MKG Women’s Head Coach, Chris Denham, has been hard-at-work since he was announced as the team’s leader in January of 2020. Denham formed a highly-competitive roster for what would be the club’s inaugural UWS season during the summer of 2020, The season was ultimately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and since that time Denham’s biggest challenge has been navigating a successful return to play in 2021. His hiring of assistant coach, Debbie Pekel, is an exciting step forward in that process.
“Debbie is someone we were keen on adding to our coaching staff. She has made it clear she wants to help us build something our community can be proud of on and off the field.” added Denham, “Debbie was an exceptional player in High School and College and has shown she is a budding star in the coaching world as well and we are very excited to get her integrated with the team as we begin our first UWS Outdoor season.”
Pekel, a Fruitport HS graduate, was a two-time All-American at Grace Bible College as a student-athlete in 2015 and 2016 and finished her playing career as the school’s all-time leading goal scorer. Combined with her on-field excellence, Pekel started coaching with Grace Bible College after graduation, and has since coached in the club soccer ranks in addition to a graduate assistant coaching role at the University of Pikeville.
“I’m beyond ecstatic to be back home and take part in developing Muskegon’s female side of the game!” Pekel said, “Being on staff with MKG is a privilege and I am eagerly looking forward to helping MKG become a top UWS contender that will ultimately create a highly competitive and well-needed platform for female players in our community. I am grateful for the partnership and vision Matt and Chris have for our community and am looking forward to hitting the ground running this season!”
The Risers are diligently preparing for the 2021 UWS outdoor campaign, and Coaches Denham and Pekel are eager to begin announcing the team’s player signings as the season approaches.