Lipscomb Men's Soccer signs eight in 2016 recruiting class
Thursday, February 4, 2016
By Kirk Downs
Lipscomb Men's Soccer signs eight in 2016 recruiting class

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb head coach Charles Morrow announced the addition of eight newcomers to the men’s soccer program on Thursday.

Of the eight members who will be join the Bison starting in the fall of 2016, four hail from the state of Texas, while the others span from Georgia to Colorado.

The Bisons are coming off a 2015 season that saw them finish 6-10-1 overall and 3-2 in league play. They return all but four members from the 2015 squad that appeared in games.

While Lipscomb does lose a duo of second team All-Conference selections in forward Matt Kerridge and midfielder Anthony Cedano, it will return a very experienced and talented group for the 2016 fall campaign.

Ivan Alvarado, a rising junior and two-time first team All-Conference member, along with fellow first teamer and Lipscomb’s leading goal scorer from a year ago Logan Paynter are back in the fold. The entire back line of Cameron Botes, Joe Kerridge, Kyle Smith and Cole Brown also return.

The addition of these eight players, along with another three at a later date, will round out a roster that Morrow believes will be much improved next season.

Read more about each signee below, including individual thoughts from Morrow.

 

Austin Eager | 6-1 | 180 | Defender | Carrollton, Texas | Hebron HS | Solar Chelsea SC

  • U.S. Soccer Development Academy 2014-16.
  • Region III Premiere League.
  • Captain of Solar 98 U14, U15 & U16.
  • State Cup Champion 2009 & 2011.
  • Led his team to the 2010 Disney Showcase Championship.
  • Was named First Team All-District in 2013.
  • Chose Lipscomb over Brown, Emory and Bradley.

“Austin comes to us from a very good club in Solar Chelsea. Not only is he a great player, but he is an even better person. Austin is a central player that will primarily serve as a defender, but can also play some holding midfield. He has great size and has the ability to lock things down defensively. Austin is also extremely intelligent. We are thrilled that he is joining us here in Nashville.”

 

Jake Harr | 5-10 | 145 | Midfielder | Pickerington, Ohio | Pickerington North HS | Columbus Crew SC

  • U.S. Soccer Development Academy 2012-16.
  • ODP State and Regional Pool 2011.
  • Named All-State, All-Region and All-District in his only year playing high school soccer.
  • Also voted team captain and MVP.
  • Set the school’s single-season scoring record with 19 goals.
  • Also recruited by Wright State, George Mason, Dayton and Ohio Wesleyan.
  • His older brother plays soccer at Dayton.

“Jake dealt with some injuries in his junior year and was probably overlooked by some, so we feel really fortunate that we were able to get him. He is very crafty, not only in terms of on the ball, but also what he does off the ball. We are excited about him joining us and adding some depth to our midfield.”

 

Bennie Harris | 5-7 | 156 | Defender | Dunwoody, Georgia | Greater Atlanta Christian School | UFA-Norcross Premier 98

  • 2015 Georgia Class A-AA State Champion.
  • 2015 Region Premiere League.
  • Named All-State and All-District in 2014.
  • Selected as district offensive MVP in 2014.
  • Played in the U18 National League.                     
  • Chose Lipscomb over Mercer and Evansville.
  • Dad worked at Lipscomb for eight years.
  • His cousin played soccer at Kentucky.

“Bennie is someone who is very familiar with our campus and program, having gone to Lipscomb Academy before relocating to the Atlanta area. He is a quick player who is been a very good outside back at the club level. He should add some needed depth to our backline.”

 

Javier Leija | 5-7 | 150 | Midfielder/Forward | Irving, Texas | Irving HS | Solar Chelsea SC

  • U.S. Soccer Development Academy 2013-16.
  • Region III Champion in 2012 & 2013.
  • Led his team to the National Top 11 in 2012 while being named MVP of his squad.
  • Also recruited by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and St. Mary’s.

“Javier will be a versatile attacking player for us, who is extremely creative and technical on the ball. He should be a good fit in terms of his style of play, our system and how well he will combine with the personnel we already have on our roster. He should be a fun player to watch and I can’t wait until we can get him here and begin working with him.”

 

Brandon Santel | 5-11 | 160 | Midfielder | St. Louis, Missouri | Christian Brothers College HS| SLSG-Missouri

  • 2016 IMG Academy 150 Player Pool.
  • U.S. Soccer Development Academy 2012-16.
  • 2013 USSDA Mid-America Conference Champion.
  • 2013 USSDA Playoffs.
  • Also recruited by Saint Louis, Eastern Illinois, Appalachian State and Duquesne.
  • His dad played in Major League Soccer for Dallas and Kansas City, and also for the U.S. National Team. 

“Brandon is a technical player that is a fantastic passer and distributor of the ball. He has a big-time family history in terms of the game. Being from the St. Louis area, we feel as though Brandon is a great pickup for us and carries a huge upside. We feel strongly that he has the potential to be a very good college soccer player.”

 

Malik Shaheed | 5-8 | 165 | Forward | Lubbock, Texas | Plano East Senior HS | Solar Chelsea SC

  • U.S. Soccer Development Academy in 2014-16.
  • Chose Lipscomb over Oregon State, New Mexico, Kentucky, Cornell, Brown and St. Mary’s among others.
  • Scored a hat trick against national champion FC Dallas during U16 academy year.
  • His stepdad’s brother played lacrosse for Texas.

“Malik is an extremely gifted player physically. We have very high expectations for him coming in, in terms of being able to help us in the attack. He was a highly recruited kid and has tremendous upside because of his physical attributes. We are looking forward to working with him and watching him develop into a force in college soccer. Even more impressive is Malik as a person. He is very mature and a man of much character.”

 

John Wynia | 5-11 | 150 | Midfielder | Plano, Texas | Frisco Liberty HS | Dallas Texans

  • U.S. Soccer Development Academy 2014-16.
  • 2013 First Team All-District.
  • Named freshman newcomer of the year in 2013.
  • Played with Solar Chelsea Academy from 2011-14.
  • Led the Red Hawks to a 45-5 record from 2012-14.
  • Also recruited by James Madison, Villanova, Belmont, Lehigh and Colgate.
  • Mother played basketball at SMU, while his father played football at Buffalo.
  • Played at same club as current Bisons, Jonathan Ramirez and Ivan Alvarado.

“We identified John through some of the academy showcases as someone that we wanted here at Lipscomb. He plays for the same club as current players Ivan Alvarado and Jonathan Ramirez. We have high expectations for him being able to translate his game into our system of play based on his high level of play in his club system. He is a blue-collar player who will have a solid college career here.”

 

Jacob Zec | 6-3 | 170 | Defender/Midfielder | Broomfield, Colorado| Broomfield HS | Colorado Rush

  • U.S. Soccer Development Academy 2014-16.
  • Led Broomfield Blast to Desert Classic and Storm Cup Championships in 2012.
  • Chose Lipscomb over Drake, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara among others.
  • Played at same club in the Colorado Rush as current and former Bisons, Matt and Joe Kerridge, as well as Eduardo Reza.

“Jake has good size and athleticism that will help us. We are excited about his versatility to be able to fit into a couple of difference positions in the fall. Jake is another player who has a tremendous upside. We are excited to see him develop and watch his athleticism, work ethic and character benefit our program.”