Pine River soccer head coach resigns his spot

LEROY—It's the end of an era for Pine River soccer.

Head coach Dave Fisher finished his final season for the Pine River Bucks, helping the team reach a 3-14-2 record, going 3-11 in conference play.

Fisher officially resigned as head coach and will be moving to Midland. Highlights from his career in LeRoy include the 2021 season that saw Pine River record its best season in over a decade with a 5-11-1 record.

"This is my last season as the head coach at Pine River," Fisher said. "It has been my privilege to watch this program start from ground zero and make great strides in the right direction. We have accomplished a lot in four years and I have had the privilege to work with some great students and parents. I wish the program and the athletes great success in the future."

The Bucks saw wins against Big Rapids Crossroads and Burt Lake Northern Michigan Christian.

"Although we did not exceed our win/loss expectation this year we did exceed what our opponents expected from us," Fisher said. "As a coach, I like to set high goals for my team. I like to challenge them to play above expectations they have for themselves and in almost every game I would say they did. We allowed fewer points to be scored on us for a fourth year in a row."

Pine River boasted of one of the more unique rosters in the area, utilizing three freshman and five girls on a roster of 14 players. The Bucks usually took on varsity rosters of primarily junior and senior boys. 

"When I first started coaching at Pine River teams would walk on the field and make comments about our female athletes," Fisher said. "I very rarely heard someone making those comments this year. Our girls were fearless and did a great job containing their taller, faster, physically stronger male opponents."

Senior goaltender Daniel Leydet had a strong season at the net this season, developing into a vocal team leader on the defensive side.

"Each game he got stronger and stronger and stopped shots that I thought for sure would find their way into the back of the net," Fisher said. "As the season progressed Daniel got more and more vocal from the net, helping to successfully direct his teammates on the field."

Senior captain Javen Wanstead was a defensive leader for the Bucks, averaging three saves a game.

"Javen directed our team defense which kept otherwise explosive offenses on their heels," Fisher said. "Javen averaged over three saves a game and provided great leadership to our underclassman. Javen was our go-to guy for indirect and direct kicks."

The Bucks will graduate six players: Daniel Leydet, Javen Wanstead, Carter Lewis, Jordan Nelson, Kate Mitchell, and Anna Mitchell. They will return eight players for next season.