Guido Lenaerts, a native of Leuven, Belgium, began his tenure as the Silver Lake College soccer coach in 2014.
"There are some talented players coming in this year (2016) that really should send this program in a forward direction," Coach Lenaerts said. "I am also counting on my assistant coach, manager and captains to improve our scoreboard numbers."
Coach Lenaerts attended Catholic grade school and Koningklijk Atheneum (high school). He went on to earn a degree in industrial chemical waste before coming to the United States.
Coach Lenaerts played youth club soccer in Belgium and was on the first club soccer team at UW-Oshkosh. He also played in some Western European countries, South Korea and Brazil.
He and Vicki Holzinger were married in the Silver Lake College chapel in 1973, and they officially settled in Manitowoc in 1979. They have six children and eight grandchildren.
"When our children were growing up, I decided they should know this sport. So with Vicki we started the Goalgetters Soccer Club in Manitowoc County," Coach Lenaerts said. "We convinced local school boards and some private schools to adopt soccer as an official sport."
In 2015, the Lenaerts were inducted into the Manitowoc County Lakeshore All Sports Hall of Fame for their soccer efforts.
The Lenaerts also run a winter indoor soccer league and a summer four-day soccer camp (with Belgian coaches) that draws about 70 youngsters.
Coach Lenaerts' coaching career started with 8-10-year-olds, and he worked his way up to high school, adult and college levels. He had some successful seasons with Manitowoc Lincoln High School (Division 1 Conference Coach of the Year in 2002 ) and Roncalli High School in Manitowoc. And he collected gold, silver and bronze medals over the years at the Badger State Games (U-19) in Madison.
Coach Lenaerts is an avid foosballer (as evidenced by a basement full of trophies), and he and Vicki enjoy road trips. They visit Belgium every other year and talk "voetbal” with family and friends. They also are involved in St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Manitowoc.
Wesley Dowell, a native of Ekron, Ky., is in his first season as the assistant coach for the Silver Lake College men's soccer team.
Coach Dowell served as the team's goalkeeper before graduating from Silver Lake College in May 2016. He has three years of soccer experience in college, three years of basketball experience in college and four years of basketball experience in high school.
In addition to coaching basketball in high school, he helped at Upward in Ekron, Ky., for both basketball and soccer. Upward is a church-led program in which participants teach children the message of God within particular sports.
Coach Dowell was a senior captain on the Silver Lake College men's soccer team, and he also earned the Coaches Award that season.
"I wanted to join the coaching team this year due to the amazing effect athletics had on my life," he said. "Athletics opened so many doors for me, and I aspire to open those doors for my future student-athletes. Athletics not only helped with opening me up to new experiences, but helped to mold me into the man I am today. And I want to do the same to my student-athletes, mold them into aspiring role models for future student-athletes and children in the community. I have high expectations for this year's soccer team as long as they stay together."
In addition to a Bachelor's Degree in History with a minor in Business, Coach Dowell is now pursuing a degree in Master of Science in Management and Organizational Development.
He enjoys swimming, weightlifting, basketball, soccer, hiking, camping, beach volleyball, fishing and reading.
Dawn Welling, a senior from Menasha, Wis., returns as a manager for the Silver Lake College men's soccer team.
Her parents are Connie Regazzi and Ron Welling, and she's majoring in Choral and General Music with a minor in Psychology. Dawn often is called upon to sing the national anthem at Silver Lake College sports events, and she also sings opera music.
Some of Dawn's "favorites" include Ben Roethlisberger (favorite athlete), Ben Stiller (favorite actor), "Zoolander" (favorite movie), "Orange is the New Black" (favorite movie), and The Head and the Heart (favorite musicians). Her favorite quote is "Be a pineapple - stand tall, wear a crown and be sweet on the inside."
Hanna Stolper, a freshman at Silver Lake College, is in her first season as the equipment manager for the Lakers men's soccer team.
Hanna's parents are Lori and Gary, and she's a graduate of Sheboygan Lutheran High School. She is majoring in Piano Pedagogy and Performance.
Some of Hanna's favorites include: Mateja Masic (athlete), Tom Hiddleston (actor), "If I Stay," "Thor" and "Spirited Away" (movies), "Grey's Anatomy" and "Kitchen Nightmares" (TV shows), Dawn Welling (musician) and mashed potatoes (food). Her favorite quote is, "Do you like the person you've become."