SFA Soccer Signs Six
Feb. 7, 2007
NACOGDOCHES - Stephen F. Austin soccer coach Jaime Frias announced Wednesday the addition of six prep athletes to the Ladyjack squad. Breanne Vernon, Jamie Snow, Kesia Broome, Sarah Gregory, Kelli Barnes and Brittney Barker have each signed national letters of intent to attend SFA.
The class -- Frias' second since taking over the program before the 2005 season -- matches in numbers last year's prep signing group. The 2006 class, which was eight players strong in total, including a pair of collegiate transfers, was ranked No. 24 in the region by Soccer Buzz Magazine. Continuing a recent trend in Ladyjack recruiting classes, the 2007 group includes three Canadian players. Frias said he expects this year's class, like the last one, to compete for playing time quickly.
"All of these players have one thing in common," the coach said of his 2007 class, "they're all competitive. We're not only bringing great soccer players to this class but great competitors as well. I'm looking forward to the impact these players will have on our program for years to come."
Vernon is a 5-5 midfielder and forward from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She played four sports as a freshman at Vincent Massey High School before starting a seven-day-a-week soccer training regimen. In her one year of school athletics, Vernon was named the school's athlete of the year and the most valuable player for the soccer team. Vernon also competed in volleyball, track and field and badminton.
Vernon is a veteran club player who has spent the last three years competing for the Southwest United Storm 89s. Last year, her squad finished first in the U-16 Premier Division and took fifth at nationals. The Southwest United Storm 89s finished second in the U-16 Premier Division in both 2004 and 2005.
From 2004 through 2006, Vernon was a part of the Canadian National Training Program. In 2005, she was named to the Alberta Soccer Association's U-16 Provincial All-Star Team. In 2003 and 2004, Vernon logged time with the U-14 and U-15 Provincial Team. From 2002 to 2004, she took part in the South Alberta Provincial Winter Training Program, and in 2002, Vernon played in the Alberta Summer Games as a member of the U-13 South Alberta Team.
Vernon is set to graduate from Ernest Manning High later this spring. Breanne is the daughter of Kevin and Sherry Vernon.
"Breanne is a versatile player who can play any midfield or forward position," Frias said. "She's at her best when she's going at players and unbalancing defenses. Breanne is also very good in the air. Her gritty attitude and athleticism enable her to win the majority of the 50-50 balls. Breanne's competitiveness will allow her to fight for playing time immediately."
Snow is a 5-7 midfielder out of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, who will likely develop into a back row player for the Ladyjacks. She made her mark early at Applewood Heights Secondary School. Snow was named a captain as a sophomore and earned the team MVP award that same season. The next year, she was made a junior coach on the squad.
As a club player for the Erin Mills Eagles, Snow played sweeper and center back for three years. The team had a banner year in 2005, capturing the Ontario Indoor Soccer League Championship, the Indoor Ontario Cup Championship and the Ontario Cup Championship all in the same year. The Eagles were also the Canadian National Champions in 2005 and were named the Mississauga Sports Team of the Year. In 2006, the Erin Mills club squad again won the Ontario Indoor Soccer League title and the Indoor Ontario Cup crown. The Eagles were also named SRSL League Champions. Snow also played for Team Ontario from 2003-2005 and was named the Team Ontario 2 captain in 2003. She played on the Team Ontario Regional Squad in 2002.
Snow also played field hockey and volleyball and ran track for her high school teams. As a freshman, she was named rookie of the year for both the volleyball and field hockey squads and served as captain on the field hockey team as a senior.
Snow was an honors student at Applewood Heights, maintaining a grade-point average above 4.0 all four years of her high school career. Jamie is the daughter of Walter Snow.
"Jamie is extremely vocal and comfortable on the ball," Frias said. "We will look for Jamie to compete for one of our vacant center back spots. Her passing ability and tactical awareness make Jamie an attacking threat going forward. I'm confident Jamie will mature into one of the best defenders in our conference."
Broome is the third Canadian import in this year's class -- a speedy 5-5 midfielder and forward from Unionville High School in Toronto. She played on both the U-14 and the U-15 Ontario squads, in addition to spending one year each on the regional pool and regional team.
Broome logged two years playing club soccer for the Vaughan Azzurri team. In 2005, her club team finished second in the Ontario Youth Soccer League. The squad won the OYSL title in 2006 and captured the Academies World Cup Championship.
Broome also ran track and played basketball at Unionville. She was a sprinter on the track and field squad and set school records in the 100 and 200 meters during her freshman and sophomore years. Broome helped lead the girls track team to a second-place finish among province schools in 2005.
Kesia has won academic awards for both science and health/physical education. She is the daughter of Charles Broome and Ann-Elizabeth Pennyfeather-Broome.
"Kesia is one of the fastest kids I've ever seen with the ball at her feet," Frias said. "Her one-vs.-one ability is superb, and she can also send a cross with pace and accuracy. We are looking for Kesia to make an immediate impact within our team and our conference."
Gregory is a 5-6 defender from The Colony, Texas. She has lettered twice in soccer at The Colony High School while picking up numerous awards. She was named the District 7-5A Freshman of the Year and earned Newcomer of the Year accolades for both Denton County and The Colony High.
Gregory has logged eight years as a club soccer player -- three with the Hawks and five with the D-Feeters -- all as a defensive player. She helped take her club team to the Premiere League Championship in 2005 and a State Cup Finals appearance in 2003. Her squads have been ranked as high as 46th nationally.
Gregory is both a National Honor Society member and a President's List selection at The Colony. Sarah is the daughter of Ronald and Terrie Gregory.
"Sarah will bring a high level of tenacity and work ethic to the outside back/outside mid positions," Frias said. "She does extremely well going forward on the dribble and is very hard to beat as a defender. Sarah's mentality toward training and games will allow her to be successful within our program."
Barnes, a 5-8 defender, comes to SFA from Allen, where she played three years at Plano East Senior High School. She earned the 2004 hustler of the year award and was a District 8-5A honorable mention in 2006. She was captain of the soccer team as a senior. She was pulled up to the varsity squad as a freshman and helped her team advance to the 2004 regional quarterfinals. She also led her team to three straight Plano Tournament of Champions titles and the 2006 Lewisville Cup.
Kelli also brings seven years of club soccer experience to Nacogdoches. While with the D'Feeters club team, Barnes helped her team to the Region III Premier League West Championship. The D'Feeters were also a semi-finalist for the 2005 North Texas State Cup and were a finalist in the 2005 Disney Soccer Showcase. While a member of the Solar Soccer Club, Barnes helped lead her team to a runner-up finish in the Lake Highlands Girls Classic League. Team Solar was also a finalist for the 2006 State Cup.
Barnes is the daughter of Johnny and Donna Barnes.
"Kelli is a player who does extremely well on the defensive side of the ball, either as a defensive center mid or defender," Frias said. "Her tall, athletic frame gives her an advantage in the air and on set pieces. Kelli is a good passer, which fits perfectly with our possession-oriented style of play."
A 5-2 midfielder and forward, Barker hails from Keller, Texas. She was a four-year letterwinner at Keller High, earning first-team all-district honors in 2005 and 2006. She was also named the team MVP for 2005 and earned the squad's Midfielder MVP award in 2006. She was elected team captain for the 2007 campaign.
Barker helped lead her club teams to numerous titles and awards in her eight years playing within the Sting Soccer Club system. Last year, the Sting won the Texas Cup Championship and was a finalist in the Disney Soccer Showcase. She played on the Region III Premier League West Championship squad in 2005, and helped her team with the North Texas State Championship in 2004. That year, Barker's squad also won the Region III Premier League West crown. She played for another Texas Cup Champion and North Texas State Champion in 2003, in addition to contributing for a WAGS Cup Finalist and Region III Finalist that year. Barker's teams also won Texas Cup Championships in both 2002 and 2001. Barker played on the Olympic Development Program state team in 2001 and 2002.
Brittney is a member of the Keller High National Honor Society. She is the daughter of Chris and Becky Barker.
"Brittney is another versatile player who can play the midfield or forward positions," Frias said. "She's excellent at keeping possession of the ball and is very mobile off the ball. Another one of Brittney's attributes is her ability to complete the final ball in the attacking third. We will look for her to contribute significantly in the assist column for us next year."
The 2007 signing class will join a solid Ladyjack team coming off a 9-8-1 campaign in 2006. SFA finished third in the Southland Conference standings. The Ladyjacks are just two years removed from a 14-4-0 season in 2005 that saw them finish with a perfect 7-0-0 record in winning the SLC title.
-- SFA --