Hartsville, S.C. - The Coker Men’s Soccer team has announced a group of seven student-athletes who will continue their academic and athletic careers at Coker College starting in the fall of 2008. The class includes athletes from across the eastern part of the United States and looks to add depth to a young and improving program. Of the seven new signees, five are transfers, while two are true freshmen. Last season’s Cobras finished 6-12 overall and 2-8 in conference play with season highlights coming in a double-overtime win at Division I High Point University and a trip to the IMG Academy in Florida to compete against the U-17 USA National Team.
“I’m extremely pleased with the talent level we have been able to attract in this year’s class,” Coker College head coach Robert Lane commented. “We’ve added quite a bit of depth and experience to all positions on the field. More importantly, we’ve added quality character guys with a passion for the game.”
Tino Sangster (Kingston, Jamaica) joins the Cobras from Tyler Junior College in Texas. Sangster is a native of Kingston Jamaica, but competed for the FC Omni Club out of Orlando, FL, before starting 16 games in the back for Tyler. According to Coach Lane, “Tino’s strength and his aggressiveness will solidify our back line, which conceded 41 goals in 2007. He brings to Coker great technical skills needed at our center back position.”
Marc Mergena (Port-au-Prince, Haiti) comes to Coker as a transfer from Manatee Community College in Florida. Mergena is a midfielder/forward that according to Coach Lane “is a creative and skillful attacker who loves to go forward, Marc will look to up the goal total of a Coker team that struggled to finish games in the fall.” Mergena was considered to be a member of the 2008 U-23 Haitian National Team that is currently participating in the Olympic Qualifying tournament in California.
Jason Fowler (Sanford, FL) joins the Coker squad by way of Barry University. While at Barry Fowler played in 12 games and tallied one start before transferring to Coker in 2005. After sitting a complete year, Fowler “adds more skill and solid decision making to the Cobras midfield,” said Coach Lane. Like Sangster Fowler also played for the FC Omni club team.
Felix Siladi (Atlanta, GA) is one of two true freshmen to sign early with the Cobras. Siladi comes to Coker from Atlanta where he played for the Atlanta Fire United Club and Peachtree Ridge High School. While playing with the Fire, Felix was the team’s captain, as they participated in the Region III Premier League, the U-17 National Red Bull League, as well as various tournaments across the country and in Costa Rica. “He has experience, the ability to play various midfield positions, and the competitive attitude that will add a great sense of strength to our midfield,” said Coach Lane.
Russell Hill (Indian Trail, NC) is the second true freshman signed early for Coker. Hill played at Porter Ridge High School, where he was a member of the 2006 and 2007 3A South Piedmont Conference Championship Teams. In his senior season he tallied 22 assists and 14 goals as a center midfielder and was named the Conference Player of the Year, as well as Union County Player of the Year. Hill is a member of the South Charlotte Soccer Association and according to Coach Lane “Will make an immediate impact on the field for the Cobras. His technical ability will allow him to play an attacking midfielder or move up front for Coker.”
Jason McCann (Leonardtown, MD) comes to the Cobras from the College of Southern Maryland. Before college McCann played for the BSU Bandits and Leonardtown High School where he was All-State Honorable Mention. Upon graduating he attended North Carolina Wesleyan College, where he played eight games as a freshman for a team that was ranked as high as sixth in the nation in Division III., before transferring to the College of Southern Maryland, where he was named Region XX Second Team. “McCann looks to contribute immediately and add leadership and maturity to a young Coker team,” said Coach Lane.
AJ Sweeney Jr. (Clinton, MD) is the second player from College of Southern Maryland coming to Coker. Sweeney attended high school at Huntingtown High School, where he scored 15 goals and had 23 assists his senior year. While at College of Southern Maryland, AJ was named All-Conference as a sophomore. “Like McCann, Sweeney will look to solidify a spot immediately on the field and provide some much needed collegiate experience to the Cobras,” said Coach Lane.
Coach Lane and the Coker Cobras Men’s Soccer team are looking to improve in the fall of 2008 with the addition of these seven players, along with the return of 15 players from last season’s team.