LSJ All-Decade Team: Boys Soccer

As you can imagine, a few elite schools dominated the possibilities for the LSJ All-Decade boys soccer team.

We've been introducing possible All-Decade teams all fall, and you can
check out any of them so far by clicking the links at the bottom of
this post. Those lists, along with your input, will be combined for the
final All-Decade teams, which we will publish in January. We'll come
out with our final ones — girls swimming and diving,
volleyball and football — over the rest of December.

Some interesting "by the numbers" for this one — a breakdown of Dream Team selections this decade by school: East Lansing 22, Mason 19, Okemos 16, Holt 8, Haslett 6, Lansing Christian 6, Lansing Catholic 6, DeWitt 4, Williamston 4, Fowlerville 3, Everett 3, Ithaca 3, New Covenant Christian 3, Charlotte 2, Waverly 2, Sexton 1, Dansville 1, Stockbridge 1, Eaton Rapids 1, Grand Ledge 1, Laingsburg/Bath 1 and St. Johns 1.

Here's what I've got so far for All-Decade:

Goalkeeper: Scott Zolkowski, East Lansing (2008, North Carolina-Greensboro): Made the Division 2 all-state team his final two seasons and the all-state Dream Team as a senior. Tied for state record with 50 career shutouts.

Defender: Sal Durso, Lansing Christian (2010): Plays for Vardar during club season, he had 17 goals and five assists combined over the last two seasons despite likely getting slighted with two second-team selections at the all-state level in Division 4.

Defender: Ryan Thelen, Mason (2009, Michigan State): The 2008 LSJ Player of the Year had a combined 20 goals and 21 assists over his final two seasons also playing midfielder.

Defender: Eddie Vogel, Lansing Catholic (2004): Had 15 goals and 14 assists as a midfielder as a junior when he made Division 3 all-state, but received the same honor as a defender as both a senior and freshman.

Midfielder: Josh Barens, Holt (2010, signed with MSU): Made the all-state Dream Team and was LSJ Player of the Year this fall, and finished his career with 46 goals and 67 assists – the assists tied for 12th-most in state history and second-most among players from Class A or B schools.

Midfielder: Doug DeMartin, Mason (2004, MSU): Made the LSJ Dream Team and earned all-state honors his final two seasons – including making that Dream Team as a senior when he had 33 goals and 15 assists.

Midfielder: Devin McNeil, DeWitt (2002, Hope College): Had 25 goals and 21 assists as a senior to be named the LSJ Player of the Year, and his 69 career goals may still be a school record. He also made the LSJ Dream Team as a junior.

Forward: Kevin Hagan, East Lansing (2004, Olivet College): The 2004 LSJ Player of the Year may still hold the Trojans' career record of 86 goals. He also had 36 assists over his final three seasons, including two as an all-stater (and his last as an all-state Dream Teamer).

Forward: Cyrus Saydee, Everett (2008, MSU): Posted 70 goals and 55 assists combined over his final three seasons, when he made the LSJ Dream Team despite being at least a year younger than most in his class. Was the LSJ Player of the Year and an all-state Dream Team pick as a senior.

Ali Philman, East Lansing (2009): Named LSJ Player of the Year as a sophomore and a Dream Team pick and Division 2 all-stater three times. He had a combined 74 goals and 28 assists over his final three seasons.

David Brogan, Okemos (2005, MSU): Had 21 assists and made the all-state Dream Team as a senior in leading the Chieftains to a state title. He was also the LSJ Player of the Year that season.

Also in the conversation:

Goalkeeper: Ethan Felsing, Mason (2006, Olivet College): Made the Division 2 all-state team as a senior with 12 shutouts and a 0.39 goals-against average.

Goalkeeper: Mark Selleck, Lansing Catholic (2009): Made the LSJ Dream Team as a senior with a 0.45 goals-against average and 15 shutouts, including 10 straight. He also made the Division 3 all-state first team.

Defender: Dan Kelly, East Lansing (2004): Made two straight LSJ Dream Teams to finish his career, blocking 10 shots as a senior.

Defender: Bain Rumohr, Mason (2003, Hope College): Rumohr made the LSJ Dream Team as both a junior and a senior, first as a forward and then as a defender. He also went from all-state honorable mention to first team with the year of play and the move.

Defender: John Pizanis, East Lansing (2003, MSU): Named LSJ Player of the Year as a senior when he blocked 11 shots and led another outstanding defensive run for the Trojans.

Defender: Stefan Hanish, East Lansing (2007): All-state defender for defense that gave up 12 goals in 27 games his senior season.

Midfielder: Logan Lyon, Charlotte (2004, Oakland): Made LSJ Dream Teams as a junior and senior, making the third and then first teams all-state in Division 2.

Midfielder: Stephen Mesko, Mason (2007, Wheaton College): Combined for 40 goals and 22 assists in making the LSJ Dream Team his final two seasons, and was nearly Player of the Year as a senior.

Midfielder: Ben Gates, Holt (2011): Has made the last two LSJ Dream Teams and was a Player of the Year finalist this fall. His totals combined the last two seasons are 46 goals and 19 assists, and he’ll enter 2010 as the area’s top player.

Midfielder: Alex Grice, Lansing Christian (2008, Stevens Tech): Played all over the field during his career but finished it an all-state first-teamer with 21 goals and 27 assists. His 165 career points and 77 assists were sixth in state history at the time.

Midfielder: Jimmy Witzel, Okemos (2005): Made two LSJ Dream Teams although a broken foot kept him out most of his senior season.

Forward: Noah Sawyer, Haslett (2010): Made two straight LSJ Dream Teams to finish his career, combining for 59 goals, 23 assists, and two all-state picks during that time.

Forward: Peter Houston, East Lansing (2006, Williams College): The 2005 LSJ Player of the Year set an East Lansing record that fall with 34 goals in leading the Trojans to a state championship.

Forward: Mike Smith, Okemos (2005): Made the LSJ Dream Team as both a sophomore and a senior, tallying 33 goals in the latter in making the Division 1 all-state team.

Forward: Josh Clark, Okemos (2002): Made the LSJ Dream Team his final two seasons, and was Player of the Year as a junior. Earned some level of all-state recognition after each, combining for 26 goals and 10 assists.

Forward: Brian Knechtges, Williamston (2005, Olivet College): Made two straight LSJ Dream Teams and was second team and then first team all-state in Division 3 his final two seasons, respectively.

Forward: Mike May, Mason (2007, Olivet College): Had 25 goals and 12 assists as a senior Dream Team and all-state selection.

And the coaches: Mid-Michigan is a strong area for boys soccer in this state, and East Lansing’s Nick Archer was one of its pioneers. This decade, he led the Trojans to 2007 and 2002 state titles and a runner-up finish in 2006. Also in the conversation: Okemos’ Brian Guggemos led the Chieftains to a Division 1 state title in 2004 and regularly has his team near the top of the area, as has the Mason pair of Paul Kato and later Nick Binder. Holt’s Aaron Smith has helped the Rams become a state power to close the decade. They are just the tip of the iceberg on the area’s best. But Laingsburg/Bath former coach Shawn Fulton should also be mentioned for taking his team to the most unexpected semifinals appearance of the decade in 2008.

Other All-Decade blogs so far:

Boys and girls cross country

Boys tennis

Girls golf

Boys basketball

Girls basketball

Boys bowling

Girls bowling

Boys swimming




Boys track and field

Girls track and field



Girls soccer

Girls tennis

Boys golf

About Geoff Kimmerly

Geoff Kimmerly was the Prep Sports reporter at the Lansing State Journal until September 23, 2011. Read his thoughts and thanks for his 14 seasons with the Lansing State Journal. 1,000 Thanks
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27 Responses to LSJ All-Decade Team: Boys Soccer

  1. Pat says:

    Doug DeMartin graduated in 2004 from Mason

  2. Fan says:

    What about Steve Clark from Mason and Adam Kliebert from Okemos? Both were great players.

  3. Statomatic says:

    I think you have to drop a couple of those forwards who aren’t playing…. Philman, Grogan and Hagan aren’t playing. Mike May and Peter Houston should be put up there. Both having exceptional college careers. Steve Clark… probably the best goalie. Clark has played for Oakland, and semi professionally and with MLS teams.

  4. drock says:

    you definitely missed clark for goalie.

  5. Geoff Kimmerly says:

    We also missed Clark when we picked the Dream Teams in the first place — we picked three different players as the Dream Team keepers ahead of him when he made all-area his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. You’re right. He should be among those mentioned. Thanks for bringing him up.

  6. fan says:

    What about Jamie Carlson?

  7. Matt says:

    If you aren’t following recent news articles, Ethan Felsing was just named the best goalie in the MIAA! They play against teams such as Calvin that just competed for a national chamionship a few weeks ago. To be placed over their goalie is good enough for my vote!

  8. LoveGuru says:

    Interesting topic of discussion…The Lansing area has been loaded with local soccer talent. My mock list..
    Goalie: Scott Zolkowski,(EL)
    Statistically has destroyed the stat figures, not to mention a state championship/runner up. He was a proven winner for EastLansing.
    Top Defenders:
    John Pizanis: Led East Lansing to a state championship in 02. A dream team selection, he finished Runner-up in the Mr. Soccer voting. Won a club national championship with the Michigan Wolves. His college career never ammounted to anything.
    Juna Cuddeback(East Lansing 00)- One of the most dominant defenders to ever come out of the area. Led a sound defense to the State Championship game in 1999. Often left out of the discussion, but for those who have seen him play know how dominant he was.
    Bain Rumohr 03: A four year varsity player for Mason(two time captain), could play at any position. Defensively he was sound, not accumulating many stats. but was a two time LSJ dream team player. Also won a National Championship for the Wolves.
    Josh Barens: As fine a midfielder the area has produced in a while. Stats speak for themselves. Gutsy Competetor.
    Doug Demartin: Improved every year he played the game. A true gamer in every word. A two sport athlete, Demartin was dangerous anywhere near the goal. A dream team selection, he personifies what a good high school player is about.
    Devin McNeil: Similar to Demartin, was a gamer. Had the ability to control games at any point in his career. Had natural ability, his pace on the ball is as good there has ever been in the area.
    Cyrus Saydee: In my estimation the most talented player to ever come out of the Lansing area. Not necessairly the best goal scorer, he made up for it with his creativity on the ball. As comfortable a player on the ball as there is, often undersized it didn’t matter for Cyrus. Michigan dream team selection
    Kevin Hagan: The finest pure goal scorer of the decade. His statistics speak for themselves. A four year starter for East Lansing, kevin embodied the heart of a champion. Michigan Dream team selection as a senior. Little was seen after high school however.
    Ali Philman/ David Brogan: Ali was the face of soccer in the Lansing area in 04-07, he had the most hype of any player during his career. His electrifying speed made defending him almost impossible. Carried his team for four years, capturing a state title/runner-up. Michigan Dream team selection.
    Brogan, like Philman was a winner. Understood what being a highschool player was all about. Lead Okemos to a state championship in D1. Great touch and vision, along with Philman was leaps ahead of area forwards of his time. LSJ Player of the Year, Dream team selection.

  9. guy nowair says:

    I would second the Felsing and May suggestions. Both players were just days ago selected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, 2009 NSCAA Men’s NCAA Division III All-Central Region Mens Soccer Teams. Rock ON!

  10. jake says:

    It would really depend on what criteria it is based on. Some players have gone on and really done a great job representing the Lansing area. Some players also had outstanding high school careers, but were never heard from again. Its tough to say what constitutes to be remembered as an all decade player.

  11. EastLansingAlum says:

    The All-Decade team should be from what they did in HS and not anything else. If you count college then Doug Demartin should be up there because he was a stud at MSU.

  12. bartholomew says:

    doug demartin is up there. and he was a “stud” in high school too

  13. SoccerFan says:

    With all of the soccer talent that has come through the Lansing Area, there should be a 1st and 2nd team. Also, Kolt Martin and Matt Manning were two of the best defenders in the Lansing Area during their time. Manning led a weak Charlotte team to over-achieving years after Logan graduated.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The goalkeeper should definitely be Steve Clark from Mason. No doubt about it. A standout at Oakland now he is playing professionally; no keeper from the lansing area can say that and he should easily be in there.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Okay Doug Demartin was a phenominal high school player, he was the definition of a “stud”. He had over 30 goals, it was like 36 or something around there, as a midfielder. The forwards on the lists don’t even have that, easy choice for all decade

  16. Coach S. says:

    I agree that Kolt Martin and Matt Manning were good players, yes. Martin was easily the best defender in the Lansing area during his time at Mason. Manning was picked as the pre-season CAAC 2 player to watch during his senior season ahead of some of the players that were also mentioned in the conversation. So maybe that is good reasoning? I don’t know. Both good choices and phenominal talents, but I don’t think either of them should be on the All-Decade team. They both never posted the stats that the current selections have posted. Manning played for a terrible team, so it would be hard for him to get any vote to be put on the team. Martin was on a great team so I can see him getting honors before Manning. Was he the best player on that Charlotte team? By far, yes! He didn’t deserve to play on that team at all, he deserved better! Anyway, he is probably the second best player to ever play at Charlotte behind Logan Lyon! So Logan would be ahead of him any way and he isn’t even on the initial selections! That’s just my opinion, but enough about Charlotte! My point here is this: Great players, Martin and Manning, leaving behind, fora lack of a better word, a “legacy” at their schools, but not scratching the All-Decade team.

  17. fan says:

    I think it should be a point of pride for the Lansing area in terms of the talent it does produce compared to other areas of similar size around the country. It is pretty impressive which makes this list difficult to create.

  18. go green says:

    Topper from okemos GK led them to the state championship and was two time all state, it seems like he should be considered

  19. Kato and the Green Hornet says:

    Dear “anonymous”
    other forwards not having half the goals DeMartin did is just not true. Mike May, also from mason for instance, had over 25 goals in each of the last three years. somewhere around 110 if you include his first year as a freshman. Sam Terman and Steve Mesko were close behind. I could go on quoting stats but not necessary. I vote for a high school only A and B Team, and a third “Honors team”….. for continued excellence in soccer after high school. That list is considerably shorter.

  20. 9T1 says:

    Philman? Come on. you sound like 9T1 from the forums. Philman was quick but small and could be taken off the ball with ease. he was LSJ player of the year because the other two contenders that year, both better players, were the victims of people trying to skew the voting. As for coaches, Archer was the benefactor of all the club talent who LIVED in his district. Same with Kato. He was lucky to have 12 or more TNT premier players on his team all those years. And the year his kid graduated he quit. BOOYA… Class act there PK. coach award should go to lainsburg coach for the reasons you stated.

  21. steve skinker says:

    Holt was a state finalist in 2009, with 17 shutouts (8 in a row plowing through playoff competition) in 28 games. Why is the Holt defense completely overlooked on this list as well as LSJ Dream Team? Kevin Skinker has anchored the Holt defense the past three seasons, and also had 7 assists his senior year.

  22. broski says:

    why dont you talk your son up more mr. skinker? holts defense was good as a unit, but as individuals they are no where near the players on the list or in consideration

  23. says:

    broke every record… jamie abe matt h all better players… all in the 90′s.. however won a club title with guys like logan eddie eric adam and our coach nico… sorry but to me thats something that has never been done… all guys i thnink are the best of all time… u are right about college guys did do well after.. however me matt brian boyle hannor my dad still ball out… sorry … see u in indoor or outdoor.. and nico an me e hughey only title.. sorrty tnt chill an whatever… sorry

  24. nick says:

    Where is new covenant on this list??
    Joel Klepal-64 goals in 20 games, #3 in state history.
    Johnny Kessler- 61 goals in one season, #5 in state history.
    Jamison Imhoff- 57 goals in one season, tied for #8 in state history.
    Jamison Imhoff- 51 goals in 21 games, tied for #13 in state history.
    Jamison Imhoff-148 goals, 2006-2009, #4 in state history.
    Joel Klepal-121 goals, 2001-2004, tied for #11 in state history.
    Jamison Imhoff-108 goals, 2005-2008, #15 in state history.
    Consecutive hat-tricks:
    Jamison Imhoff-9, (8-18-08 through 9-16-08), #1 in state history.
    Assists per game:
    Jeremy Klepal, 6, #3 in state history.
    Assists per season:
    Jeremy Klepal, 37, #5 in state history.
    John Kessler, 32, #9 in state history.
    John Kessler, 26, #15 in state history.
    Career assists:
    Joel Klepal, 98, #2 in state history.
    John Kessler, #12 in state history.
    Jeremy Klepal,56, tied for #16 in state history.
    Jamison Imhoff,53, tied for #20 in state history.
    Points per season:
    John Kessler, 93 (61 goals, 32 assists), #1 in state history.
    Joel Klepal, 81 (64 goals, 17 assists), #4/5 in state history.
    Jamison Imhoff, 79 (57 goals, 14 assists), # 8/9 in state history.
    Jamison Imhoff, 61(51 goals, 10 assists), #14/15 in state history.
    career points:
    Joel Klepal, 218 #3 in state history.
    Jamison Imhoff, 198 #5 in state history.
    Jamison Imhoff, 108 #8 in state history.
    tate history.
    Consecutive Shutouts:
    Tyler Fitch, New covenant Christian: 16- (21 games), #1 in state history.
    To list a few…
    Does that not count for anything?
    The stats tell the story!
    Be fair about it, at least!

  25. Roadster says:

    Fair? If you want to REALLY be fair, acknowledge that stats don’t tell the whole story. Like the part about how New Covenant’s opponents should get credit for half of those stats. If they were that good, where are all the state titles? You’d think that they didn’t do so well when facing similar competition or something…

  26. Kay says:

    I’m failing to see the relationship between these statements…? They have no continuing relationship with eachother. One has nothing to do with the next, and the latter does nothing to support the former.
    “Like the part about how New Covenant’s opponents should get credit for half of those stats.”
    The stats listed above are personal player stats…why would new covenants opponents share/receive credit for those? What stats are actually shareable, transferrable, or even listable for both parties? I dont see why the losers would receive stats of any kind…only possibilities I can imagine are: Number of goals scored on? Number of scoreless games against new covenant? Number of times mercied? I don’t believe those are categories in the record book… Why would their opponents receive credit for losses? Perhaps you should learn to enunciate your thoughts better before you put them down into sentences; we all would like to know your thoughts on the matter :)
    “You’d think that they didn’t do so well when facing similar competition or something…”

  27. Kay says:

    Also, I’m pretty sure they did well against opponents their level…
    “Similar competition” implies schools like New Covenant with teams like New Covenant’s comprised of similar number of “key” skilled players, the level of skill within that number of “key” skilled players, and sheer number of players. I can’t think of many schools that are class D, division 4 schools with 30-40 kids in the high school, can you? And if you can, compare those school’s high school soccer records with New Covenant’s. So any school New Covenant played and won or lost to was higher then your dubbed “similar competition”.
    There are not many teams like that, especially not to fill 18-20 games! So they played up above “similar competition”, schools varying from Hillsdale to Charlotte, Hastings to Durand, and Harper Creek to Howell High School, among others.
    And judging from records, they had successful, nearly impeccable seasons.
    In short, what that team accomished was incredible, to say the least.

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