine field vision with the ability to be both a playmaker or goal scorer, Craig finished with eight goals and 16 assists this season. Carrying a 3.8 GPA, the team captain earned All-Flint Metro League First Team and Division 2 All-State Second Team honors.
“Cameron has been our best player for the past three years,” said coach Phil Kimmel. “He controlled the midfield in most games that we played this year. He makes the players around him better.”
ALEX SERWATKA, Troy Athens: A Division I recruit, Serwatka was a key cog in his team’s long postseason run and runner-up finish in the OAA-Red this season. Although he collected only three goals and eight assists for 14 points, Serwatka was a cerebral-type player who generally made the right decision with the ball, regardless of where he was positioned on the field. He earned All-State Honorable Mention honors in Division 1 in his senior season.
“Alex was another player that played four years of varsity and he played a little different role for us than in the past,” said Heugh. “He was dangerous wherever we played him on field. He could get involved in the offensive (attack) or we could hang him back as more of a defensive midfielder. He did a ton of the dirty work defensively for us. He also was a key part of our attack, as he was great on the dribble and a good passer.”
RYAN ST.JOHN, Holly: A two-year starter, St. John set multiple school records for single-game, season and career between the pipes and was one of the state’s better goalkeepers, earning All-State Honorable Mention status in Division 2 this season. An agile, 6-foot-2 presence in goal, St. John rarely gave up more than one goal in a game for the 7-5-7 Bronchos. He allowed only 10 goals all season in 19 games and posted a sterling .917 save percentage and a 0.55 goals-against-average.
MATT SMOLINSKI, Troy: Named the state’s top goalkeeper, Smolinski had a fine season as a junior earning All-State First Team Division 1 and All-State Dream Team honors. Helping the colts reach the Final Four, Smolinski finished with 15 shutouts and just seven goals in 20 games of work.
“Matt made things so frustrating for other teams because he catches everything and he catches it at its highest point,” said Zawislak. As a result, he really commands his box. is one-v-one skills is where he really developed this season was in his communication with his backline. Consequently he gave up only seven goals in 20 games.”
COACH OF THE YEAR
DAVID MUCZYNSKI, Auburn Hills Avondale: Muczynki took over the Yellowjackets’ program in 1993 and has fielded many quality squads. But none can compare to this year’s unit, which came together for the school’s first regional and state championship in Division 2.
Avondale fished 18-5-2, second most wins in school history, and finished second in the OAA White Division after a slow start to the season. Avondale fell out of the state’s top 10 in mid-September and did not return until winning the state championship.
“I think what separated this group from any other that I have coached is that they really emphasized the team theme more than any other,” said Muczynski. “They get along great on and off the field, and they put aside personal goals and stats to help us win the state title. They do everything together. Even a month after the season, they were still getting together. There was a special bond between them.”
2011 ALL-NORTH OAKLAND AREA BOYS SOCCER TEAM
Jason Leslie Troy Senior
Sunny Shettigar Troy Athens Senior
Connor Bright Clarkston Junior
Nathan Chapman A.H. Avondale Senior
Danny Swanson A.H. Avondale Senior
Nick Sobzynski Roch. Stoney Creek Senior
Dylan Knott Rochester Adams Senior
Zach Doepke Troy Senior
Drew Perrin A.H. Oakland Chr. Senior
Wes Russ A.H. Avondale Senior
Sandy Mouch Troy Athens Senior
David Eicher Troy Senior
Alex Serwatka Troy Athens Senior
Cameron Craig Ortonville Brandon Senior
Ryan St. John Holly Senior
Matt Smolinski Troy Senior
COACH OF THE YEAR
David Muczynski A.H.Avondale 18
Forwards: Joe Davison, Auburn Hills Avondale sr.; Max Klitzke, Troy Athens jr.; Jacob Sims, Lake Orion sr.; Alex Tzonev, Rochester Adams jr.
Midfielders: Spiro Pliakos, Rochester soph.; A.J. Kalina, Troy sr.; Matt Dombrowski, Troy Athens jr.; Chris Polite, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian jr.; Erik Koberstein, Auburn Hills Avondale jr.
Defensemen: Christian Woodfin, Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest sr.; Peter Dondanville, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep sr.; Alex Junti, Oxford sr.; Michael Kitchner, Oxford sr.
At-Large: Jesse Montgomery, Rochester Hills Christian soph.; Michael Bowyer, Rochester sr.
Goalkeepers: Sam Ward, Troy Athens sr.; Ben Richter, Auburn Hills Avondale soph.
Auburn Hills Avondale: Garrett Ritterhaus, jr. D; Skylar Russ, jr. M; Auburn Hills Oakland Christian: Luke Combs, sr. G; Brandon Delekta, sr. F; Daniel Smith, soph. M; Clarkston: Spencer Pawlik, sr. D; Nick Dahl, sr. D; Jordan Kleft, jr. M; Clarkston Everest Collegiate-Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes Unified: Steven Scott, soph. G; Ben Marcial, sr. D; Clarkston Springfield Christian: Isiah Peter, fr. D; Nathan Penley, sr. D/M; Holly: Eric Micallef, sr. M; Joe Budd, sr. D; Sam Caldwell, sr. F; Gerry Andrews, sr. M; Hunter Hooper, sr. D; Lake Orion: Greg Thelen, jr. G; Adam Lee, sr. D; Justin Anderson, jr. M; Angel Herrera, sr. M; Danny Wells, sr. D; Lake Orion Baptist: Elijah Cone, sr. G; Ben Case, jr. F; Mark Dewar, soph. M/D; Jason Noruk, soph. D; Ortonville Brandon: Ben Stowers, sr. M; Isaac Scherer, sr. M; Nick Poli, sr. D; Bruce Bayley, sr. M/F; Ryan King, sr. G; Oxford: Ben Magdelano, sr. M; Tyler Mayes, jr. M; Marco Bonfiglio, sr. F; Pontiac Notre Dame Prep: Charlie Felker, sr. M; Ruari McGreevey, sr. M; Jacob Pusheck, sr. D; Ryan Pierce, sr. M; Mike Baenzer, sr. D; Rochester: Evan Asuncion, soph. F; Matt Hawes, jr. G; Sean O’Malley, sr. D; Neil Harris, sr. D; Alex Thaden, sr. D; Rochester Adams: Ryan Ciesel, sr. M; Spencer Ward, fr. G; Brandon Sloan, jr. D; Austin Knoll, soph. M; Patrick Spike, soph. M; Rochester Stoney Creek: Benjamin Suhajda, jr. D; Ryan Taylor, sr. D; William Kobus, sr. M; Scott Alampi, jr. M; Rochester Hills Christian: Nathan Simon, sr. M; Jared Brown, soph. M/G; Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest: Stephen Ennis, soph. D; Evan Liekins, sr. G; Chris Tunis, sr. D; Troy: Allan Wang, soph. D; Ian Fox, jr. F; Luke Ridenour, jr. D; Troy Athens: Tim Frieman, sr. D; Troy Bethany Christian: Bret Hayhurst, jr. D; Tim Crisan, jr. M; Tyler Parsons, sr. F; Noah Francis, jr. F; Ajay Solomon, sr. G; Ryan Woodham, jr. M; Daniel Sprankle, sr. M; Mark Bishop, sr. D.
To submit information to www.northoaklandsports.com, e-mail email@example.com. To advertise, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow us on Twitter @LocalSportsFans and more than a dozen other social media networks.
FOR MORE SOCCER COVERAGE: http://northoaklandsports.com/?s=soccer&x=0&y=0
PRESEASON TEAM CAPSULES: http://northoaklandsports.com/2011/09/04/boys-soccer-team-capsules/
* Have photos or video of this event that you wish to share? E-mail pertinent information to www.northoaklandsports.com Senior Editor Dan Stickradt at email@example.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Category: All Area Teams, Auburn Hills Avondale, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian, Clarkston, Clarkston Everest Catholic, Clarkston Springfield Christian, Featured Articles, High School, High School (M-Z), Holly, Lake Orion, Lake Orion Baptist, Lake Orion Shalom Baptist, Most Recently Updated Stories, Ortonville Brandon, Oxford, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Prep Wraps, Rochester, Rochester Adams, Rochester Hills Christian, Rochester Hills Lutheran NW, Rochester Stoney Creek, Top Stories, Troy, Troy Athens, Troy Bethany Christian, Uncategorized, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes