BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Five student-athletes have signed to attend Lees-McRae College and play men's soccer in the fall of 2013, announced Bobcat head coach Lee Squires Wednesday.
Yago Xavier (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Patterson Towles (Angier, N.C.), Avery Varley (Raleigh, N.C.), Daniel Harris (Wilmington, N.C.), and Isauro Estrada (Linville, N.C.) will join the Lees-McRae men's soccer program for the 2013 season.
"I am delighted that we have five talented players already signed and committed that will help us get where we want to go," said Squires. "All five are great student-athletes with lots of potential and welcome additions to the program. I am very hopeful that once we tie up a few loose ends, that we can announce the rest of this year's recruiting class in the coming weeks. With the new players coming in, and the returning players working hard to improve and having more experience, it sets us up well for this fall season."
Yago Xavier – Forward/Midfielder – 5-10 – Resende, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Xavier comes to Lees-McRae from Instituto Sao Jose Salesiano in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 5-10, 148-pound forward/midfielder is currently enrolled in classes during the spring semester, and is expected to major in international business. Xavier is the son of Xavier and Cláudia Cesar Biajoni, and has one sister, Julia Xavier.
"I chose Lees-McRae because I found in this family an opportunity to grow academically and in soccer, which is my great passion," said Xavier. "I hope to make the most of the opportunity they have given me, and that these years will be the happiest of my life."
"Yago has joined us this spring and has settled in right away as one of the boys," commented Squires. "He has all the ability to make a major impact and improve our attacking threat. He has good speed, fantastic quick feet, works very hard and just loves to play the game. He is an exciting player with a great attitude and appetite for learning."
Patterson Towles – Defender – 6-1 – Angier, N.C.
Towles joins the Bobcats from West Johnston High School in Angier, N.C., where he was a two-time all-conference selection and a member of the National Honor Society. The 6-1, 177-pound defender was named the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year, and participated in North Carolina's Olympic Development Program the last two years. Towles is the son of Brown and Angie Towles, and has one sister, Caroline.
"I decided to attend Lees-McRae and play soccer for them because I like the size of the school," said Towles. "I like the setting and they offer the major that I am interested in. Also I am really impressed with the soccer coach and the team work ethic including the team's GPA this past fall. I also am impressed by the physical dedication and work/practice that the soccer team has to put in. Overall, LMC seems to be a great fit for me and I am looking forward to joining and contributing to the team."
"Patterson is a product of our summer residential camps," said Squires. "He is a good all-round defender with good strength, speed, and understanding of the game. He has all the attributes to make our back line stronger. He is a great student and a mature young man, and I am looking forward to working with him."
Avery Varley – Goalkeeper – 6-2 – Raleigh, N.C.
Varley comes to Lees-McRae from St. David's School in Raleigh, N.C., where he was an all-state performer for four seasons. The 6-2, 170-pound goalkeeper is expected to major in athletic training. Varley is the son of Karen and Ronald Varley, and has two brothers, Drew Varley and John Borges.
"Lees- McRae is the perfect match for me because it's a small school in an environment I love and it will help me achieve the goals I have set for myself," praised Varley. "I cannot wait to play for the LMC men's soccer team!"
"Avery was the standout goalkeeper at our summer camp," said Squires. "He has great size and athleticism, and is a very well-rounded goalkeeper and student-athlete. I am looking forward to seeing him develop and take his game to the next level."
Daniel Harris – Midfielder – 6-2 – Wilmington, N.C.
Harris joins the Bobcats from Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington, N.C., where he played a key role on the 2012 conference championship team. The 6-2, 150-pound midfielder was also an all-region and all-Mid East Conference selection this past season. Harris is the son of Clyde and Cindy Harris, and has two sisters, Jessi and Sarah.
"While attending Lees McRae soccer camp I found the team to be very positive and talented, and Coach Squires is the type of coach I could really perform for," said Harris. "I know a smaller school is best for me and I really like the area!"
"Daniel is another product of our summer camps, and has experienced great success at club level with Cape Fear being NC State Champions," said Squires. "It is important to recruit guys that are used to winning and have that mentality. Daniel is a great prospect with a lot of potential and will certainly add to our team."
Isauro Estrada – Midfielder – 5-5 – Linville, N.C.
Estrada comes to Lees-McRae from nearby Avery County High School, where he was a two-time all-conference performer and a four-time NCHSAA AAA Scholar-Athlete. The 5-5, 135-pound midfielder is also a member of the National Honor Society, as well as an Avery County High School Junior Marshall. Estrada is the son of Lucio Estrada and Lucia Romero, and has two sisters, Iris Rubi and Kimberly Estrada.
"I chose Lees-McRae because it is a school that fits me well," said Estrada. "It is close to home and all the staff are really welcoming. It is a beautiful campus where you learn as a family because you are treated as a student not as a number."
"Isauro is a local talent which is always great to have," said Squires. "Academically he is very bright. He has a sweet left foot and is a very intelligent player that is technically good and uses the ball well, with a low center of gravity that makes him hard to defend against. He is a great addition to our team."
Lees-McRae enjoyed a far better season than its record would indicate in 2012, holding its opponents to two goals or less in all but two matches, including a 1-0 extra time loss to eventual national champion Lynn University in the season-opener.
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