Ferndale High welcomes back soccer coach

By: Christian Davis | Woodward Talk | Published March 28, 2016

 Ferndale’s Nadia Shoot makes a play on the ball. The senior captains the team along with Grace Wilson.

Ferndale’s Nadia Shoot makes a play on the ball. The senior captains the team along with Grace Wilson.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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Mike Kuzniar is back on the sideline for the Ferndale High girls soccer program.

The coach led the varsity team for four seasons before stepping down last year due to work obligations.

“It’s been great,” Kuzniar said. “It hasn’t been difficult at all. I live right by the school, so I kept up (with the team). Immediately once the season ended last year, I was leaning toward coming back. We picked up as if I were coaching (all along).”

Kuzniar has been happy with what he’s seen from his team in limited action. At a tournament March 19 hosted by Hazel Park High, the Eagles went 1-1-1, with the lone loss coming from the host in a shootout.

“It’s plenty early, but we have some freshmen coming in that are going to contribute and mesh in with some of our returning players,” the coach said. “Overall, for the first week and a half, it’s been great.”

The Eagles finished 3-15 last season and have three returning starters.

Kuzniar noted that the offensive and defensive systems are similar to last season, but there have been position changes. He also said his senior captains, Grace Wilson and Nadia Shoot, have helped in the transition.

“I’m pretty confident in the changes that have taken place. As far as leadership on the field, it’s been superb,” Kuzniar said. “The captains have really taken a great leadership role, and now we’re coming right into the season a nice, tight unit.”

Ferndale competes with Hazel Park, Birmingham Groves, Farmington Hills Harrison, Lathrup Village Southfield-Lathrup, Pontiac High, Birmingham Seaholm and West Bloomfield High in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division.

Kuzniar said the goal is to be competitive in the league. A key is how well the squad controls the flow of each game.

“Every once in a while, we’ll take a chance with a long ball, but I think we have the players right now to possess the ball, which we’ve been lacking,” he said. “We’ll see if we can. If we can possess the ball, we’ll succeed.”

Catch the Eagles against West Bloomfield High at 6 p.m. April 12 at home.

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