Midfielder Jordon Meyers, an All-Eastern Maine Class B and Maine All-State selection for John Bapst Memorial High School of Bangor, will join Scarborough goalkeeper Adam Blanchard and seven others in the University of Maine men’s soccer class for this fall.
They will be accompanied by midfielders Cameron Johnson of Rochester, N.Y., and Adam Scott from Ottawa, Ontario; strikers Michael Brennan of Feasterville, Pa., Lucas Ferritto of Hamilton, Ontario, and Robert Murphy from Ottawa; back-midfielder Sean Nunan of Clinton, Conn., and back Sal Borea from New Canaan, Conn.
“It will definitely be a challenge, but I’m up to it. I’m looking forward to playing,” said the 18-year-old Meyers.
Meyers, a two-year captain for the Crusaders, was the youngest member of the Maine Sting in the National Premier Soccer League last summer and will play for the Sting again this summer.
He said he benefited significantly from playing with the Sting.
“It was a great experience. I got to play at a much higher level. It was more physical. I got introduced to that, and it really helped my play in high school,” said Meyers, who will follow a training regimen supplied by new Sting coach Jukka Masalin in preparation for the season.
Meyers said he chose Maine because of the engineering program and the improvement of the soccer program under coach Pat Laughlin, who begins his third season in the fall.
“I want to go into chemical engineering, and that field is really strong up there,” said Meyers. “And the soccer program is getting better and better.”
He is looking forward to playing for Laughlin.
“He’s a good coach. The players respect him,” said Meyers, who had more than 20 points as an attacking midfielder for John Bapst last fall.
Maine went 5-10-2 in 2008, equaling the win total of the previous three years combined.
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound Meyers said he intends to get bigger and stronger so he can adapt to the physical play.
“I want to be a more dominant presence on the field and that’s something I have to work on,” he said.
Meyers moved to Eddington from New Jersey the summer after his sixth grade year and has played for the Black Bear United club team for six years.
“Jordon has good ability and good technique,” said Laughlin. “And he’s got a lot of length to him. He’s versatile. He played a lot of positions for the Sting last summer. That was also attractive to us.”
The 6-3, 190-pound Blanchard captained Scarborough’s Class A state championship team and was an all-conference, all-state and all-New England choice.
“We’re really excited about Adam. We felt he was the senior in Maine that we wanted the most,” said Laughlin. “He’s going to be a good goalkeeper. His technique is good, he has huge hands and he’s a very big man.”
“It’s great to have players from Maine who are able to represent the University of Maine at the Division I level. This is a special opportunity for them,” added Laughlin, who is excited about his incoming group.
“I really like this class. They’re going to be very important to the future of the program. We don’t have any superstars, but they’re all real solid. They’re real close in their level [of play], and any one of them could be in the starting lineup or pushing for playing time,” said Laughlin.
According to Laughlin, the 6-4 Borea is an imposing presence in the back and started for Connecticut’s Olympic Development team. The 6-2 Johnson is a hard-nosed player with quick feet and passing skills, while the 5-6 Ferritto has a nose for the net as evidenced by his 128 goals over his past three seasons.
Brennan is a creative playmaker who can also score and moves well off the ball. Nunan is a fast and effective one-on-one defender, Murphy is mobile and strong and dangerous in the air and on set pieces, and Scott is a hard tackler in the midfield.
Playing at Maine is contingent upon their acceptance to the university and meeting NCAA eligibility requirements.
James interviews set April 20-21
UMaine athletic director Blake James, who is a candidate for the same position at Florida Gulf Coast University, will do on-campus interviews April 20-21 in Fort Myers, Fla.
James is one of six finalists for the FGCU job.
John Parry will be the first candidate to visit the campus April 13-15, followed by Robert Heller (April 14-16), Michael Moore (April 15-17), James, Kenneth Kavanagh (April 20-22) and FGCU interim AD Jo-Ann Nester (April 22-24).
Candidates will meet with a variety of FGCU groups, including administrators, athletic staff, student-athletes, coaches and the search committee. James also will participate in a forum with faculty, staff, students and the public.
The finalists are vying to replace Carl McAloose, who resigned last October after serving nine years.
James, 39, has been Maine’s director of athletics since July of 2005. Before that, he was senior associate athletic director for two years. He was also Providence College’s director of athletic development (2002-2003) and the University of Miami (2000-2001). He was also director of major gifts and corporate sales and director of ticket sales at Miami. James also worked at the University of Nebraska as athletic development officer.
USM athletes earn track honors
University of Southern Maine junior Emily Artesani of Orono was named the Little East Conference’s Track Athlete of the Year and Augusta’s Bethany Dumas was the co-Rookie Field Athlete of the Year. These honors were for indoor track.
Artesani won an unprecedented three titles at the LEC Championships, claiming the 55-meter dash in 7.69 seconds, the 200 meters in 27.09 and the 400 meters, for the third consecutive year, in 1:00.98.
She earned Division III All-New England accolades by finishing fourth in the 400 (59.32) and eighth in the 200 (26.88). She was an All-ECAC choice for the first time by placing eighth in the 400 (59.64).
Pole vaulter Dumas took first-place honors in the State of Maine Championships (11 feet, ¼ inch) and the LEC/New England Alliance Championships with a meet-record 12 feet.
She was third in the Division III New Englands (11-7¾) and won All-ECAC honors with a fourth-place finish (a school-record 12-1½). Dumas was 16th in the NCAA Division III National Championships (11-¼).