02/15/07 — Mount Olive College soccer team signs 12

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Mount Olive College soccer team signs 12

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on February 15, 2007 2:17 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive has signed 12 recruits to men's soccer National Letters-of-Intent, it was announced by head coach Jerry Riggs. Eight are from North Carolina, three are from Virginia and one is from Tennessee. The official signing period began last week.

Cody Cowans is a midfielder/defender from Morristown, Tenn., earned first team All-Region honors at Warren County High School. Blake Galarza, a forward from Angier, finished his prep career as West Johnson High School's all-time career scoring leader.

Defender/midfielder Tommy Gartz and forward Drew Toler, both from Charlotte, helped lead North Mecklenburg High School to two appearances in the state finals. Gartz, a two-time All-Conference selection, earned All-Region honors his senior year.

Marc Holaday, a midfielder from Forest, Va., was a letterwinner at Jefferson Forest High School and played club ball with the '88 Roanoke Stars. Jordan Martin, a goalkeeper from Virginia Beach, Va., helped lead Kellam High School to the 2006 Region 1 semifinals. Scott Mitchell, a forward from Herndon, Va., was a letterwinner at Herndon High School and played club soccer with the U-18 MCSA Hotshots.

Three Jacksonville products are among the signees, including two from Southwest Onslow High School. Defender Jaquan Respus was a two-time first team All-Area selection and will continue to play alongside Southwest Onslow HS teammate A.J. Pierce, who also played club ball with '88 OCSA Coastal Crew. All-State defender Kirk Peterson helped lead Jacksonville High School to the 2005 state championship.

Chris Slaughter, a goalkeeper from Angier, earned first team All-Conference honors at Harnett Central High School. Adam Wells, a defender from Winterville, was a first team All-Region selection at South Central High School.

This year's recruiting class is Riggs' largest since his first year at Mount Olive. The Trojans will have graduated eight seniors from last fall's squad.

"We have had the opportunity to bring in some good quality players to help replace a large number of impact players who have helped us the last four years to help turn the program around," said Riggs. "We feel that these players can help make immediate contributions to our program."

Riggs added, "This class is well balanced with speed, size and good technical and tactical ability. During the recruiting process, I have been impressed with the character of this class. Not only are they good soccer players, but they're also good student-athletes."

Mount Olive posted a record of 12-8-0 in 2006 and reached the semifinals of the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Tournament after defeating defending champion Belmont Abbey in the first round. The Trojans were ranked in the year-end Southeast Region Top 10 for the third year in a row, finishing at No. 8.