Incredible Feat Or Poor Sportsmanship? Michigan Soccer Record Starts Debate
A new national soccer record for scoring the most goals in a high school game has been broken by a Michigan athlete, but the opposing coach has issues with it.
High school star soccer player Kevin Hubbell, of Benzie Central in Michigan, scored 16 goals against Kingsley on September 29. The game was declared over at halftime — a 17-0 wipeout of a winless team.
That’s why some people are upset.
“To go after a personal record like that at the cost of another team’s dignity was a little uncalled for,” Kingsley coach Tim VanWingerden told the Associated Press. “Soccer is not the right place for that. Soccer is a gentleman’s sport.”
Hubbell easily broke the Michigan high school record of 10 goals in a game set by Karl Trost of Cheboygan in 2003. He also set a national record, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.
But here's a little back story, Hubbell, although very talented, almost didn't play this season because Benzie didn't have enough players to field a team. So Hubbell went and recruited more schoolmates to join the team so he could paly his senior season.
Kingsley also had a tough time fielding team, and the constant battering they've taken this 0-11 season has demoralized his players, says VanWingerden.
“They’re tired. They’ve gotten the crap kicked out of them,” he said. “These kids keep showing up every day and working every day — even with people laughing in their faces. They’ve earned the right to represent their school with pride, regardless of how good they are.”
Hubbell and Benzie Central coach Chris Batchelder knew the records were possible and discussed them during the game. “We are in a society where negative speaks before positive,” Batchelder said. “I knew everyone wouldn’t agree when he broke the record. I knew there’d be some people upset with it.”
For the record, Trost, the previous record holder, also caught crap for putting ten up in a 20-0 rout of his opponent.
Can I enter the discussion here? I have played on teams that fit both sides of this argument, and there's lessons to be learned on either side of the ball.
Losing constantly made me learn that no matter what the odds are against you, you have to suit up and give it your best shot regardless. Slowly, you get a little tougher, a little better.
And winning big every game makes you learn a little humility and compassion. Understanding that the other team is out there trying the best they can against terrible odds needs to be respected. Maybe Kevin could have stopped at 11?
That being said, shenanigans should always be countered with more shenanigans.
The moment they figure out Kevin was gonna keep scoring after securing the record, I'd have put ten dudes on him. Turn about is fair play.
In the end, it's just high school soccer, so let's all lighten up a little.
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