Soccer coach's sons play on rival team

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's a border war of sorts, dividing a Muskegon County family, pitting father against sons.

Greg Fleener is the boys soccer coach at Oakridge High School. His two sons are starting players for neighboring Orchard View High. Friday, in what turned out to be a semi-friendly family feud, the two arch rivals met to open the soccer season.

Fleener says he loves watching his two sons play soccer.

"I'm so proud of these guys -- the way they are playing, they are playing a great game," he says. "I know these guys want to beat my team. I know that really well."

This is the third time Fleener has coached against his oldest son, Austin, but it's the first time both of his sons are playing on the opposing team.

"It's hard. It's hard, you know. There is nothing more I want than success for my children," Fleener said. "It just can't be today, for the next hour and a half."

The boys seem to have an easier time setting aside their feelings and not caring that a victory for them means a defeat for dad.

"Because when the game starts, it's just another coach. We got to win," they said.

Jared wears number 3. Austin wears 23.

"Let's get out, play a game, be competive, and have nobody get hurt," Fleener said. "And then I get to see these guys play, so to me, I couldn't ask for anything better."

The boys on Orchard View defeated Coach Fleener and the Oakridge team, 6 to 2 Friday afternoon. The two teams aren't scheduled to meet again this season but could face each other in the playoffs.


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