Trimble Announces 2011 Signing Class
Midwestern State enjoyed one of its best seasons in program history last fall as the Mustangs earned their first berth in the NCAA Division II postseason.
And for the second straight season, MSU coach Jeff Trimble faces a complete re-tooling of an entire layer of his championship caliber roster as each member of his senior laden starting midfield of 2010 graduated.
But Trimble believes the answers will come from another top level recruiting class as the 14th-year coach announced the addition of six prep standouts to the 2011 roster.
"This class gives us options," he said. "We have a lot of good, talented soccer players coming in. I feel like this class can help in all areas."
The class includes a quartet of Wichita Falls High School products in forward Payton Fookes, midfielder Amber Garcia, defender Taylor Holden and goalkeeper Tori Shannon who helped the Coyotes to a Region I-4A finals showing earlier this spring.
Rider High midfielder Katy Catney and Callie Briseno of Amarillo High fill out a much-decorated group.
Trimble believes the group accentuates a roster which returns 24 players off of last season's Lone Star Conference regular season championship roster that finished the campaign with a 16-4 mark.
But the Mustangs must replace a midfield which included NSCAA first-team All American Kendra Clemons, a pair of four-year starters in Brittany Subia and Brandy O'Neal and a key contributor in Jordan Smith.
That will start with forward Fookes and Briseno, who possess the skill level to be threats in the midfield, as well.
Fookes was the District 9-4A co-MVP and a first-team TASCO all-region performer after notching 33 goals and 30 assists for Wichita Falls High this spring.
"Payton has very good speed and is left-footed," Trimble said. "She's good taking players on and is a very capable finisher with the ability to pile up goals and assists."
Briseno helped her Amarillo High squad to the regional quarterfinal round four times and to district titles on three occasions during her prep career. She garnered District 3-5A Offensive MVP honors as a senior.
"Callie has good size and great speed which is probably her greatest attribute," Trimble said. "She has good touch on the ball and the ability to finish. Her skill level will enable her to play forward and midfield."
Catney, who also gained District 9-4A co-MVP honors, displayed efficiency in the midfield tallying 31 goals and 22 assists in her three seasons for the Lady Raiders. She was also named to the TASCO Region 1-4A all-region team.
"Katy is a very skilled player," Trimble said. "She's very composed on the ball and is a great passer. She is very dangerous on restarts."
Garcia earned District 9-4A first-team honors as a junior and senior and was a second-team selection as a sophomore.
"Amber is a high energy, physical player," Trimble said. "She likes to take defenders on."
Holden, a three-time all-district first-team performer as a defender, also has skill level to contribute in the midfield after gaining second-team TASCO Class 4A all-state honors this spring.
"Taylor has great size and speed with a very high skill level," Trimble said. "She is very good in the air and a very good 1-on-1 player and is very physical."
The Mustangs welcome another superb goalkeeper option in WFHS' Shannon, who earned TASCA Class 4A all-state honors in 2011 and is a three-time District 9-4A goalkeeper of the year.
"Tori has great hands and comes off of her line well," Trimble said. "She's good in the air and communicates well with the defense. She is very skilled."
Midwestern State opens the 2011 campaign against Truman (Mo.) on Sep. 2 at the Nebraska-Omaha Invitational.
Mustangs Add Carter, Hodges, Rush for 2011-12
Midwestern State coach Noel Johnson announced the addition of two transfers and prep star to the Mustangs' 2011 signing class Wednesday.
Ashley Rush makes the move to MSU from Southwestern Oklahoma and Marqui Hodges joins the Mustangs after two seasons at Blinn College while Andrea Carter inked an LOI following an all-state prep career at Angleton High School.
"This class really caters to what we do offensively and defensively," Johnson said. "The experience with the late signees mixed with the talent we signed early will greatly contribute to what we do over the next four years."
The experience of Rush, who enters the fray after competing in 53 games over the last two seasons at former Lone Star Conference foe SWOSU, gives the Mustangs another quality member of the backcourt which includes returning starters in senior Karissa Lang and sophomore Kirsti Degelia.
"Ashley is a great distributor of the basketball," Johnson said. "She will get a lot of people some shots with her ability to put it on the floor and create opportunities for her teammates."
Rush averaged 7.3 points a game over the past two seasons and rated among the top free throw shooters in the conference at 83.2 percent. She was an Oklahoma Girls' Basketball Coaches' Association All-State pick after leading Cashion High School to a Class A state semifinalist showing in 2008-09.
Johnson also added a seasoned team player in Hodges, a 5-11 forward, who played the last two seasons for coach Jeff Jenkins at Blinn College.
"Marqui is a great role player," Johnson said. "She will be the glue and will be key to the chemistry we need on the floor. She will make the players around her better."
Carter is the lone prep signee of the late class and brings a solid skill set to the front court.
"Andrea brings the athleticism and basketball savvy we need in that forward position," Johnson said. "She has a great ability to score with contact."
The 5-9 post player scored 18 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two assists as senior in 2010-11 while earning Texas Girls Coaches' Association Class 4A All-State honors and was a three-time first-team all-district performer.
"This is not only a group of very good basketball player, but they are good students and kids of great character," Johnson said. "And that is what Midwestern is about."