Experienced men’s soccer team Alpena High hopes to unleash its full potential this season | News, sports, jobs

Photo Courtesy The 2022 Alpena High Men’s Soccer Team includes: Back row: Coach Tim Storch, Carson Namojwicz, Sam Cook, Austin Townsend, Jack Cook, Cam Young, Julian Stevens and Chase Schiller; Forward: Bennett VanDuinen, Gabe Glowe, Jacob Beaubien, Preston Schuldt, Michael Herrmann, Garrett Hamp, Myles Williams and Wesley Decker. Jared Johnson, Kaleb Worth, Jack Supiran and Keller Skiba are not pictured.

ALPENA – The men’s football team Alpena High showed signs of its potential early in the season.

Now longtime head coach Tim Storch is hoping the Wildcats can unleash their full potential as the season progresses, particularly in conference games.

“We have a lot of returning players, we formed five veterans last year… that also means we have a lot of players who played as starters or great minutes who are coming back,” Storch said. “I like the composition of our team. I wish we were a little tougher. I would like us to work a little bit, but we have some technical skill and I think we are dangerous in the flow of the game and also in restarts.”

Alpena got off to a “decent start” according to Storch and is 5-3-1 in his first nine games and 2-1 in the Big North Conference game. Despite a frustrating loss to Petoskey last week, Alpena looks strong in the BNC game, scoring wins over Traverse City Central and Gaylord at home.

If the strong performances in league games continue, Storch hopes his team can finish in the top half of the BNC standings when all is said and done.

“I think we can be a real factor in the Big North Conference. Obviously, (Traverse City) West won the league for 12 years straight and that’s probably not going to change. It’s them and then everyone else, so we’re waiting to see how this plays out,” Storch said. “We hope to be in the mix with Petoskey and certainly ahead of Gaylord, Cadillac and Traverse City Central.”

Among the players on Alpena’s 2022 roster are seven veterans and three juniors. Up front, Alpena has already shown its versatility as four different Wildcats have at least three goals and seniors Gabe Glawe, Jacob Beaubien, Chase Schiller, Austin Townsend and Jack Cook are among those scoring goals.

In midfield, Storch was pleased with the performance of junior Bennett VanDuinen as well as sophomore Garrett Hamp. Veteran Wesley Decker will see time this season in midfield and Jack Cook, Townsend, sophomores Kaleb Werth, Jack Supiran and Keller Skiba and junior Myles Williams will also be in the mix.

On defense, Alpena returns veteran Cam Young, who missed last season, as well as Decker, Sam Cook, Julian Stevens and Schiller. Sophomores Jared Johnson and Carson Namojwicz will also see some backfield time.

At the net, both junior Michael Herrmann and Preston Schuldt shared time and both played well.

Storch knows his team still has room to improve, but with the experience the Wildcats have, he’s hoping his on-field play will lead to the results he knows they can produce.

“We’re in that mix and we want to make sure we’re a factor in the league and if we’re a factor in the league, that will put us in second or third place,” Storch said.

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