Frank Alonso knows his team’s have talent.
But more often than not, those talented players choose to walk away from soccer at the end of their high-school careers, opting instead for a more-typical college experience at a large university.
This year, it’s worked out differently, as three Indians have signed letters of intent in the last month to play on in college.
“It’s great to see us finally have some guys go,” Alonso said. “Typically we have six or eight guys with offers, but they decide not to keep playing. This is really great for them, and I wish them all the best.”
Killian Gorman, Evan Williams and Jonathon Taylor all have opted to keep playing soccer in college. Gorman signed with Fort Hays State, Williams with Dodge City Community College and Taylor with MidAmerica Nazarene.
For Gorman, signing with Fort Hays State was about being a part of a fast-growing program.
“They’re establishing an insane tradition there,” Gorman said. “Their second year in existence, they were Top 25 all year long and ended No. 9 in the nation and an NCAA tournament participant. That kind of success really drew me in.
“When I took my visit, I love the campus. I really liked the facilities, and the coaches were awesome. I enjoyed every aspect of Hays and I’m looking forward to playing there.”
For Williams, it was the coaching staff that sealed the deal.
“I’d say the main factor for me were the coaches,” Williams said. “They were phenomenal group of adults, they definitely swayed my decision. They’re also getting a new turf field on campus, which should be done by the summer. The campus is another thing, it’s similar to a high school in that it’s small, but it’s not like other community colleges that I visited.”
Williams said his future teammates also played a role in his recruitment.
“I talked with some of the players and they both rallied around my decision and helped persuade me,” he said. “I think we’ll have a good season next year with a solid group of guys.”
For Taylor, choosing Olathe-based MidAmerica Nazarene was a good way to stay close to home.
“I really did like the coaching staff, and when I went on my visit, it seemed like a family atmosphere,” Taylor said. “Everyone looked like a tight-knit group and everybody seemed to get along well. The other factor was it’s close to home. A lot of students want to leave right away, but I didn’t want to do that. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, so that was a big part of my decision.”
Taylor has the opportunity to play both soccer and basketball for the Pioneers, should he choose to. Between school and club teams, Taylor has been playing either basketball or soccer during each sports season for years. But the senior will start with soccer and see how basketball works out.
“After soccer season, we’ll see what happens with basketball,” he said. “Hopefully everything goes well.”