Brad and Rene Saar-Veldman


Plainwell senior Lauren Saar finalist for Detroit Athletic Club's prestigious Student Athlete of Year honor

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PLAINWELL The girls soccer season began in Michigan this spring with the first official practice on March 12. It ends with the June 16 state finals.That's basically the maximum number of days Chad Wiseman is afforded to work with Plainwell senior standout Lauren Saar not that he's complaining."Her love is volleyball. I'm just happy I get her three months out of the year," the Trojans girls soccer coach said with a smile.Saar has proven better than most at effectively balancing a multitude of responsibilities. For that reason, she is in select company when it comes to Michigan high school scholar-athletes.

Saar is among a dozen nominees, including six females, for the Detroit Athletic Club's prestigious Michigan Student Athlete of the Year award. One female and one male will be announced for the award during a May 14 ceremony at DAC.Saar's sport of choice on the nominee list is volleyball, but she has been a key to Plainwell's powerhouse soccer program, too. The Trojans won the Division 2 state title last season and are ranked No. 1 again this season. "I got the application form, I remember, during volleyball season," said Saar, a three-time all-state volleyball player and Michigan Miss Volleyball finalist, who also is a two-time all-stater in soccer. "Mr. (Dave) Price, our athletic director, gave (the application) to me.

"When I heard the great news (that she was a nominee), it hit me how huge it was. It's so crazy. It's still hitting me what a great honor it is. I'm just happy to be in the same place as some of those other athletes I met." Saar and the other 11 finalists were invited to a breakfast March 30 at DAC, where they were announced as nominees and filmed for one-on-one videos.  "My favorite part was just being honored with the other athletes," Saar said. "When you got to meet them, you saw how amazing and talented they were. It was really nice meeting them, similar-minded people. Just to be recognized, it was really amazing. I'm looking forward to going back in May."

In order to qualify for the award, an applicant must be a senior who has demonstrated excellence in athletics and academics and is involved in school and community activities. The two winners receive $2,500 scholarships presented by the DAC Foundation, while the other ten finalists receive $500 scholarships. Saar, a captain of both the volleyball and soccer teams at Plainwell and treasurer for the National Honor Society, fits the bill in all areas. "She gets it," Wiseman said. "She gets it done in all aspects of life in the community, in the classroom and obviously on the playing fields. "I mean, she's a 4.1 (GPA), 30 ACT, going to Georgetown, the most expensive university in the United States and she's on a full-ride (scholarship for volleyball)."

Saar said the DAC is "really, really nice" and "pretty swanky," but expressed a genuine appreciation for the experience. She seems to have no trouble adapting to her environment when it comes to her athletic and academic responsibilities. Wiseman said she's got a "bright, bright future."  "I mean, as good as she is on the soccer field, she's 10 times better on the volleyball court," he said. "Now, if she would've committed to playing soccer like she commits to playing volleyball, she'd be going to all the big schools in soccer, too."


Zachary #17 with the Chicago Steel Ice Hockey team
Lauren - All Star Volleyball Player
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Lauren the Volleyball player
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Lauren the soccer player Zachary the Hockey player
Saar Fest 2004 Any Suggestion?

The organizers

1) Do you think it will float or
2) They paid you to take it, right?

Reunion 2003


Zachary and Lauren in 2002

Residing the house in 2002 - With help from relatives (Where is Brad?)

Caught in the act

Mystery Guests   Renee and Brad Saar

Renee and Brad Saar Pam Veldman (Bernie)

Zack the future Detroit Red Winger - click to enlarge

Zack's Zoomer

Lauren with Rene and Brad