DES MOINES, Iowa - The Drake men's soccer team, under the leadership of 15th-year head coach Sean Holmes, has announced the addition of nine student-athletes joining the Bulldogs' squad for the 2012 campaign.
Donning the Drake uniform this fall will be Jon Choda (Waukee, Iowa/Waukee), James Grunert (Muskego, Wis./Muskego), Danton Irelan (Ottumwa, Iowa/Ottumwa), Ben LeMay (Hugo, Minn./Saint Thomas Academy), Austin Reutzel (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Prairie), Alex Troester (Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa City West), Jonah Waldron (Adel, Iowa/Adel-DeSoto-Minburn), Brandon Welter (Mankato, Minn./Mankato East), Eric Williams (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley).
"I'm thrilled at the potential of our nine newcomers," Holmes commented. "They give us a depth that our program requires to challenge on the national stage. All of these guys have the ability to impact our team sooner rather than later."
Choda, a midfielder, from Waukee High School, was named a second team all-state choice as a junior after registering three goals and adding six assists. A three-time all-conference selection, he owns 10 career goals and 15 assists in his first three seasons at Waukee.
Grunert, a defender, from Muskego High School, earned all-state accolades as a senior after collecting nine goals and four assists. Twice named an all-conference selection, he sparked the Warriors to regional and conference titles this past season and was a member of a state championship squad as a sophomore.
Irelan, a forward, from Ottumwa High School, didn't compete for the Bulldogs as a prep player instead competing for the Iowa Olympic Development Program since the age of 10. He was a member of the Iowa 1994 Boys ODP team that captured the 2011 national championship.
LeMay, a midfielder, from Saint Thomas Academy, garnered all-state honors as a senior after registering 24 goals and 12 assists. A three-time all-conference performer and team most valuable player, he capped his career with 46 goals and 24 assists.
Reutzel, a defender, from Prairie High School, has led the Hawks to the sub-state semifinals each of the past two seasons, after reaching the sub-state finals as a freshman. He registered five goals, while distributing eight assists as a junior and owns nine career goals and nine assists.
Troester, a midfielder, from Iowa City West High School, garnered all-conference accolades in each of his first three campaigns. A member of state championship squads during both his freshman and sophomore seasons, he owns 19 career goals and 12 assists.
Waldron, a midfielder/defender, from Adel-DeSoto-Minburn High School, earned all-state accolades as both a sophomore and junior. Twice named a unanimous all-conference selection, he sparked the Bulldogs with 27 goals as a junior, the third-highest mark in the Iowa High School Athletic Association. He played on state tournament squads as both a freshman and junior.
Welter, a midfielder, from Mankato East High School, pulled in all-state honors three times en route to amassing 97 career goals. He captured first team all-league accolades during each of his four campaigns and sparked the Cougars to a state runner-up finish in 2011.
Williams, a forward, from Valley High School, garnered all-state honors during both his sophomore and junior campaigns. He registered 22 goals, while adding 11 assists in helping the Tigers to a state runner-up finish in 2011.
"As a group, our newcomers are talented soccer players, great students and good guys," said Holmes. "The fact that two-thirds of them hail from Iowa is a reflection of how the sport has grown over the last decade in our home state."