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Roseville

October 24, 2012

Roseville’s Baller happy with team’s performance in his last season

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

Roseville High boys soccer coach Ron Baller will step down after a season that saw the Panthers win 14 games. Baller, with Roseville for eight year, led the team to a MAC Gold Division title in 2005, his first season.

The Roseville High boys soccer team’s season ended ­in a 2-0 loss to St. Clair Shores Lakeview in a Division 1 Michigan High School Athletic Association district semifinal Oct. 17, but Panthers coach Ron Baller said one loss doesn’t spoil a solid season.

“I thought we did really good all the way around,” said Baller, who in his eighth year with Roseville guided the Panthers to a 14-4-3 record.

“Any time you get 14 wins in the regular season, you have a good year. There’s a lot to be proud of with this group,” he said.

Roseville went 10-1-1 in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division and finished one game behind first-place Clawson High.

Baller attributed the loss to the Huskies to Lakeview having seen tougher competition in the MAC White. He said he thinks the Huskies dominated the playoff game.

“It just felt like they were more prepared for the playoffs than we were,” Baller said.

It was a bounce-back season for the Panthers, who won just six games in 2011, including only one in MAC Gold play.

“We had a lot of guys step up and play well for us this season, and no one can take that away from them,” Baller said.

Roseville will have a new look next year, as it will lose 13 of 16 players to graduation. That includes senior forward Christian Thursam, a captain who set the school record for goals in a single season, and senior defenseman Mason Mahaffey, another captain who shored up the defense after playing midfield in 2011.

The season ends on a bittersweet note for Baller, who said he would not return to the sidelines for the Panthers due to family reasons.

The 2012 campaign was one of his most successful. Baller led Roseville to the MAC Gold title in his first year in 2005.

“I just think it’s time for me to step away,” Baller said. “There are some things I was missing out on. I could come back to coach at Roseville or somewhere else. I’ll let that play itself out.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.