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We had a chance to ask the Mr. and Ms. Soccer finalists, Keegan Chastey, Denfeld and Maren Friday, Marshall, a few questions about being recognized as one of the top 5 Soccer players in the State.
Maren proudly said “It is incredible to be a finalist for Ms. Soccer. I am deeply honored and so thankful to all of those who have helped me get to this point in my life. I am so grateful that all my hard work and dedication to this sport is being recognized.
My time with the Gitch soccer club has greatly contributed to my success during the high school soccer season and this recognition. Gitch has helped me hone my soccer skills, learn new positions, and develop a strong passion for the game. Gitch also gave me a chance to make new friends and grow as a person. Forming these connections while playing soccer encouraged me to put more time into improving my skills. I am so thankful for the Gitch soccer club, coaches, and players for supporting me in my soccer career.
My advice for younger Gitch players is to take advantage of the wonderful coaches at Gitch and the lessons they have to teach. Learning the game is incredibly important for success on the field. Also, the more passion and love you have for soccer, the more likely you will be to improve so make sure to have fun!
Keegan went with shorter responses as he reflected on the honor and his time with Gitchi Gummi.
“It is an honor to be named alongside the other players for this award. It's very rewarding to see years of work being recognized
Gitch and its coaches deserve a huge chunk of credit for this. I've learned so much throughout the years from numerous coaches at Gitch.
My advice to younger Gitch players would be to work hard in every training session and have fun doing so.”
Both Maren and Keegan have very bright futures ahead of them as they not only excel on the pitch they do exceptionally well in the classroom, both having 4.0 GPA’s!
We at Gitch wish them all the very best in their futures!! It has been a pleasure to see them develop over the years and help put Gitch Soccer on the map.
For the first time in Gitchi Gummi’s 29 year history we have finalists for both Ms. and Mr. Soccer in the State. Maren Friday of Marshall and Keegan Chastey of Denfeld have earned this tremendous honor and recognition from coaches across Minnesota.
Maren’s career numbers are very impressive, she scored 78 goals, 24 of them this year, and had 31 assists during her time at Marshall.
Nic Bacigalupo, head coach of Marshall and longtime Gitchi Gummi coach said, “Maren contributed to the varsity as early as her 7th grade season. By her 9th grade year she had turned into a player that can impact the game and helped make the Marshall team a statewide contender. I see three things that have contributed to Maren's game that really make a difference and helped her become the player she is today.
First, is the training and experience she has gained by playing competitive soccer in the Gitchi Gummi Soccer Club. The top training provided to her by high level coaches helped her refine technical skills and learn strategies. Combine the training with the experience of playing at the highest levels of Minnesota Club soccer and this makes a formula to produce great players.
Second, is Maren's drive and passion for competing. She brings intensity and competition to every practice and game. This is something that is tough to coach and can turn an average player into a good player. In Maren's case it turned a good player into a player that has the ability to impact and change a game.
Third, is that Maren has been fortunate to be surrounded by teammates (Bella Bacigalupo, Lucy Campbell, Emilia McGiffert, Baamlak Haugen, Lynlei Chalupsky, Natalie Welinski, Katie Pollard and Danielle Weber) that have also played in the Gitchi Gummi soccer club for a long time and have benefited from the same training and experience Maren received. All combined these players helped to elevate the team which in turn elevated Maren to a new level.”
Maren’s Gitch Coach Tim Thorson said, “Maren is a physically dominant player with skill, a high level of competitiveness, and an excellent finishing touch. She has worked hard to develop her play in multiple positions over the years.
Maren would be quick to remind people that individual accolades typically arrive along with team success on the pitch. With only one loss this season, the Hilltoppers have demonstrated the skill and tactics which have been honed over the last decade in the Gitchi Gummi Soccer Club. Maren is part of a highly successful senior class at Marshall which includes 9 seniors, all of which have played for Gitchi Gummi for many years. All 7 senior field players start for the Hilltoppers and the 2 senior goalies alternate starting games.
Success and accolades do not arrive overnight, they are the product of years of hard training and development in the summer soccer season. Maren has been an active member of Gitch Soccer for over 8 years and earned an invitation to the West Ham International camp in London as a youth player. Playing summer soccer at the highest level with the best players from our region has contributed to Maren's development into a Ms. Soccer finalist for the state of Minnesota! Congratulations Maren!”
Keegan played soccer for Denfeld High School for 6 years. He was a varsity starter as an 8th grader and went to State that year, as well as his sophomore year, and won the Section final again this year, his senior year. Keegan’s career stats show the incredible balance to his game as he scored 67 goals as well as assisting in 67 for the team.
Scott Anderson, head coach at Denfeld and veteran Gitch coach remembers back to when he first saw Keegan, “Keegan Chastey. What a player! I remember -- before I knew who he was -- I was watching a Gitch U17 game down in Blaine in the field just outside the stadium. Off to the side, there was this little kid juggling the ball and passing/volleying it back and forth. He couldn't have been more than 7 or 8 years old, and he already had the skills of a much older player.
Scott also taught Keegan, “Fast forward a few years, and into my classroom walks Keegan, a new 6th grader at Lincoln Park Middle School. One of his first questions to me? Not about the math I was teaching, but "Can a 7th grader try out for Denfeld?" Imagine the smile on my face!”
Coach Anderson went on to say “He played JV in 7th, and the seniors were already asking if he could play up. Since 8th grade, he made the varsity roster and started every game since, minus a couple of games for an injury or a senior-player night. Four different times in those five years, our team made the Section finals with him on the field. Three of them, we won and qualified for State. He's been All State player 3 times and made the All-Tournament roster. He set team records for career goals and assists. The players have looked up to him all along; he has taken it all in stride and has stayed humble through it all.
A humongous part of his success came through the Gitchi Gummi program. The way Gitchi Gummi stresses fundamental touches, shooting, passing, and receiving techniques, and later on systems of play is getting noticed across the state. Keegan has been part of Gitch's C1 and then Premier level teams. State HS coaches who Denfeld haven't played know who Keegan is from his play in Gitch Soccer.
His own dedication to soccer may be unparalleled (but should be emulated). According to his mom, Kelly's recent post, "What you don’t see is him getting up before school to put in an hour at the field, his commitment to being the hardest working player on the field at practice, he and his brother shoveling off the turf to get one last kick around in the fall and the first in the spring. The countless hours he has spent playing the game he loves outside of an organized setting have helped make him the player he is..."
I'm positive that Gitchi Gummi helped light that spark in him which he carried forward through his high school years, and will into college and maybe beyond. Thank you to Keegan for all these fantastic years of soccer with Denfeld. And finally, congratulations Keegan, on this great honor of being named a finalist for Mr. Soccer in Minnesota. You deserve it.
His Gitch coach said “Keegan has the talent with the ball at his feet to win a game for the team but it is his work rate and leadership qualities that made him a true difference maker for our team over the last decade. He was the driving force at every practice, setting the tune for the intensity of each session and this in turned drove the entire squad to great heights. I was blessed to train this group of lads who loved the game and always competed to the best of their ability, and this is Keegan in a nutshell. He trained and played every game at a very high level, his understanding of the game and his ability to recognize situations in a game is of the highest degree and truly separates him from everyone in the area and State.”
“Keegan’s commitment to the game is exceptional. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic he rarely missed a day to get out and get on the ball, a trait that he has had for a long time. With Gitch he has played at the very highest competitive level in the State, he actually played up a year, but was a captain and led the team as we competed against some powerhouses in the State. While competing against the very best players in the State he was able to be a standout player in games. He also played his usual significant role as our team was also crowned USA CUP U17 top flight Champions, a first for the Club.”
“To see Keegan’s dedication to always wanting to be better, always pushing himself to be the very best he can be makes me proud to say I got to coach him and see him grow into a special player but more importantly an exceptional person. Congratulations on the recognition, nothing more than you deserve!”
For more details on the honor check out this link...
Player Assessment Dates released!!!
All Sessions will be held inside at the South St. Louis County Fairgrounds
We are delighted to have SIX Premier Teams within the Club for the 2021 season. Is your daughter or son good enough to make any of the following teams?? 02 Girls, 03 Boys, 04 Girls, 04 Boys, 05 Girls and 05 Boys. Sign up and get them assessed!!
Please note that the ’07, ’08 and ‘09 age groups will have two assessment dates each. The second session will be an in game assessment solely. The ’06, ’05, ’04, ’03 and the ’02’s will have just the one session. This year due to number limitations we will not hold our normal “kick around” for our ’10’s and younger but we do ask that you register your child now so we can form teams in a timely fashion.
We do have financial aid grants available if needed, please contact Marty, our treasurer, on this directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Sunday Oct 25th||11 to 12:15||2008||Girls|
|12:30 to 2 PM||2009||Girls|
|2:15 to 3:45 PM||2009||Boys|
|4 to 5:30 PM||2008||Boys|
|5:45 to 7:15 PM||2007||Girls|
|7:30 to 9 PM||2002 and 2003||Boys|
|Monday Oct 26th||8:15 to 9:45 PM||2006||Girls|
|Tuesday Oct 27th||8:15 to 9:45 PM||2005||Girls|
|Wednesday Oct 28th||8:15 to 9:45 PM||2005||Boys|
|Thursday Oct 29th||8:15 to 9:45 PM||2004||Girls|
|Friday Oct 30th||8:15 to 9:45 PM||2003 and 2002||Girls|
|Saturday Oct 31st||9 to 10 AM||2009||Girls|
|10:15 to 11:15 AM||2009||Boys|
|11:30 to 1 PM||2007||Boys|
|1:15 to 2:45 PM||2006||Boys|
|3 to 4:30 PM||2004||Boys|
|Sunday Nov 1st||Noon to 1||2008||Girls|
|1:15 to 2:15 PM||2008||Boys|
|2:30 to 3:30 PM||2007||Girls|
|3:45 to 4:45 PM||2007||Boys|
We have opened registration for the 2021 season.
We ask that you please register your child soon. You will have the option to pay in full or use a payment plan which allows you to cover the fee over 3 payments.
Last year we were able to refund a portion of our members fees for the 2020 COVID-19 hit season. At the time we mentioned that we anticipated getting credits from MYSA, AYSA and fields for Duluth that we would then apply to our fees in 2021. We are delighted that we are able to reduce player fees by $70 each player this year with the credits we have received.
When you take this in account and you add in our “sponsorship credit” that we give out every year we are able to make the player fees for this year very reasonable for all, despite seeing increases from our associations for 2021. Our U9 players will pay just $300, U10 – U12 comes to $470 and our League teams total is $540.
We are still waiting on information from the High Schools and MSHSL about any potential play offs before we confirm player assessment dates. We will likely be looking at the middle of October for these. The thought right now is to hold them outside at CSS. We will get more info out when we have it. In the past we have held an open kick around for our younger teams, U9 to U11, we will not be having these this year but we ask that you please register your child so we can form teams in a timely fashion.
With assessments throughout October we will be looking to announce teams around Thanksgiving. Like last year we will be looking to hold some Winter Skill sessions before our League teams start training come early February. All of this will happen inside at Proctor, as before.
Please register at www.gitchigummisoccer.sportngin.com/register/form/318713359