Jonathan Sands of Valor Christian (Colo.) has been announced as the first 2013 recruit to the Grace College men’s soccer team.
Sands is a 6-foot defender who has played both centrally and outside in defense for Valor Christian over the past four years. He earned honorable mention for All-State and served as the team’s captain.
He also picked up a pair of Second Team All-Conference selections during his career.
“The community at Grace is awesome, and I already have many great friends who went to Grace after Valor,” Sands said. “I’m looking forward to making great friendships with the guys on the team and contribute in the best way I can. I also want to help Grace play at the highest level.”
During his senior campaign, Valor’s defense surrendered one or fewer goals in nine of the team’s 16 games. Valor was ranked in the top 10 in Colorado during the 2012 season.
The Eagles also handed 4A No. 1 Palmer Ridge one of only two defeats they suffered all year.
“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Jonathan. He has a great personality and will bring that to our team,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “He is an extremely competent player and has played at a high level. Jon is crafty and strong on the ball, and he could play any position in the back for us.”
Apart from the Valor Christian soccer team, Sands has been a member of both the Real Colorado Academy Team as well as Nike Rush Colorado.
“We are so excited to see Jonathan join the Grace College community. He and his family were a blessing to our community here in Colorado in so many ways,” said Valor head coach Brian Shultz. “Grace is getting a very talented, dedicated and godly young man, and we hope to hear good things back in the near future.”
Sands, who lives in Parker, Colo., is the son of Jim and Kim Sands.
Grace's men's soccer team has added Michigan standout and Cornerstone University transfer Shane Barthuly to its 2011 roster.
Shane, who graduated as the leading goal scorer at Freedom Christian High School (Mich.), appeared in 11 games last season for Cornerstone.
His career total of 137 points were the most in the history of the Grand Rapids area and good enough for 12th place on Michigan's all-time scoring list. In four years, he recorded 72 goals and 65 assists.
"I wanted to attend a school and play for a program that values Christian character and seeks to glorify God," Shane said. "I am looking forward to helping Grace in whatever way is needed while bettering my skills as an all-around player."
Shane is a three-time All-Conference winner, was named Third-Team All-State in 2007 and First-Team All-State in 2008 and 2009. He is a two-time All-District and All-Region performer, and he helped lead Freedom Baptist to a Division 4 state title during his senior campaign in 2009.
"Shane is an excellent addition to Grace Soccer," said head coach Matt Hotchkin. "He is good on the ball, fast and strong. He can score goals and defend. He is a faithful friend, a team player, and he is motivated by his faith in Christ to be the best that he can be."
While at Grace, Shane plans to study counseling. He is the son of Bruce and Carrie Barthuly.
Grace College’s soccer program has added a proven winner in Worthington Christian’s Trent Smith.
Trent, a four-year letterman from Sunbury, Ohio, has led Worthington to the OHSAA Division III state finals three years in a row. The center midfielder was the hero during his junior year, when he scored the game-winning goal from 25 yards away in overtime to win the state title.
“Grace has a great atmosphere, great soccer program and people that follow God,” Trent said. “I am looking forward to helping out Grace’s team and improving the program in any way I can.”
Trent was Worthington’s captain during his junior and senior years. He was named First Team All-District after his senior campaign and Second Team All-District following his junior season.
He was also a member of the U17 Ohio State Cup championship team in 2009.
“The thing I love about Trent is that he never stops working. He is a natural quiet leader who leads by example,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “He believes in what we are striving to do, and we believe he will play a major role in our building process.
Trent, who plans to major in business at Grace, is the son of Chris and Jackie Wallake.
Grace’s men’s soccer team has signed the leading goal scorer for Valor Christian High School in Christian Temby.
Christian, a four-year forward/center midfielder for Valor, etched his name in the school’s record books by scoring first and scoring often. He tallied the first goal in Valor’s program history.
“Grace is where I believe I can prepare myself for the next chapter in my life,” Christian said. “I want to honor and glorify God through my work hard and effort.”
Christian, who was also a member of the track and field and men’s volleyball teams, was named to the Academic Second Team All-State. He plans to obtain a degree in sports medicine and missions while at Grace.
“Christian will add a lot to our program,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “He is very athletic with the ability to play multiple positions. His club and high school experience have prepared him well for college soccer.”
Christian is the son of Jim and Candy Temby.
Ben Cahill from Arapahoe High School (Colo.) has signed a letter of intent to continue his soccer career at Grace College.
Ben, a native of Castle Rock, Colo., is a 6-3 forward/center midfielder for Arapahoe. During his two years, he was named an Honorable Mention to the All-Centennial League Team.
“I chose Grace because the environment, people and players all seemed to produce a place where I could grow as a person and in Christ,” Ben said. “I want to help the team wherever I can while glorifying Christ on the field.”
Ben is an accomplished student-athlete. He was named Academic First Team All-State and won the Scholar-Athlete Award for his performance in the classroom.
“Ben gives us speed and height. He is a student of the game,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “He has good technical ability, and his best soccer is ahead of him. He has a great family and comes with a strong yet quiet competitive drive.”
While at Grace, Ben plans to major in finance and accounting. He is the son of Jeffrey and Laurie Cahill.
The Grace College men's soccer team has announced the signing of Tyler Snow, a standout Warsaw Community defender.
Tyler led Warsaw's soccer team to an outstanding season, advancing to the state finals for the first time in school history and finishing with a 20-3-1 record. He was a co-captain who anchored a stout Tiger defense that recorded 12 shutouts in a row late in the season. Overall, Warsaw recorded 18 shutouts on the season.
"Grace College has a terrific Christian atmosphere, and I'm looking forward to playing soccer with a great group of guys who will help further my walk with God," Tyler said.
Tyler was named to the All-District Team twice, the Northern Lakes All-Conference Team, and was also an Honorable Mention for the Indiana Soccer Coaches Association (ISCA) All-State Team. He also has played club soccer for the Warsaw Wave for the past 10 years.
"Tyler is a natural leader that will add personality off the field for our team," said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. "We are getting a terrific player with outstanding character. It is great to get two quality guys like Tyler and Joey in one day."
While at Grace, Tyler plans to major in intercultural studies.
Tyler is the son of Craig and Sherri Snow.
Grace's men's soccer team has signed Warsaw Community's Joey Hickerson to play for the Lancers in the 2011-12 season.
Joey, a Warsaw, Ind., native, has been an outside midfielder for the Tigers. He has been named the team's most improved player two years. Joey was a co-captain during his senior season, leading Warsaw to a 20-3-1 record and an appearance in the state semifinals.
Joey tallied a team-high eight assists and scored a goal in Warsaw's victory in the semistate championship game.
"I chose Grace because of the outstanding integrity of the program and the Christian atmosphere that will further my walk with Christ," Joey said. "I want to improve the soccer team in physical skill, performance, and character to the best of my ability."
During his career, Joey was named to the Northern Lakes All-Conference Team and was also a member of the All-Academic Team. Joey also played baseball at Warsaw and won the team's batting award during his career.
"Joey is a great addition to our roster," said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. "He provides size and speed to our roster, and I believe we are getting a diamond."
Joey is the son of Bryan and Jo Hickerson and the brother of Emily, who is currently a freshman on Grace's women's soccer team.
Grace's men's soccer team has landed a local standout for the 2011 season in Lakeland Christian Academy's Jacob Cole.
Jacob, a native of Winona Lake, Ind., is a 6-foot-2 goalkeeper who has played for Lakeland the past four seasons. He has been named First Team All-Conference and Team MVP during his career at Lakeland Christian.
"I liked the Christian atmosphere and influence at Grace," Jacob said. "The people were very welcoming and cared about me, which drew me in."
At Lakeland, Jacob was a member of the National Honor Society and the academic honor roll. He plans to pursue a career in graphic design while at Grace.
"Jacob is truly a special athlete," said Lakeland head coach Joel Popenfoose. "It was evident at the high school level, and I'm confident it will be true at the collegiate level. I'm excited to see Jake's soccer career continue under the leadership of Grace's excellent staff."
Jacob will also have the opportunity to play alongside his brother, Sam, who will be a junior on the men's soccer team next fall.
"This is a major piece to our puzzle. Jacob will add instant 'presence' to our team," said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. "He is big with good quickness, technique, and instincts. We are thankful he chose to make Grace his college home."
Jacob is the son of Mark and Sharon Cole.
The Grace College men's soccer team signed the all-time leading goal scorer in Indiana as its first recruit for the 2011 season in Austin Altimus.
The Auburn, Ind., native is a forward from Lakewood Park Christian who has 113 career goals to his credit. During his senior season, Austin was the state's third leading scorer with 33 goals. He also tallied 14 assists, which placed him second in the state in total points.
"I am choosing to attend Grace because of the Christian school atmosphere as well as for the emphasis on academics," Austin said. "I look forward to improving my soccer skills while doing the best I can to better the team."
Austin led Lakewood Park to an 18-1-1 season in 2010 with their only defeat coming in the regional championship game. In the sectional semifinals, he scored the game-winning goal against Garrett to make himself the all-time leading scorer in the state, according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Some of his accolades include three-time All-Area player, two-time Prep of the Year, and four-time Offensive Player of the Year.
"Austin is a quality player with exceptional quickness and an innate ability to score goals," said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. "Beyond his abilities on the field, he is a great kid with the character and personality we were looking for. I'm excited for the next four years with Austin."
While at Grace, Austin plans to complete his degree in sports management. He is the son of Kirk and Deb Altimus.
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