Family on the field

Varsity Men’s Soccer Team makes it to State Finals for the first time since 2018


Photo courtesy of Rykken Vivekanand ‘26

DODGING THE DEFENDER Tom Lucas ‘23 and Adrian Bardwell ‘23 guard their goal as Jay Vijan ‘23 knocks the ball away.

Devyn Mcgow '23, Associate Editor, Design

Snapping a four-year drought, the men’s varsity soccer team made it to the MHSAA Division 4 State Championship game for the first time since 2018. The team lost 1-0 to Muskegon Western Michigan Christian off of a goal scored on a free kick with only 14 minutes left in the game. 

“It was tough, but at the end of the day, you can’t be too mad given how far we actually made it. It’s bittersweet, but it was nice to go that far in the first place,” said team captain Tom Lucas ‘23. 

Even though the team made it all the way to the state finals, it was still a disappointing loss. 

“We had better stats in terms of shots, but they definitely had more possession,” said team captain Jay Vijan ‘23. “We definitely had a good chance, so I was sad when we lost.”

On Oct. 27, the team won the Division 4 regional title, an accomplishment that they had been working towards throughout their season, by defeating Lansing Christian with a score of 1-0. 

“Coming into the year we had high expectations and high hopes, but it’s different to actually go out and do it,” said Lucas. “To go out and win the regional finals, was the most excited I’ve been in a while, it just felt great.”

However, what seemed to stand out the most to the team was the bond they formed this year. 

“It was a really special year and a really special feeling,” said Vijan. 

Vijan has been on the team all four years and said this year the team’s chemistry was unique compared to prior years. 

“The celebrations after the games, and whenever we scored, were unlike anything in any other year,” said Vijan. “I’m really going to miss it.” 

Another defining aspect of the team is their cheer. Instead of using one with the school’s name, the team chants “Family,” before stepping onto the field each game. 

“I don’t remember how it started,” said Lucas, “I mean it rolls off the tongue a lot nicer than Greenhills, obviously, but somebody said it one time and it just felt right.”

For many of the seniors, the team truly became a second family to them. 

“It was so much fun,” said team captain Adrian Bardwell ‘23. “This year we really felt like a unit and a family together and I can’t think of a better way to end my soccer career.”

The seniors aren’t the only ones who think of the team as a family. Players from other grades quickly caught on to how special their team is. 

“This team was really close.  If there was a word that is closer than family, that would have been this team,” said Lachlan Rae ‘24. “I’m just super proud of the boys.”

Etienne Rouillard ‘25 stepped in as the team’s goalie last year right before the playoffs when the starting goalie, Cale Piedmonte-Lang ‘22, suffered a concussion. 

“It was a lot of pressure playing in the regional semi-finals last year,” said Rouillard. “I’m happy we had more time to play this year. I got a lot more time on the field and I feel really good having that experience going into my third year.”

As a current sophomore, Rouillard still has two years left on the team, and he plans to make them count. 

“This year the seniors really worked to integrate everyone on the team. Being together and spending time together really helped create that dynamic that helped us go that far,” said Rouillard. “Obviously, I hope to win states next year, but I also want to use my leadership position as a junior to build another tight-knit team and help everyone be the best they can be.” 

The team ended their season knowing they had made it to the last possible game they could have played, and made personal connections that will last for a while. 

“My advice for the next captains is to set good examples, especially for the younger kids. Try to get the team to bond, go out to eat, and hang out together,” said team captain Pranay Shah ‘23. “This team is something really special.”


FAMILY FOREVER The team lines up at the beginning of the state final game.“It’s [been] a ride. Enjoy it the whole time,” said Tom Lucas ‘23. (Photo courtesy of Rykken Vivekanand ’26)