Fennville soccer falls short in district title match

Leo Martonosi

Several members of the Fennville boys’ soccer team left the field with tears in their eyes after dropping a Division 3 district championship game to Holland Christian by a 2-0 score on Thursday, Oct. 17.
But that defeat did nothing to diminish the pride felt by Fennville coach Kyle Nevenzel for his players.
“I couldn’t be prouder of this team,” said Kyle Nevenzel several minutes after the state-power Maroons were given all they could handle and more by the Blackhawks.
The district title would have been the first for Fennville, which was locked in a scoreless battle with Holland Christian until the Maroons broke through with two goals in the final six minutes of play.
“To come this close to winning our first district against a school two or three times bigger than us and a lot more experienced than us says a lot about this team and its players,” said Fennville senior goalie Andy Estrada.
It was difficult on Estrada and his teammates to lose a game they felt they had opportunities to win.
“That’s what makes losing tonight so hard,” Estrada said.
Estrada, one of nine seniors on Fennville’s talented roster, won a record 18 of 20 games in goal this season.
“We had a great year, but no one likes to lose their last game after having such a successful season,” Nevenzel said. “However, it’s no disgrace to lose to a team like Holland Christian, which has a lot of tradition.”
Holland Christian athletic director Dave Engbers was impressed with the way Fennville played from the opening play to the final buzzer.
“That’s a very good team which probably doesn’t get enough credit for having such a good team,” Engbers said. ‘Some of that might be because of (smaller) league they play in and location.”
Nevenzel admitted the SAC doesn’t have the strong tradition of the OK Green Conference, the league of which Holland Christian is a member.
“We haven’t been around as long as the OK Conference, but some people are starting to notice us,” Nevenzel said.
Holland Christian, 17-0-2 for the season, tallied two late goals by Josiah Holiday and Brandon Walters to hold off Fennville (18-2).
Senior joining Estrada in playing their final game for the Blackhawks were Jesus Beach, Alfredo Bedolla, Oscar Garcia, Omar Diaz, Parker Machan, David Salinas-Peralta, Gustavo Neave-Espino, and Ervin Pineda.


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