Big day for Black Diamond Soccer
February 8, 2014
Set against the backdrop of CrossFit MinersTown, with kettlebells and dumbbells littering the floor and every sort of weightlifting equipment imaginable within reach, 10 members of the Black Diamond Soccer Club signed their collegiate letters of intent on Wednesday afternoon.
A symbol of all the hard work the girls have done to make it this far, and a symbol of all the work still left to do, the gym was a fitting locale for National Signing Day.
Park City High School soccer players Jessie Dancy (Denver University), Kenzie Bothner (Denver), Taylor Hodgson (Colorado State University), Maggie Reigelsperger (Long Beach State University) and Devon Dunmire (Colorado School of Mines) sat alongside their Black Diamond teammates Wasatch’s Lillian Martino (BYU Hawaii), Brighton’s Jayde Jones (Colorado State) and Jocelyn Loomis (Denver), Highland’s Megan Bolding (Southern Utah University) and Bingham’s Carla Swensen (BYU) and signed scholarships worth more than $1 million total.
The players all said they wouldn’t be where they are today without the help of the Black Diamond coaches.
"It says a lot about our coaches and how they changed us," Dancy said. "We work really hard, too, but our coaches are the ones who get us up in the morning and get us to do what we do. We wouldn’t be where we are now without them."
"Our coaches here are just so amazing," Reigelsperger agreed. "They are all very realistic and coach us how college coaches do. They know the game so well."
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Though some have been with Black Diamond since they were nine years old while some are newcomers to the program, all have been shaped by the club.
"Once I committed [to BYU] I decided I needed to come here because now I need to start preparing to be a Division I athlete," said Swensen, who will enter her second year with Black Diamond this spring. "Before, it was ‘get seen, get recruited,’ but now I need to raise my game and get better."
Bothner, Dancy and Loomis, all committed to Denver, are excited to have some familiar faces nearby when they take the field this fall. They all said that, even though they were looking at other schools too, Denver felt right.
"When I visited Denver, there wasn’t one thing I didn’t like about it," Loomis said. "It was kind of like home it had a Salt Lake feel to it. That felt comfortable to me."
"I was always waiting to get emails from Denver," Bothner added. "It was always exciting when I heard from them."
For Dunmire, heading to Colorado School of Mines was the right choice for her to pursue an engineering degree.
"I’m really interested in engineering and I’m thinking of doing something with renewable energy or earth sciences," she said. "It was about academics more than soccer, but it’s great to have an awesome soccer team, too."
Colorado Schools of Mines is a Division II powerhouse, finishing last year ranked second in the nation.
For Bolding, the smaller school allure of Southern Utah was appealing as well.
"It’s easy to get around and it’s kind of close to home I didn’t really want to go somewhere far away," she said. "And their style is pretty similar to Black Diamond, so I think I’ll fit in really well."
Meanwhile, at Colorado State, Hodgson and Jones are looking forward to helping the second-year program accelerate its growth.
"I’m in the first recruited class that they have," Jones said. "I thought it’d be cool to go in as a freshman and be able to get some time. They don’t have a very big team right now, so I’m hoping to go in and be able to play right away."
"It’s Division I, even though it’s a new program," Hodgson added. "I really hope I can help to build the program, instead of just being another random freshman the first year."
Overall, being able to make an immediate impact was a big factor for the Black Diamond players.
Martino said she can’t wait to hit the beaches of Hawaii and enjoy the life of a collegiate athlete.
"I really want to go on and make a difference for the team," she said. "I want to contribute a lot of goals and a high level of play. I want to make a statement."
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