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Men's Soccer - Wed, May 31, 2017

MARION, Ind. -- Indiana Wesleyan University men's soccer has announced six members of the 2017 recruiting class. Signing with Indiana Wesleyan are:  Jeremy Baldes, Jacob Borden, Bjorn Hjelm, Luis Rocha, Nathan Sharrett, and Wes Williams. 

“We are very excited to add these young men to our IWU soccer program," said Wildcats head coach Luke Sanford. "They come from all over the country but we are glad they will be calling IWU home for the next four years.They are a great group of guys who all exude a sense of unselfishness and team-first attitude and we look forward to their immediate contribution on the field as they bring some real quality in areas that we needed to address."

"The process with each of these guys started with a connection point with someone in our team, staff, or alumni so we are grateful for the people that helped make it possible for these guys to come to Indiana Wesleyan," continued Sanford. "We also acknowledge the Lord's hand in this as each one of these guys has been prayed for and we feel that God has them right where they are supposed to be. This group brings a winning mentality with them to our team as there are many championships and wins represented. More importantly though, they are an excellent group of people who bring diversity in their backgrounds to our program but all have a singular desire of wanting to grow both as soccer players and as people.”

Jeremy Baldes

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado
High School/Club: The Classical Academy/Colorado Rush, FC Pride
Position: Wing/Forward
4 straight state championship appearances
2016 4A Colorado State champions
41 career goals, 74 career assists
2-time captain
Two-time All-State First Team
Two-time Academic All-State First Team
MaxPreps/NSCAA National Player of the Week
Three-time 3A Region 2 Colorado Springs Metro League First Team
Gazette’s Colorado Springs All-Area First Team
Colorado Rush National Select Player
U19 Colorado State Cup Runner Up

Coach Sanford says...
"Jeremy comes to us from an area of Colorado that has produced many high level players, a few of which have been impact players for IWU men’s soccer through the years, and we are excited to maintain that connection.  He will bring a level of maturity, athleticism and skill that is difficult to find in a high school player. His accolades are extensive and he has the ability to contribute in a number of positions. His versatility will allow him to be a potential impact player for us immediately and be a long-term contributor to our program. Jeremy also values what we have culturally both as a soccer program and a Christian university. He has a real, genuine faith and will bring a servant-leadership mentality to the program."


Jacob Borden

Hometown: U.S. Virgin Islands
High School/Club: Montverde Academy
Position: Defender
Member of Montverde Academy
150 game unbeaten streak
US Virgin Islands young athlete of the year
17 international appearances for US Virgin Islands
7 caps for US Virgin Islands senior national team
Member of U21 Caribbean All-star team
Participated in CONCACAF beach soccer tournament

Coach Sanford says...
With the experience that Jacob has had at schools such as Montverde and with the U.S. Virgin Islands National Team we see Jacob as a player who will bring a level of play and maturity that is rare in young players. He is a solid defender who has played at a high level, contributing to a team that went 150 games without a loss.  Additionally he is bringing with him an international experience, as he was the youngest player in U.S. Virgin Island history to make an appearance for the full national team. Jacob embodies many of the qualities we strive for, as he is a selfless player who does the work that needs to be done in support of the team.  He will be a great addition to our group and will look to make an impact right away.


Bjorn Hjelm

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan
High School/Club: Rockford High School
Position: Defense
Accolades: High School Varsity ‘14-‘16

Coach Sanford says...
Bjorn is an athletic, aggressive defender who communicates well and possesses great leadership potential. His awareness and athletic ability will help him transition and learn at a fast pace, leaving Bjorn poised for a supporting role that we see growing as he progresses through his career. Just like previous Rockford High grads that were at IWU, Bjorn will be an excellent addition to the locker room, helping us strive for excellence in all areas of the program which is something he values very much. Bjorn has great confidence and we are excited about his potential in our program.


Luis Rocha

Hometown: West Chicago, Illinois
High School/Club: Wheaton Academy / Campton United
Position: Midfield
2014 State Champions
Club Regional and National Champions

Coach Sanford says...
Luis is a very smooth and composed player. He has fantastic passing range with his left foot and is calm under pressure. He is very intelligent and reads the game at a high level. Luis is a humble person and is very easy to be around. We are excited for what he will bring to our team after a great high school career at Wheaton Academy in a program that value many of the same things we do under Jeff Brooke. Luis is not the most verbose, but he is unselfish and brings a steadiness beyond his years and we look forward to watching him grow as a player and a person here at IWU.  Luis understands the team first concept well and will do what is needed to see the team have all around success. He will be traveling to Brazil this summer to train at Santos FC and we look forward to his growth after that fantastic experience.


Nathan Sharrett

Hometown: Matthews, North Carolina
High School/Club: Covenant Day School / Charlotte Soccer Academy
Position: Goalkeeper
CISAA All-Conference
CISAA Conference Champions
136 GP, 21 Shutouts, .655 GAA, 258 saves
Club NCYSA State Cup Finalist
2014 Disney Soccer Showcase Champions
87 GP, 44 shutouts, .75 GAA

Coach Sanford says...
Nate is an athletic and quick goalkeeper who is also fantastic with his feet. We think Nate will bring real competition to our goalkeeping position right away. He is a very hard worker, is intense and will compete with all he has to give. Nate comes from a great program at Covenant Day School where they just enjoyed their best year in school history under Graham West. He values the fact that we are built on Christian principles as a program and wants to be in a team built around something bigger than the individual parts. Nate has a great personality and we look forward to seeing him grow as a goalkeeper and leader in our team.


Wes Williams

Hometown: High Point, North Carolina
High School/Club: Wesleyan Academy / NC Fusion
Position: Forward
2-time State Champion
State Runner-Up
Silver Boot
NSCAA High School National Ranking #1
All-Conference Soccer and Track

Coach Sanford says...
Wes is a quality player who will bring an increased attacking presence to our team. He comes from a well regarded high school at Wesleyan Academy where he was a standout player both on and off the field, leading his team in assists as a senior on their way to a third straight State championship appearance under Scott Reitnour. As a player, Wes has a mind for the goal but also has the quality of a target who can help facilitate and create opportunities for other players. He is competitive and will work tirelessly to improve his game which is why we think Wes has a tremendously high ceiling and has only just begun to scratch the surface of his potential. Wes carries himself with humility and will be a great addition to the team as he has experienced and had a hand in the type of culture that is being built here at Indiana Wesleyan. He will bring quality to our team both on and off the pitch and we are very excited to be adding him.


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