Pure Finisher: Rochester Hills Christian senior Jessie Montgomery establishing himself amongst state’s best goal scorers |
BY DAN STICKRADT
ROCHESTER HILLS — Jesse Montgomery took the soccer ball, deked his defender to his left, and laced a perfectly-placed, left-footed laser into the upper 90 of the net from about 25 yards out.
For some, that’s a goal to remember. For Montgomery, it has become the norm.
Montgomery, now a senior at tiny Rochester Hills Christian, which has around 90 high school students, has developed into one of Oakland County’s most prolific goal scorers during his stellar career and with high school soccer in Michigan just weeks away from the state tournaments, the talented striker hopes to go out with a bang.
“I would like to get our (scoring) record, but I would rather win the state title this year,” said Montgomery, who also plays basketball and baseball for the school.
On the soccer pitch, Montgomery ranks in the top five in numerous single-game, single-season and career scoring records at the school. Rochester Hills Christian soccer coach Jerry Slota said that having players of Montgomery’s caliber doesn’t happen every year at a small school.
“He’s talented. We’ve had some good players over the years, but you don’t have them every year,” said Slota. “We’re lucky to have him. He’s been a big part of our team since we brought him up to varsity. As for scoring goals, he’s one of the best finishers we’ve ever had here.”
Montgomery has 142 goals and 30 assists during his career at Rochester Hills Christian, which has a long history of success in the Michigan Association of Christian Schools circles and against Division 4 schools. The Eagles won consecutive state titles (1989-1992) with several long tournament runs over the years.
The previous school career record for goals was 110 set by two former standouts (Mark Pickering, 1987-90 and Jonathan Bjerke, 1993-96).
So far this season, Montgomery has scored 23 goals with four assists, four hat tricks and converted all four penalty kicks this season to lead the 9-3-0 Eagles, who are in the league title chase