Published November 13, 2013
Kicking it for the Grizzlies
By Mark Vest email@example.com Follow Mark on Twitter.
This has been a season to remember for Oakland University men’s soccer player Joey Tinnion.
Along with being named as a Horizon League Co-offensive Player of the Week in early October, Tinnion, whose hometown is Macomb, was also selected to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week. Tinnion, who graduated from Utica Eisenhower High School, led the Golden Grizzlies with 18 points and seven goals during the regular season.
Aside from those accolades, the College Sports Directors of America also announced that Tinnion — who has a GPA of 3.66, according to a release by Oakland — was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District 5 Team. Tinnion’s selection earned him a spot on the national ballot to become a Capital One Academic All-American.
The accolades he has gotten may only help to add to the experiences Tinnion, who is in his junior season with the Golden Grizzlies, has had as a student-athlete at Oakland.
“I love it here,” he said. “It’s great — lot of fun. Great group of guys; we’re like brothers to each other. It’s a fun program, and I’m glad to be part of it.”
Aside from help Tinnion has received along the way from his parents, Tinnion also credited Oakland’s “great” coaching staff for the assistance they have provided.
Tinnion, who is majoring in history with secondary education, counts “working hard” as one of the keys for how far he has come, and being named as a Co-offensive Player of the Week may have only increased his level of confidence as he moves forward in his soccer career at Oakland.
As well as things have gone this season, that wasn’t always the case, as playing time was scarce for Tinnion in his freshman season. Prior to arriving at Oakland, Tinnion was used to getting a lot of playing time, and although he may not have liked it at the time, all those minutes he had to sit and watch his teammates play during his freshman season may have benefited him in the long run, as he said he “had to earn” a spot on the team.
“Freshman year, I came in, didn’t get a whole lot of time,” he said. “My head was down a bit, and a lot of my friends and teammates kept telling me to keep plugging away — keep playing, keep working hard. My dad was telling me the same thing — grinding through it at practice, giving it your all even when things aren’t going your way. My teammates, my parents, they helped me big time.”
For as much individual success as Tinnion has had this season, there is still a lofty team goal he would like to accomplish before leaving Oakland’s program.
“Win (the) conference and get to the NCAA tournament,” he said. “I really, really would like that a lot. It’s basically the main soccer goal right now — make the NCAA tournament.”
Oakland was scheduled to play a quarterfinal match in the Horizon League Men’s Soccer Championship Nov. 12, after press time. The team that wins the Horizon League tournament will compete in the NCAA tournament.
For an update on Oakland’s progress in the tournament, visit ougrizzlies.com.