Staying close to home was the major theme of the day when three Greenbrier High School boys soccer players signed their national letters of intent Thursday.
Reid Norton signed with Georgia Southern University, Daane Mallek signed with USC Aiken, and heading the farthest is Luke Waechter, who signed with Charlotte.
For Norton, who had been looking at schools including Wake Forest, North Carolina and Charlotte, it made sense to play for the Eagles, especially since he was already familiar with the program.
“I really liked Georgia Southern a lot and felt like they were the right fit,” he said. “It all kind of came together. I liked the coaches a lot and my brother (sophomore Hunter) is the captain down there. It just felt like home when I went down there. Hopefully I’ll be able to play with them, I think we’ll have a pretty good chemistry down there and I’m pretty good friends with the guys.”
Waechter, a 2011 2-AAAA All-Region left back, will be heading to a 49ers team that was the 2011 national runner-up.
“There’s a lot of expectations for next year, and I’m just excited to be a part of that. I’m hoping I can make my mark next year,” said Waechter. “I’ll definitely have to perform in practices. Academically I’m going to have to excel in that as well as soccer.”
The signing day was the end of a long process for Mallek.
He had been looked at by some Division I schools, but after he tore the ACL in his knee last fall, he never heard back from them. USC Aiken was much different.
“The Aiken coaches, their responses to the ACL injury were very positive throughout,” said Mallek, who might be back in time to play a few games for the Wolfpack this season.