Athlete of the Week: Grace VerHage
OTSEGO, Mich. —
An Otsego Bulldog girls' soccer star is fresh off making history with the program, which is exactly what she set out to do.
For the first three years of her high school career, Grace Verhage averaged 25 goals per season, which put her in position to not only break Otsego's all-time goal scoring record, but to shatter it.
If goals were the goal, then Verhage is scoring with flying colors. On Monday, the Bulldog senior tied the school record for career goals with 93 and Wednesday she broke it.
Verhage said, "Obviously I don't want to stop from here, I want to keep going with it. I want to push and even kill this record, I don't want to just leave this for somebody else to get easily. I want to go after it, and destroy the record."
Exactly the mindset expected from someone who has set her sights on 100 career goals.
She said, “I've always had this hunger to make history somewhere.”
While she's an assassin on the field, off the field, it's the exact opposite.
She said, “I love mission work. I work through my church a lot. I'm actually going to New York City this summer for a mission trip.”
It's something Verhage has done for four years.
She said, “When you're doing mission work, you're working with a lot of different people. People that may not be like you. Then when you're working out on the field, it's the same thing almost.”
Otsego coach Levi Butcher says that mindset is a big part of Verhage's results.
Butcher said, “It's just a testament to her overall ability. She kind of remade herself as a player, knowing it might her goal total a little, and it hasn't at all.”
And while there's still a few goals to go in the quest for 100, Verhage credits her commitment to Ferris State with easing any pressure.
Verhage said, “This year I've been more relaxed, now that I'm committed. It's just a relaxing feeling. And finally, everything is going smoothly and going the way I want it to."
She broke the school record on Wednesday night with career goal number 94, but she also scored numbers 95, 96, 97 and 98 against Dowagiac, which means she is on the cusp of scoring that milestone 100th career goal.