BATON ROUGE, La | Southern's head coach Jeremy Fontenot and Southern University soccer program announced 12 signees and two walk-ons for the 2018-19 academic school year.
The nine freshmen will join five JUCO transfers for the upcoming 2018 campaign include (Hometown//High School//Club Soccer Team//National Team): forward/defender Miamour Mesa (Washington D.C.//Bell MultiCultural High School//Bethesda SC), goalkeeper/forward Amber Zarate (Conroe, Texas//Conroe High School), defender Jalyn Davis (Fort Hood, Texas//Killeen High School//TriCounty Flyer SC), midfielder Lauren Din (Fort Hood, Texas//Killeen High School), midfielder Faith Sparks (Glenn Heights, Texas// Desoto High School//Invictus SC), defender/midfielder Skyar Randall (Baton Rouge, La//McKinley High School//Baton Rouge Soccer Association), defender Amya Webb (Arlington, Texas//Newman International Academy), Goalkeeper Naomi Cooper (Katy, Texas//Calvin Nelms Charter High School//Albion Hurricanes Football Club), Raven Bradley (Garland, Texas//joining the six freshmen are transfer forward Joseline Sorto-Aleman (Dallas, Texas//White High School/Brookhaven College), defender/midfielder Jessenia Rivera (McKinney, Texas//McKinney North High School/Navarro College), midfielder Bri'anna Schroeder (Albuquerque, New Mexico //Del Norte HS/Neosho Community College), Defender Jaclyn (Noelle) Payne (Fort Gibson, Oklahoma//Fort Gibson High Schoo//Neosho Community College//Oklahoma Arsenol SC) and defender Tempest Shepherd (Horn Lakes, Mississippi//Horn Lake High School/Northwest Mississippi Community College)
SOCCER HEAD COACH JEREMY FONTENOT:
About large class
“...2 years ago, my first recruiting class I was only able to get three. Because we had a big group of players that [were]returning, didn’t want to come in and clear up the whole house. So I just recruited three players knowing that this year I would be able to pull a bunch of numbers, we sat back at as a staff, and made a few calls and was able to get a few JUCO players and a few freshmen players that came from the same school, we did great”
About mix of experience and freshman
“…Well, that’s the biggest thing we needed experience on the team, we have two [returning] seniors, the rest are juniors, two sophomores; we needed experience on the team, last season we had three seasons that played a lot of minutes, never got to learn from the older group. This season we wanted to get some experience, get girls from JUCO that been to the championship [game], been to the tournament, been a captain on their team, that was our biggest thing we wanted to accomplish…”
About recruits coming in from winning programs
“…To be honest, especially the JUCO girls, the five that we have, all went into their programs like I came into this program, the program not being as strong and they stayed with the team for two years they helped build it up. You know we looked in that four the JUCO players, they started off the season before they got there one two or three games and by the time they finished it was over five hundred even one the girls I got from brookhaven they won the championship last year and a year before I made it so they made it to the championship game by lost but she was the M.V.P. on both season and everything so I think that was a big thing going in, they know where we at right now so I think they really think big on helping the program build itself…”
“…The one we talk about the most right at this moment is Amaya Webb the freshman out of Arlington, Texas she actually moved her senior year I think Junior year from California, so she moved from California and then moved to Texas so not a lot of people was able to recruit her, see her she was gone because of the move and that being the school out then all the time and Newman was a great school but is new and so they actually just got into the N.C.A.A on this year she actually the first player from Newman academy to be recruiting in the N.C.A.A So I really believe that she is going to come and learn the system and be able to give us a lot of. A lot of work in every position
About grabbing teammates from Killeen
"...Well actually they are I was recruiting one of them and they came down for a visit and she said I am going to bring another player to you might want to see and that's the biggest mindset in soccer is about a relationship you know a teammate can play bring to give a chance and when she gave a chance I mean we like what we saw so we offer her a scholarship that day they came for a visit, so it was a great thing she didn't have too much on film so we almost missed her, so it was good that the friend, that we was recruiting say coach im going to Give you a call I want to talk to you about this other girl they both came in and it worked out great for us.
About recruiting out of Texas
“it's always a goal to go back to Texas, I say out of the fifty states [Texas] is one of the top three with California [and the] Florida area as does one the top on states you know they have different clubs and I build relationships with them. … take the Arlington girls their coach and I have been talking since last year when I first started recruiting, take that the Houston girl I've been talking to coaches out there for a while so its all about building a relationship. It's like almost second home to Louisiana Going right to Texas is kind of hard at this moment to get the girls all of Louisana to so we went to the next place and that is Texas. They are that far away and we play a lot of games out there so we still have fans coming to those games since they are close so that was our goal, to build our relationship and also build our fan base…”
About grabbing a player out of our backyard, daughter of former SU QB Randall
"...Skylar Randall, I think was [a] big [signing] for us, two things, she was planning on going to another university and then I want to say in the middle of her junior years she just gave me a call to say this is where she wants to be and she feels like she is at home already. She [is] doing everything we ask her to do she's actually in summer school right now working towards her nursing degree so prepare her for the college level so she's working out. [second] it helped us out more by, even though we had a couple of Baton Rouge players, a lot of people know her for soccer, so it helped us by recruiting more. We are getting more calls from Baton Rouge young ladies that want to play or thinking about playing or thinking about coming to camps, after that signing, that signing was one of our biggest one, because we want to recruit out here, we want to recruit the Baton Rouge area, we feel like there are a lot of players that can help us out of the Baton Rouge area over the next couple of years, I believe once they saw her making that step it was good, the Randall family is great. They called me every week to just talk to make sure that we are ok. That was a big recruiting tool for Southern.”
About signing a recruit out of Washington D.C.
“..we were looking at different states, we have a big alumni base out there[Washington D.C.], we don’t want to stop that from coming to Southern, so we look at places like that, we look at the Dallas area, Houston area, D.C. area, our plans are to get out there in California where our alumni base is out there. That young lady junior year scored 31 goals, senior year scored 21 goals and on the club team, she played a different position. She can come here she can and play different positions, we felt like it was a good idea to get here to keep the alumni group involved."
“...while our biggest thing is we have numbers, we could actually get on the practice field and play a full game coaches don't have to join in the game we have the numbers to push each other so that was is our biggest thing come then the second thing is the leadership we look in coming in camp who are gone and we have two captains but we still looking for that person on the field that can communicate and talk, things like that that was our biggest thing come in that's what we're looking for the most and then the energy. I think our freshman group have lots of energy they all play club they all play high school and you know a lot of them play together already come in there and so especially the girls out of Dallas, Arlington area and then I had the Austin area girls they played all four years together in high school so you know come in they already have a small relationship and now is just about putting all the twenty-five girls together."
|Joseline Sorto-Aleman||For.||5'1||Jr.||Dallas, Tx/White HS/ Brookhaven CC|
|Raven Bradley||For.||5'1||Fr.||Garland, Tx/Naaman Forest HS|
|Naomi Cooper||GK||5'3||Fr.||Katy, Tx/Calvin Nelms Charter HS|
|Jalyn Davis||Def.||5'6||Fr.||Killeen, Tx/Killeen HS|
|Lauren Din||Mid.||5'7||Fr.||Killeen, Tx/Killeen HS|
|Miamour Mesa||Def.||5'7||Fr.||Washington D.C./Bell Multicultural HS|
|Jaclyn "Noelle' Payne||Def.||5'4||Jr.||Fort Gibson, Okl./Fort Gibson HS/Neosho County CC|
|Skylar Randall||Def./Mid.||5'7||Fr.||Baton Rouge, La./McKinnley HS|
|Jessenia Rivera||Def./Mid.||5'3||Jr.||McKinney, Tx/ McKinney North HS/ Navarro College|
|Bri'anna Schroeder||Mid.||5'3||Jr.||Albuquerque, NM/Del Norte HS/Neosho County CC|
|Tempest Shepherd||Def.||5'3||Jr.||Hornes Lake, Miss./Horn Lake High School/Northwest Mississippi CC|
|Faith Sparks||Mid.||5'5||Fr.||Glenn Heights, Tx/Desoto High School|
|Amya Webb||Def.||5'5||Fr.||Arlington, Tx./Newman International Academy|
|Amber Zarate||GK||5'6||Fr.||Conroe, Tx/Conroe High School|
Inside the numbers
15 signee is the largest class ever signed in program history
Skylar Randall is the daughter of Southern Hall of Fame Quarterback Erik Randall who led Southern to two SWAC Championships and a a Black College National Championship in 1995
Miamour Mesa scored 31 goals her junior year and 21 goals her senior in high school.
Amber Zarate is a two sport athlete, joining Amaya Webb a three-sport athlete (Softball, Soccer and Basketball)
Tempest Shepherd was atwo-year starter at NMCC (29 games) - NMCC pitched 11 shutouts in 2017 --was named a DeSoto County All-Star as a senior in High School
Joseline Sorte won the NJACC DIII National Championship, recognized as Offensive Player of the Tournament. Recorded 20 goals her freshman year, finished with 25 goals and 16 assists, seven game-winners.
Jaguars add nine from Texas to go with new teammates Taylor Alexander (So.,Dallas, Texas), Chloe Sims (Jr., Stafford, Tx), Abby Farias (Sr. Pasadena, Texas)