Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A-Sun Family Athletic Connections - Men's Soccer

Men’s Soccer in the Atlantic Sun is back in action for 2009 with many players already putting together some great performances.

The more time you spend around Atlantic Sun soccer you find more and more that playing soccer in the A-Sun is a family affair. Just about every one player from every men’s soccer team in the Atlantic Sun has at least one close relative who either played a collegiate sport or currently competes as an NCAA student-athlete. I want to thank all of the universities that were able to get us information about their students-athletes and their families … If you are a student athlete in the A-Sun with an athletic family or a proud athletic family member of an A-Sun athlete please feel free to comment on this blog and add you family name to the list.

Eric Bowen leads the family affair for Belmont men’s soccer. Bowen’s father Sam Bowen played for the Boston Red Sox from 1977-80 and his twin sister Emily is a freshman on the North Georgia women’s soccer team.

Bowen’s teammate T.J. Brown also has also a twin sister (Taren) and she was the Ohio Valley Conference rookie of the year in 2007. Wade Wonderlin joins Bowen and Brown on the list with athletic sisters as his sibling Whitni was a cross country runner at Georgia.

Jackson Ferrell of Campbell earned a spot on’s “100 Freshmen to Watch List.” Ferrell’s father, Tony was a four-year men's soccer standout (1973-76) and his mother, Laura (Bolton) Ferrell, was a four-year basketball star for the Lady Camels. His father (1976) and uncle, Mike (1978) both won Campbell's Glen Brewster Memorial Award for leadership and courage.

Preseason All-Atlantic Sun selection Vince Petrasso has an uncle (Dave Porco), who earned All-American honors on the soccer field at Wisconsin-Green Bay. Mitchell Cardenas is the son of Alejeudro Cardenas who played 17 years in the Mexican Soccer League. Freshman Keegan Terry has quite the athletic family led by father, Kevin who played soccer at Cleveland State. Terry’s brother played for A-Sun rival Lipscomb from 2004-07 and sister Kaili is a junior with the Lady Camels.

ETSU features brothers Tyler and Sean Hoek but Jacksonville may take the cake with family connections. Nedim Hrustic has a brother Nardin who played with the Dolphins (07-08). Sophomore Kyle Johnson is the son of head soccer coach Mike Johnson, who played at Jacksonville in 1981-85. Kyle Johnson’s brother (Tyler) played football with the Dolphins in 2005-08.

Kelly Gill became the third child of John and Charlotte Gill to play college soccer following in the foot steps of brother Sean (Midwestern State University, 2004-06) and sister Erin (Hardin Simmons University, 2000-01). Jonathan Leach’s mother, Naulette played basketball at Connecticut. Conner Vogel’s brother, Eric, played as a defender on the University of Denver soccer team from 2004-07. To end the long string of Dolphin college student-athlete connections enters, Nate Binkley. His father played soccer at Maryland who then transferred to Old Dominion and became an Olympic Soccer pool player.

Lipscomb has some of the most diverse NCAA student-athlete families. Brent and Evan McGee are brothers. Mike Salmen’s father Dough played ice hockey at Miami (Ohio). Tyler Burkhardt’s dad Karl hit the college soccer pitch with Lock Haven and Ben Maxham’s father, Steve, played for Jacksonville State and then transferred to play soccer at Western Kentucky. Ben Maxham’s father is not the only athletically skilled member of the family as Ben’s uncle played football at Missouri.

It would be a good idea to avoid a dual with UNF’s Julliam Beau’s brother, as he was a member of the nationally-ranked Notre Dame fencing team. Beau’s teammate David Pollard has a sister who plays soccer and Winthrop.

USC Upstate’s Chris and Chad McCoy are the third set of brothers playing on the same team in the Atlantic Sun but the only set of twin brothers. Going deeper into the family tree John Kadane’s great grandmother was tennis pro Ann Cole. Colin Francis’ father, Robert, was a member of both the U19 and national teams for Trinidad back in his heyday.

To round the Atlantic Sun family of student-athletes and athletes of all types we have Logan Potter of Stetson. Potter’s father Gary played professional football for the Cincinnati Bengals.

That is at least all that I could find for men’s soccer at least. My next installment will feature A-Sun women’s soccer players with college or pro connections. Once again if you were not mentioned here and want to be included comment on the blog or twitter us @AtlanticSun.

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