Calabrese announces inaugural signing class for ETSU Men's Soccer
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 27, 2008) - ETSU men's soccer coach Scott Calabrese announced the addition of 18 players to his team's 2008-09 inaugural signing class. The class is the largest non-football signing class in ETSU history.


In the fall of 2008, the ETSU men's soccer program will embark on its inaugural season of NCAA Division I play. Calabrese believes that the class of 2008 will embrace the challenge of being the founding members of ETSU's men's soccer program.


"This class has taken on the challenge and the responsibility of being the first, and providing the foundation of the men's soccer program," Calabrese said. "The ability to be a founding member of a program is something that will stay with this group of players for the rest of their lives. As a staff and as a university we are truly excited by the quality of the players who have decided to further their athletic and educational development at ETSU. We are sure they will not only be outstanding players on the field, but also strive to pursue academic excellence in the classroom and represent the university to the highest standards."


The 2008 class of signees includes players from Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia and Indiana. This is a very talented class with several players having earned numerous ODP selections and two High School All-Americans.


"As a first year program we had many needs to address," Calabrese said. "As a staff we felt it important to recruit the best players from Tennessee, as well as the southeast of the United States. I think we have done an excellent job in recruiting players from top club programs who have a winning mentality and can bring that to our program."

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James Holt (Freshman, 6-4, 220, Murfreesboro, Club: TNFC)


Holt will come to ETSU after having attended Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro. While with the Warriors, Holt helped to lead the school to district, regional and state tournament appearances, as well as amassing 16 shutouts and a .66 goals against average. Holt was also a Tennessee State ODP player from 2005-2007. His club soccer team was ranked 22nd nationally and won the 2007 Tennessee state championship, as well as Region III premier league champions in 2006 and 2007. Holt's intended major at ETSU is Business.


Coach Calabrese on Holt: "James has tremendous physical gifts and the potential to develop into a truly outstanding young goalkeeper. He comes from a club with a tradition of winning and competing against some of the best youth clubs in the US.  I believe James will push for the starting position immediately."



Cade Jones (Freshman, 5-10, 170, Athens, Ga., Club: AFC Lightning)

A four-year letter winner at Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Ga., Jones comes to ETSU after helping his team to a Top 10 state ranking in 2006, as well helping to guide the Jaguars to the Jekyll Island Tournament of Champions on two separate occasions. Jones was also named team MVP, as well as being an All-Northeast Georgia selection in 2007, holding the school record in career saves. Jones is also the starting goalkeeper for AFC Lightning, which plays in the newly formed U.S. Soccer Academy League. Jones plans on studying either Biology or Business at ETSU.


Coach Calabrese on Jones: "Cade is a very hard working young goalkeeper. His desire to train and improve will set the standard of work ethic for this group. Cade's current club AFC Lightning competes in the U.S. Soccer Academy League, giving Cade tremendous experience against some of the best youth players in the country. This will speed Cade's transition into college and I expect him to be a real asset to our program."



Kyle Martin (Freshman, 5-10, 170, Charlotte, N.C., Club: Charlotte Soccer Club 89 Blue)


Martin was a key component in North Mecklenburg High School's run to the state semifinals in 2007, and along the way amassing 17 shutouts and allowing a meager nine goals against. A 2002 North Carolina ODP Selection, a four-year All-Conference performer and a three-time team MVP, Martin has also enjoyed success at the club level with the Charlotte Soccer Club. Martin has been part of a team that was a four-time N.C. State Champion, as well as 2007 Score at the Shore and Jefferson Cup Champions.


Coach Calabrese on Martin: "Kyle's sharp reflexes and natural quickness make him an excellent shot stopper. Kyle is also very comfortable with the ball at his feet, often being called upon to play in the field for his club team. Being able to deal with pass backs and through passes confidently also allows Kyle and his team to push higher. Kyle will be an important asset to the ETSU men's soccer team."






Jaron Westbrook (Freshman, 5-11, 155, Round Rock, Texas, Club: Lonestars 91 Red)


A standout player at Round Rock High School, Westbrook has been a team captain and was named the team's offensive MVP and an all-district selection. On the club scene, Westbrook plays for the Lonestar Soccer Club and has been a four-year South Texas ODP selection. As a team captain, he also played a pivotal role in helping his team to win the South Texas State Championship, progress to the quarterfinals of the Region III Championships and go undefeated in the highly competitive Western District Championships in 2007. Westbrook plans on studying Business at ETSU.


Coach Calabrese on Westbrook: "Ronny is a very athletic center defender, he is outstanding in the air, and strong in the tackle. He also shows composure on the ball and enables his team to build from the back and maintain possession. As a captain for Lonestar he has proved himself to be a vocal leader and organizer in the back. These qualities will help our young team to develop cohesion defensively. We expect Ronnie to play vital role in the establishment of ETSU's men's soccer program."



Nathanial McElroy (Freshman, 5-9, 165, Knoxville, Club: KFC Arsenal)


A four-year letter winner at West High School in Knoxville, ‘Kat' McElroy has been instrumental in helping his high school to the district finals the past two years, as well as the district championship in 2007. He was also named All-District, All-Region and District Midfielder of the Year in 2007. McElroy plays club soccer for KFC Arsenal under Kyle McCoy, and has played an important role in their successes in the Region III Premier League, as well as the team's two state championships in 2005 and 2007. McElroy plans to study Business at ETSU.


Coach Calabrese on McElroy: "Kat is a player with both talent and potential. I believe in our environment Kat will find tremendous success and development. Kat utilizes both pace and invention to beat players and create chances.  His physical gifts will be a great asset to the program. Kat will play an important role in helping to establish ETSU as a program of note."



Austin Kennedy (Freshman, 5-7, 125, Charlotte, N.C., Club: Charlotte Soccer Club 89 Blue)


A student at East Gaston High School, Kennedy was a four-year starter at the high school level. As a freshman, Kennedy helped to guide his high school to the best conference finish in four years. At the club level, Kennedy has been a consistent fixture at left back for Charlotte United in 2004, where they eventually finished as state champions. Since 2006, Kennedy has been the starting left back for the talented Charlotte Soccer Club 89 Blue under Charlie McGinty, and helped them to the North Carolina State semifinals in 2007. Kennedy plans on majoring in Criminal Justice at ETSU.


Coach Calabrese on Kennedy: "Austin is an exceptionally tough and gritty left sided player. Though small in stature, Austin makes up for it with hard work and determination. Austin is a technically strong player and naturally left footed which can help to give our team balance. Austin is also very versatile, with the ability to play anywhere on the left side. I expect Austin to contribute to our team right away."



Conrad McCue (Freshman, 6-0, 175, Round Rock, Texas, Club: Lonestars 90 Red)


McCue currently attends Stony Point High School in Round Rock, Texas, where he has been the mainstay of his high school team for the past four years. In 2007, McCue was an All-Region Central Texas selection, as well as being named first team All-District, District MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. McCue was also an All-District selection in football for three years as a wide receiver, kicker and free safety. At the club level, McCue plays for Lonestar SC and has also been a member of the South Texas ODP team for four years. McCue plans on studying Sports Management at ETSU.


Coach Calabrese on McCue: "We are very excited about Conrad. Playing two sports and garnering accolades in both shows just how gifted an athlete Conrad is. His ability to play the ball over distance will allow us the versatility to play a number of different ways. Even though predominantly a defensive player, Conrad has shown throughout his high school career that he has the ability to score goals, both through the run of play and from set pieces. I am sure that Conrad will play a significant role in the future success of ETSU men's soccer."


Brennan Scott (Freshman, 5-9, 165, Franklin, Club: TNFC)


Scott has been a four-year starter on the varsity squad at Centennial High School under Sandy Pollock, and while playing for the Cougars he garnered All-District honors in 2007. At the club level, Scott is an extremely versatile player who has predominantly started in midfield for the very talented TNFC team coached by Agit Korgaokar. Scott helped the team win the 2007 Region III Premier League, as well becoming the Tennessee State champions for 2007. TNFC is also ranked 22nd in the nation. Scott is undecided on his major at ETSU.


Coach Calabrese on Scott: Brennan is a physically strong player who is very gritty and tough in the tackle. We can utilize Brennan's strengths in any number of ways. He can sit in front of the back four and break up play or can play anywhere along the back himself.  Brennan's tough mindedness and physical play will help create this mentality throughout the squad."



Matt Reed (Freshman, 5-11, 165, Murfreesboro, Club: TNFC)


Reed helped Blackman High School to two district championships, two-regional championships and two state semifinal appearances. During that time, Reed was named to the All-Area team and All-District teams. Reed, the District MVP in 2007, was also an all-state selection in the same year. The Murfreesboro native plays club soccer for TNFC, a team that boasts five state championships with the most recent coming in 2008. The team is also nationally ranked at No. 22 and regionally No. 9. Reed plans on studying in the pre-med program at ETSU.


Coach Calabrese on Reed: Matt is a technical player with the versatility to play many positions. His ability to read the game and anticipate the development of play makes him a very effective defender.  Matt's distribution from the back is very good allowing his team to build and maintain possession.  Matt will play an important role in ETSU's inaugural season."



Mike Fuller (Freshman, 6-2, 185, Atlanta, Ga., Club: NASA)


Fuller helped Walton High School in Atlanta to a state semifinal appearance in 2007 and was named All-Northside Atlanta, First Team All-County and Defensive MVP. At the club level, Fuller plays for NASA, and helped the team in winning the Region III Premier League East Division in 2007 and the Atlanta Cup. Prior to joining NASA, Fuller played for Charlotte Soccer Club where he was a team captain for three years and represented North Carolina at the ODP level in 2005. Fuller plans to major in Business Administration at ETSU.


Coach Calabrese on Fuller: "Mike is a no nonsense central defender who is strong in the air as well as in the tackle. He has very good positional sense as well as a high level of technical ability and is a very consistent performer which is something we will need as a young team. Mike has been the captain of most teams he has played for and his leadership qualities will be invaluable as we set the foundations of the ETSU soccer program."





Tony Nunes (Freshman, 5-8, 150, Charlotte, N.C., Club: Charlotte Soccer Club 89 Blue)


Nunes is the first player to be named to the North Carolina All-State, All-Conference, and All-Region teams at Jay M. Robinson High School. The NCHSAA Scholars-Athlete has also been a member of the North Carolina ODP 90's age group for the past eight years and plays his club soccer for Charlotte Soccer Club where he helped the team to a Disney Showcase Championship in 2004 and North Carolina State Championship in 2002. His club team also won the Score at the Shore and Jefferson Cup championships in 2007. Nunes will major in either Criminology or Business at ETSU.


Coach Calabrese on Nunes: "Tony is a very gifted attacking minded midfield player. He has outstanding vision and the ability to deliver penetrating passes, releasing forwards and wide players.  He is clever and composed with the ability to play in very tight spaces and dictate a games tempo.  We expect Tony to play a key role in establishing a possession-oriented style of play at ETSU."



Sean Hoek (Freshman, 6-1, 163, Newburgh, Ind., Club: Concorde Fire Elite)


Hoek comes to ETSU after an outstanding high school career where he attended Castle High School in Indiana. At Castle, Hoek was a three time All-State selection, a two-time All-Region selection and was a High School All-American selection in 2008. At the club level, Hoek plays for Concorde Fire Elite in Georgia which is the third-ranked team in America. Hoek has also represented Georgia at the ODP level in 2004 and 2005, and was a Region III team member. After moving to Indiana, Hoek was also was named as an Indiana ODP team player and a Region II team member in 2006.


Coach Calabrese on Hoek: "Sean is a dynamic and explosive talent. He is a tremendous natural athlete with an excellent engine. Sean is a true goal scoring threat from the midfield, possessing both the technical skill to connect passes and release players with passes over distance. He is truly a player that can play box-to-box and possesses a winner's mentality. We expect big things from Sean."



Tom Webster (Freshman, 5-9, 165, Knoxville, Club: KFC Arsenal)


Webster was an outstanding performer at Bearden High School in Knoxville where he helped the Bulldogs to the State Championship in 2006 and state finalists in 2007. Webster, a two-time All-Region and All-State selection, was named All-South, Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year, NSCAA State Player of the Year and High School All-American for 2008. At the club level, Webster plays for KFC Arsenal with two other signees in Kat McElroy and Aaron Schoenfeld. Webster helped his club team to two state championships in 2005 and 2006. Webster plans on studying Business at ETSU.


Coach Calabrese on Webster: "Tom is a very creative attacking player who has the ability to score spectacular goals and conjure chances for teammates out of seemingly innocuous situations. He is equally comfortable with his right or left foot, and is especially clever around the opponent's goal. We are very excited to have Tom as a member of our young program and feel he will play an important role in our success."



David Haba (Freshman, 6-2, 160, Germantown, Club: Memphis FC 90)


Haba helped the Houston High School Mustangs to three state championship quarterfinal appearances and garnered All-District honors in both his sophomore and junior years. Haba has also been a Tennessee ODP Team selection for five years, and plays club soccer for Memphis FC under Richard Bute. Haba was the Region III Premier League points leader in 2004, and finished third in points while leading the league in assists in 2007. Haba also serves as a team captain for Memphis FC.


Coach Calabrese on Haba: "David is an exceptionally talented wide midfielder. His change of pace when taking players on is exceptional as is his delivery from wide areas. David is very creative around the goal as he creates opportunities for himself and for others.  David has the potential to be an excellent college player and contribute greatly to the foundation of ETSU's success."



Beck Williams (Freshman, 5-9, 155, Lake Norman, N.C., Club: North Mecklenburg Academy)


Williams currently attends Lake Norman High School where he has served as an integral part of one of North Carolina's most successful high school programs in recent times. In 2006, Williams helped the Wildcats to an undefeated state championship run finishing a perfect 27-0. In 2007, the Wildcats went undefeated again with a perfect 29-0 record on their way to their second consecutive state championship as Williams was named as an All-Conference performer both years. At the club level Williams plays for North Mecklenburg Academy in the U.S. Soccer Academy League. Williams intends to study Business at ETSU.


Coach Calabrese on Williams: "We are very excited to have Beck join our program. He is an extremely technical wide midfield player. His ability to beat players with pace and provide quality delivery will be important for our team. Beck has a great mentality; he's tough and very competitive."



Tim Nixon (Freshman, 5-10, 158, Alpharetta, Ga., Club: Concorde Fire Elite)


A four-year letterman at South Forsyth High School in Cummings, Ga., Nixon has been a member of the Georgia ODP Team in 2002 and 2003. Nixon plays club soccer for the prestigious Concorde Fire Elite Team where he is the starting center midfielder along with Sean Hoek. Nixon has played a pivotal role is helping Concorde to a No. 3 national ranking, while winning the Disney Showcase, Raleigh Shootout, Regional Championship. Nixon's club team was also a national finalist. Nixon plans to study Business at ETSU.


Coach Calabrese on Nixon: "Tim will be a tremendous addition to our program. He is a very technical and creative central midfield player. His ability to play both sides of the ball will give balance to our midfield group. Tim has a gift for scoring important goals and creating chances for teammates.  Tim is currently playing with and against some of the best talent in the U.S. as a member of the Concorde Fire Academy team. This experience will prepare him well for the competitive environment we are looking to create at ETSU"





Aaron Schoenfeld (Freshman, 6-4, 185, Knoxville, Club: KFC Arsenal)


Schoenfeld, a student at Bearden High School, has had an outstanding career which was highlighted by a state championship and a state championship final appearance. Schoenfeld was named an All-KIL, All-District, All-Region, All-State and MVP selection. A seven-year Tennessee ODP player, Schoenfeld helped Tennessee win the Region III Championship as well as playing a pivotal role in his club team KFC winning two state championships at the club level. Schoenfeld intends on majoring in Business at ETSU.


Coach Calabrese on Schoenfeld: "Aaron has the potential to become an exceptional goal scorer in college. He has great work rate and remains fearless in front of the goal. He utilizes his 6-4, 185-pound frame to hold off defenders and hold up play. Despite his size he has great mobility and quickness. His winning mentality and willingness to work for others will be important in developing a blue collar mentality at ETSU. We expect Aaron to play a pivotal role in ETSU's success."


Russell Thompson (Freshman, 5-4, 135) (Blairsville, Ga.) (Club: NASA)


The team captain at Union County High School in Blairsville, Georgia, Thompson has been his high school's leading scorer for the past three years. At the club level, Thompson plays for NASA, which is one of the top teams in the south, and he is one of the leading scorers in the Region III Premier League this season. Thompson was also a major part in his team's successes as 2007 Region III Premier League Champions and 2007 Atlanta Cup winners. A member of the Georgia ODP Team for five years, Thompson plans on studying business at ETSU.


Coach Calabrese on Thompson: "Russell is a technically sharp player with an outstanding work rate. His pace makes him a constant threat to get in behind teams. Russell has shown that he is able to score goals in big games and against some of the top competition in the South. Russell is a very versatile player as well. He is effective as a wide player with the ability to get the ball around the back and deliver quality service. He is equally dangerous working off a larger target forward. We believe Russell will be a key contributor to our new program's success."