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Prep Roundup: Buckley, Kingsley tie 1-1 in Bears' Rachel Wienclaw's head coaching debut; Grayling, Leland pick up wins

Apr. 3—BUCKLEY — The Rachel Wienclaw era in Buckley has begun.

Wienclaw is still searching for her first win as the new Buckley's girl's varsity soccer head coach after a 1-1 split with Kingsley (0-0-1, 0-0-1 Northwest) on Wednesday in front of the Bears' faithful. Wienclaw took over for longtime head coach John Vermilya, who stepped down from coaching in February.

Vermilya spent 16 seasons with Buckley, turning around the boys program and leading the Bears to a Final Four appearance in 2017. As soccer grew in popularity in the Buckley area, he helped revitalize the girls varsity team that co-opped with Mesick.

Wienclaw, a Mesick graduate who was a senior during the Buckley-Mesick co-op team's inaugural season in 2018, has kept several things Vermilya installed in the players.

"The biggest thing he told us was to play with our head, heart and feet. I don't use that terminology when speaking to the girls, but I want to create that culture where it's an expectation," Wienclaw said. "That's the culture he built, and I'm just trying to build onto it."

The 22-year-old began her coaching career assisting with the West Michigan Storm and Mona Shores High School girls soccer team.

After recently moving back home, Wienclaw was shocked to see Buckley was hiring a girl's soccer head coach after searching for jobs.

She knew she had to give it a shot by sending in an application.

"I thought it was the perfect way to give back to the program that helped me become the athlete I am today and continue my career into college," Wienclaw noted as her reasoning for accepting the job to become the Buckley girls soccer coach.

On the pitch, Buckley started with a goal from sophomore Amelia Valentine with an assist from junior Isabel Terry at the 24:25 mark of the first half to go ahead 1-0. Stags junior Bailey Charter evened the game up before halftime on an assist from senior Emma Johnson.

Wednesday's split marked the third straight season the Bears started the season with a tie.

The Bears (0-0-1, 0-0-1 Northwest) remain home for three more games, starting with Cadillac Heritage Christian on Friday. The Stags wrap up a two-game road trip at Reed City on Friday.

GIRLS SOCCER

Leland 2

Suttons Bay 1

Leland: Mallory Lowe 1 goal; Addi Waskiewicz assist; Willa Murray goal; Elli Miller 2 saves.

Suttons Bay: Megan Lint 1 goal (PK).

UP NEXT: The Comets (1-0, 1-0 Northwest) travel to Manistee on Friday. The Norse (0-1, 0-1 Northwest) face Carson City Crystal and Freedom Baptist Academy on Saturday.

Grayling 5

Houghton Lake 0

UP NEXT: The Vikings (1-0) host Charlevoix on Thursday.