WMC Warriors place five on first-team all-state soccer team

By Ron Rop


Western Michigan Christian Warriors reaped plenty of post-season awards after winning their second straight Division 4 state soccer championship.

Coach Ben Buursma's team garnered five first-team honorees after a season that ended with a 21-2-3 record and a 3-0 victory over Madison Heights Bishop Foley in the title game.

Junior goalkeeper Dan Minasian, junior defender Ben Visser, junior midfielder Cole DeJonge, senior midfielder/forward Charlie Buursma and senior midfielder Ben Pollock all earned first-team honors.

Minasian made 27 starts in goal, allowed 17 goals and posted 16 shutouts. Five of those shutouts came in the six tournament games.

"Dan has very quick reactions and excels at close-range shot blocking," Buursma said of his first-year starter. "Dan performed better than we could have expected and he's getting better every game."

Visser made 15 starts and had two goals and one assist from his defensive position.

"He's got an uncanny knack for lulling the opposing players into small mistakes with the ball, swiping it and starting an attack," Buursma said. "He's probably going to play in the midfield next year as his vision and passing are among the best on the team."

Visser missed eight games due to a foot injury.

DeJonge finished the season with eight goals and 23 assists as the Warriors' top playmaker.

"Cole has been pivotal to our central midfield for three years, playing both the center defensive midfield and center attacking midfield," Buursma said. "He is a fantastic ball winner and distributor."

Buursma, the coach's son, started every game and finished with 18 goals and 15 assists. For his career, he scored 36 goals and dished out 36 assists.

"Charlie had a fantastic career at WMC," said Ben Buursma. "He's been a Top 5 player in the program since his freshman year and he has steadily grown his contribution to the team in each of his four years."

Pollock finished the season with 16 goals and 15 assists after transferring to WMC from Fruitport Calvary Christian.

"He fit right in and helped the team achieve its full potential," Buursma said. "Whether we deployed him in the midfield or at forward, he's constantly on the ball and has an endless engine. He's been the addition to the squad that we didn't realize we needed."



Second Team
Arturo Romero-Serrano, Oakridge, Sr., forward

Honorable Mention
Corbin Russell, Orchard View, Sr., forward


First Team
Dan Minasian, Western Michigan Christian, Jr., goalkeeper
Ben Visser, Western Michigan Christian, Jr., defender
Cole DeJonge, Western Michigan Christian, Jr., midfielder
Charlie Buursma, Western Michigan Christian, Sr., forward/midfield
Ben Pollock, Western Michigan Christian, Sr., midfielder

Second Team
Zach Mallon, North Muskegon, Sr., defender
Tekalegn Vlasma, Western Michigan Christian, Jr. forward

Third Team
Chase Zizak, North Muskegon, Sr., goalkeeper
Jack Bahorski, North Muskegon, Jr. defender

Honorable Mention
Daniel Mares, Ravenna, Jr., midfielder
Lucas Dick, Western Michigan Christian, Sr., forward
Jake Hwang, Western Michigan Christian, Sr., midfield


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