After 80 hard-fought minutes of Saturday’s Division 3 boys district soccer title match at Whitehall, the rain and miserable conditions didn’t seem quite as harsh for Fremont.
The Packers’ turnaround, storybook season continues.
Fremont defeated West Michigan Conference foe Manistee, 2-1, in capturing its second district championship in program history and first since 2006.
Fremont (20-1-1) advances to Tuesday’s 6 p.m. regional semifinal against Kingsford (21-1). The regional is being hosted by Big Rapids, but the Packers and Flivvers will square off at Gaylord in their game. Alma (18-4) and Grand Rapids Catholic Central (11-9) meet in the regional’s other semifinal at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Big Rapids.
Saturday’s Fremont-Manistee contest was the teams’ second meeting in 2 1/2 weeks. On Oct. 4, the Packers beat the host Mariners, 4-0, to clinch a share of the conference title and they earned the outright championship in North Muskegon’s 2-1 loss to Montague the same night.
In the rematch, Redick Powell got Fremont on the board first with 19 minutes remaining in the first half off a slotted ball by Deagan Klimek.
Manistee answered with four minutes left in the first half when Luke Smith directed a corner kick into the goal.
Fremont scored the game-winner with 31 minutes left in regulation, when Jude Fair followed up a Klimek shot that had rebounded off the Manistee keeper’s hands.
Fremont keeper Caleb Vissia finished with seven saves on eight shots. Manistee’s Grayson Prince made 13 saves on 15 shots.
Manistee, which won a Division 3 district title last fall, finishes this season with an 11-6-2 record.
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