ZEELAND – When the opponents faced the women’s football team from Zeeland East, they had to choose their poison.
The Chix had a record single-season goalscorer on their team — and career leading scorer, which were two different players.
Haley Diekevers set the career record this year, even after deferring much of the scoring to counterpart Paige Westra, who set the single-season record.
Diekevers became the distributor and controlled the offense for the Chix. She earned second-team all-state honors and was selected as The Holland Sentinel Girls Football Player of the Year.
“Haley is a special talent and one of the best players I’ve ever coached,” said Zeeland East coach Joe Grit. “She has the ability to play in front of goal or with her back to goal. She’s an excellent scorer and an even better passer.
Diekevers scored 18 goals and provided 15 assists.
“It was definitely something I had to adapt to. It was a bit difficult at the beginning because I wasn’t used to spending as much as necessary this season. Everything I needed to help my team, I did it,” Diekevers said. “It’s really cool to set these records. Leaving this legacy means a lot to me.”
His 15 assists tied the school single-season record and his 45 career goals also hold the Zeeland East record.
“Even missing the whole junior year due to COVID, she set the record for career goals at Zeeland East,” Grit said.
“She is very humble, a great team player and strives to improve every day,” Grit said.
That includes handing the ball to Westra, whose 26 goals this season broke Diekvers’ record of 20 from two years ago.
They feed on each other, making them nearly impossible to defend against.
“It was so much fun, especially since Paige and I have been playing together for 10 years. The bond is obviously there. Our team was a big help in getting us the ball,” Diekevers said. as fast as her. I put the ball in an open space and she can get there.
Now she is heading to Davenport University to play at the NCAA Division II level.
“When I visited Davenport, I really liked the coach and she wanted the best out of me as a person and a player, and I loved the team vibe,” Diekevers said. “I’m thrilled to play with Joy (VanDam) because we’ve played together almost our whole lives. To continue means a lot.
Haley Diekevers, East Zealand (POY)
Lainey Canan, East Zealand
Grace Cawood, West Zealand
Casi Gibson, West Ottawa
Ainsley Harris, Holland Christian
Alyssa Karner, Ottawa West
Kasey Losik, Saugatuck
Angelica Mendoza, Fennville
Karrisa Moerler, Saugatuck
Adele Nieuwsma, Saugatuck
Brecken Panse, West Ottawa
Grace Pedersen, Ottawa West
Sierra Schrotenboer, Hamilton
Alexa Valk, Holland Christian
Joy VanDam, East Zealand
Paige Westra, East Zealand
Abby Winn, West Zealand
Aaliyah Ybarra, West Zealand
Kailyn Merkle, Saugatuck
Zoe Myers, Saugatuck
Alexis Vander Zwaag, Hamilton
Makenna Ramsey, Hamilton
Taylor Vander Zwaag, Hamilton
Meg Vander KooiHamilton
Jen Johnson, Hamilton
Bailey Gauthier, Hamilton
Zoe Grant, West Zealand
Leanne Wyrick, West Zealand
Ryanne VanWyk, Holland Christian
Josie Evenhouse, Holland Christian
Sarah Snow, Dutch Christian
Josie Hunter, Ottawa West
Molly Borski, Ottawa West
Allie Langdon, Ottawa West
Kaleigh VanDeWege, East Zealand
Riley Gainey, Holland
Riley Elders, Holland
Taylor Correa, Fennville
Bailey Zuroske, Fennville
Annika Vroon, Black River