Buckley Looks to Duplicate Hardwood Success on the Pitch

BUCKLEY – After leading the Buckley boys basketball team to a Class D state runner-up finish this past winter, the Class of 2018 is looking to duplicate that success on the soccer field.

Ranked eighth in the latest Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association Division 4 state poll, the Bears (16-1-3) finished runner-up in the Northwest Conference standings to five-time champion and second-ranked Leland.

The Bears opened district play with a 3-0 win over McBain Northern Michigan Christian on Monday, and are seeing that success on the hardwood translate to the pitch.

“Especially those guys that have played basketball and soccer together, they’re just great competitors,” coach John Vermilya said. “They have sixth sense, they know where each other are going to be on the field, they know how to motivate each other.”

Buckley captured a district title a year ago before falling to eventual Division 4 state runner-up Muskegon Catholic Central in a regional semifinal.

“The biggest thing is chemistry,” senior Austin Harris said. “Playing with each other throughout, we’ve been playing with each other since third grade, and, you know, same sports, everything just builds a lot of chemistry.”

Buckley welcomes in Pine River for a district semifinal at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The winner will face either Walkerville or Pentwater for the district title Friday evening.

Categories: Boys Soccer