Watauga High senior Jake Chasteen signed his national letter of intent on Wednesday to play soccer at Appalachian State University next fall.
Chasteen, a goalkeeper, was named an all-(Northwestern 3A/4A) conference and an all-region (Class 4A Region 11) performer both his junior and senior years; he was named to the Class 4A all-state team his junior year.
Chasteen was WHS' first all-stater since Ben Robertson, who earned that honor in 2008. The Pioneers made it to the state quarterfinals in Chasteen's junior year.
"The goalkeeper position is so involved in today's game," Chasteen said. "Playing club ball with Greensboro (Fusion) has really helped me in developing myself for the position.
"You've got to communicate back there, set the defense, and you've got the make the stops. But the biggest challenge is gaining the confidence of your teammates."
Chasteen was a solid goalkeeper for the Pioneers. taking his place among some of the great WHS keepers of the past---like Greg Brooks, Adam Laney and Seth Johnson just to name a few.
"Defense is a huge part of our game," Chasteen said. "All of us take a lot of pride keeping the other team off the score sheet. It's my job to set the defense, and it's my responsibility to keep things tight back there."
The Pioneers were 34-9-4 during his junior and senior years in goal. Chasteen only allowed 36 goals and posted 19 shutouts for a 0.78 goals-against-average during that stretch.
"Goalkeepers control the momentum of the game," Chasteen said. "We dictate the pace. It's more than just standing back there and making an occasional save. It takes a lot of skill and the position is loaded with demands, but I love it."
Chasteen was a three-year varsity player for the Pioneers. And being a Boone native, Chasteen felt very comfortable making ASU his top college choice.
"I really love the coaching staff at ASU," Chasteen said. "And they're the type of team I really want to be around. They really enjoy the game, love the game. That's why I commited last summer when I attended one of their camps. And I really like the school. I plan on studying pre-med, and I'm very satisfied with my choice."
"Jake was invited by (head coach) Matt Nelson, who was a goalkeeper in his soccer career, and who knows Jake well, to play for ASU," WHS coach Woody McKay said. "It is a testement to Jake's talent and character."
Photo Courtesy: Jake Chasteen, WHS Athletics