High school chemistry is not just a matter of opening a text book and stifling a yawn.
Teachers dutifully tell their students that chemistry is the study of matter; its composition, properties and reactivity.
Coaches have a slightly different message.
Chemistry is very, very important in team sports, too.
"The chemistry of this team has been great. You can have a lot of talent, but if you don't play together as a team and share the same vision and goals, you are not going to be successful," said Nate Williams, the Anchor Bay coach.
His team has certainly been successful. The Tars defeated visiting Cousino 4-3 in a MAC White Division game Friday to raise their record to 7-0-1 in the league, 11-0-1 overall.
It took a goal by senior forward Cody Smith with 2:23 remaining to get the victory. Sophomore midfielder Tanner Hodgson scored two of the Tars' goals and Matt Brides, a senior forward/midfielder scored the other.
"These boys have that bond, that connection. There are team building things we do. We have team dinners. We had a team picnic at Stony Creek. There are other little things we do at practice," said Williams.
"It is just that continual message from the front of the jersey; you represent Anchor Bay, you are a Tar. It is not about the individual, it is about the team. What can you do for the team? It is that consistent message and getting guys to buy into it," continued the Anchor Bay coach.
It took a team effort to get past the adversity that Anchor Bay dealt with Friday. Two mistakes in the box led to a pair of goals on penalty kicks by the visiting Patriots. Junior Endri Haxhiu got both of those goals. Aymen Khoshaba scored the other.
Cousino's junior goalkeeper Adis Besic was outstanding. His play kept the Patriots in the game.
"Cousino is a good team. Their goalie played really well. Goals that usually go in for us didn't and that was a credit to him," said Williams, the Anchor Bay coach.
"Anchor Bay is very good," said Kelsie Brown, the Cousino coach. "This is the first time we've played them. Adis turned it on in the second half and honestly, if it was not for him, this game would not have been close.
"We've been playing pretty well. Right before this game, we had a .500 record. We are still a game short in the division," she continued.
Cousino and Anchor Bay were supposed to play earlier in the season, but the game got rained out. Friday was the makeup date.
This is Cousino's first year in the MAC White. The Patriots have been very competitive.
"These guys want to get better every day. That is their goal," said the Anchor Bay coach.
Tanner Hodgson is just one of the quality players on the Anchor Bay team.
"We have been keeping our composure throughout the season. When we win a game, we don't get cocky," said Hodgson.
This is Hodgson's first full season on varsity. The coach brought him late last season.
Tanner and Carson Hodgson, who also plays on the varsity team, are twins.
They both have been playing club soccer since they were six or seven years old.
"I like high school because you get to play against players you know from club, plus you play against new players," said Tanner Hodgson. "It's a new experience."
Anchor Bay will have revenge on its mind Monday when Grosse Pointe South visits. When the teams met earlier this season, the game ended in a tie. That is the only slight blemish on the Tars' record.
Cousino travels to Fraser Monday.
- By Jim Evans email@example.com jimevanssports on Twitter