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Farmington Hills

September 18, 2013

Loaded with seniors and talent, Harrison soccer team has plenty to prove

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Harrison’s Brett Chasnick moves the ball against Country Day. The Hawks played to a 1-1 draw and were 3-2-1 on the season at press time.

FARMINGTON HILLS — One game doesn’t make an entire season, but Tim Russell certainly liked what he saw Sept. 12 at Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day.

In areas of success, and failure, for that matter.

“It was a terrific game. We just relaxed a bit on a restart and gave them a real good chance,” the Farmington Hills Harrison soccer coach said after a 1-1 tie with Country Day.

And in that statement, most of the season was, more or less, summed up.

When playing at the top of their game, the Hawks could be one of the strongest teams around.

When they back off, or “relax too much,” as Russell put it, they’re as human as any other.

“This is a nice squad, one with a real solid foundation,” the coach continued. “We have some seniors that lead us and some captains that are rock solid. … There is so much potential with this group.”

At press time, Harrison was 3-2-1, but not so much focused on early season wins and losses as the team is on some of its main goals.

“We want to be city champs,” senior Eimil Hennes said. “After that, it’s all about the district. We want it this time around.”

Hennes is one of 13 seniors on the Hawks’ roster this season, a collection of guys with tons of varsity experience. The district he spoke of is one all of them would like to avenge.

It was last fall, in the district final, when Harrison was ousted in double overtime by Novi High.

The sting has yet to subside.

“Oh yeah, it drives these guys,” Russell said. “There’s no doubt about it. Just the confidence we gained from that game, from playing a good Novi team and taking them as far as we did. I think, in a way, it showed these guys not to be afraid of anything.”

Even in defeat?

“Yeah, it motivates us,” Hennes said. “We want them again this year. We hope to play them and have a chance.”

For now, the more immediate concern is getting everyone on the same page.

Earning a draw against a solid Country Day team was a positive, but one Russell knows could have been a victory.

“And that’s what we have to learn,” he said. “It’s all about playing our game the whole time. We can’t take plays off, or relax or try to do too much. When we play the way we know we can, the potential of this team is wonderful. We can challenge for and accomplish anything we set out to do.”

“It’s the best team I’ve been a part of,” Hennes said. “You have to believe in yourself, and we believe in one another.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.