|Posted March 16, 2011|
Pack announces 2011 recruiting class
ThunderWolves add seven NLI signees, including the program's first U.S. Soccer Development Academy product.
PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Mar. 16, 2011) - The CSU-Pueblo men's soccer program added seven National Letter of Intent signees to its 2011 squad, including the program's first ever recruit from the prestigious U.S. Soccer Development Academy, Pack soccer coach Roy Stanley announced Wednesday.
The seven-member group is headlined by Jonny Sawyer (Aurora, Colo./Eaglecrest HS), a starter on the Colorado Rush Development Academy U18 team. A 5-foot-10 midfielder, he is part of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy system, the highest level of amateur soccer available to boys in the United States, which almost exclusively produces Division I players, professional players and Olympians.
As a high school standout, Sawyer dominated at Eaglecrest High School in Aurora, earning 5A first-team All-State and All-Centennial Conference honors. He holds the school record for most goals in a season as well as career goals.
Stanley expects Sawyer to make an impact right away as a freshman.
"His composure on the ball and ability to finish chances will help us immediately," Stanley said.
Joining Sawyer are six additional signees, hailing from five different states and bringing help at all positions.
Ryne Deppe (Arcata, Calif./Arcata HS), a 6-foot, 165 pound center midfielder, is a versatile addition who scored often from the midfield in high school. His best trait, though, may be his leadership, as he was the team captain at Arcata High School, where he earned first-team all-conference honors.
"Ryne is an excellent communicator," Stanley said. "He should help us in the middle of the midfield or on defense."
Two Springfield, Mo. products will be heading to CSU-Pueblo as Springfield Catholic High School grads Adam Entrup (Springfield, Mo./Catholic HS) and Nick Kofron (Springfield, Mo./Catholic HS) head west to suit it up for the Pack.
Entrup, a wing midfielder at Catholic, was a second-team All-State selection and was voted the District Offensive Player of the Year. He will bring a hard-nosed approach to scoring goals, as evidenced by his larger-than-average 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame for a wing.
"Adam has excellent quickness and speed for a big guy," Stanley said. "He has a great nose for the goal."
Entrup is joined by Kofron, who is also big, bringing a 6-foot, 175-pound frame to the ThunderWolves. A center midfielder, he was an honorable mention all-state selection.
"His knowledge and experience will fit in with our style of play," Stanley said of Kofron.
Nolan Haver (Puyallup, Wash./Emerald Ridge HS) comes to the ThunderWolves from Emerald Ridge High School, a feeder system to the Pack, where he joins former teammate Kyle Millsap, and arrives on the coattails of outgoing 2010 senior, Jordan Hanson. Haver, a 5-foot-10, 160 pound wing midfielder and defender, was a first-team all-state selection at Emerald Ridge.
"He's a lefty, and we need lefties," Stanley said. "He can play for us in the defense or midfield."
The Pack's class is rounded out by two transfers.
Ryan Hunter (Phoenix, Ariz./Phoenix College) is the latest Phoenix College product to come to the ThunderWolves, and he brings a strong resume. Over two seasons, he scored a total of 15 goals and 11 assists as a forward.
"He will be able to exploit the gaps in the defense with his quickness, speed, awareness, and finishing abilities," Stanley said.
The Pack's final recruit, Trason Merritt (Anchorage, Alaska/Edmonds (WA) C.C.), will try to find a home with the Pack after spending one season at Edmonds Community College in Washington. Prior to coming to Edmonds, he spent a semester at Cal State-Bakersfield, where he ran track. He will be a sophomore in eligibility for the ThunderWolves in 2011.
"He's hungry to prove himself," Stanley said. "He just needs the right environment which I know we can provide."
Overall, the ThunderWolves' class is a big step forward toward competing with the national championship-caliber programs in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Stanley said, and he believes this class in particular, combined with the playoff success of last season's team of nearly exclusively freshman, could create a foundation for years to come.
"The overall quality of athlete, skill level, understanding, and person is tremendous in this class," Stanley said. "As a team, we need a higher skill-level and athlete to compete with the top teams in our conference, and I believe this group helps us in those areas. Also, to get our first U.S. Soccer Development Academy player is a big step for our program."