Troy Athens’ Alex Haggarty tries to find some open field against Bloomfield Hills High May 1. Bloomfield Hills and Athens tied 1-1.

Troy Athens’ Alex Haggarty tries to find some open field against Bloomfield Hills High May 1. Bloomfield Hills and Athens tied 1-1.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Troy Athens soccer continuing program success

By: Zachary Manning | Troy Times | Published May 5, 2021

 Troy Athens’ Casey Gruber heads the ball against Bloomfield Hills High May 1. At press time, the Red Hawks were 6-0-2 overall.

Troy Athens’ Casey Gruber heads the ball against Bloomfield Hills High May 1. At press time, the Red Hawks were 6-0-2 overall.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Advertisement

TROY — While walking the halls of Troy Athens, it’s hard to miss the collection of district, regional and state championship trophies the soccer program has collected over the years.

Coach Todd Heugh said Troy is a soccer city and everyone in his program knows the tradition and expectations of being a Red Hawk.

Though the girls squad had to miss all of last season and most of the team is new to varsity action, Athens was still undefeated at press time, holding a 6-0-2 overall record and 5-0-2 Oakland Activities Association Red Division mark.

“We feel pretty good about where we’re at right now,” Heugh said. “We’ve got a nice mix of young and a nice mix of old, and we’re just kind of taking it day by day.”

The Red Hawks have had a mixed bag of games, with offense carrying the load one day and the defense stepping up another. Heugh noted that his team doesn’t have one player to key in on, which gives everyone an opportunity to make plays.

On the season, Athens has scored 30 goals, while allowing opponents to find the back of the net just nine times. Five of those nine goals came in the first two games of the season.

What’s more impressive is the fact that Athens has been so dominant in arguably one of the best leagues in the state. At press time, the OAA Red featured three undefeated teams in Athens, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek and Rochester High.

Stoney Creek and Athens played to a 1-1 draw earlier this season, and the Red Hawks will meet Rochester May 11, which could help determine the winner of the division.

“When you play those tough schedules, it prepares you for the tournament. I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Heugh said. “We take a lot of pride in trying to do the best we can against our league opponents because we have a lot of respect for them. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s fun to be a part of.”

As the season progresses, Heugh noted that his team wants to take things one step at a time. With the season rapidly approaching its end, the OAA Red title is the main focus.

The focus then shifts to winning a district title, which the Red Hawks desperately crave after falling in the district final the last three seasons.

From there, it’s anyone’s game, with many talented teams around the state battling for the state championship. Athens’ last title came back in 2000, and adding another trophy to that already crowded trophy case would be something special.

“It just kind of becomes contagious,” Heugh said. “The next group wants to do just as well or better than the group before them.”

Advertisement