Athlete profile: VanderRoest helps lead Dreads into the playoffs

Ben VanderRoest is more than likely going to stay close to home when it comes to college but he has some business at home to take care of first before he makes that decision. The Dexter senior soccer player has been a leader on the Dreads all season and he’s looking to help lead his team far into the state playoffs.

“Our season has not been going as well as I anticipated it would at the start of the season,” said VanderRoest, who plays left midfield for coach Scott Forrester and the Dreads. “We ended up losing to Chelsea in the SEC White Division final. But we hope to make it far in the playoffs.”

Before the season started, the 17-year-old son of Steve and Carol VanderRoest set a few goals on and off the soccer field.

“One of the goals was to win the SECs which we came up short and another is to win Districts (which begin next week),” he said. “Another goal was to keep my grades up in the classroom. That was more of a personal goal.”

VanderRoest, who had a 2.7 grade-point average last year, has been focused on both soccer and school work since first walking the halls of Dexter High School. He has played varsity soccer since his sophomore year, including the last two as a starter.

As a junior, he won the Alex Forrester award as the most dedicated player on the team. He also received a scholar-athlete award. This year he was one of three Dreads to receive a tournament team award and will most likely earn All-SEC honors at the end of this season.

The Dexter soccer program has had a long run of success under Forrester, including a state title, several trips to the Final Four and four SEC league titles in the last five years.

“I think one of the reasons why we are so successful is because we have so many clubs around us to develop players,” said VanderRoest, who plays left midfield for his club team, Michigan Alliance out of Brighton.

“Dexter Soccer Club is a smaller club but still a very good club. I have played with them all my life before recently moving to Michigan Alliance.

“Coaching is another big thing. Both of these clubs have a great coaching staff for the development of players.”

VanderRoest started playing soccer around the age of 4.

“My dad wanted me to play a sport and he talked to me about community ed. soccer,” he said. “And that’s how I got started.”

He said he liked it right away.

“I liked how you have to practice a lot to be good at it,” he said. “Some sports everyone knows, for example throwing a football, or baseball. But not everyone knows how to kick a soccer ball correctly.”

VanderRoest hopes to play the game he loves at the next level.

“My college plans are to play soccer in college along with getting a good education,” he said. “I am thinking about criminal justice along with computer sciences. Not set in stone though.”

Neither is the school he is going to attend. Albion, Adrian, EMU, WMU, Saginaw Valley State, Ferris State and Lake Superior State are all being considered.

But first, he has a few things to take care of at home.

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