With minds on their teammate, Blackhawks beat Indians
By Leo Martonosi
FENNVILLE—Winning is far from the most important thing on the minds of Fennville girls’ soccer coach Kyle Nevenzel and his players these days.
“Like everyone else, we like to come out on top when the game ends,” Nevenzel said.
But what’s currently taking place at Fennville isn’t about sports.
“It’s about one of our players, Analilia Salinas, who has cancer and is fighting for her life,” Nevenzel said after the Blackhawks defeated rival Saugatuck 5-1 at home on Wednesday, May 8.
Nevenzel said he and the entire Fennville community are praying for a miracle.
“This is not only hard on Analilia and her entire family, but on anyone who has met and grown to love her,” Nevenzel said.
Jovanna DeLaRosa, who scored the first and fifth goals for Fennville, can’t keep her mind off Salinas.
“Analilia is one of the sweetest girls in our school, one of the nicest girls that I know.” DeLaRosa said.
Angelica Mendoza also kicked in two goals for the Blackhawks, who raised their season record to 8-3-1.
“We’re having a very good year,” Nevenzel said.
There is a big reason for Fennville’s success.
“We have good leadership with quite a few seniors,” Nevenzel said.
A Saugatuck player actually booted in one of Fennville’s goals.
“Things like that can happen in soccer,” Nevenzel said.
Delaney Dewey-Harney scored Saugatuck’s lone goal, which tied the game at 1-1 with 16 minutes to play in the first half.
“That was a nice goal,” said Indian coach Jordan Campbell.
Despite dropping this game, Saugatuck continues to show improvement as a program.
“I love what Jordan is doing at Saugatuck,” Nevenzel said. “He’s doing a lot of good things and has completely turned around that program.”
Despite the loss, the Indians have already won a school-record eight games.
“I love this team,” Campbell said. “They always give me everything they have.”
Tabitha Martinez was in goal for Fennville, while keeping the game close for Saugatuck was freshman goalie Emma DeBoer.
“I thought Emma made some nice saves out there,” Campbell said.
Campbell and Nevenzel have been friends since their high school days when they played on the same team together at Holland.
Contact Leo Martonosi at email@example.com.