As you can imagine, a few elite schools dominated the possibilities for the LSJ All-Decade boys soccer team.
We've been introducing possible All-Decade teams all fall, and you can check out any of them so far by clicking the links at the bottom of this post. Those lists, along with your input, will be combined for the final All-Decade teams, which we will publish in January. We'll come out with our final ones -- girls swimming and diving, volleyball and football -- over the rest of December.
Some interesting "by the numbers" for this one -- a breakdown of Dream Team selections this decade by school: East Lansing 22, Mason 19, Okemos 16, Holt 8, Haslett 6, Lansing Christian 6, Lansing Catholic 6, DeWitt 4, Williamston 4, Fowlerville 3, Everett 3, Ithaca 3, New Covenant Christian 3, Charlotte 2, Waverly 2, Sexton 1, Dansville 1, Stockbridge 1, Eaton Rapids 1, Grand Ledge 1, Laingsburg/Bath 1 and St. Johns 1.
Here's what I've got so far for All-Decade:
Goalkeeper: Scott Zolkowski, East Lansing (2008, North Carolina-Greensboro): Made the Division 2 all-state team his final two seasons and the all-state Dream Team as a senior. Tied for state record with 50 career shutouts.
Defender: Sal Durso, Lansing Christian (2010): Plays for Vardar during club season, he had 17 goals and five assists combined over the last two seasons despite likely getting slighted with two second-team selections at the all-state level in Division 4.
Defender: Ryan Thelen, Mason (2009, Michigan State): The 2008 LSJ Player of the Year had a combined 20 goals and 21 assists over his final two seasons also playing midfielder.
Defender: Eddie Vogel, Lansing Catholic (2004): Had 15 goals and 14 assists as a midfielder as a junior when he made Division 3 all-state, but received the same honor as a defender as both a senior and freshman.
Midfielder: Josh Barens, Holt (2010, signed with MSU): Made the all-state Dream Team and was LSJ Player of the Year this fall, and finished his career with 46 goals and 67 assists – the assists tied for 12th-most in state history and second-most among players from Class A or B schools.
Midfielder: Doug DeMartin, Mason (2004, MSU): Made the LSJ Dream Team and earned all-state honors his final two seasons – including making that Dream Team as a senior when he had 33 goals and 15 assists.
Midfielder: Devin McNeil, DeWitt (2002, Hope College): Had 25 goals and 21 assists as a senior to be named the LSJ Player of the Year, and his 69 career goals may still be a school record. He also made the LSJ Dream Team as a junior.
Forward: Kevin Hagan, East Lansing (2004, Olivet College): The 2004 LSJ Player of the Year may still hold the Trojans' career record of 86 goals. He also had 36 assists over his final three seasons, including two as an all-stater (and his last as an all-state Dream Teamer).
Forward: Cyrus Saydee, Everett (2008, MSU): Posted 70 goals and 55 assists combined over his final three seasons, when he made the LSJ Dream Team despite being at least a year younger than most in his class. Was the LSJ Player of the Year and an all-state Dream Team pick as a senior.
Ali Philman, East Lansing (2009): Named LSJ Player of the Year as a sophomore and a Dream Team pick and Division 2 all-stater three times. He had a combined 74 goals and 28 assists over his final three seasons.
David Brogan, Okemos (2005, MSU): Had 21 assists and made the all-state Dream Team as a senior in leading the Chieftains to a state title. He was also the LSJ Player of the Year that season.
Also in the conversation:
Goalkeeper: Ethan Felsing, Mason (2006, Olivet College): Made the Division 2 all-state team as a senior with 12 shutouts and a 0.39 goals-against average.
Goalkeeper: Mark Selleck, Lansing Catholic (2009): Made the LSJ Dream Team as a senior with a 0.45 goals-against average and 15 shutouts, including 10 straight. He also made the Division 3 all-state first team.
Defender: Dan Kelly, East Lansing (2004): Made two straight LSJ Dream Teams to finish his career, blocking 10 shots as a senior.
Defender: Bain Rumohr, Mason (2003, Hope College): Rumohr made the LSJ Dream Team as both a junior and a senior, first as a forward and then as a defender. He also went from all-state honorable mention to first team with the year of play and the move.
Defender: John Pizanis, East Lansing (2003, MSU): Named LSJ Player of the Year as a senior when he blocked 11 shots and led another outstanding defensive run for the Trojans.
Defender: Stefan Hanish, East Lansing (2007): All-state defender for defense that gave up 12 goals in 27 games his senior season.
Midfielder: Logan Lyon, Charlotte (2004, Oakland): Made LSJ Dream Teams as a junior and senior, making the third and then first teams all-state in Division 2.
Midfielder: Stephen Mesko, Mason (2007, Wheaton College): Combined for 40 goals and 22 assists in making the LSJ Dream Team his final two seasons, and was nearly Player of the Year as a senior.
Midfielder: Ben Gates, Holt (2011): Has made the last two LSJ Dream Teams and was a Player of the Year finalist this fall. His totals combined the last two seasons are 46 goals and 19 assists, and he’ll enter 2010 as the area’s top player.
Midfielder: Alex Grice, Lansing Christian (2008, Stevens Tech): Played all over the field during his career but finished it an all-state first-teamer with 21 goals and 27 assists. His 165 career points and 77 assists were sixth in state history at the time.
Midfielder: Jimmy Witzel, Okemos (2005): Made two LSJ Dream Teams although a broken foot kept him out most of his senior season.
Forward: Noah Sawyer, Haslett (2010): Made two straight LSJ Dream Teams to finish his career, combining for 59 goals, 23 assists, and two all-state picks during that time.
Forward: Peter Houston, East Lansing (2006, Williams College): The 2005 LSJ Player of the Year set an East Lansing record that fall with 34 goals in leading the Trojans to a state championship.
Forward: Mike Smith, Okemos (2005): Made the LSJ Dream Team as both a sophomore and a senior, tallying 33 goals in the latter in making the Division 1 all-state team.
Forward: Josh Clark, Okemos (2002): Made the LSJ Dream Team his final two seasons, and was Player of the Year as a junior. Earned some level of all-state recognition after each, combining for 26 goals and 10 assists.
Forward: Brian Knechtges, Williamston (2005, Olivet College): Made two straight LSJ Dream Teams and was second team and then first team all-state in Division 3 his final two seasons, respectively.
Forward: Mike May, Mason (2007, Olivet College): Had 25 goals and 12 assists as a senior Dream Team and all-state selection.
And the coaches: Mid-Michigan is a strong area for boys soccer in this state, and East Lansing’s Nick Archer was one of its pioneers. This decade, he led the Trojans to 2007 and 2002 state titles and a runner-up finish in 2006. Also in the conversation: Okemos’ Brian Guggemos led the Chieftains to a Division 1 state title in 2004 and regularly has his team near the top of the area, as has the Mason pair of Paul Kato and later Nick Binder. Holt’s Aaron Smith has helped the Rams become a state power to close the decade. They are just the tip of the iceberg on the area’s best. But Laingsburg/Bath former coach Shawn Fulton should also be mentioned for taking his team to the most unexpected semifinals appearance of the decade in 2008.
Other All-Decade blogs so far: