Men's Soccer Signs Six Players to National Letters of Intent
CHICAGO – Following the first season of play in the BIG EAST Conference, the men’s soccer program looked eastward in signing three of six players from New York to a National Letter of Intent to play at DePaul next season. Gary Laronde, Erich Reichmann and Peter Sterbenz head to the Midwest from New York and join Kevin Briars and Mark Plotkin from the Chicagoland area, and Nathan Feltz from West Des Moines, Iowa.
“We have confirmed an outstanding 2006 recruiting class locally, regionally and nationally. This is very dynamic class and they represent another step forward in the process of becoming a top program in Chicago, the Midwest, and the BIG EAST Conference,” said DePaul men’s soccer coach Craig Blazer.
“This recruiting class is unique because they were able to see us compete in our first year in the BIG EAST Conference and on Wish Field - our state of the art FieldTurf field. They saw first hand the new direction of the program and understand the importance of our academic success and opportunity to be a part of building a winning program,” he continued. “We welcome our new players and their families to the DePaul soccer program and together we look forward to maximizing their academic and athletic potential.”
The two Chicagoland student-athletes in the recruiting class earned All-State mention in 2005. Briars earned 2005 Illinois All-State honors and also picked up All-Sectional and All-Conference recognition. The Wheaton native was played his high school soccer at Wheaton Warrenville South High School. Plotkin was also a 2005 All-State honoree at Naperville North High School and is a member of the player pool for Region II in the Olympic Development Program (ODP).
“Kevin Briars is a left-sided forward who has a good work rate and ability to take on defenders and score goals,” said Blazer. “Mark Plotkin is a state and region ODP Player who is a skillful, versatile central midfielder and who has a good feel for the nuances of the game. He has the knack for creating goal scoring opportunities for himself and teammates.”
Nathan Feltz of West Des Moines, Iowa, is the third Midwest student-athlete of the six-member class. He earned second team All-State honors and is an adidas Elite Soccer Player. A Region II ODP member, the Dowling Catholic High School product is also plays on the Iowa State ODP team.
“Nathan Feltz is has ODP experience at the state and region levels and is a very competitive, tough and hard-working wide midfielder,” said Blazer.
Laronde, Sterbenz and Reichmann make up the New York contingent of the recruiting class. All three played club soccer for Blau-Weiss (BW) Gottschee. Laronde was named All-Long Island as a senior at Half Hollow Hills East High School in Wheatly Heights, N.Y., while Sterbenz plays in the Super Y-League for the Olympic Development Program. Sterbenz played his high school soccer at Townsend Harris High School in Middle Village, N.Y. Reichmann was a standout at Hicksville High School in Hicksville, N.Y. and earned NSCAA All-American and All-State recognition. He was also named All-Long Island.
“Gary Laronde is a wide midfielder/forward who has outstanding “BIG EAST” breakaway speed and ability to break down defenses,” said Blazer. “Peter Sterbenz is a very intelligent defender who plays simple and understands how to do all the little things well. Erich Reichmann is a very athletic, competitive and versatile player. He can either play as a forward or in the defense and always has an impact on the field.”