Three seniors from Lakeside High School signed letters of intent April 22 to play college soccer this fall.
Three Lakeside soccer players signed letters of intent to play college ball. Stephen Martin (seated, from left) signed with USC Aiken, Lee Vick signed with South Georgia and Ben Meeks signed with Mars Hill College. Attending the ceremony were the boys parents, Dan and Terry Martin (back row, from left), Johnny Vick and Barbara Fiebiger, and Phil and Debbie Meeks.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Ben Meeks, Lee Vick and Stephen Martin each chose to play soccer for smaller colleges in different states, and cited similar reasons for their decisions.
Meeks, a Lakeside defender, will attend Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, N.C., near Boone.
Attending a smaller school will enable Meeks to adjust to college life while playing the game he loves.
"It's in a great location," Meeks said. He likes the idea of individual attention while he pursues a career in physical therapy or sports medicine.
Meeks is a three-year varsity letterman and a two-year starter as defender and midfielder. He was recipient of the 2003 Outstanding Defender Award for the varsity and won the same award in 2001 and 2002 for junior varsity. Meeks, who plays club ball with Augusta Arsenal, is an honor student and maintains a 3.35 grade-point average.
"It's been a pleasure to see him grow up and develop as a soccer player," said Coach Dave Morgan, who has known Meeks for years. "Ben's a strong defender. I expect him to make an impact right away at Mars Hill."
Lee Vick, goalkeeper, will attend South Georgia College in Douglas.
"I don't want to be just another number," Vick said of his decision to attend a small school and pursue a career in medicine. The school has an impressive student/teacher ratio and the soccer program is strong.
"I want to play against the best," said Vick, who expects to start as goalkeeper for the school.
"Lee is one of the top goalkeepers in the state," Morgan said. "South Georgia really got a steal when he decided to go to a smaller school."
Vick, a three-year starter at Lakeside, has played club ball with several organizations including Augusta Arsenal, Aiken Fire, Atlanta Fire and Brookwood.
Vick, who made a comeback from a severe knee injury during his junior year, also played in the Olympic Development Program for the state of Georgia.
Stephen Martin, a first-year player at Lakeside, will attend USC Aiken this fall.
"I wanted to stay around the area, and I like the personal attention from a small school," Martin said.
Martin is considering a pre-med or business major. The midfielder, who transferred from Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Ga., made a place for himself as soon as he enrolled at Lakeside.
"He fit in right away," Morgan said. "He is a very strong midfielder and a great athlete. The (USC) coach is really excited Stephen decided to come."
Earlier this year, another soccer player from Lakeside, Stephen Newman, committed to playing at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, Morgan said.
Lakeside finished first in Region 3 AAAA this year, and began state last week.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.