Anthony Bowie scored the go-ahead goal and recorded an assist in Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central’s win over Canton, 2-0, to claim the Division 1 state title.
With the last 10 D1 state title games ending in a shutout, Bowie’s go-ahead goal with 17:25 left in the first half was enough as Forest Hills Central made it the eleventh-straight year on Saturday afternoon.
“I was just looking to put it on frame,” Bowie said. “I put it on frame, and it went in. It feels awesome. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Bowie will be at Western Michigan next year, and he is being considered for the Mr. Soccer award in Michigan with 42 goals, and to him, pressure doesn’t really seem to exist.
“I just took it as another game,” he said. “It’s just a soccer game. You just got to come out and play the same way you play every game.”
Forest Hills Central (22-0-3) came into the game ranked second in D1, according to the coaches’ final poll. The Rangers are coached by Blair Lincoln, who is in fourth year.
“Anthony is a special player,” he said. “I really like his opportunity to be Mr. Soccer. He’s just a special player. He can change a match. He’s very dynamic and one of the best players I’ve ever coached.
“It was a dream of ours the last nine months. We talked about not losing and winning a Division 1 state title. (It was) a realization of a very big dream, a very hard feat. It would take a lot, for me, to be upset about anything right now.”
Max Postlewait assisted Bowie on his goal. He continued the praise for Bowie.
“Bowie is a fantastic, very well-rounded player,” he said. “He knows soccer very well, maybe the best in the state.”
Mohamed Haji added the second goal with 1:30 remaining in the game from an assist by Bowie. The goal made it 2-0, essentially icing it.
“It was a nice ball from Bowie,” Haji said. “It was amazing playing with him the whole season. Our goal was to win states, so we made history at this school. It was a blessing to wear green and white every day.”
Canton (20-6-3) came into the game ranked ninth in D1 in the coaches’ final poll. The Chiefs are coached by Mark Zemanski, who brought home the state title last year in a 1-0 win over Rochester Adams.
“Number 11 (Bowie) was the best forward we faced all year, by far,” he said. “He was good. They had their chances and capitalized. We got to put the ball in the net, and we didn’t do it.”
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