Rockets closing in on two decades of winning seasons

J. Patrick Eaken

Oak Harbor girls soccer coach Renee Williamson is getting close to completing two decades at the helm without a losing season.

This is her 19th season, so she just needs to have winning seasons this year and next year to make that happen. During her first 18 seasons, Oak Harbor has won 12 league championships and Williamson’s teams are an accumulated 254-57-29. Williamson has told The Press that the winning is not just because of her.

“There are a number of reasons. First, we have a number of superior athletes,” Williamson said. “The girls are just so athletic, and they like to win. They hate to lose and so do I, honestly.”

Her teams have been sectional champions 13 times, district champs three times, and regional champs once, qualifying for the state final four. The Rockets have won a Sandusky Bay Conference championship 12 of 13 seasons and she has coached three All-Ohio selections.

What makes this even better is that she was instrumental in the start-up of the girls high school soccer program at Oak Harbor, helping build it from the ground up. She was district coach of the year twice, serves as the North Central District Soccer Coaches Association secretary and was elected to the state coaches’ association soccer board this year. You could say she is all about soccer, and Oak Harbor is benefitting.

Last year’s team was 14-4-1 overall, outscoring opponents 54-19 and a near-perfect 7-0-1 to win the SBC Bay Division, Williamson returns 13 letter winners from that team.

Asking Williamson where she would like her team to finish, and she makes it clear — “No. 1,” she says.

“The reason I say this is because we returned the majority of starters from last year,” Williamson said. “The number of returning players who have been together for several years is our strength. The seniors have been working throughout the summer on ideas to keep the teams close and have also been great mentors to our new players.”

In addition, Williamson says the SBC seems to be on the up and up a little more each season.

“Every year our league improves which helps all of the SBC teams during tournaments,” Williamson said.

Last year the Rockets defeated Tiffin Columbian, 4-0, and Port Clinton, 2-1 to reach the district tournament where the Rockets fell, 1-0, to Central Catholic.


Seven returning third-year starters

Returnees include forward Hannah Schulte, midfielder Remi Gregory, goalkeeper Ripley St. Clair and defenders Kaley Daniel, Kori Helle, Emma Baumgartner, and Amelia Mizelle. All are seniors and were starters the last two years; if that gives any indication how good the Rockets could be this year.  

Last year Schulte and St. Clair were first team All-North Central District, Gregory and Daniel were second team and Mizelle honorable mention. In the SBC, Schulte, Gregory and Daniel were first team and St. Clair was second team.

Schulte led the team with 14 goals and nine assists, Gregory had five goals and five assists, Helle had two goals and one assist, Daniel scored one goal, and St. Clair, who will be a three-year starter this year, presided over seven shutouts and made 110 saves last year, including 15 saves in a 2-0 loss to fifth-ranked Division III regional finalist Eastwood. Williamson said St. Clair was always learning, including in that loss to Eastwood.

“She is just phenomenal. She is a great communicator, and she anticipates well,” Williamson said. “Matter of fact, on a couple goals (last) year she over-anticipated. 

Also returning is junior attacker Lily DeTray and sophomore midfielder Hollie Robinson.  DeTray scored 10 goals with five assists and Robinson had four goals and two assists, Williamson says there are several other promising players new to the varsity this year. 

Schulte and DeTray will again lead the offense up front, and “Remi Gregory has always been strong in midfield and we are looking to repeat that,” says Williamson. The Rockets return talent on the defensive side of the pitch, too.

“Defense is huge. We kept teams to 19 goals, averaging one goal per game even playing teams like Eastwood and Mansfield Christian. The only team that scored a lot of goals against us was in our very first game, against Norwalk, and they scored five (5-4 Norwalk win),” Williamson said.

“Midfielder Remy Gregory really stepped up towards the end of the season and defender Kaley Daniel made a lot of plays in the outside for our defense,” Williamson continued. “She is in an attacking defender, which was huge for us.

“All four of our defenders are returning this year and we have two or three additional younger players who have done well this summer. There are several who have stepped up, (including) Mollie Downs and Adrienne Schiets. Hollie Robinson, Molly Downs and Adrienne Schiets should all be very effective for the team.”

If there is one concern, it is the same concern every coach has — the health of her team.

“Injury always seems to be our biggest weakness,” Williamson said. “This team has been working throughout the summer to reduce any controllable weaknesses they may have. Team cohesiveness will be important as it is every year, making sure we understand, support, and work through anything we encounter will be key.”

As far as college prospects, Williamson says Schulte, DeTray, Daniel, Schiets and Robinson have all expressed interest in playing at the next level.








The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association