Area talent fills Soccer Coaches Association All-State teams

LANSING – Northern Michigan high school football doesn’t have to prove itself to the rest of the state of Michigan.

The respect earned on the field has come from years of intense post-season runs by the likes of Petoskey, Traverse City West, Elk Rapids and others.

Behind these runs, the talent has shown, although 2021 is no different.

When the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association released the National Team Collection, this year’s talent was more than well represented across all divisions, with the Northmen in particular deserving their respect.

Petoskey's Dylan Aldridge has had many moments to celebrate this season and he recently won another one with all state awards.

From Petoskey’s 2021 team, four first-team players have made the division 2 list, led by senior Dylan Aldridge, who deserves first-team.

Aldridge was joined by junior keeper Jackson Jonker and senior midfielder Owen Ashley, who won the third team, and Marek Beckering, who was honored as a defender.

Aldridge led the team with 27 goals and 11 assists, Ashley led with 14 assists and added six goals, and both Jonker and Beckering helped a defensive unit that rarely looked good on their opponents this season.

Within Division 3, Boyne City received three state awards, led by Nic Santina as a senior goalkeeper and Joel Carter as a senior midfielder. Senior Derek Word was also featured as a Ramblers striker.

Santina scored 12 goals and returned to the net in his final season, adding 11 shutouts and 85 saves.

Boyne City's Derek Word had a great season and career with All-State.

Carter played almost every minute on the field for Boyne that season, scoring three goals and three assists, while Word scored 10 goals and four assists for the Ramblers, second on the team.

The last area athlete to receive recognition did so from Division 4 at Harbor Springs’ Evan Schwab.

While a young Rams team was still gaining experience this season, Schwab closed his last season with a team high of 17 goals and 11 assists, but was also absent for a long time due to injury.

Also from Northern Michigan in Division 1, Colin Blackport was placed on the first team for TC West, Josh Hirschenberger of West was placed on the second team and Caleb Nowak of West was third team.

From Elk Rapids, seven members of the roster made the state lists, including: Jack Spencer (1st), Spencer Ball (1st), Mason Travis (1st), Nolan Carroll (2nd), Jared Barcenas (HM), Charlie Parrish (HM) and Emery Rubert (HM).

Traverse City Christian’s Seth LaPoine also finished second in Division 3, as did his teammate Henry Reineck.

In Division 4, Gabe Trujillo and Luke Noorman each received an honorable mention.

Contact sports editor Drew Kochanny at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter, @DrewKochanny and Instagram, @drewkochanny

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