Story at a glance
- A Michigan high school soccer coach has apologized to another school’s team following a shutout game on Sept. 29.
- Benzie Central High School beat Kingsley High School 17-0 in the first half of the game.
- One of Benzie Central’s players scored 16 of the goals, breaking a state record.
A Michigan high school soccer coach has apologized after his player scored 16 goals in one half against a winless team.
“It was a player getting hot and I got lost in the opportunity the kid had in front of him,” Benzie Central coach Chris Batchelder said in a letter to the defeated school, according to ABC News.
Batchelder added that he and his team didn’t intend to “humiliate your players or your program.”
The controversy stems from the Sept. 29 soccer match between Benzie Central High School and Kingsley High School. Kingsley had a record of 0-14 going into the game, where Benzie Central went on to score 17 goals in the first half, prompting the game to end at halftime with a score of 17-0.
Benzie Central player Kevin Hubbell, 17, scored 16 of those goals, breaking the state record for most goals scored by a single player in a game, which was previously 10.
However, Benzie Central, Batchelder and Hubbell received blowback for the blowout, which prompted accusations of bad sportsmanship.
“To go after a personal record like that at the cost of another team’s dignity was a little uncalled for,” Kingsley coach Tim VanWingerden told The Associated Press. “Soccer is not the right place for that. Soccer is a gentleman’s sport.”
However, Batchelder said while the criticism is fair, it should be directed at him and not Hubbell.
“I want this to stop, and I want to get back to appreciating soccer,” Batchelder said. “All that noise is just noise.”
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