BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University head men’s soccer coach Jason O’Keefe officially announced the addition of nine student-athletes for the 2017 season on Tuesday.
The class features three forwards, three defenders, two midfielders and a goalkeeper. Of the nine newcomers, seven of them hail from North Carolina with one from Florida and one from Bermuda.
“We are extremely excited to announce this group of young men which will join us in the fall here in Boone, N.C.,” O’Keefe said. “All of these guys are great student-athletes with a proven track record of winning in the classroom and on the soccer field. They will help add to our depth, bring versatility to our lineup and ultimately will have great opportunity to contribute right away. We will also be adding to this list in the upcoming months which will only strengthen the class and our program for the next four years.”
2017 APPALACHIAN STATE MEN’S SOCCER SIGNEES
Name - Pos. - Ht. - Hometown/High School (Previous College)
Jack Butterfield - GK - 6-3 - Chapel Hill, N.C./CE Jordan
Roman Galaska - F - 6-3 - Greenville, N.C./J.H. Rose
Brady Gunter - D - 6-1 - Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth
Zeiko Harris - D - 6-4 - Sandys Paris, Bermuda/South Kent
Juan Hernandez - F - 6-0 - Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange
Reed Hunnicutt - F - 5-8 - Charlotte, N.C./South Mecklenburg
Justin Pruitt - MF - 5-10 - Matthews, N.C./Weddington
Yoni Spencer - D - 5-11 - Charlotte, N.C./Providence
Parker Washburn - MF - 5-8 - Cary, N.C./Guerin Catholic
JACK BUTTERFIELD (6-3, Goalkeeper, Chapel Hill, N.C./CE Jordan)
Rated a three-star recruit by TopDrawerSoccer ... named a top 50 recruit in the Southeast by TopDrawerSoccer ... played for the Capital Area RailHawks Academy under John Bradford and U.S. Soccer Development Academy ... was chosen as starting goalkeeper for RailHawks four-straight years ... team ranked in top 15 nationally each year ... qualified and played in USSDA playoffs each year ... trained in Brazil and played against Brazilian club teams ... tied for lowest goals-against average in Southeast Division of USSDA in 2015 ... full name is William Jackson Butterfield ... son of Kevin Butterfield ... born Jan. 25, 1999 ... has three siblings: Carrie, Kate and Will ... major is undecided ... father, Kevin, lettered in baseball at Kalamazoo College.
O’Keefe’s Take: “Jack has been developed in one of the best environments in the nation under the GK teaching of Nathan Thackeray at the Capital Area Railhawks Academy. He has great size, shot stopping ability and is a competitor that is used to winning. We look forward to watching Jack’s development over the next four years.”
ROMAN GALASKA (6-3, Forward, Greenville, N.C./J.H. Rose)
Named all-conference and all-Region his sophomore, junior and senior years ... earned the “Will to Win” award his junior year ... awarded Conference Player of the Year his junior year and named MVP his senior year ... exploded in his junior year, scoring 34 goals and assisting on 11 more after having just six goals and five assists his sophomore year ... scored 20 goals and had six assists his senior year ... full name is Roman Wolfe Galaska ... son of Tommi and Jeff Galaska ... born March 1, 1999 ... has two siblings: Ryker (14) and Rhettec (11) ... intends to major in nursing and minor in biology ... plans to become a CRNA after graduation ... enjoys playing a variety of sports and hanging with friends in his spare time ... father, Jeff, played football at Duke for four years ... uncle, Richard Wheeler, played football at NC State for four years.
O’Keefe’s Take: “Roman is a tremendous athlete that made a great impression at our summer camp. He is big, strong and can score goals in a variety of ways. We are excited to get him here and start working with him as he is hungry and very coachable. These characteristics will set him up to have success here at App State over the next four years.”
BRADY GUNTER (6-1, Defender, Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth)
Lettered one year at East Forsyth High School ... played for North Carolina Fusion USSFA under Andrew Butler from 2014-17 ... appeared in 77 games, starting 65 of them ... member of the 2016 Fusion team that qualified for Academy playoffs ... full name is Brady Lane Gunter ... son of Page and Jeff Gunter ... born Dec. 15, 1998 ... has two older siblings: Drew and Ethan ... major is undecided ... enjoys wakeboarding and snowboarding in his free time.
O’Keefe’s Take: “Brady has great physical tools, has become a leader and hard-nosed defender over the last couple years playing in the USSDA for Andy Butler. I have known his family for 12 years and have seen his maturation as both a person and player. We know he has the potential to make an impact here immediately and over his four years.”
ZEIKO HARRIS (6-4, Defender, Sandys Parish, Bermuda/South Kent)
Played for South Kent in Connecticut under Owen Finberg ... 2015-16TopDrawerSoccer National Champion ... 2013, 2015, 2016 New England Champion ... 2014, 2015, 2016 Western New England Regular Season Champion ... named 2016 all-American ... finished with nine goals and 12 assists ... named 2015 New England junior all-star ... earned Western New England all-star team selection ... named all-state ... helped Bermuda qualify for final U20 World Cup Qualifying Stage – Costa Rica on Feb. 17 ... also played for CFC United under Graciano Brito ... were State Cup Champions ... recorded two goals and four assists ... full name is Tahzeiko Soloman Harris ... born May 7, 1999 ... son of Lisa Brown ... has four siblings: Ziah, Mia, Troy and Tabua ... intends to major in accounting and minor in international business ... aspires to play soccer professionally before retiring and becoming an accountant.
O’Keefe’s Take: “Zeiko is an experienced Bermudian international player. He is a 6-foot-4, athletic center back with a good skillset who will immediately help us work toward or goals of being better defensively and compete for a Sun Belt Championship.”
JUAN HERNANDEZ (6-0, Forward, Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange)
Played for the Orlando City U18 Pro Academy under David Longwell ... crowned the 2015-16 League Champions of the Southeast Division ... appeared in 24 games in 2015-16, scoring 10 goals ... saw action in 13 games in 2016-17, getting two goals and assisting on two more ... full name is Juan Jose Hernandez ... son of Luz Elena Jimenez ... born July 23, 1998 ... has three older siblings: Juan David, Juan Pablo and Jessica ... intends to major in economics and minor in sustainable technology ... plans to play in the MLS after graduation.
O’Keefe’s Take: “Juan is a soccer junkie and has a great passion for the game. He has a great combination of athleticism and technical ability. He is versatile and can play many attacking positions. He has had to fight and earn everything in one of the top youth academy’s in the U.S. We are looking forward to having him here and have no doubt that he will have a great impact on our program over the next four years.”
JUSTIN PRUITT (5-10, Midfielder, Matthews, N.C./Weddington)
Crowned the JV Soccer Conference Champions in 2014 at Weddington ... played for Charlotte Soccer Academy US Soccer Development Academy under Rob Dalton ... were 2013 NCYSA State Champions and Regional Semi-Finalists ... in 2013, selected as USYS National League participant ... full name is Justin Reed Pruitt ... son of Anne and Andrew Pruitt ... born Aug. 3, 1999 ... intended major is risk management and insurance.
O’Keefe’s Take: “Justin is one of the hardest working players out there and as coachable as they come. He is a selfless player that will do anything for the success of the team. He is competitive and does not shy away from any challenge that comes his way and has the versatility and skill set to literally play any of the 10 field positions. These attributes will equate to success here at App State and will help elevate our program.”
PARKER WASHBURN (5-8, Midfielder, Cary, N.C./Guerin Catholic)
Rated as a three-start recruit by TopDrawerSoccer ... Named captain during his one year of soccer at Green Hope HS in Cary, N.C. as a junior ... earned first-team all-conference and all-Region honors ... played for the Indiana Fire Academy in Indianapolis, Ind. ... started in 10 of 12 appearances in fall 2016 season, scoring two goals ... full name is Parker Brian Washburn ... son of Susan and Brian Washburn ... born Oct. 6, 1998 ... has one sibling: Grace ... intends to major in business and minor in marketing ... enjoys kitesurfing and snowboarding in his free time.
O’Keefe’s Take: “I have had the privileged to coach Parker in the past. He has a great passion for the game, wonderful soccer IQ and has the technical ability to be an impact in many ways. He comes from a winning environment with Indiana Fire and is coached by Phil Presser. He will bring a winning mentality to our program, which we will benefit from greatly every day over his four years.”
REED HUNNICUTT (5-8, Forward, Charlotte, N.C./South Mecklenburg)
A two-year letterwinner in soccer at South Mecklenburg, named an all-American his senior year ... earned all-conference all-Region and all-State his junior and senior year ... received the Golden Boot Award his senior year ... named NC West Region Player of the Year ... Greater Charlotte Soccer Gala’s Male Player of the Year ... named all-Charlotte Observer Boys Soccer Player of the Year ... scored 31 goals in his career and assisted on 35 more ... helped lead his team to a 48-3-3 record in his final two years ... also played for Charlotte Soccer Academy (U.S. Development Academy) in 2013-14 and currently plays for Charlotte United ... full name is Harlan Reed Hunnicutt ... son of Cyndi and Travis Hunnicutt ... born Feb. 15, 1999 ... has one sibling: Lainey ... major is undecided ... enjoys wakeboarding and snowboarding in his spare time.
O’Keefe’s Take: “Reed has great technical skill set and is naturally left footed. He will add balance to our team and bring versatility by playing anywhere on the field for us outside of the goalkeeper position. He has the ability to run at players, create numbers up situations for us and beat players 1v1. He can also score goals and set his teammates up. Reed will be a player with great potential for us over the next four years.”
YONI SPENCER (5-11, Defender, Charlotte, N.C./Providence)
Played for Charlotte Soccer Academy under Rob Dalton ... was named the USSDA Designated Player ... selected to represent the U.S. at the Maccabi games in Israel on the U18 national men’s soccer team ... full name is Yonatan Klein Spencer ... son of Richard Spencer ... born Sept. 23, 1999 ... has three siblings: Daniel, Maya and Natalie ... intends to major in political science and minor in business ... plans to attend law school after graduation.
O’Keefe’s Take: “Yoni is athletically gifted, tough and can play with either foot. I have seen him grow tremendously over the past six months as his team transitioned to a three-back system and he has made the transition smooth and has shut down some of the best attacking players in the country this past fall. He has the potential to have an immediate impact on our defense and will only get better each day. We are excited to see his continued growth over the next four years.”