Quarta-feira’, 16/1/2019 | : : UTC-5
The Reflection

What’s the difference between club and high school soccer?

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Jack Hirzel runs past a defender in Gull Lakes’ final home game of the season. Photo by Parker Feraco

It’s a Thursday night at a home Gull Lake soccer game, Jack Hirzel runs down the field with the ball at his feet, the crowd cheering his name. Now cut to club soccer: Jack beats a defender and runs with the ball his mom cheering his name.

Many soccer players compete all year round, training in the summer and winter, and playing games in the fall and spring. For most high school soccer players the year is divided into two main seasons every year that are the same sport, but are very different.

High school and club soccer are two very different worlds. High school soccer players compete for the school they attend, while for club players that attend the same school may play for a variety of teams in the area.

According to statista.com over 450,000 boys played high school soccer in the US in 2017. One of those people was Jack Hirzel, a sophomore here at Gull Lake this year. Jack plays center mid for Gull Lake  and his club team Midwest United 2001s. Hirzels team plays in the Midwest Regional League, which means he has to travel all throughout the midwest to play his games.

Jack Hirzel runs at a Plainwell defender.

Often players will have to travel long distances to play in club soccer especially if they play high level.

“For my club team, we’ll have to travel to 4 hours plus for a lot of games. While for high school, we travel two hours at the most,” said Hirzel. “A lot of the time we’re going to different states to play for club, we went to Florida last year for a tournament which is a lot longer commute than just a drive to local high schools.”

Different focuses in high school and club soccer can help many players improve at soccer, including Hirzel.

“Club soccer really helps me with the technical side of the game a lot, while high school has really improved my physicality since I get to play against older and bigger players every game.” said Hirzel. “Both expose weak points in your game, and show you that you really need to focus on being both physical and good on the ball.”

Club and high school soccer allow many students around the country to participate in soccer, and Hirzel said he thinks both are important to improve a player’s game and also for players to have a good time with the game of soccer.


This is a link of the statistics about how many student athletes participated in high school soccer in the United States over the past years.



These are links to two very popular club soccer teams in the Kalamazoo area, that many people attending Gull Lake play for during the spring season.


My name is Nicholas Tracy, I am a sophomore. I play soccer on the Varsity soccer team here at Gull Lake.


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