Senior Ben Taylor’s slithery goal leads the way for the boys varsity soccer team in FHC’s first district title in six years


The ball went straight to senior Ben Taylor; he was not expecting it. Although he panicked,  he shot the ball quickly and it shot straight up. Ben anticipated the landing well and nitpicked his way around the Northview goalkeeper.

He got a perfect shot on goal and nailed it in.

Ben gave the Rangers an early 1-0 lead and eventually led the boys varsity soccer team to a 2-0 win in the district finals over the Northview Wildcats. 

“The boys played well all game and executed our game plan well,” head coach Paul Kramer said after the game. “It feels good to bring home a piece of hardware for the first time in over five years.”

After a couple of big wins in the opening rounds of the postseason, the Rangers looked to bring home a trophy in the district finals for the first time since their historic state championship run back in 2015.

In the first half, it was all defense for the Rangers. Senior captains Ryan Fitzgerald and Jayden Savin led the way on the defensive front, blocking a lot of opportunities for the Wildcats and keeping the shutout alive. In the sticks, sophomore Lance Childers was on fire, with only a couple of close calls coming from some fast shots from the Wildcats offense. When Ben scored his goal, all momentum led towards the Rangers; and at halftime, it was a 1-0 lead for FHC.

The second half was the same story as the first half, with excellent defense being played by the Rangers while they controlled possession of the ball for most of the half. About halfway into the second half, junior Omar Hadzimujic had the ball at midfield and passed to fellow junior Noah Gleason on the right wing. He then found sophomore Kyle Webb streaking past the Northview defenders into Wildcat territory.

With panic setting in, the Northview goalie had no choice but to play the ball and Kyle capitalized. He sank the ball in by the far post and gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead. The defense stepped up to end the game and the boys walked away as district champions.

“This win is a monumental victory for our program,” coach Kramer said. “We can enjoy this one, but we can’t look ahead past the regional semifinals.”

The boys will take on Petoskey in the regional semifinals at Cedar Springs at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, October 26.