Greenwood Christian Academy soccer players Gerrit and Griffin Huizinga are contrasts in personality and playing style.
Differences aside, the oldest and most experienced of the three sets of brothers in the Cougars’ program make it work for a Greenwood Christian team starting the season with a 6-0-1 record.
Gerrit, a senior defender/midfielder, has scored one goal and produced a team-high six assists this season. Griffin Huizinga, a junior forward/midfielder, is responsible for three goals and three assists.
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The brothers are making it a point to savor every aspect of their final season as high school teammates.
“Gerrit is a little bit more outgoing. I’m outgoing if I know you, but if I don’t know you I probably won’t talk to you,” said Griffin with a laugh. “As a player, he’s more aggressive. I can have my moments, but normally I’ll lay back and just go at it sometimes.
“He’s sort of another teammate. I just have better chemistry with him than others.”
The family connections don’t stop there. Gerrit and Griffin play for their father, first-year coach George Huizinga, who was an assistant coach the past two seasons.
The eldest Huizinga was a team captain for the Wofford College men’s soccer program, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in the early 1990s.
“I like having my dad on the sideline,” Gerrit said. “He’s been there in years past as an assistant coach, but he has a lot of experience, and we’ve grown up with his coaching style.
“On the field, Griffin and I have good chemistry. We know how to talk to each other. We know how the other plays.”
They started playing at a young age. Gerrit was 4 and Griffin 3 when they competed in a youth league at Baxter YMCA.
And yes, dad was coaching.
More than a decade later, the open lines of communication between the three remain.
“It’s pretty cool just because you know after a game or after a practice you can talk to someone,” Griffin said. “You can get honest feedback from them.”
Greenwood Christian Academy boys soccer experienced tremendous success in the six seasons Dan Carmichael was head coach (2011-16). The Cougars picked up Class A sectional championship trophies in 2013 and 2015.
During that 2015 season, Gerrit finished with 11 goals and eight assists. Griffin, then a freshman, also contributed to the success of that squad.
Since then, the program sports a record of 32-8-2 with the Huizinga brothers as teammates.
“It’s not much different than the prior two years because Dan let me do a lot of the training with the boys,” George Huizinga said.
“From the very beginning, I knew I had only a few years to do this. I’m taking it all in.”
Greenwood Christian is idle until its Sept. 9 home match against Central Christian Academy.