BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech men’s soccer program has announced the signings of nine incoming student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2010-2011 academic year. Ethan Ashong, Vaughn Bandy, David Clemens, DeVante DuBose, Taylor Lemmon, Mikey Minutillo, Kyle Renfro, Cody Thayer and Adama Wakai are set to join the Hokies this fall.
“I’m very excited about bringing these young men into our program,” said head men’s soccer coach Mike Brizendine. “They represent all the qualities that our staff finds essential for success, whether in the classroom or on the field.”
Ethan Ashong joins Tech from Pleasant Valley, N.Y., where he played for Arlington High School. The 5’7” midfielder/forward was tied for the team lead his senior season with 17 goals, earning an individual ranking as high as No. 3 in the country. He was a finalist for the ESPN Rise Player of the Week award and was named the Hudson Player Sports Report Athlete of the Week in his successful senior season. Ashong played his club soccer with Middlepath FC, helping them to the New York State Cup championship game in 2007 in 2009. Ashong, an honors student, also earned all-league and all-section honorable mention honors throughout his high school soccer career.
Vaughn Bandy, a 6’1” midfielder/forward from Charlotte, N.C., joins the team after a three-year varsity career at David W. Butler High School, where he was an academic honor roll student. Bandy was a two-time, first team all-conference honoree, totaling 20 goals throughout his career. In addition to soccer, Bandy was also the kicker on the varsity football team, helping his team to a state championship his senior year. He played his club soccer with North Mecklenburg Soccer Academy, helping them to a State Cup Final Four appearance his sophomore year, and later became the leading scorer on the US Academy Soccer South Region team, which consisted of the top eleven players in the region.
David Clemens, a 6’1” forward, hails from Ballston Lake, N.Y. He collected several honors his senior season, including All-Capital Region Class AA, first-team suburban, first-team all-state and first-team NSCAA All-Region. Clemens was also the Section II leading scorer and MVP. He played his club ball for Blackwatch, leading them to the State Cup quarterfinals his sophomore year, a Super-Y National fifth-place performance his junior year and the State Cup semifinals his senior year. He was selected to the U.S. National Pool in 2009.
DeVante DuBose joins the Hokies from Oakland, Calif., where he played for Bishop O’Dowd High School. The 5’9” defender earned first-team all-league in his junior season and captained a team that was ranked 15th in the nation his senior year. He played club ball for the Mustang Soccer Academy, and was named the U.S. Soccer Player to be Watched and ranked as the 15th best defender in the state. DuBose was also an honor roll student and was class president his junior year.
Taylor Lemmon, a 6’2” forward from Lawrence, Kan., was a three-time first-team all-state selection in high school for Maranatha Academy. He scored 87 career goals and was the state leader in goals his junior and senior seasons. His club team, the KCFC Strikers, were the Kansas State Cup Finalists three consecutive years.
Mikey Minutillo, a 6’1” midfielder/forward from San Jose, California, played for Bellarmine College Preparatory and the US Soccer Academy. He combined for 19 goals and 20 assists in his first two seasons at Bellarmine, before joining the US Soccer Academy Team. Minutillo has also scored 35 goals in his three and a half years of play with the US Soccer Development Academy and the De Anza Force Academy teams. He currently leads the team in goals and assists at the half-way point of the season.
Kyle Renfro joins the Hokies from Forest, Va., where he was a four-year letter-winner and two-time team captain for Brookville High School. The 6’1” goalkeeper earned first-team all-district and honorable mention all-region honors his junior year, while being named the team MVP and leading Brookville to regional play. As a keeper for his club team, the Roanoke Star, Renfro helped them to the Virginia State Cup his senior year. In his junior campaign, the Roanoke Star was ranked first in Virginia, 10th in the region and 31st in the nation. Renfro also excelled academically, earning a 3.75 GPA all four years, and was a three-time team captain for his high school basketball team.
James “Cody” Thayer is a 5’8” midfielder/forward out of Omaha, Neb. He is entering his fourth season as a varsity starter this spring for Millard West High School. Thayer has already tallied 24 goals and 28 assists throughout his high school career, has been a two-time honoree to the all-metro team, has been named to the NE Class A All-State team and has led his team to a Class A State Championship. In club soccer, Thayer played three years for NE ODP and earned three NE State Championships, while leading his team in assists each season.
Adama Wakai is a 5’8” forward out of Charlotte, N.C., and will join Tech after a four-year career at Hopewell High School. He was named to all-conference in his junior and senior campaigns and also received the offensive MVP awards both those years. Wakai played club soccer for the US Soccer Academy U-18 North Meck Team. In his freshman year, his club team was the ODP state and regional champion, and Wakai was selected to the ODP National Select Team, the Super Y National Select Team and National Pool and the Region II National Pool.
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