By Bill Bray
FREMONT – If you have attended a boys soccer game this season, your attention is immediately taken to the ‘man in the goal’. Logan Baacke not only stands out because of his bright pink uniform that he wears, but because of his tremendous play that has been a staple on the Fremont Ross boys’ soccer team for the past three years. Why the pink uniform? “Why not wear it, it’s my senior year,” Baacke said.
Come to find out the game of soccer has been a staple in the senior’s life for a very long time. “Soccer started for me when I was about four or five years old, Baacke said. “I joined the rec. league and that is when this all started, and I have been playing ever since then.” Baacke added that his dad also grew up in the sport and had passed it on to him. “The more I played the more I liked it.” When Baacke was eight years old, his destiny was solidified when he was put into the net for the first time. “I loved the position from the very beginning and have worked really hard for the past seven years to become the best I can be at the position it’s a beautiful game and anytime I make a save that energy rush is just so thrilling.”
As he started his career as a freshman in the fall of 2019, he had dreams of a varsity career that he could not wait to have start. “As I sat on the bench watching I just could not wait for my playing time to increase as time went on,” Baacke said. “Now, three more seasons have passed, and I am ending my high school career, I can’t believe how fast it has gone.”
The three years that Baacke played varsity could not have been much better and some young soccer players can only dream of the high school career that Logan Baacke has had. “I was fortunate enough to get first team All-Trac my sophomore year as I played in goal 100% of the time. I feel like maybe the coaches who decide on the teams felt bad for me because I had so many shots fired at me. We just weren’t very good, and I had a lot of shots come my way.”
Not only did Baacke finish with first team honors his junior and senior seasons but he was named “Goalie of the Year” in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference each year. The “Goalie of the Year” the last two season did get his opportunity to play in the field. “When I am in the field it is more about getting the ball to other players with passes that could possibly set up a scoring opportunity for us, Baacke explained. “When I am in goal, I have to watch more closely and communicate with my players more to let them know where the opposing team’s players are on the field and hopefully be their eyes in those situations.” Baacke gave kudos to Ross’ defense and the team’s defensive midfielders in Connor Growel, Victor Martinez, and Cole Kinsey. “They are all experienced and are doing a great job this year in their positions,” Baacke said. “We just need to put the ball in the goal more, Baacke said. “We have opportunities, and we need to take better shots on goal. All the ties we had this year would have and could have been wins.”
Baacke’s coach for the last four years, Alex Corressel is sorry to see his goalie leave but had nothing but praise for the “man in pink”. “He’s brought everything to this team,” the coach said. “Just a realness about the game. No matter what, he will tell you like it is. He will flat out come out and say if he has had a good game or has not had a good game. I think of the Lima game last year. He came to me at
the half and said ‘I am not playing well in goal. Put me in the field the second half.’ We came back in the second half and ended up winning 7-3 when we were down 3-0. Logan was instrumental in that win because of his play in the field in the second half. The kid is going to work hard no matter what and he will ‘bring-it’ every single game.”
As the season ends and Baacke thinks about his future, he is anticipating playing soccer at the next level in college. “Lake Erie College in Cleveland, Lake Erie Christian College in Lancing Michigan and Mid Atlantic Christian College in North Carolina have all been in touch with me.” Baacke said one of the benefits of picking Mid Atlantic is obviously because of the better weather that would enable him to play outdoors more often. He is a little scared about possibly going that far away from home to play but said, “I think I could handle it. The campus is right on the water, so it would be nice.”
We all hope there are nothing but “nice” things in store for the “Man in Pink” a man that won’t soon be forgotten when soccer teams of the future take the field.