BRETHREN – The Bobcats ‘record in girls’ football may not have been pretty this spring, but brothers Krystal Magee coach couldn’t be more excited about what she saw of her girls.
One thing that stood out was all of the new players who improved, played hard, and improved over the course of the year.
“The enthusiasm they had and how much they learned was incredible,” said Magee. “Yes, the wins and losses look very unbalanced and not right, but what our girls learned about sport, about each other and working with others was much more valuable than any win.”
Four girls stood out among the team’s players and took home the postseason honors.
Paige Gutowski and Abigail Kissling both finished the entire district this year, while the Northwest Michigan Soccer League honored Meridee Gutowski and Kara “Morgan” Smith as conference-only players.
The Bobcats MVP award went to Paige Gutowski, who was a weapon in the striker but could also step up in any situation her coach asked of her.
“Paige was the player who wherever I put her knew what to do and she did a good job,” said Magee. “She was my handyman in all positions because the only position she didn’t play is goal. No matter where she was on the pitch, she did her job, and that’s what many coaches said at the district coaches meeting, realizing her aggressiveness and her ability to get the ball across the field and pass it on. “
Magee added that Gutowski displayed tremendous sportsmanship and leadership skills, even though he was just a freshman.
Paige wasn’t the only one showing these qualities, as Magee saw many of the same traits in her older sister, Meridee, who was on the team for sophomore year.
“Meridee was our goalkeeper for the first quarter of our games until Morgan Smith came on and took that position,” said Magee. “We were a defending team this year. We had a few chances of scoring, but we always played defensive in the post phase. Meridee had a lot to save on goal and she took it like a champion. She was a she another who tried to lead the team on and off the field. “
Smith, who took the goal for Meridee, was one of the Bobcats’ few seasoned players and her ability to fill the goalkeeping position made the team better, which earned her Honorable Mention at all conferences.
“When she took over Meridee in goal, she rocked it,” said Magee. “Morgan was a strong defensive player, but she was an even better keeper, which allowed me to pull Meridee out and use her on my front, which gave us more opportunities to get the ball on the field. Much like Meridee, she has Took a lot of effort on this goal and made a lot of good saves and was really good at communicating with the girls. “
Of course, the team would not be complete without its goalscorer.
Kissling used her natural speed and Paige’s pass to score all the Bobcats goals in the spring and, along with the other young players on the team, promises a bright future for Brethren girls’ football.
“Abby’s speed is hard to keep up,” said Magee. “As a freshman and first-time footballer, there is a lot of room for growth. The same goes for Paige, who is also a freshman. Showing those skills as a freshman and getting other coaches in the league and district noticed shows that there is a lot of room to grow We are excited to see where the two young women are going. “