Head mens soccer coach Jeff Rohrman announced seven student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent and will join the Badger roster for the 2005 season. Forwards Eric Conklin (Rockford, Ill.) and Sam Van De Laarschot (Eden Prairie, Minn.), forward/midfielder Scott Lorenz (Barrington, Ill.), midfielder Kenny Dix (Atlanta, Ga.), goalkeeper Byron Neal (Cincinnati, Ohio) and defenders Zack Lambo (Crystal Lake, Ill.) and Andy Miller (Barrington, Ill.) will attend the University of Wisconsin beginning with the 2005-06 school year.
With this class I think we filled a couple holes and weve also provided some depth, commented Rohrman. I also think that in this class were going to have a couple kids who were a little under the radar maybe a couple that were late bloomers. There are certainly some players who are tremendous athletes who I feel, in time, will be able to help us on the field.
A brief breakdown of each player is provided below in alphabetical order:
Forward 6-0 160 lbs.
Rockford, Ill. (Rockford Guilford)
Four-year varsity playerteam co-captain junior and senior yearsan all-conference selection junior and senior yearspost-season team MVP as a juniornamed to Chicago Tribune all-state team as a seniorSuper-Y League Regional Team and National Pool 2004member of the National Honor Society and Guilford Honorary English Societyearned high honor roll statusnamed an Illinois State ScholarWhos Who Among High School Students, 2004coached by Gordon Poluyanskisintends to major in business managementparents are Jon and Deniseborn 3/28/87
Rohrman on Conklin:
In Eric Conklin we are getting a forward who has great instincts in and around the goal. He has continued to get better and better as he has put himself into more competitive environments. He has always risen to the levels that he has competed at and we are certainly looking for Eric to do the same here.
Midfield 5-8 140 lbs.
Atlanta, Ga. (Brookwood)
Competed on the USYSA Region III team, 2001-04participated in the Georgia Olympic Development Program 2000-05led his team to 2004 Georgia AAAAA state high school championshipattended 2004 ESP campnamed to 2005 NSCAA Club Youth All-American team2004 USYSA Region III Premier League Eastern division runners-upcoached by Mike Coultercompeted for AFC Lightning club teamintends to major in businessparents are Barbara and Karlborn 5/10/87
Rohrman on Dix:
We got onto Kenny lateI actually didnt realize he was still available. I thought he would be picked up by a couple of different schools before we got a chance to see him. Being from Atlanta its tough to see a kid like Kenny as often as wed like. Hes a skillful interior midfielder who is a good possession player, good attacking player and I think will add some great depth to our team. I feel Kenny will compete for us from day one.
Left Defense 5-10 170 lbs.
Crystal Lake, Ill. (Marian Central Catholic)
Competed on the USYSA Region II team, 2001-04 participated in the Illinois Olympic Development Program 2001-04Named team MVP as a seniorselected to all-conference and all-section teams junior and senior yearsnamed teams best offensive player junior yearplayed club soccer first two years of high schoolcoached by Tony Allencompeted for Chicago Magic club teamearned academic high honor roll statusparents are Louis Mark and Ireneborn 4/8/87
Rohrman on Lambo:
In Zack we get a polished left-footed defender who can play a couple of different positions. I think Zack will compete on the left side in the backwhether its an outside back or in the center. Potentially, he could also compete as a defensive midfielder. Hes got a lot of valuable experience at the regional team level and is very good technically. He plays a very intelligent game and were looking for some good things from Zack as he comes in.
Midfield/Forward 6-0 155 lbs.
Barrington, Ill. (Barrington)
Team captain as a seniorled the team in goals (19)named all-conference player of the yearalso recognized on all-area and all-state teamsnamed teams most improved junior yearcoached by Scott Steibcompeted for FC 96ers and Chicago Sockers club teamsalso competed four years on volleyball team earning all-conference and all-area honorable mention as a juniornamed to academic honor roll every semester parents are Eric and Loriborn 7/23/87
Rohrman on Lorenz:
Scott is one of those kids who was a bit of a late bloomer and has become a very, very good athlete. He is a left-footed player who can get up and down. Hes got decent size and has an extraordinary vertical jump. I think in time, as he gets himself into the right environment, he has the potential to be a very good player at the collegiate level.
Defense 5-10 150 lbs.
Barrington, Ill. (Barrington)
Played varsity all four years of high schoolearned all-conference recognition junior and senior yearsall-conference honorable mention nod his sophomore yearvoted teams best defensive player junior and senior yearssenior year named to all- state and captain of Daily Herald all-area teamalso team captain and MVPcoached by Scott Steibcompeted for Chicago Sockers club teamearned academic high honorsintends to major in engineeringparents are Roger and Lauraborn 5/1/87
Rohrman on Miller:
We were able to tap into some of the better kids in Chicago and I think with Andy Miller we have a tenacious, hardworking defender who has the right mindset to defend. Hes a tough player to beat. Hes got outstanding speed and hes a great athlete that will compete to play in the back somewherepossibly as an outside back. Andys a great kid whos got a big heart and certainly loves to defend. He will bring a lot of competitive fight and competitive spirit.
Goalkeeper 6-3 185 lbs.
Cincinnati, Ohio (Lakota East)
Four-year varsity starterearned all-conference honors as a sophomoreas a senior named the Cincinnati player of the yearfirst team all-stateteam MVPcoached by Danny Landrumcompeted for Ohio FC club teamalso competed two years on basketball teamearned academic honor rollinvolved in Spanish club and peer counselingparents are Bob and Monaborn 10/4/86
Rohrman on Neal:
Byron is a young man we saw in the middle of the summer with his club team. I think Byron has a tremendous upside. Hes a little bit under the radar and at 63 is a very good athlete. Coming into our program, as he works hard and gets the training he needs, he has the potential to be a very, very good goalkeeper. Were not looking for Byron to come in and step in right away, yet I think hes capable of competing from day one.
Sam Van De Laarschot
Forward 5-11 170 lbs.
Eden Prairie, Minn. (Eden Prairie)
Team captain senior yearnamed most dedicated by coaches, junior and senior years 2004 all-Midwest region teamthree-year all-conference selectiontwice named to all-state team St. Paul Pioneer Press all-Metro first team 2003, 04Minneapolis Star Tribunes 2003 All-Metro first team membernamed to the all-state tournament team sophomore and junior yearsled his team to conference, section and state championships as a sophomorewas his teams leading scorer as a freshmannamed to Whos Who in Sports-High School edition, 2002, 03, 04also competed in basketball, intramural football and trackset freshman record in the 4x400, all-conference selection and placed second in the conference 400m race (2002)coached by Vince Thomascompeted for Bangu FC club teamintends to major in political scienceparents are Bill and Paulaborn 11/23/86
Rohrman on Van De Laarschot:
Sam is definitely one player that was a little under the radar. He wasnt involved in the (Olympic Development Program), but at the same time helped lead his team to the state championship his sophomore year. He was one of his teams leaders his junior and senior year as well. Hes a very athletic, left-footed kid. He has that rare combination of being skillful and elusive, but also possessing great strength and power. In addition, hes got a great nose for the goal and were looking forward to some exciting things from Sam.