BURT LAKE — Aaron Chatfield put together a season that many can only dream about.
The Burt Lake Northern Michigan Christian Academy senior midfielder became the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s all-time leading career goal scorer — finishing with 201 — and had 68 goals on the season, good for third on the state’s all-time list.
On Thursday, Chatfield was named to the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association Dream Team, becoming just the fifth player in Division IV to earn a spot on the coveted 11-player team since its berth in 2001.
Before then, the association named just Mr. Soccer as well as the divisional All-State teams. Chatfield also was the No. 1 ranked Division IV player to earn All-State honors.
“I was totally shocked, I didn’t expect to get it (Dream Team) at all,” Chatfield said. “It’s not very often you expect Division IV players to get named to a Dream Team.”
Chatfield was the lone Division IV player named to the squad, which also included Mr. Soccer Dewey Lewis of Rockford as well as six other Division I players.
Chatfield, who played at NMCA since middle school playing for both his father, Rusty Chatfield, and his older brother and current coach Lee Chatfield, said he had thought about the possibility of the Dream Team honor, but was still surprised.
“I really didn’t think there’d be a good chance of getting it,” Aaron Chatfield said. “When I heard about it, it was awesome and surprising.”
Chatfield was told the news by Lee Chatfield in the car.
Both Chatfields are currently in Florida watching their other brother, Paul Chatfield, play for Northland International in the NCCAA II National Tournament in Kissimmee, Fla.
Aaron Chatfield, who last month was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” section, capped a stellar career which placed him fourth on the National Federation of State High School Associations for career goals behind Sean Shapert of Coraopolis Moon, Pa. (213); Troy Snyder of Fleetwood, Pa. (208); and Michael Richardson of Dobson Surry Central, N.C. (205).
“It’s an award that really should honor more than one player,” Aaron Chatfield said. “To all the players and my teammates that have helped me ... I couldn’t have done it on my own without all my teammates.”
Lee Chatfield agreed with his brother’s statement.
“Soccer is far from a one person sport,” Lee Chatfield said. “And none of these awards could come without the support of his teammates throughout the years. While an individual award, this is an accomplishment for the whole NMCA program.
“Many state championship teams throughout the state have never gotten someone on the Dream Team,” Lee Chatfield added. “NMCA is very proud to have someone like Aaron named to the state’s highest team, and this is a great accomplishment for the entire program.”
Lee Chatfield added he was extremely proud of his younger brother, and was just glad to go along for the ride.
“I think it is a great way to cap off such a decorated high school career,” Lee Chatfield said. “You could not have a more accomplished career as far as personal achievements go.”
Becoming just the fifth player in Division IV to earn a spot on the team was also something Lee Chatfield said made the honor even more remarkable.
“With not having the spotlight at a smaller school, you have to stand out that much more to get these coaches to vote you to the Dream Team,” Lee Chatfield said. “NMCA is by far the smallest school to have ever gotten a player voted on to the Dream Team.
“We are thankful to every coach in the state that spoke on Aaron’s behalf for him to receive this award, including Zach Jonker.”
Aaron Chatfield worked tremendously hard over the years to improve his skills, Lee Chatfield added, but more than anything God-given talent, speed and ball control were his biggest weapons.
“This has always set him apart from everyone else on the field,” Lee Chatfield said. “I have never seen any high schooler at any level attack a goal the way he does. God has gifted him in so many ways. Aaron was born with a true competitive nature, and this has driven him to be the best athlete he can be.
“Aaron is always driven to be the best player on the field.”
Aaron Chatfield gave thanks to God for his achievements.
“I just thank God and give him all the praise and glory,” Aaron Chatfield said. “I would have really liked to have gotten a state championship, but if you can’t this is a nice second.
“It’s a nice way to end my career.”
Lee Chatfield joked he will actually have to coach now without Aaron on the roster.
Aaron Chatfield played under his brother for four years in club soccer and three at NMCA.
“It will be strange coaching without him,” Lee Chatfield said. “This is a turning page now for NMCA. NMCA has had a Chatfield on the varsity roster since 1996, and next year will be the first year a Chatfield is not on the roster.”