Plainwell gets defensive against Hamilton in district final

Jason Wesseldyk

The start of the season brought with it some uncertainty for Plainwell boys’ soccer coach Garry Snyder on the defensive side of the ball.
“We started the year not knowing what we were going to do for our goalkeeper and not really knowing what to do in the back,” said Snyder, who lost All-Conference keeper Grant Pettit and two of his three starting defenders to graduation. “We had a lot of question marks.”
Those questions have been answered.
New keeper Bryce Ernstes teamed with defenders Alan Schulz, Jack Hyames and Logan Lucas to help the Trojans secure their ninth shutout of the season in a 5-0 win over Hamilton in a Division 2 district final on Saturday, Oct. 24.
The district title is the second in a row for Plainwell (18-5).
“Bryce has been great for us in goal,” Snyder said. “He expected to play defense, but we really needed someone to take over from Grant, and Bryce’s athleticism and length really make him tough in there. And the guys in front of him have done a great job as well.
“Really, the whole team has been gelling the past three or four weeks. We started kind of slow, but we’ve really picked it up as the season went on.”
With the defensive end of the field well-manned, Ben Wagner and Luke Morrell spearheaded the effort on the offensive end.
Wagner and Morrell each scored twice, including once each in the opening half as the Trojans took a 2-0 lead to halftime.
Luc Almeda assisted on both first-half goals.
“Wagner still leads us in goals with 22, but we’re much more diversified of an offense than we were last season,” Snyder said. “Morrell has 13, Braveheart (Tyler Gayheart) has 11, Ethan Green has several and many of our midfielders have scored.

For full story, pick up a copy of the October 29 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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