The senior forward's leadership as captain and contributor is one of the primary reasons why Grand Rapids Christian is 14-1-1 and is ranked No. 3 in Division 2 by the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches' Association.

"I could tell on my first day that he'd stand out," first-year Eagles Coach Joshua Miller said of Witte. "I could tell he was a natural leader, ... and that hasn't changed.

"He's great on the field, but he's also great off the field."

Senior forward Jacob Witte battles for the ball Grand Rapids Christian' High School's boys' soccer match with Rockford. (Photo: Shelly Winkle)

Witte carries humbleness on such remarks. He just sees himself as wanting to working hard to make him and his teammates successful as group.

With host Forest Hill Central's 5-2 defeat of Grand Rapids Christian on Thursday night in a huge Ottawa-Kent Conference White Division match, Witte pointed to as unfortunate but not debilitating.

"We've had a lot of success this season," he said.

"We have high hopes for the team and this season. ... This doesn't change that."

Witte shows his leadership is innate, talking more about "we" than me when discussing his own efforts. He eagerly shares about the Eagles' successes to date, talking up teammates such as A.J. Talbott, Ian Adams and Creaghan Diekema, perhaps, more readily than about himself.

"This is a group of guys who have showed they could come together," said the self-professed "natural forward." "I feel more comfortable when I have the ball in front, ... and a big part of that is the confidence I have in the guys I play with."

That comfort in the team's 4-3-3 alignment has produced 13 goals and 12 assists for Witte. He had an assist in Grand Rapids Christian's loss snapping a 12-match winning streak on Thursday.

"This is his natural position," Miller said of Witte. "He's very dangerous with the ball on his feet. He can beat guys with his feet, and that's where we want him."

But Witte's not selfish, with Miller adding: "He's always looking to help get the guys going. He makes them better."

He's in his third full season on the varsity for Grand Rapids Christian and has also competed in boys' track and field in middle and long distance events for the Eagles.

A straight A student at Grand Rapids Christian, he is a bass baritone on the school's chamber chorale and played trumpet for three years on the marching band.

The son of John and Rachel Witte, he has a younger brother and sister. He also plays club soccer with the Grand Rapids Crew and has hopes to play in college.

Congratulations, Jacob, from Meijer and WGRD!

Jacob Witte embraces teammate Fekadu Timmermans in celebration at a Grand Rapids Christian High School boys' soccer match. (Photo: Shelly Winkle)