Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

April 23, 2013

Thompson taking her versatile soccer skills to WVU-Tech

PRINCETON — Jordan Thompson thought about giving up soccer when she went off to college next August, thinking perhaps she should concentrate solely on her ambitious academic studies.

The Princeton Senior High graduate-to-be has changed her mind, and taken WVU-Tech up on a scholarship offer to play for the NAIA school in Montgomery.

She and her family celebrated that decision Monday afternoon in the Princeton media center, witnessed by almost the entire PSHS girls soccer team.

When she started getting college offers, Thompson said, “I was excited. I was confused. I didn’t know what to choose, or what I wanted to do. ... I didn’t know if I wanted to continue playing soccer. I didn’t know if I wanted to just focus on my academics or not.

“But then, towards the end, I decided that I still wanted to play soccer and I wouldn’t have the chance to do it again, so I’m really excited that I made that decision.”

“I knew I could play somewhere if I wanted to. I just had to work hard to do it.”

Her Princeton team finished 17-2 last season and reached the regional championship last October, losing 1-0 to George Washington. She had to work hard at being a contributor to the Tigers.

She said, “At the beginning of my senior year, I started to let everything else (in) the senior year get to me, and I didn’t work as hard as I used to. And I realized that I had to work hard to get somewhere.”

She said the Princeton coaching staff “helped me a lot. Michelle (Dye)’s been a great coach, all four years.

“And we had Lesley (Ashford) come in this past year, and she was so much help with the skills, and trying to get us to push harder ... and Teresa (Inman) was our mom figure on the field, and she never let us give up.”

“But my dad’s been the No. 1 coach in my life, and ... he’s the only reason I’m as good as I am today. My dad’s pushed me my whole entire life, since I was 4 years old, playing soccer. He’s taught me everything I know, and he’s been there as my dad and as my coach.”

Her father, Jeremy Thompson, said, “We’ve always stood behind her in anything she’s wanted to do.”

“I think she’s going to be a good fit to the program. I’m really excited (about) the coach’s enthusiasm to have her. I think it’s going to be a good program for her, and I think she’s going to fit right in.”

“I’m just super-excited about the fact that she’s going to be able to play at that next level.”

He said about last fall’s Princeton team, “I think they had a unique bonding as a team. Anytime you have that, in a game that requires 11 people on the field, it’s something special. And when you have that bond, you’re going to do something special.”

“It’s like one big family.”

Jordan Thompson said, “Back when I was a freshman, I liked playing forward. I thought I was a good forward. Then, in my sophomore and junior year, I moved to midfield. It took a lot of getting used to, because it was a lot more running, and a lot more going through your head.”

“I like being wing midfielder now.”

As far as her future position goes, she said, “It really doesn’t matter. As long as I’m playing the game of soccer, I’m happy.”

Her father said, “It’s my opinion, but she’s talented in both areas. ... She’s pretty versatile, either way.

“Wherever she gets put on the pitch, she’s going to benefit — as well as the team.”

Jordan Thompson said she got an email from a WVU-Tech coach suggesting a trip to the campus in Montgomery.

“I went up and visited and played with the team, and I really liked it up there,” she said. “Their girls are really nice, and the campus was small — but there was a lot of people, and everyone was really friendly.”

WVU-Tech assistant coach Stephanie Kot, who was present on Monday in Princeton, said, “On and off the field, we’re really excited to have her as a student-athlete.

“(We like) her drive in soccer, and how she is willing to give everything on the field.

“Also, that she can play a little bit of different positions, because we’re looking for that for the upcoming year. We lost a lot of seniors last year, so we’re looking to fill a lot of spots,” Kot said. “She can play anywhere.”

She said, “We have a really big national tournament that we’re hosting ... the USCAA national tournament at Tech for the men and the women.

“We’re looking for those unique student-athletes that we know can take us to win that national tournament, and we believe that Jordan is one of them.”

Kot said, “We are coming in early this year for the preseason, because we know we do have a lot of freshmen ... to start molding everybody together.”

Kot said, “We are rebuilding the program, starting fresh.”

Kot and Kelly Borck, the head coach, share the duties for the Golden Bears.

As far as the new recruit’s summer goes, except for a vacation or two, she said, “I guess I’ll be in the gym every day, running and stuff like that.”

Thompson said about her career plans, “I’m going to go into nursing. I want to be a pediatric nurse, and I’m hoping to work at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Charleston.

“And, if I decide to, after my first four years, I want to continue to grad school at WVU to be a pediatrician.”

She said, “I love kids. I absolutely love kids. My mom has always told me that I have too much patience with kids to not work with them.”

“I decided that I really wanted to go into the medical field.”

Jeremy Thompson said, “I’m glad I’m going to have her close to home — still, a little too far — but, at least with it being that close, we will be able to go up and see quite a few games. I’m excited about that.”

— Contact Tom Bone at

tbone@bdtonline.com

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