Feb. 8, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
University of Memphis head men's soccer coach Richie Grant announced today the signing of eight student athletes for the 2005 squad.
Included in the class is Patrick Ahern who transferred to Memphis from Evansville University and is currently taking classes at the U of M. The list also includes seven high school seniors from five different states--Texas (3), Tennessee (1), Mississippi (1), Florida (1) and Louisiana (1). Of the eight student athletes, three are midfielders, three are defenders and two are forwards.
"I'm very pleased with the quality of the group that we have committed to us," Grant said. "This group is the reward of the successful campaign we had last year. But again we have looked for hardworking players that will fit into the style that we want to play.
"It's important for us to bring in a good class this year because we have five players graduating next year. The past season indicates how committed we are to having our first year players impacting the program, and we will give the incoming class the same opportunity."
Below is a full listing of the signees.
Patrick Ahern (Defender, Duluth, Ga./Evansville University)
A 6-4, 180 pound defender ... will compete as a sophomore in 2005 and train with the team in the spring ... transferred from Evansville University ... scored a goal in his first game with Evansville as a freshman in 2003 against the University of Southern Indiana in an exhibition match-up ... played in 12 of the Purple Aces 19 games, starting three of them and averaging 60 minutes a game at centerback ... helped Evansville finish 9-7-3 and 4-4-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference ... also played club soccer for the No. 4 nationally ranked Norcross Fury Gold ... product of Duluth High School in Duluth, Ga. where he lettered in both cross-country and soccer ... racked up several honors and awards in soccer while in high school, including the Player of the Year, Best Sportsmanship Player, All County (twice), Coaches Award (twice), MVP, Most Athletic and was the team captain for two years ... his high school team was the 2003 State Runner Up and the 2002 State Semi-finalist ... coached by Gregg Tavani ... captained club team for four years ... club team was ranked 12th nationally.
Christopher Burkes (Midfielder, Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood HS)
A 6-2, 175 pound left midfielder ... in his senior year at Kingwood High School in Kingwood, Texas ... a three-year letterwinner in soccer at the midfielder and forward position ... an all-area and all-region selection ... team was a 5A state finalist in 2003 coached by Kevin Johnson ... plays club soccer for the Texas Heat ... plans to major in business ... his uncle Andrew Obriotti was a tight end on the Baylor University football team from 1997-01 ... grandfather Andy Obriotti played basketball at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, and was inducted into the school's hall of fame in 1984.
Trip Harkins (Forward, Jackson, Miss./Saint Joseph Catholic HS)
Is best as a forward but has the ability to play the midfield as well ... a senior at Saint Joseph Catholic School in Jackson, Miss. ... Plays club soccer with the Jackson Futbol Club (JFC), one of the top clubs in the region ... a consistent member of the Mississippi ODP squad ... a busy technical player.
Frank Judice (Defender, Covington, La./Covington HS)
Is a tough, physical defender ... a senior at Covington High School in Covington, La. ... a Times Picayune All Parrish selection as a junior ... played club soccer for the New Orleans Soccer Academy (NOSA) team won the 2003 U17 state championship ... played as a junior on the New Orleans Gamblers of the Premier Development League ... will compete for an opening in the defense left by departing senior Justin Dyer.
Tomo Koyano (Defender, Maryville, Tenn./Maryville HS)
A defender in his senior year at Maryville High School in Maryville, Tenn. ... member of coach Richie Grant's 87 ODP team this past year ... played right fullback on his ODP team ... a Region 3 pool player ... brings a big physical presence to the team.
Kyle Minter (Forward, Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall HS)
A 5-10, 150 pound forward ... a senior at Rockwall High School in Rockwall, Texas where he lettered three years in soccer in the midfield/forward position ... a 1st Team All-District as a junior ... high school coach is Brian Riley ... plays club soccer in the competitive Dallas Classic League with the Dallas Inter, a league that also developed 2004 Memphis top freshman goal scorer Marcus McCarty ... earned the Lantern Award 98-2004 for having a 95 GPA or higher.
Robert Sausaman (Midfielder, Gainesville, Fla./F.W. Buchholz HS)
A 6-2, 185 pound midfielder in his senior year at F.W. Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Fla. ... brings size to the team and also has the ability to play as a defender ... captain of the Florida 87 ODP team ... an All-Area selection his junior year and a Preseason All-Area pick his senior year ... team captain of his high school team ... scored 13 goals with 17 assists his senior year and had 34 career goals and 30 assists ... high school coach is Kelly Childers ... played club soccer for the Brandon Flames.
Grant Wise (Midfielder, Anna, Texas/Anna HS)
A hardworking, developing 6-0, 165 pound midfielder who bring a lot of energy and commitment to the team ... a senior at Anna High School in Anna, Texas ... plays club soccer as a midfielder for the Dallas Solar ... his Dallas Solar SC 87 won the state championship ... an ODP player from 1999-2001 ... an honor roll student who plans to major in engineering ... was a semi-finalist in the 2004 Kim Dawson Model search.