LONGVIEW, TEXAS - LeTourneau University men's soccer coach Tom Wait has brought in a number of strong recruiting classes and his 2007 group is no different as he has seven student-athletes already committed to attend LeTourneau and play for the YellowJackets.
This year's group includes three forwards, two defenders, a midfielder and a goalkeeper. The Jackets finished last season 12-5-2, but missed out on the American Southwest Conference Playoffs due to a tie-breaker. "All seven of these players should contribute right away to the program and hopefully they will help us get back to the conference playoffs," said Wait.
Joshua Barreda, a midfielder from Tampa Bay, attended Gaither High School and played for the HC United Club team. He played on three 6A district championship squads at Gaither. He was named the team's most valuable player earning the Scott Bowers Award while leading them to a Regional Final as a senior. In his final season, he scored six goals and had 13 assists. He figures to step into a central midfielder role for the YellowJackets.
Luke Busha is no stranger to LeTourneau University because his father, Art, coached the YellowJackets for five seasons and his brother, Sean, played two seasons for the Jackets. Luke is a senior transfer from Concordia (NE) University where he started 18 games as a defender scoring two goals and assisting on another. He played high school ball at Pine Tree High School under Coach Wait and led the Pirates to its only state play-off tournament appearance while earning all-state honors as a senior. Wait plans to use him as a forward this year.
Cody Carlton, a goalkeeper from Pasadena, TX, attended Dobie High School where he played on the varsity team all four years. As a senior he was named first team all-district in the 5A classification. He has the inside track to becoming the starting goalkeeper for the Jackets because of his strong, physical presence in goal.
Joel Hargrave, a forward from Crowley, TX, attended Crowley High School where he was a two-time all-district performer. A prolific scorer, he led his team in both his junior and senior seasons in goals. As a senior, he found the back of the net 18 times to finish sixth in the entire Dallas/Fort Worth area in goals. He should help the YellowJackets replace the scoring punch lost after Ryan Potter's graduation.
Dillon Holt, a forward from Boerne, TX, has been one of the most explosive scorers in the entire state over the last few years. As a junior, he started on the Class 4A State Champion Boerne Greyhounds while leading the team in scoring. As a senior, he scored 14 goals in the first 10 games of the season before breaking his leg in a game. He earned all-district honors in both his junior and senior years. Holt will be in the mix for a starting spot for the YellowJackets this year and his great touch on free kicks should help the team immediately.
Ben Penticoff attended Houston-area Fort Bend Clements High School and is a left-footed defender. During his junior year, he helped lead his team to the State Semi-Finals in 5A. He has also played for the Eclipse Soccer Club that recently won the President's Cup in Tampa, FL earning the team a Top 25 national ranking. His strong left foot may move him past others in the YellowJacket defensive rotation this season.
The final recruit is Longview native Jeff Weatherspoon who attended Longview High School. An aggressive, smart defender for the Lobos, he earned all-district honors as a senior playing under Jim Wright. Weatherspoon ranked in the top 10 of his graduating class. He will challenge for playing time on the YellowJackets' excellent back line of defense.
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