For those who pay close attention to the Olivet High School sports schedules, one may have noticed that the varsity girls’ soccer team is scheduled to play Capac on Saturday, April 28 at Durand High School at 12:00 noon.
Well, there’s a little history behind this match-up, which is being promoted as “The O-C Cup,” with the winner taking home a traveling trophy that will be up for grabs on an annual – or at least a first annual – basis.
It all started earlier this school year when I walked into Fay’s Willow Tree Café & Bakery in downtown Olivet to order my beloved turkey-bacon wrap. Eric Ransom, a student-athlete at Olivet College, was preparing sandwiches that day and we struck up a conversation. I soon learned that he was the varsity girls’ soccer coach at Capac High School, a Class C school located 128 miles northeast of Olivet.
Before long, the discussion turned to the possibility of an Olivet vs. Capac girls’ soccer game. We both had room on our schedules, but a two-hour one-way commute did not seem attractive for the visiting team. That is when we started identifying communities along I-69 – a place like Durand, for example – that might serve as a venue for the match. Three weeks and several emails later, the contest that at one time seemed far-fetched was officially on both schools’ schedules.
Managing logistics, of course, is nothing new for Coach Ransom, who is in his second season as head coach for the Chiefs despite taking classes and playing sports two hours away. Ransom misses some of his team’s early-season practices while finishing up his winter semester at OC, where he also is a member of the men’s soccer and men’s tennis teams. In other words, Ransom’s ability to juggle school, play two college sports and coach a high school team is about as common as OHS playing Capac in a regular-season soccer game.
Coincidentally, Ransom will be spending a lot of time at OHS next fall, serving as both an Athletic Department intern with yours truly and a volunteer varsity boys’ soccer coach under Marco Hernandez. Ransom is studying Sports and Recreation Management at OC.
Entering the current week, the Olivet girls’ soccer team sports a 3-1-1 record, while Capac is 2-2. The goal is to keep this game going for a few years – or at least as long as Ransom is the head coach at Capac (his alma mater). But even if the “The O-C Cup” is just a one-year deal, it is still going to be a memorable event.