Lee University recently signed three area soccer players to join the three-time defending NAIA champion women's program.
Defender Michelle Spangler and forward Kathryn Healy of Notre Dame and Walker Valley forward Brianna Prugh signed with the Lady Flames, who finished the 2010 season 23-2-1.
Healy had 12 goals and seven assists while Spangler sparkled at center back for the Lady Irish, who advanced to four straight Class A/AA final fours during their careers. That culminated in a 12-7-3 record and the state championship last fall.
"I am so proud of both of these girls," Notre Dame coach Jim Schermerhorn said. "They have been so dedicated to this team and were committed to continually improving their skills.
"We would never have achieved this level of success without them, and we are really going to miss them."
Prugh was a four-year starter for the Lady Mustangs and their top scorer as a senior.
Jones to Columbus
Dade County senior Amanda Jones signed last week to continue her soccer career at Columbus State University, a strong NCAA Division II member.
Jones plays for the East Ridge Express 93 Red club program that has sent a number of players to college careers.
"We are so excited to have A.J. coming down," CSU coach Jay Entlich said. "I first noticed A.J. at a clinic up at East Ridge a few years ago, when I was training a youth boys' team from the club. She was the only female out there training with the boys and did extremely well. ... She was never afraid of the boys and made an immediate impact.
"Later that summer she traveled down to CSU to our elite soccer camp, where she again played extremely well. She is a great ball winner, and her vision and passing are extraordinary. Off the field, she excels in the classroom."
Said Express Red coach Andy Wishart: "Amanda will, I feel, be a vital part of the CSU soccer program for the next four years."
Lady Lions add two
Rhea County's Ashley Sisk and McMinn Central's Ashley Johnson recently decided to continue their soccer careers at Bryan College in Dayton.
Sisk, a four-year starter for the Lady Golden Eagles, is their first-ever college signee. She started out as a defender but was moved around in her career and played midfielder and forward as well. She was voted twice to the All-District 5-AAA team and to the Region 3-AAA second team.
Rhea coach Lizzy Jahncke, who played at Bryan, said Sisk accounted for all of the team's goals the past two seasons, either by scoring herself or by assist.
"I think that playing at Rhea County pushed Ashley out of her comfort zone a little bit," Jahncke said. "We moved her from defender to the midfield and got her a little more experience in the field.
"She's the most solid player we've ever seen here, as far as her speed, control of the ball, overall awareness and ability to lead both on and off the field."
Johnson was a four-year starter for the Chargerettes, who advanced to the Class A/AA state tournament in 2010 for the first time. She had 16 goals and finished her career with 60 goals and 32 assists.