's Jordan Newman is proof that what athletes do in the offseason is often more important than what they do in the regular season.
Newman, a freshman forward on the Lake Fenton soccer team, scored 40 goals for the Blue Devils this season. Her coach, Lenny Glasstetter, credits the competition Newman sees during her AAU season with the Michigan Hawks, one of the top AAU programs in the state, as the main reason.
"She plays with a lot of these girls from Powers on the Hawks team, and they play at a very high level," Glasstetter said. "They constantly play year-round, and that just makes a better player. The level of play is greater than high school, so that really prepares her."
Against Powers, the state's fourth ranked team, Lake Fenton was . Newman enjoyed the experience of playing against some of her Hawks teammates and was encouraged by Lake Fenton's performance, particularly in the second half when they played the Chargers even.
"Being the underdogs, we came out really strong," she said. "I feel like Powers didn't expect this much competition out of us. In the second half, I feel like we beat them."
Newman didn't score against Powers, and that was because the Chargers, like most teams this year, paid a lot of attention to where she was at all times.
"She was double and triple teamed all season," Glasstetter said. "That's the kind of respect even Powers gives her."
Newman still found ways to score, though, by using her speed to break through double teams and get to the ball. The strong passing of her teammates also set her up for scoring opportunities.
"I just run onto everything," Newman said. "My teammates always found me with good passes."
Lake Fenton's success this season led to a share of the Genesee Area Conference title with Goodrich. It was the first league title Lake Fenton's soccer team has won since 2003, when the team was a part of the Valley Soccer Association. Despite the team's youth, Newman felt in the preseason that Lake Fenton had enough talent to compete for a league championship.
"Actually, I expected that we would be good," Newman said. "I felt like we could win the league. Goodrich is really good too, and they probably felt the same thing (before the season)."
Now, with the team only losing four seniors to graduation, Newman believes Lake Fenton will only get stronger over the next few seasons.
"Playing together as a team, being in the same class growing up, it will just make us stronger," Newman said. "Time will just make us a better team."