“I’m relieved,” says Verhage along with being very excited for the opportunity to play at the next level, “ I’m excited for the challenge and to see how much better I can get playing with a high-level group of girls.”
Gracie has been playing soccer since she was three and for a long time when she was younger, thought she wanted to play soccer in college. Her athletic career has been a busy one. Along with soccer, she’s been a part of cross country and basketball since middle school. Otsego High School Varsity Soccer Coach Levi Butcher says playing multiple sports helped her prepare for this, “The biggest thing with Grace is she is a college-ready player,” he says, “She’s pushed herself with skills, not settling for anything; that says a lot about her as a person.”
Verhage has earned All-Conference, All-District, All-Country, All-Region and 2nd team All-State honors during her three years on the varsity soccer team. In Cross Country, she was 4x All-Conference, 4x All-County, 4x All-Region, 3x Academic All-State and All-State this past fall. She was also on the two State Championship and Runners Up teams. In basketball, she was on the Conference Championship team in 2015-16 and on the District Championship and Regional Runners Up teams in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Ferris State University is welcoming nine freshmen to their team, Verhage plays forward; she’s an attacking player. She’s scored 75 goals at OHS so far and hopes to break the school record of 93 this season. She looked at a few schools to continue playing but Ferris had the “heart” she was looking for, “Ferris’ soccer team pushes the family atmosphere,” she says FSU is also the right size and has the academic programming this 4.0 GPA student was looking for; she’ll major in business with her eye on a career in interior design. She’s grateful to have soccer also be a part her college experience, “There’s a small percentage of athletes who play in college. It’s not easy. And it’s cool to say you are a part of that small percentage,” she says.
With her future plans set, she’s just looking forward to getting there; but first, she’s eyeing a great last soccer season of high school, “I’m so content and happy with my decision, now I can just play and be relaxed and have fun. I’m more confident in myself.”