Orchard Lake St. Mary’s senior captains — from left, Eddie Spengler, Teddy Kotsakis and Ryan Gray — hope to lead the Eaglets to division and district titles this season.

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s senior captains — from left, Eddie Spengler, Teddy Kotsakis and Ryan Gray — hope to lead the Eaglets to division and district titles this season.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Jeffery bringing new energy to St. Mary’s soccer

By: Zachary Manning | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published September 6, 2018

ORCHARD LAKE — In just his second year as coach of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s soccer, Keith Jeffery has brought a new energy to the program. 

At press time, the Eaglets were 4-3-1 overall and 1-0 in the Catholic High School League B Division, and the players are feeding off their coach’s passion for the game. 

“My philosophy is tough love, and each kid is not allowed to leave the field until they shake my hand. That way, they know nothing’s personal — it’s all business on the field. I’m trying to get them to reach their full potential, and at the end of the day, I have a lot of love for all of them,” Jeffery said. 

That philosophy and his players-first coaching style have allowed the Eaglets to get off to a fast start. Despite not playing a game at full strength this year, the Eaglets have scored 21 goals and given up 13. 

St. Mary’s has nine seniors on the squad, and Jeffery said they have played a huge role in developing younger players and getting the team ready for every game. 

The leading senior for St. Mary’s is captain Ryan Gray, who leads with seven goals and six assists. In net, senior captain Eddie Spengler has 87 saves. 

With the amount of experience St. Mary’s has, the goal is to win the league and make a run in the playoffs. 

“I think we have a good squad here. Good senior leadership,” said Gray, who also captains the team with senior Teddy Kotsakis. “We expect a lot out of our seniors to take us far, and we expect to win a league championship this year.”

Jeffery is focused on taking it one game at a time, but noted that it would be huge for the program to win league and district titles. 

The Eaglets haven’t won a league title since 2015 and have never won a district title in the program’s history. Getting back to a winning culture would mean everything to the players and the program. 

“That’s the goal. It’s a prize that we’re working towards every single day,” Kotsakis said. 

The Eaglets’ next game will be played Sept. 13 at Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook.