A Michigan high school soccer coach apologized after letting a player score 16 goals by halftime against a winless team
A Michigan high school soccer team has been criticized for scoring 17 goals against an opponent on a losing streak.
One star player, Kevin Hubbell, scored 16 of those goals within the first half of the game.
Parents and board members from the losing school felt the blowout was unsportsmanlike and uncalled for.
A high school soccer team in northern Michigan is under fire for breaking scoring records against a team that's lost every game of the season so far, prompting an apology from the winning coach.
The game, played on September 29, was declared over at halftime with a score of 17-0, reported The Associated Press. Benzie Central's 17-year-old star Kevin Hubbell scored 16 of those goals against the Kingsley, which now has a 0-16 record after several more losses.
Hubbell's performance that day set the state and national records for most goals in a high school game, something that he and his coach had discussed during the game, per the Traverse City Record-Eagle, a local daily.
But most people on social media weren't impressed by the accomplishment, instead criticizing the blowout as poor sportsmanship and the bullying of a struggling team, reported the Record-Eagle. Many felt that Hubbell should have been taken off the game before hitting the record.
"He was firing them off like a rocket," said Heather Bartelmay, a Kingsley school board member whose son was goalkeeper for part of the game, according to The AP. "We went over and hugged our boys. That's what was needed. Their hearts were bleeding."
A day after the game, Benzie Central's coach, Chris Batchelder, sent a letter to Kingsley, apologizing for some remarks he made and saying he didn't mean to "humiliate your players or your program," per The AP.
The shutout loss was "pretty demoralizing," said Kingsley head coach Tim VanWingerden, per the Record-Eagle.
"To go after a personal record like that at the cost of another team's dignity was a little uncalled for. Soccer is not the right place for that. Soccer is a gentleman's sport," he said.
The Kingsley board of education met on Monday night to discuss how it would respond to the one-sided game. Kingsley Superintendent Kevin Smith told The AP that the board didn't take a formal vote, but is considering sending a letter to Benzie Central.
"If high school sports degenerates into 'Let's try to hang the most points we can' and taking advantage of people when they're down, we're really missing the mark and need to reevaluate why we're doing this," Smith said.
Benzie Central High School did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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