Following a thrilling double overtime 5-4 win at West Catholic on Monday October 11, and a dominating 5-0 win on Thursday October 14 at Sparta, the Red Hawks boys varsity soccer team are first time champions of the OK Blue Conference with an overall record of 16-2 and a conference record of 11-1. On Monday, a fired up West Catholic team was a challenge for the Red Hawks. A 4-4 tying Red Hawk goal was scored at the 1:34 mark of regulation time. This opportunity was created when Zach Hawkins attempted to head the ball into the net, the Falcon goalie blocked the ball but lost control, allowing Mikko Jarviniemi to knock in this critical goal. The dramatic final winning goal came with only 47 seconds remaining in the second 10 minute overtime. The goal was credited to Ryan Austin who slammed home a loose ball caused by a sliding Robert Klein in front of the Falcons net. Additional Red Hawks goals were scored in the first half by Mikko Jarviniemi with an assist from Robert Klein(12:23). Second half goals came from Klein (assist Kyle Szirovecz 26:41). Jarviniemi (assist Jake Holtrop 6:51). The win at Sparta was exemplified by total team play of both the offense and defense. One fan stated, “no matter where the ball was there was a Red Hawk.” Kyle Szirovecz started the scoring for the Red Hawks (assist Z. Hawkins). This was followed by second half goals from Szirovecz (assist Hawkins 36:34), Jake Rickner (assist Hawkins), Ryan Austin (assists Z. Hawkins and M. Jarviniemi 24:02) and Bo Cook (assist Aaron Dault 10:20). Coach Avink excitedly commented, “We finished out our regular season very well! I’m very proud of the team! The guys really wanted it this year and we made history, but we’re not done yet. Hopefully we play hard and do well in our districts this week!”
After the Sparta game, the team was honored with an escorted motorcade through Cedar Springs, followed by a jubilant rally of players, parents and fans at the high school. Congratulations to this talented team and Coach Avink for a great season and for claiming this championship title!