CG-Belgium forward, Ozaukee goalkeeper named to all-conference first team
There was just no quit in John Schmidt.
Although the Cedar Grove-Belgium senior wasn’t the high-profile leader of a championship boys’ soccer team this season, he still emerged as one of the Central Lakeshore Conference’s top players.
Schmidt, a forward, led the Rockets in scoring on his way to All-CLC first-team honors in a vote of coaches.
He finished with 17 goals and four assists for a team that went 5-7 in league play and 7-14-2 overall.
Cedar Grove-Belgium coach Elias Garza described Schmidt, one of the Rockets’ captains, as “a quiet leader who was great at possessing the ball, whether facing the goal or with his back to it.
“He had great vision and awareness and had fantastic change-of-direction ability,” Garza said.
Schmidt was one of 11 players named to the all-conference first team, which includes three apiece from co-champions Howards Grove and Oostburg.
The only other local player receiving first-team recognition was Ozaukee goalkeeper Tyler Klippel.
Klippel, a senior, endured a steady barrage of shots for a team that was 0-12 in the conference and 0-21 overall.
Although Klippel allowed more than four goals per game, he also made 260 saves, averaging more than 12 per contest.
“Witout Tyler and our defense, we would not have been in a lot of games,” Ozaukee coach John Annis said.
“Tyler put a lot of hard work in during the off-season. He strived to improve what he was doing each game.”
The only local player named to the All-CLC second team was Cedar Grove-Belgium senior Josh Beaudry.
Beaudry contributed as a midfielder, defender and forward.
“Josh was a versatile, athletic player who showed dramatic improvement in his two years of high school soccer,” Garza said.
“He was a quiet, humble individual who had great energy, desire and enthusiasm.”
Four local players received honorable mention in the coaches’ balloting: Cedar Grove-Belgium senior Christian O’Donnell (defender) and Ozaukee sophomores Bradd Lemke (midfielder/forward), Elijah Mabry (forward) and Hunter Radtke (defender).
O’Donnell was a co-captain and four-year starter for the Rockets.
“Tenacious, relentless and fearless best describe Christian,” Garza said.
“He played every ball, whether on the ground or in the air, with reckless abandon and was not afraid to go to the ground defensively with textbook tackling.”
Howards Grove and Oostburg led all schools with six players apiece named to the top two all-conference teams. They included first-team unanimous choices Chris Niemann and Garrett Jahnke of Howards Grove and Avery Huibregste and Grant Meerdink of Oostburg.
Image Information: CEDAR GROVE-BELGIUM soccer player John Schmidt (left) excelled offensively on his way to All-Central Lakeshore Conference first-team honors. Photo by Sam Arendt