COLUMBUS, Ohio John Bluem, coach of the defending Big Ten champion and national runner-up Ohio State men’s soccer team, has announced the signing of eight high school seniors to a National Letter of Intent to play for the Buckeyes this fall. Among the signees are three Olympic Development Program veterans and an NSCAA High School All-American.
The class includes forward Joshua Breto (Delray Beach, Fla.), midfielder Ross Dickson (Buffalo Grove, Ill.), midfielder Nathan Driggers (New Albany, Ind.), defender David Schade (Westlake, Ohio), midfielder Michael Schmidt (Forestville, Calif.), forward Eric Shrigley (Wheaton, Ill.), defender Dalton Summers (Noblesville, Ind.) and defender Dave Tiemstra (Clarendon Hills, Ill.).
“We believe we have recruited an outstanding group of student-athletes who will represent The Ohio State University in an incredible manner both on and off the playing field,” Bluem said. “They will increase the depth of our team in all positions and compete favorably for playing time against an experienced group of returnees.”
The incoming freshmen will join an OSU squad that returns seven starters and 14 letterwinners from a year ago, but must replace seven seniors and a junior that led the Buckeyes to a 17-4-5 overall record and 15-game unbeaten streak to reach the national championship game. Three of those seniors were starters, including forward Xavier Balc, defender Eric Brunner and goalkeeper Casey Latchem, while junior Roger Espinoza signed with Generation adidas and was the 11th pick in the MLS SuperDraft in January. Brunner was the 16th overall pick and Balc was taken with the second pick in the supplemental draft a week later.
Breto prepped at Spanish River Community High School and was a two-time first-team all-county selection by the South Florida Sun Sentinel. He earned his team’s offensive player of the year award all four years of high school and was named the team’s captain and most valuable player as a senior. Also a track standout for the Sharks, he scored 25 goals and collected 14 assists as a senior and totaled 87 goals and 41 assists in his high school career.
Dickson played in every game for Adlai Stevenson High School the last four years and started every game from the middle of freshman season on. He totaled 31 goals and 39 assists in his prep career and led Stevenson to a regional title as a junior and to the regional championship game as a sophomore and senior. Dickson was a first-team all-state selection as a senior and played two years in the Illinois Olympic Development Program.
Driggers was a Kentucky state Olympic Development Program selection and was an honorable mention All-Indiana selection as a senior. He was named the league’s most valuable offensive player after notching 19 goals and seven assists to end his career with 36 goals and 21 assists.
Schade was not only an Olympic Development Program member in Ohio, he was named to the Great Lakes Division ODP Select Team and was invited to the national ODP camp. He helped lead Westlake High School to the state semifinals in 2004 when he ranked second in the state in assists with 17, a rank he would accomplish again as a sophomore with 18 assists. He ended his prep career with 62 assists and 24 goals.
Schmidt started all four years and earned all-conference honors each season for Analy High School, which he helped lead to league titles twice. He collected eight goals and 15 assists as a senior and was named the All-Empire Most Valuable Player.
Shrigley earned NSCAA adidas All-Midwest Region honors as a senior and wrapped up his career at Wheaton Warrenville South High School with 44 goals and 23 assists. He was an All-Illinois pick as a junior and a senior and was named first-team all-state by the Chicago Tribune, while earning all-area honors from the Sun-Times.
Summers prepped at Noblesville High School and was twice named all-state as a junior and senior. He was elected team captain twice and led the Millers to a pair of sectional championships.
Tiemstra was named a high school All-American as a senior and led Hinsdale Central High School to a fourth-place finish in the state tournament. From his defender position he totaled 15 goals and eight assists in high school and started 88 of the 93 games Hinsdale played the last four years.
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