Soccer - Boys

St. Mary's Beckett likes to keep it positive WITH PHOTO GALLERY

  • Orchard Lake St. Mary's Michael Beckett is among the early contenders for the Mr. Soccer award. Beckett was named to the all-state Dream Team as a junior last season. (MIPrepZone photo by Dave Pemberton)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary's Michael Beckett (13) is among the early contenders for the Mr. Soccer award. Beckett was named to the all-state Dream Team as a junior last season. (MIPrepZone photo by Dave Pemberton)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary's Michael Beckett (13) is among the early contenders for the Mr. Soccer award. Beckett was named to the all-state Dream Team as a junior last season. (MIPrepZone photo by Dave Pemberton)
  • Orchard Lake St. Mary's Michael Beckett (13) is among the early contenders for the Mr. Soccer award. Beckett was named to the all-state Dream Team as a junior last season. (MIPrepZone photo by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)
  • The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets hope to contend for another Catholic League championship. (MIPrepZone photo gallery by Dave Pemberton)

Game Info

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ORCHARD LAKE — Stand near the field or even sit in the stands at an Orchard Lake St. Mary’s soccer game and you will hear plenty of talk coming from senior captain Michael Beckett.

You might hear Beckett encourage his teammates or try to pick them up after a missed an opportunity. You might hear Beckett take the blame for a misplaced shot or pass. You’ll hear plenty out of the vocal leader of the Eaglets.

What you won’t hear is anything negative come out of Beckett’s mouth. He doesn’t believe in ripping a teammate or placing any blame. Beckett tries to keep it positive no matter what.

“I try to bring as much positive energy to the team as I can,” Beckett said. “I believe no negative comments during the game are helpful. In practice I might get on somebody if they’re being lazy or something like that. But during a game, you can’t put somebody down when they make a mistake, in my opinion. I think as long as I keep my positive comments going to everybody, it will build up the chemistry even more and everybody will get along better. It’s just the way it should be and I don’t think I’ll ever say a negative comment to someone on the field.”

St. Mary’s head coach Mike Ruffolo said with just four seniors this year the team relies on Beckett’s leadership and he delivers.

“His leadership is important,” Ruffolo said. “We only have four seniors. We lost a lot of seniors last year so this year we’re kind of a young team. His senior leadership, his presence, the fact he’s telling them where to play, where to move, where to position the ball is very important. You can only coach so much at practice and on the sidelines, it’s got to happen instinctly on the field, and Mike’s that person.”

Beckett has had his share of individual success. He was named to the all-state Dream Team last season as a junior, one of only two players to do so (Mason’s Leutrim Shefkiu was the other).

Now, he hopes to win the Mr. Soccer award and has to be considered one of the early favorites for the prestigious award.

“I was surprised to be honest because I was a junior and I didn’t expect it,” Beckett said of being named to the Dream Team last season. “I felt extremely honored to be on it, now the goal is to be Mr. Soccer and become an All-American. Personally that’s what I want, but a state championship is the No. 1 thing on my mind.”

“I think Mike has the skill and the ability, and the attributes to be Mr. Soccer,” Ruffolo said. “He’s a team player, he’s got the skill, he’s got the size, he has the leadership, he has the grades, he’s a good person. I think he would represent the state and the soccer for the state of Michigan in a positive way. I couldn’t think of anybody any better than Mike for that honor.

“He knows he has to earn it and it’s not given. He knows that it’s very competitive. There’s a lot of good soccer players here in the state of Michigan. I think Mike’s chances to be considered for that honor is significant.”

Personal goals aside, Beckett hopes to lead the Eaglets to a deep playoff run. St. Mary’s won its first Catholic League championship last season and the Eaglets hope to win their first district title this season.

Beckett said his main goal is to win a state title, which is a lofty goal considering the Eaglets haven’t gotten out of districts. But Ruffolo likes Beckett’s confidence.

“You gotta have confidence,” Ruffolo said. “You have the team goals and the individual goals. We all have that in our daily lives and in business. We reassess our goals every day. For Mike to have the team goals in line with his personal goals as a soccer player I think is very positive. He doesn’t let the personal goals interfere with the team goals, which is what you want. If it’s personal over team goals then you have problems. I don’t see that coming from Mike. Mike is a team player.”

Beckett had the opportunity to play academy soccer, but said playing with his friends and finishing what he started in high school is what motivated him to return.

“I had a choice of going to academy this year or staying with my club (Michigan Impact),” said Beckett, who has committed to Michigan State. “I wanted to finish out my high school year with my best friends and I wanted to finish out my club season with the guys I’ve played with since I was 8 years old. The decision was really easy once I knew because I went to an academy tryout, they offered me a spot. Then I went to a Michigan Impact tryout and I’m like, ‘I want to stay here and I want to finish out high school.’ I love my club and I love my high school so that’s what I chose.”

Last Updated: 9/6/2015 2:32:57 PM EST