By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
On Thursday, October 8, the Oxford Wildcats boys’ soccer team defeated the Avondale Yellow Jackets, 2-1, to clinch the Oakland Activities Association (OAA) White Division title.
Posting a 5-4-2 (4-0 OAA White) record, the division title is the program’s first since 2015-16. Impressively, this championship came in head coach Adam Bican’s first season at the helm.
Taking over after John Thaler stepped down following the 2019 season, Bican, who had previous head coaching stints at Clarkston and Stoney Creek, was able to hit the ground running with his new group of student-athletes, despite the unusual offseason created by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Senior goalkeeper Tristan Bennett, who is also a member of Steve Laidlaw’s basketball program, was one of the team’s most valuable players.
Registering four shutouts, including three-straight from September 8-15, Bennett kept the Wildcats in games and allowed the team to win multiple low-scoring contests, evidenced by their 1-0 victories over the Rochester Falcons and West Bloomfield Lakers on September 15 and 29, respectively.
Zach Townsend, another senior, was one of the team’s top offensive players and has committed to continue his academic and athletic careers at Oakland University, where his brother, Trey, is currently a freshman member of Greg Kampe’s basketball team.
Interestingly, Townsend was the first commit in the 2021 class for Oakland soccer, coached by Eric Pogue.
Freshman Diego Medel, who possesses as much upside as any player in the conference, is another one of Oxford’s offensive weapons. Rarely coming off the field, rare for such a young player, Medel is one of the best passers on the team, along with senior Christian Mendoza.
The Wildcats will look to continue their run when postseason play kicks off with a district quarterfinal match against the Macomb Area Conference’s (MAC) Romeo Bulldogs on (Thursday, October 15) at 6 p.m.
Officially classified as Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) District 10 and hosted by Romeo, the other quarterfinal matchups in Oxford’s district are Clarkston vs. Rochester Adams, Lake Orion vs. Utica Eisenhower, and Rochester vs. Stoney Creek.
The winners of these four quarterfinals will meet in two semifinal games on Monday, October 19, and the winners of those will vie for the district championship next Wednesday, October 21 at 6 p.m.
By Teddy Rydquist