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Bishop Foley boys soccer back on the pitch

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published August 29, 2019

 Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s Quin Grobbel, left, attempts to gain control of the ball during a recent game against Clawson High. Foley finished at 10-8-2 last year.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley’s Quin Grobbel, left, attempts to gain control of the ball during a recent game against Clawson High. Foley finished at 10-8-2 last year.

Photo by Donna Agusti


MADISON HEIGHTS — Last season, Madison Heights Bishop Foley boys soccer finished at 10-8-2 overall and lost in the semifinal round of a Division 4 district tournament.

Foley coach Nino Maniaci shared an early evaluation of the team he has to work with this year. At press time, Foley was 0-1-2 overall.

“We got a very young squad,” Maniaci said. “We’re trying to get better every day in practice. They’re doing really well understanding different concepts. It’s going really well so far.”

Maniaci is in his second season leading Foley’s program. Three of the players who can help make his job easier are senior captains Kevin Kendro, Quinlan Grobbel and Nicholas Lucido, who is the team’s goalkeeper.

“They’ve really done a good job keeping the younger guys in the loop,” Maniaci said. “During practices, Nicholas is working with our younger goalkeepers. … And then Quin and Kevin provide that kind of ‘say less, do more’ approach. They kind (of) lead by example with their work ethic and stuff like that.”

Even though this is his last season suiting up as a player, Lucido would like for Foley’s success to outlast his playing days with the program.

“There’s two new goalies back there,” Lucido said. “I (want to) make sure that they’re set to go when I graduate, so they have a nice few years ahead of them as well. … It would mean a lot to me if I could see this program grow more and more after I leave.”

How well the Ventures do in the future could largely depend on whether or not a JV program is part of the mix.

“Our goal, hopefully in the next couple years, is to get enough guys where we can have both a JV and varsity team,” Maniaci said. “That comes with getting our brand out there and getting the results that we want.”

What Maniaci currently has going for him is players who are buying into the program.

“It’s been great,” he said. “Gotten a lot (of) guys that have picked my brain after practice, or even called or texted me to ask me simple questions. … I graduated three out of my four guys in the backline, so pretty much it’s a brand new backline, and those guys are doing a great job asking me questions. The buy-in’s been great all around.”

Foley is part of the Catholic High School League Intersectional No. 2 Division. Aside from looking to be “very competitive” in division play, Maniaci would like to help lead the program to postseason success.

“I think we can attempt to make some noise in our division, and then hopefully peak at the right time at the end of the season and find our way through districts, on to regionals, and just keep working at it,” Maniaci said. “Just keep the small things in mind, and hopefully we can be hitting our peak when we want to at the end of the season.”

Although each of the captains can play a big role for Foley this year, after graduating seven seniors from last season’s team, some of the younger players on the squad may also have some valuable contributions to make for the program.

“The incoming freshmen class, it’s a small group, but all of them have had some soccer knowledge along the way,” Maniaci said. “So they’ll be able to provide a little something along the way during the season. We’re in (a) great, great place with our sophomore class. I think there’s a core of six or seven of those guys that can really take good steps this year.”