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Area soccer coaches team up to create postseason all-star game, June 19

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By Greg Chrapek | Advance Newspapers
on June 09, 2017 5:05 AM, updated June 09, 2017 5:15 AM

GRAND RAPIDS – Come the middle of June, shortly after school lets out, a variety of high school sports celebrate the past school year with various all-star games.

For years, baseball, softball, and basketball have put on various all-star games, and last June saw the debut of the Addix All-Star Football Game.

One of the most popular spring sports, girls soccer, has been left out of the all-star game mix. That is, until this year.

Thanks to the efforts of Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg girls varsity coach Joel Strickland and South Christian girls varsity coach Brian Broekhuizen, a new charity all-star soccer match is schedule to debut Monday, June 19.

The match will take place at the Aquinas College soccer field at 7:30 p.m., and will feature graduated seniors from the OK Red Conference taking on graduated seniors from the OK Gold Conference.

Along with showcasing area soccer players, the charity match will also raise funds to benefit former Aquinas College and long-time area youth soccer coach Rodger Garner, who is battling cancer. Proceeds from the game will be donated to Coach Garner for his cancer treatments and/or treatment facility.

“I love the fact that we get to see some of the great West Michigan talent going up against each other for a great cause,” Strickland said. “We talked about this idea a year ago, and this year I felt like we had to make it happen. It has been cool to see all the other coaches from the Gold and Red come together for Rodger, and I am excited for these girls to showcase their talent.”

A girls soccer all-star game has been long overdue, as area soccer talent rivals any region in the state.

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