By Barry L. Paschal
When the Greenbrier High School boys soccer team ran into its well-publicized troubles this year, the remaining varsity players were thrust into leadership roles.
Michael Harris was one of those players, and the team’s captain on Wednesday took his game to the next level by signing to play for Perdue University Calumet in Hammond, Ind.
Harris, who has played club and school soccer since age 3, scored six goals and three assists this season and was named 2013 All-Region and Region 2-AAAAA Player of the Year.
Perdue University Calumet men’s head soccer coach James Drzewiecki saw Harris play at a Capital Area Soccer League showcase in North Carolina in November, and since then Harris been on one official visit to the National Association of Independent Athletics school.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for me,” Harris said. “It’s a very good school for engineering, and that’s what I plan to study.”
Coming into the Perigrine’s second year as a soccer team, Harris hopes to start as center back or center defensive mid, playing to his more obvious strength: his 6’4” height.
But he’s also a smart defensive player, said Greenbrier head soccer coach Chip Warren. “He does a good job holding onto the ball, keeping possession.”
Drzewiecki didn’t attend the signing, but sent a letter of support for Harris.
“He’s a very good player,” Drzewiecki wrote. “In my estimation, he’s only going to get better. You don’t often find a player with his height who also has such good footwork.”
As an added plus, Drzewiecki wrote, his wife is a Georgia native who quickly identified with Harris’ anticipated move north.
Warren has no doubt Harris will do well at the next level.
“He’s a great leader on and off the field,” Warren added.