Grosse Pointe North junior captain Ronnie Latiff goes up and heads the ball in a game against Grosse Pointe South earlier this season. The Norsemen lost the match 3-1.

Grosse Pointe North junior captain Ronnie Latiff goes up and heads the ball in a game against Grosse Pointe South earlier this season. The Norsemen lost the match 3-1.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Grosse Pointe North soccer focused on finishing strong

By: Zachary Manning | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 2, 2018

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GROSSE POINTE — For Brad VandeVorde, being back at Grosse Pointe North is an awesome experience.

VandeVorde played for the Norsemen, graduating in 2008, and he took over the varsity soccer program this season. He was the coach at Roseville High before taking this opportunity.

“It’s good to be back. It’s home to me. Being around these kids, these kids are awesome, and it’s literally home for me,” he said.

At press time, North was 5-5-2 overall and 3-4-2 in the Macomb Area Conference White Division. The main goal for the Norsemen is to finish out strong and prepare for districts.

The Norsemen are a pretty young team with only four seniors. With such a young group, VandeVorde has seen some ups and downs, but he noted that his players are very talented.

He’d like to see them continue to get better in every aspect of the game, but he’s very happy with the progress his team has made since the start of the season.

“We’ve done a lot of things well,” VandeVorde said. “We’re still waiting, probably, for one of those games to put everything together. Sometimes we’re very strong at attacking, sometimes we’re very strong defensively. We’re just working toward making it one big unit.”

A few players who have helped the team grow are junior midfielders Andrew Sheffield and Ronnie Latiff. VandeVorde loves having them as leaders because they know what it takes to win.

The main goal of the captains is to get everyone adjusted to the different style and pace of play. Sheffield and Latiff believe that as the younger players get experience, more wins will come.

“We have a very young team, not experienced,” Latiff said. “Getting everyone acclimated to playing should be big, and once everyone gets familiar, we should connect more as a team and try to win more games.”

VandeVorde and the captains mentioned that it would be “huge” to win a league and district title. North’s last district title was in 2016.

“I want to do something that I’ve never done. I’ve never won a district at North, and I know some of these kids have, and they know how hard it is. That’s one of our big goals as a team. I think it would be very important for us to win one and go from there,” VandeVorde said.

The Norsemen’s next game is at 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at home against Grosse Pointe South.

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