BY JAMES COOK
TRAVERSE CITY — It was a dream come true.
Burt Lake Northern Michigan Christian Academy's Aaron Chatfield has been named to the Michigan soccer Dream Team.
The Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association announced the selections today.
"I was very shocked," Chatfield said. "I didn't think that was going to happen. That was a big surprise to me."
He's the first Dream Teamer from northern Michigan since Traverse City West's Casey Townsend won back-to-back Mr. Soccer awards in 2006 and 2007.
"I'd like to thank all the people who spoke on my behalf — people that thought I deserved it," Chatfield said. "I don't know whether I do or not, but I guess someone thought I did. And all my teammates in past years and this year that have helped me to be able to do what I've done. And I thank God."
He's just the fifth Division 4 player to earn a Dream Team spot since its inception in 2001. Prior to that, the association only chose Mr. Soccer in addition to all-state teams.
"I was very thrilled to hear the news about him making it," said Lee Chatfield, Aaron's older brother and NMCA's coach. "It's an honor to get that award, because so many people have to speak on your behalf. It isn't an award that's handed out flippantly. So it's humbling, and we're very thankful for everyone who spoke on his behalf."
That includes Petoskey head coach Zach Jonker, who is a vice president of the coaches' association and pushed for Chatfield after the Northmen saw him in action.
"To have a team in high school that doesn't perform well and to still get an award like this, it's quite an accomplishment," Lee Chatfield said. "I thought it was a great way to cap off Aaron's decorated career. I was a little stunned after I heard the news, but I thought it was very deserving."
The Eagles finished the season 14-10 this season, when Aaron scored 68 goals, a mark that puts him third on Michigan's single-season goals list. He finished with 201 career goals, becoming only the fourth player nationally to hit the 200 mark.
"None of that comes without all the hard work of all the teammates that have been around him for years," Lee Chatfield said. "It's an accomplishment for our school and our community is proud of Aaron."