The Mount Vernon Nazarene College men's soccer team has taken another step in filling out its roster for the 2000 season with the signing of David Barry, Brian Souder, and Josh Diehl.
Barry, a forward from Aurora, Ohio, was a member of the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy soccer team. He finished the 1999 season with six goals and three assists, and he was an Honorable Mention Tri-County Soccer League selection. He was also named a Great Akron Soccer Coaches Association All-Star.
As a junior in 1998, Barry was selected to the All-Conference and All-District First Team, while also making the All-Summit-Portage County Team.
"David is a talented and gifted forward with tremendous potential," said MVNC head coach Paul Furey. "He has a good understanding of the game and will certainly add depth to our front line. It was great to see his desire to really want to be here at MVNC. It is good to have such a good student, athlete, and person join our program."
Besides his achievements on the soccer field, Barry is a two-year letterwinner in baseball. He has served as the student council vice president and the junior class president, and he has been active on the yearbook staff and with Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
"From the first time I set foot on campus, I knew that MVNC was the place for me," said Barry of his college choice. "I fell in love with the school, and through prayer, I realized that it is where God wants me to be. Coach Furey went out of his way to accommodate me and my family, and that certainly played a big part in my decision."
Souder, a midfielder from Mansfield, Ohio, helped lead Mansfield Christian School to an 18-4 record in 1999 and a trip to the regional finals in Division II. In addition, Souder helped MCS post a school record with 120 goals scored as Souder scored 19 goals and recorded a team-high 21 assists.
For his efforts, Souder was named to the All-Independent Conference and the North Central Ohio All-District First Teams in 1999. He also scored a goal and added two assists in the North Central Ohio All-Star match.
"Brian helped lead Mansfield Christian to an outstanding season his senior year," said Furey. "He is a model student-athlete who will bring a great attitude and eventual solid leadership to our program. He is very coachable and personable, and will be a pleasure to have as a part of our team."
Besides his achievements on the soccer field, Souder has earned three varsity letters in both basketball and baseball. He is also a three-year member of National Honor Society and a four-year member of student government.
"After visiting the college and meeting with Coach Furey and some of the soccer players, I decided that I wanted to attend MVNC," said Souder of his college choice. "I wanted to attend a Christian college with a top-notch soccer program, and MVNC fits both categories."
Diehl, a native of Westerville, Ohio, was an integral member of Central Ohio soccer power Worthington Christian School. As a junior, he scored seven goals and had nine assists as a midfielder before a knee injury prematurely ended his season and resulted in reconstructive knee surgery.
Diehl worked his way back into playing form and spent his senior year as the starting sweeper on the team as the defense allowed just 14 goals for a .70 goals against average. He also scored one goal and added six assists as he was selected as the Defensive Player of the Week four times.
"Josh joins us from a highly respectable soccer program at Worthington Christian," said Furey. "As their central defender, he helped lead WCS to another superb season. Josh is the type of individual that you like to have as part of your team as a hard worker and well-respected, positive leader. As he remains healthy, he may be one of our very pleasant surprises as we enter our season."
Diehl has been involved in club soccer since he was nine years old. In addition to playing soccer, he has been active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Habitat for Humanity.
"Mount Vernon is a place where I know I will grow and learn - both on and off the soccer field," said Diehl of his college choice. "I have been in a Christian school since I was 18 months old, and I want to continue. I really like the warm atmosphere at the college and the friendliness of the guys on the soccer team. I am really excited to further my education and grow spiritually at MVNC."
"I am pleased to have tapped in again to three of the finest Christian high school programs in the state," said Furey. "When you added a player from the likes of CVCA, Mansfield Christian, and Worthington Christian, chances are very good that you have recruited a quality player as each of these successful programs sepak for themselves."
"These three young men also epitomize what value Christian education has, and they are products of that and of Christian families that uphold virtue and character," Furey added.
The Cougars posted a 17-5-2 overall record in 1999, and the team finished second in the National Christian College Athletic Association national tournament in only the program's second appearance.