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Roennecke ready for the next level, inks with Notre Dame after etching his name in Roeper, MHSAA lore WITH PHOTOS

  • Simon Roennecke will be playing on the pitch in college for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

BIRMINGHAM – Fighting Irish meet the Fighting Tuna.

Birmingham Roeper all-state senior boys soccer player Simon Roennecke signed his National Letter of Intent with the University of Notre Dame this week in a ceremony at the small private school located off Adams Road. With his “golden ticket” to join the elite and storied ranks of the Fighting Irish athletic program, the humble and extremely skilled Roennecke bags the most prestigious college athletic scholarship in Roeper’s 75-year history.

It’s fitting since the young man knows a thing or two about making history in his sport of choice. As a sophomore, he scored 40 goals and registered 36 assists and led the Roughriders, whose alternative nickname for years has been the Fighting Tuna, to the school’s first-ever state title. Roennecke notched all four goals in Roeper’s 4-2 defeat of Grand Rapids Covenant Christian in the 2014 state championship game. He missed most of his junior season in 2015 with an injury and last fall he elected to play with his academy team, the CSA Wolves, based out of Livonia and the No. 1 club program in the Midwest entering the upcoming spring campaign.

For his shortened high school career at Roeper, Roennecke recorded a total of 98 goals and 57 assists, his 98-goal tally good for second-most all-time in Oakland County, behind only his former teammate Max Whipple (102) and Lake Orion’s Billy Weaver, who starred in the OAA for the Dragons in the early 2000s. Whipple was a senior on Roeper’s 2014 state-title squad.

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Notre Dame held a No. 1 ranking in the nation this past season, eventually losing in the NCAA quarterfinals to Louisville 3-1. Roennecke committed to the Fighting Irish back in the summer. Roeper’s boys basketball team saw three players head to Division I colleges on scholarships in the 1970s – Greg Carter (University of Detroit), Tim Teasley (Northwestern) and Cliff Russell (UT-El Paso) – but Roennecke’s scholarship to South Bend sets a new benchmark for the school’s athletic community.

“Going to Notre Dame is a huge honor in itself, I hope it inspires other athletes coming up in the school to aim high for themselves and tells some of the younger soccer players in the area you don’t necessarily have to play academy ball to get a scholarship like this,” Roennecke said. “I think there’s something to be said for playing with your friends and classmates instead of going to play for an academy right away. High school is more than just about playing sports, it’s about building bonds and relationships too.”

Roennecke didn’t join the academy-ball scene until after he earned his scholarship bid in July. He’ll play forward at the college level.

“Simon exemplifies the term student athlete,” Roeper soccer coach and athletic director Ed Sack said. “We have been blessed to have him in the classroom, on the field and as a member of the Roeper community. This is the kind of kid who will make a difference at Notre Dame and in the world.”

Last Updated: 2/2/2017 7:56:54 PM EST


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