By: Daniel Stickradt
GIRLS SOCCER: Freeland’s Michelle Herring makes mark as one of state’s best
BY DAN STICKRADT
FREELAND — There was seemingly countless soccer matches in the Herring family’s back yard or living room floor over the years.
Or the hallway.
Or the kitchen floor.
Just about everywhere.
With multiple older and younger siblings, Michelle Herring had her battles with her siblings.
“We sure did. We were always playing around, going at each other” said Herring, now an 18-year-old senior at Freeland High School near Midland, Mich. “That’s what brothers and sisters do.”
Squaring off in a sibling rivalry affair against older sister, Taylor, younger sister, Sydney, and younger brother, Michael, Michelle Herring has more than held her own.
Actually, she’s enjoying the final chapter of her memorable high school career. And what a career it has been for the academics and soccer star.
Carrying over a 4.0 GPA and ranking in the top five in her 2017 graduating class, Herring is also considered to be one of Michigan’s top 10 soccer players starring at the high school game.
“It’s sad that it’s coming to an end soon,” said Herring. “It’s been a great four years. But I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life, too.”
A center midfielder/forward, Herring has led her school to an eye-catching 83-11-4 record over four seasons entering the final week of the 2017 regular season. She has collected over 50 career goals and 50 career assists and is likely to add to the total in the upcoming weeks.
Her academics resume also includes president of the National Honors Society, VP of the Senior Honors Club and Editor-In-Chief for the Freeland school newspaper, The Talon. A math whiz, Herring has not decided on an exact major.
“I am always doing something,” laughed Herring. “I guess being involved with soccer since I was little and studying hard takes up a lot of time.”
On the club level, Herring has starred for the Bloomfield Force (now Liverpool International Academy), where she plays mainly forward. With Freeland, she predominately plays center midfielder, while at MSU Herring is projected to be an outside midfielder.
“I’ll play wherever I can help the team the most,” said Herring.
“It was always a goal of mine to play Big Ten soccer. When Michigan State offered, I couldn't turn it down. That’s been a dream of mine for a long time,” continued Herring. “My older sister goes there and I’ve always been a Michigan State fan.”
Herring is one of the all-time leading scorers and assists leaders in Freeland school history. Currently, Freeland was ranked third in Division 3 this season with a perfect 20-0-0 record as of May 20, already securing the TVC Central Division title for the fourth straight season.
Herring is a three-time All-State standout, earning Division 3 All-State Honorable Mention honors as a freshman and All-State First Team accolades as both a sophomore and junior.
“I could not do anything without all of the support from my teammates, coaches, teachers…we’re all in this together,” said Herring. “No one can do it alone.”
Headed to Michigan State on a scholarship, one publication raked her as the No. 9 prospect in Michigan in the preseason. She is a likely All-State Dream Team thanks to her stellar career.
“That would be such a great honor,” said Herring, who does not seek self glory. “I think that would be something special. Although I don't play (for honors). I just try to help my team win, whether that’s my high school team or club team. Whatever position they need me to play, I’ll do it.”
Herring has played on four league championship teams, while her Falcons have also captured three straight district and regional crowns in Division 3. She has also been one of the leaders on three Final Four squads, although each of those state semifinals appearances ended in defeat.
The thing that is missing and has eluded Herring and the Falcons is an appearance in the state title game — and possibly a state championship trophy.
“That would be incredible,” said Herring. “We have a lot of young talent, but we’re playing some really good soccer right now. We’ve come close the past couple of years, but we just couldn’t get (over the hump). My freshman year we lost to (Birmingham) Detroit Country Day and the last two years we’ve lost to (Hudsonville) Unity Christian. We’ll go out there each game (in the tournament) and give it our all and hopefully we can make a run.”
Playing on the season’s final day and perhaps capturing some state glory would be something to brag about in the Herring household.
“That would be incredible,” smiled Herring.