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Western Michigan Christian High School and Middle School Breaks Ground on New Soccer and Baseball Fields

WMC Enjoys New Beginnings on Campus

This spring, with less than typical pomp and circumstance due to the constraints of the pandemic, WMC celebrated the groundbreaking of a new state-of-the-art soccer and baseball field.

In most cases, events such as the start of a construction project are commemorated with an official groundbreaking event where the entire WMC community would be invited, however, given the ongoing pandemic, it was decided that we would hold a “virtual” groundbreaking instead. 

Knowing that many of you would have wanted to be part of this event, we captured it on video. See below:

Below is a rendering to help illustrate the work that is underway.

Since the groundbreaking day on June 9, 2020, the construction crews have cleared the land that sits to the west of the Norton Shores campus to make way for the soccer and baseball field. It’s so exciting to see the progress!

July 13, 2020
July 13, 2020

For the first time in school history, both of WMC’s soccer and baseball teams will have home games on our campus. This will allow our students to support their classmates in a way that has not been previously possible since prior to this, baseball and soccer home fields were located off-site.

For the first time in school history, both of WMC’s soccer and baseball teams will have home games on our campus. This will allow our students to support their classmates in a way that has not been previously possible since prior to this, baseball and soccer home fields were located off-site.

WMC Boys Soccer

The roots of the Warrior soccer program harken back to the fall of 1968. In the beginning, the WMC mens soccer team was a member of the 6-C Soccer League with Grand Rapids Christian, Holland Christian, Unity Christian, Calvin Christian, and Kalamazoo Christian.

The boys soccer team claimed the State Championship in 1988, 1995, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2019.

In 1982, 1983, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2006, 2011 Warriors came up short as the runner up.

WMC Girls Soccer

The Warrior girls soccer program started in 1989 with an intramural team. That team blazed the trail for the first varsity girls soccer season in 1990. Nine years later the program achieved state runner up!

1990, back when girls had to play on the boys team to find higher level competition.
(source: The Torch 1990, WMC’s yearbook archive)
WMC’s first Girls Intramural Soccer team in 1989
(source: The Torch 1989, WMC’s yearbook archive)
WMC’s first girls varsity soccer team.
(source: The Torch 1990, WMC’s yearbook archive)
July 27, 2020
July 27, 2020

Both of WMC’s soccer coaches for the 2020-2021 school year are new to the post, so they will be the first to enjoy coaching on the new home soccer field. Boys soccer coach Coach Buursma shared, “These fields are going to be an amazing addition to the WMC campus. I am excited for the athletes and fans and the WMC community to enjoy the facility. I know a lot of prayer, planning, and financial resources went into making this portion of the campus plan a reality, and it’s incredible to see it come to fruition.” 

…a lot of prayer, planning, and financial resources went into making this portion of the campus plan a reality, and it’s incredible to see it come to fruition.

WMC’s new girls soccer coach, Kevin Butler, “The multi-sport complex is incredibly exciting for the players as well as the coaches.  I know the girls can’t wait to experience the training and playing environment in this new facility, to welcome their supporting fans into the complex, and thank the WMC families for their strong support of sports through a Christian perspective.”

The multi-sport complex is incredibly exciting for the players as well as the coaches.  I know the girls can’t wait to experience the training and playing environment in this new facility, to welcome their supporting fans into the complex, and thank the WMC families for their strong support of sports through a Christian perspective.

WMC Baseball

The baseball program started at WMC back in 1951. The first time baseball was featured in The Torch (WMC’s yearbook archives) was in 1952.

The Torch; 1952; Recognize anyone you know?

Warrior baseball clinched the state championship in 1985 and they were runner up in 1980.

“I’m extremely excited to have Warrior baseball being played on campus next spring.  It will provide an opportunity to strengthen the community feel where students and staff are only a short walk to watch us play,” shares Varsity baseball coach Mark Hill.  

I’m extremely excited to have Warrior baseball being played on campus next spring.  It will provide an opportunity to strengthen the community feel where students and staff are only a short walk to watch us play.

“Seeing the WMC community come together and provide the necessary support to make this project happen has been incredible.  For the last several years there have been so many hands involved.  To see this vision come to fruition is an example of how exceptional the WMC community is.  Our athletic department is grateful for the opportunity to have a facility of this stature for our coaches and athletes.  The WMC student-athletes are excited and ready to put these fields to use,” explains Western Michigan Christian Athletic Director, Kurt Gruppen.  

WMC promises to incur absolutely no debt for any of these projects and we will have 105% of the required funds in hand for any part of the project to commence.  We’re eternally grateful for the generosity of our community that has allowed for these exciting developments.

Interested in WMC’s Sports Programs? Click here to learn more.

Western Michigan Christian Hires New Girls Soccer Coach

WMC Announces Kevin Butler as the Head Girls Soccer Coach

Western Michigan Christian High School is excited to announce the hiring of Kevin Butler as the Warriors Girls Varsity Soccer Head Coach.  Butler has coached for 16 years for the Soccer Club of Rockford (SCOR).  During that span, he coached all levels ranging from U8 to U19 and was the President of SCOR for 3 years.  In addition to his involvement with SCOR, Butler was also the Director of Coaching for one year with the West Michigan Storm. 

“Kevin is a great addition to the WMC coaching staff and specifically the girls soccer program.  He has a wealth of soccer knowledge.  Kevin is very relational and has a heart for mentoring young athletes through soccer,”  stated WMC Athletic Director, Kurt Gruppen.

Coach Butler is excited to get started. “It is an honor and a privilege to be able to bring my experience to the lakeshore, to lead and build the women’s program at WMC, and most importantly, do so in a Christian context. I look forward to incorporating the values of discipleship into the soccer environment, and helping these young women build character and servant leadership both on and off the field,”  stated Butler.

Kevin and his wife Dina reside in Norton Shores. 

Interested in learning more about WMC’s soccer program?

CLICK HERE to email the WMC Athletic Department.

Western Michigan Christian Hires New Boys Soccer Coach

WMC Announces Ben Buursma as the Head Boys Soccer Coach

WMC looked no further than a former assistant coach to find their next varsity boys soccer head coach.  The athletic department is pleased to announce that Ben Buursma will be taking over as the head coach and leading the boys soccer program. Former head coach Dave Hulings stepped down from both the boys and girls programs in March. 

“From early on in the process it was evident that Ben had a deep understanding of the history and foundation that has been laid for WMC soccer.  Combine that with his soccer knowledge and coaching experience and I believe that Ben is a great fit at WMC. Ben is a confident coach and will not only develop talent on the field but will also disciple young men in their Christian faith,” states WMC Athletic Director, Kurt Gruppen. 

Ben is a confident coach and will not only develop talent on the field but will also disciple young men in their Christian faith.

Ben assisted the WMC boys program in 2008 and 2009.  In 2009, he helped the squad advance to the MHSAA Regional Championship game.  He later served as the head JV soccer coach at Grand Haven High School from 2010 – 2017.  Ben is currently the President of the Lakeshore Soccer Club’s Board of Directors. 

“What an honor to be selected as the next head coach for the boys’ soccer program at Western Michigan Christian. I am humbled and excited to lead this program into a new era, while continuing the traditions of excellent soccer on the field, service in the community, and spiritual development that Coach Hulings and his predecessors have built. This is a dream come true for me, and I can’t wait to get started working with these young men,” states Coach Buursma. 

I am humbled and excited to lead this program into a new era, while continuing the traditions of excellent soccer on the field, service in the community, and spiritual development that Coach Hulings and his predecessors have built.

Ben and his wife Rebecca have 4 children and reside in Grand Haven.

Interested in learning more about WMC’s soccer program?

CLICK HERE to email the WMC Athletic Department.

WMC BOYS SOCCER FUNDRAISER 2018

WMC Varsity Soccer team raises money for the bills and training of a Companion Dog for Lucas Barton.

Here’s Lucas’ story…

Meet Lucas. He’s a fun-loving and tenderhearted six-year-old that loves dogs and dinosaurs and likes to build with Legos and Magnatiles. He has a great sense of humor and likes to make everyone laugh. He has such a joyous outlook on life. He enjoys playing with his family and friends and loves the outdoors.

Lucas has recently been diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or DMD. This is a rare and progressive disorder that causes his muscles to become weaker over time until it affects the whole body. Right now, his hand and arm strength are diminished and going up stairs, walking, getting up off the floor and playing at the park are difficult and cause him to become fatigued. He needs to take frequent breaks and rest and also experiences muscle cramping and pain.

Something that we can do right now that would give him help every day is to get him a Companion Dog. This dog will need to have special training and certification. A Companion Dog can help him in his everyday life. We hope this dog can open and close doors, pick things off of the floor, give him bracing support, put laundry in a basket, take off his shoes, get help, and so much more. This dog will also help him during stressful Doctor appointments and with anxiety.

On October 5 the Boys Varsity Soccer team and Warrior Nation raised more than $4000 to support Lucas and the Barton family.

The Barton family thanks the WMC Senior Soccer Captains, the Warrior Soccer Team, the Bradford-Royle family, Warrior Nation and Leland fans for their support, prayers and generosity.

***PLEASE NOTE: Lucas and his older sister, Sidney, do not have a full understanding of what DMD is, it’s progression or it’s life-limiting prognosis. We ask that you please not mention or discuss these things around them or to them. Thank you***

PC Anna Sytsema

Western Michigan Christian (WMC) High School and Middle School (7-12th) is located at 455 East Ellis Rd. Muskegon, including 360 students from 5 countries, 30 cities, and 75 churches. WMC is a member of West Michigan Christian Schools(WMCS), a collaborative system of five schools throughout the Lakeshore region, including Fremont Christian (PK-8), Grand Haven Christian (PK-8), Muskegon Christian (PK-6) and New Era Christian (PK-8). The WMCS system works under a “Better Together” philosophy, offering a top-quality PK-12 Christian Education experience and a full scope of academic and extracurricular programs. Please >> click here to contact WMCS.

Western Michigan Christian Soccer Celebrates 50 Years

Happy 50th Warrior Soccer Season

4 Coaches • 70%+ Winning percentage •17 Championship Appearances • 8 State Titles

Current Western Michigan Christian boys varsity soccer coach David Hulings shares thoughts on this year’s team in the context of the 50-year history:

“WMC boys soccer is not made up of the twenty-three players on this year’s team, team #50. It is not built for a season. WMC soccer is built on legacy and tradition. The fellowship team #50 shares is also with all those who have come before and will come after. Team #50 is simply another stitch in the fabric of the ag that is WMC Warrior soccer. There is an expectation of quality, not just in play but in character. We are teaching kids how to be champions so they can win championships.”
 WMC Alumni Game Picture on Warrior Field

WMC boys soccer is not made up of the twenty-three players on this year’s team, team #50. It is not built for a season. WMC soccer is built on legacy and tradition. The fellowship team #50 shares is also with all those who have come before and will come after.

Collin Breit (‘11) speaks to the WMC soccer legacy, “Everybody comes into the program knowing that there’s a good chance you’ll be contending at the end of the year.”

4 Coaches • 70%+ Winning percentage •17 Championship Appearances • 8 State Titles

Dave VerMerris, who was instrumental in starting WMC soccer, reflects on 50 years. The former coach shared, “It has been a blessing. God has worked in my life and has touched my life with a lot of people and it’s incredible. I could not have scripted it better than this.”

It has been a blessing. God has worked in my life and has touched my life with a lot of people and it’s incredible. I could not have scripted it better than this.
Click here for access to videos and a photo gallery documenting WMC’s 50 years.

Please also note WMC will celebrate 30 years of girls soccer this spring along with the 20th anniversary of a state title appearance.

We love to hear from our Warrior families! Please click here to give us feedback or even a testimonial that you would like to share!

Western Michigan Christian is a grade 7-12 high school and middle school located at 455 East Ellis Rd. Muskegon, including 360 students from 5 countries, 30 cities, and 75 churches. Our WMCS feeder schools include Fremont Christian School (PK-8), Grand Haven Christian School (PK-8), Muskegon Christian School (PK-6) and New Era Christian School (PK-8).