Story and photos by Frank Solle
Suddenly last weekend things weren't going as the Beaver Island Islander soccer team had planned.
After giving up a goal in the opening two minutes of play Friday against the Paradise Rockets, the Islanders knew they were in for a battle.
And battle they did, through two rough and tumble games that resulted in two more Islander wins, as the Green and White prevailed 6-4 and 8-1 to push their season and Northern Lights League record to a conference best 6-0.
“Our kids had to play some ball this weekend,” said Islander coach Mike Myers. “That was good for them.”
Brenden Martin pulled the Islanders even with the Rockets just past the midway mark of the opening half as he blasted a shot in from the top of the penalty box.
Goalkeeper Eric Albin then had a standout effort as he stood up to a penalty kick by Rocket Austin Ackerman and swatted Ackerman's free kick away from the goal.
Yet a late-half breakaway led to another Paradise goal and and the Rockets led at the intermission 2-1.
Paradise then opened the second half with another score to push their lead to 3-1.
That proved to be all the punishment the Islanders wanted to endure as they rallied to score the next four goals.
Jared Wojan opened the scoring spree with with goal followed by a score credited to Dereck McDonough although he was helped by a kick from Paradise's Cathy Graham.
Saygan Croswhite then scored through the Rockets' defensive barricade on a direct kick.
McDonough capped the scoring run with a smooth arcing shot the Paradise keeper had no chance of stopping.
The Rockets added their final goal shortly after, but McDonough completed his hat trick scoring off a rebound from a shot by Martin with five minutes to play.
Saturday's game appeared to get underway as a repeat as Paradise again scored the first goal. But this time the Islanders seemed more in tune offensively by retaliating with five unanswered first-half scores and holding the Rockets scoreless throughout the rest of the morning.
Croswhite netted the first Islander score with a head shot off a corner kick by Martin who then scored with an assist from McDonough.
Croswhite added another goal before Wojan got on board with an assist from Martin. Tony Bousquet scored the final Islander goal of the opening half as he took a pass from Wojan in full stride and drilled a shot past the Rockets keeper.
“We started out better today,” Myers said of the Saturday effort. “We were prepared for Paradise's quickness. There's no doubt we have the skills, we just had to decide to use them.”
Tony Bousquet notched the first goal of the second half with Wojan adding the final two.
“We gave a good effort,” said Rockets coach Al Smith. “We broke down defensively and missed too many balls, but Beaver Island has a very strong team.”
The Islanders put their strength back on the home pitch this weekend as the host the Munising Baptist Bobcats Friday (5:00 pm) and Saturday (9:00 am).
It was a homecoming of sorts as the ferry entered the harbor on Saturday. The Kahlenberg engine from the Bob S was returning to the island - and in much better shape than it was when it left.
The Bob S is 50 ft. x 13 ft. fish tug, built by Peterson Boat Works, for William Sellman, Manistique, Mich. in 1935. Equipped with a 75-90 hp. Kahlenberg oil engine and compressed air net lifter. In 1961 the boat was sold to Reuben Peterson, and taken to Harbor Beach, Mich., where it was operated for a number of years. Reuben's sons, Robert and Jerome, brought her back to Manistique and fished from there for a number of years. After sinking at the dock in 1979, she was raised, and then sold to Earl Maudrie, of Beaver Island who operated until 1983, then donated it to the Beaver Island Historical Society, where it remains on display.
Karl Bartels amazed and stunned all with the meticulous restoration of the old engine. After 400 plus hours of work, done after a full day at his regular job that includes a two hour commute, he performed a labor of love on the old engine. Emails flew between the Kahlenberg Company and Karl, plus there was a trip to Wisconsin to check for parts and matching paint. The end result is amazing.
Karl was assisted by his friend Jerry Heffelbower of Woodland, Michigan who owned the perfect trailer to tote the huge engine to Charlevoix. Jerry was also on hand when the engine, all in rusty pieces, was taken off-island back in mid-October of last year. Considering the shape it was in at that time it's absolutely amazing that Karl was able to complete the job so quickly.
As the truck and trailer holding the engine emerged from the Emerald Isle, there were ohhh's and ahhh's plus a bit of applause. A crowd quickly surrounded the engine to appreciate all the work involved. There was one small piece that Karl had not been able to locate during the restoration, but his nephew Galen Bartels, managed to discover the missing part and presented it to his uncle once the engine was on the dock. Karl and Galen immediately put it on making the final repair.
With help from John Runberg, Sr., Barry Pischner, Bill Cashman, Dick Burris, and Robert Gillespie and his huge CAT, the Kahlenberg was gently placed in the Heritage Park barn until it's final display place can be decided. Kudos to all those involved from beginning to end and very special thanks to Karl Bartels for all his work on this special engine.
As of this morning 9-25 only two (2) table remain for Bite of Beaver Island. Space will only allow a total of 16 tables. Interested Chef's should apply for a table right away. For more information go to www.beaverisland.org or call 231 448-2505.