Feb. 9, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
University of Memphis head men's soccer coach Richie Grant announced the addition of nine players for the 2009 squad. This year's recruiting class is highlighted by four Tennessee-natives and the signing of Justin Watson, a member of the U-18 National team pool.
"We are really excited about what this class can add to our program," Grant said. "We feel it is one of the strongest classes we have added in quite some time. A lot of credit for the class we have assembled goes to our assistant coach, Nick Glaser. We are continuing to see a strong influence in Tennessee and in getting Region III players because of Nick's connections to the area. It is an area of the country Nick knows very well."
The incoming group of freshmen add a balance of positions with three forwards, two midfielders, two defenders and one goalkeeper. Along with four players from Tennessee, the Tigers also added two footballers from Georgia, one from Mississippi, one from Oklahoma and one from South Carolina.
"There is really great balance in this recruiting class," Grant said. "We used some connections we developed from last year's recruiting class to get several of these players but we also went a little out of our usual recruiting area to get a couple of kids that we really think will help the program."
Grant looked to build on the success he found in last season's recruiting class with this year's additions. Of last year's signees, three players started more than 10 games. Leading the group was Parker Duncan, a C-USA All-Freshman selection for the squad last season. Duncan led the U of M with six goals and 13 points in his first season. Cody McCoy and Thomas Shannon also played a key role in last year's team.
The Tigers are looking to replace a very strong class of six outgoing seniors from the 2008 squad, led by All-C-USA First Team selection Michael Coburn
. Memphis also lost defenders Thomas Hyland
and Robert Sausaman
and midfielders Tripp Harkins
and Jordan Lynn
"We have graduated a couple of really strong senior classes over the past couple of years," Grant said. "Last year's class helped us get into the Top-25 on several occasions and Michael Coburn was a member of our 2004 Conference USA Championship squad. The strength of the program now lies on our younger players. We are going to have to lean heavily on next year's sophomore and freshman classes for leadership. I am very excited about the potential of our team's over the next few years."
2009 Men's Soccer Recruiting Class
Joey Deloney/MF/Lilburn, Ga./Brookwood H.S./Gwinnett Soccer Association
J.J. Greer/MF/Cordova, Tenn./Christian Brothers H.S./Midsouth Futbol Club
Jordan Johnson/D/Hendersonville, Tenn./Hendersonville H.S./Harpreth Futbol Club
Patrick Kelly/D/Hendersonville, Tenn./Hendersonville H.S./Tennessee Futbol Club
Frank Petersen/GK/Woodstock, Ga./Etowah H.S./North Atlanta Soccer Assocation
Mark Sherrod/F/Knoxville, Tenn./Carter H.S./Knoxville Futbol Club
Adam Thornton/D/Vicksburg, Miss./St. Aloysius H.S./Clinton Futbol Club
Justin Watson/F/Myrtle Beach, S.C./Socastee H.S./Bridge Futbol Alliance
Jon Wright/F/Tulsa, Okla./Holland Hall Prep/Tulsa Soccer Club
Joey Deloney Lilburn, Ga./Brookwood High School
Competed at the club level for the Gwinnett Soccer Association...Coached at the club level by Nino Pitiera...Helped lead club team to 2008 Disney Soccer Showcase Championship...Club team qualified for the Georgia State Cup Finals in 2005 and 2007...GSA Phoenix Red 91 made it to the semi-finals of the Georgia State Tournament in 2006 and 2008...Served as his club team's captain...Played high school soccer at Brookwood High School...Coached in high school by Danny Klinect...Selected first-team All-County...Named to the Gwinnett County Super Six team...Helped lead Brookwood High School to 2008 Georgia State Semi-Finals...Was a member of 2006 Elite 8-qualifying Brookwood soccer squad...2006 high school team was crowned region 8-5A Champions...Selected to Georgia ODP State team...Is only the fourth freshman in the history of Brookwood High School to make the varsity squad...Participated in Atlanta Silverbacks Super Y Nationals in 2005.
J.J. Greer Memphis, Tenn./Christian Brothers High School
Competed at the high school level for Christian Brothers High School in Memphis...Helped the Purple Wave to the championship game of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 state tournament...Part of team that led CBHS to 10th-straight region championship in 2008...Earned all-metro honors as a sophomore and junior...Selected to the all-state team as a sophomore and junior...Was the only junior that was a finalist for the Commercial Appeal Best of Preps team...Coached by former Memphis soccer player, Rogerio Lima, a first team all-conference pick in 1996 and 1997 while competing for former soccer coach Chris Bartels...Full name is Jarvis Greer, Jr...Competed at the club level for the Midsouth Futbol Club...Coached at the club level by Richard Bute...Helped lead club team to state runner-up finish in club team's first year of existence...Is the son of WMC-TV Sports Director Jarvis Greer, a former football letterwinner for the Tigers from 1976-77.
Jordan Johnson Tulsa, Okla./Holland Hall Prep
Teammate of Patrick Kelly at Hendersonville High School...Coached at the high school level by Russ Plummer...Helped lead high school team to three-straight Tennessee State Tournament appearances and one state runner-up finish in his freshman season...High school captured District, Regional and Sectional Championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008...Selected to the Tennessee State ODP team...Played club soccer for three different teams during his youth; most recently for the NPSA and the Harpreth Futbol Club...Coached at NPSA by Eric Vaughter and at Harpreth FC by Andrew Walls...Memphis goalie Harrison Cheatham is also a product of the Harpreth Futbol Club.
Patrick Kelly Hendersonville, Tenn./Hendersonville High School
Named first team all-district in 2008...Picked as All-County Player of the Year in 2008...Selected to Mid-State second team as a junior...Played club soccer for the Tennessee Futbol Club...Coached by Giles Cheevers and Ajit Korgaokar...Club team won the Region III Premier League Championship in 2007...Selected to the Tennessee ODP State Team in 2005, 2006 and 2007...Attended Hendersonville High School...Coached in high school by Russ Plummer...Led high school to a state runner-up finish as a freshman...Hendersonville High School captured District, Regional and Sectional Championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008...Has led high school to three-straight state tournament appearances...Played forward and defender in high school...Named All-County MVP of the Year...Has 14 goals and 20 assists in his high school career...Selected to Tennessean Mid-State team...Picked as member of All-District Tournament team in 2006, 2007 and 2008...Brother Daniel is a sophomore midfielder at Indiana...Son of Joseph and Marie Kelly.
Frank Petersen Woodstock, Ga./Etowah High School
Played high school soccer at Etowah High School...Coached in high school by Chris Stahler... Was named Defensive Player of the Year as a junior...Three-time all-county selection... Helpec lead team to county championship...Also lead team to Sweet 16 of the Georgia State Tournament...Currently playing club soccer for the North Atlanta Soccer Association...Coached at NASA by Mickey McNeill...Also played club soccer for the Cobb Futbol Club...Coached at the club level by Dan Pietro...Club team was the Atlanta Cup Champion...Also helped club squad capture Southeast College Showcase Championship...Served as the captain for his club team... Selected to the Georgia State ODP team in 2004 and 2005...Helped lead club team to Georgia State Cup Semifinals three years in a row...Born and raised in Mexico City.
Mark Sherrod Knoxville, Tenn./Carter High School
Signs with the U of M after competing for two seasons as a member of the Knoxville Football Club... Coached by John Craven as a member of the Knoxville Football Club...Won the 2007 and 2008 State Championship at the club level as a member of the Knoxville Football Club...Club team also won the Division III Premier League Championship in 2008...Current Memphis players Cody McCoy and Parker Duncan are also products of the Knoxville Football Club...Played two seasons on the Lakeway Kickers club team...Coach for the Lakeway Kickers was Mike McDonald...Attended Carter High School in Knoxville, where he was coached by Gene Chunn...An all-state selection in 2006, 2007 and 2008...Earned first team all-district in 2006, 2007 and 2008...Was his high school team's MVP during his freshman and sophomore seasons...Led his district and region in goals as a freshman, sophomore and junior at Carter High School...Has 109 career goals in three high school seasons, setting a goal scoring record at his high school...Accumulated 36 assists over three high schools seasons, an assist record for Carter High School soccer...Served as high school team captain during his junior season...Has been a member of Tennessee ODP for three seasons.
Adam Thornton Vicksburg, Miss./St. Aloysius High School
Member of the Clinton Futbol Club...Coached at the club level by David Austin...Attended St. Aloysius High School in Vicksburg...Coached in high school by Will Vollor...Was an all-district selection in 2007 and 2008...Selected as high school team MVP as a sophomore and junior...Helped high school team advance to the Mississippi State Soccer Tournament in 2006 and 2007...Earned all-state in track and field in the 800 and 1600...Has scored 50 career goals and racked up over 100 assists in high school.
Justin Watson Myrtle Beach, S.C./Socastee High School
A member of the U.S. Soccer Under-18 Men's National pool...Played his club soccer for Bridge Futbol Alliance...Coached at the club level by Clark Brisson...Also played club soccer for the Coastal Soccer Club...Chosen as member of SCsoccer.com's 2008 Super XXII team...Received all-region recognition ...Tallied 27 goals and 18 assists while battling through injuries during his junior season...Has scored 200 career goals and has tallied 90 career assists...Attended Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach...Coached in high school by Memo Suarez...Helped lead high school squad to Lower State Finals twice...High school squad crowned region champs three times.
Jon Wright Tulsa, Okla./Holland Hall Prep
Competed for the Tulsa Soccer Club...TSC also produced current Memphis soccer player Thomas Shannon...Coached at the club level by Steve Earle...Scored 16 goals and assisted on six goals during his junior campaign...Played High School soccer for Holland Hall Prep...Helped lead the Dutch to the Southwest Preparatory Conference Division I State Championship in 2007...Coached at Holland Hall by Richard Hart...Helped lead high school team to State Championship title as a junior...All-conference selection...Twice scored four goals in one game...Tallied 16 total goals as a junior...Holds the individual single-season record for career goals with 60 in his high school career...Also lettered two years in cross country and four years in track at high school...Parents are Jack Wright and Janet Ammons.