Berkley Boys Soccer Goes to Regional Finals

Despite COVID restrictions, Berkley Boys Soccer still manages to thrive during their season.

Soccer squad celebrates after winning District Finals. (Chuck Anderson)

As we all know, Covid-19 has impacted nearly everything in 2020, especially sports. Although professional sports leagues have the access and resources to create a safe and playable environment throughout the pandemic, high school sports programs don’t have that same luxury. The Berkley boys’ varsity soccer team was anticipating a season of major success and growth within the team. Unfortunately, in August when the season was set to kick-off, the MHSAA released a statement announcing that the season would be pushed back another three weeks. At this point, members of the team were still optimistic that the season would happen but knew that there was a possibility of cancellation. Fortunately, three weeks later, the season began on Aug. 22, when the Bears defeated Lake Orion 4-0 in their season opener. 

The team wasted no time getting straight to business, as they were determined to come out hot in what was believed to have the potential to be one of the best seasons in recent years. However, the first four games didn’t go how they wanted, as they fell to a 1-1-2 start to begin the season. This slow start only put more fuel to the fire for the team going forward. Playing in fear of having the season canceled, there was no room for error. In the next seven games, they showed everyone what they were all about and went 6-0-1 in a huge stretch for the team. They finished the season with an 8-3-4 record and couldn’t have been more ready for Districts.

The squad marched to the district finals where they took on Livonia Franklin to take home the title. Despite all the adversity they went through, they managed to make it to the Regional semi-finals to take on the talented Grosse Pointe South team. It was a very tough fight all the way through, but they pulled out the 1-0 victory to advance to their first regional final in a few years, where they would face the Detroit Catholic Central. They started the game hot, and senior superstar Jacob Schleicher poked one in to take a commanding 1-0 lead in the first minutes. Unfortunately, one goal would not be enough to defeat CC, as they would tie it up at the half, and later score two goals, and the final score would be 3-1, in favor of Catholic Central. Despite the loss, the Bears had an amazing season and exceeded expectations. 

I think COVID made us work even harder … every one of us practiced and played like it was our last time because we were always aware of the season possibly being canceled.

— Mico Rubio

“I think Covid made us work even harder and having some out of preseason training and activities canceled when we were finally cleared to play, every one of us practiced and played like it was our last time because we were always aware of the season possibly being canceled,” said four-year varsity starter, Mico Rubio. 

With all of the unexpected restrictions, it was not the same type of season, but despite the circumstances, it’s safe to say that they made the most out of it in a historical soccer season.