February College Recruiting Newsletter 2023

Welcome to the Kings Hammer February College Recruiting Newsletter! The club is excited to work with you to accomplish all of your player’s goals for this upcoming calendar year, on and off of the soccer field. Each month, we will be providing this resource to not only help you navigate the craziness that is the college recruiting process, but also provide personal development materials and resources to assist in growing individually while living a more purpose and value-driven lifestyle. We hope you find value in this newsletter and are excited to assist in this exciting process for your family!

Creating a List of Schools

Whether you are just beginning your college search or have some experience under your belt, it is important to be intentional about what is important to you when selecting your future home. Before thinking about specific schools that you want to add to your list, it is critical to think about what factors may be important to you in your future home. Just as each college’s soccer program is unique; each campus, each environment, and each location of the colleges will provide different individuals with different experiences. Below are five factors to consider when creating your list of schools.

Location: Colleges and Universities of all divisions can be found in the biggest cities and the smallest towns. What type of environment will you be comfortable in; urban, rural, suburban…maybe each. Are grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment, and other activities available close, or farther away?  These and other environmental factors should be thought about when creating your list of schools.

Campus Size: Are you looking for a school with thousands of students or hundreds? Are you looking for a campus where you take a bus to get from one side of campus to the other, or a campus where you can walk to your classes in 5 minutes? It is important to think about campus size and what you envision your college experience looking like before deciding which schools fit your desired size demands.

Degrees of Study: Do you have a dream career path after college soccer? While pursuing dreams of becoming a professional soccer player are great, it is important to think about life without soccer as well. When thinking about potential career options and majors that may interest you, find out if the schools you are researching offer majors and areas of study that match your academic interests.

Cost of Attendance: When creating your list of schools in most situations, it is important to consider the cost of the schools you may be looking into. Depending on where you are in your search, you may have no idea if the schools you are targeting will end up supporting you with athletic financial aid. However, by looking at each institution’s website, you are able to get a better understanding of tuition, housing, books, and other costs that are associated with the school.

Distance from Home: When leaving the comfort and safety of your parent’s home, do you want to have accessibility to return when you are having a bad day? Or are you ready to open up your wings and fly to a faraway location? When creating a list of schools, think about the maximum distance you are willing to be from your hometown (or for some of you, it might be the minimum distance you want to be close to home!) This will help you to narrow your list to realistic opportunities for you.

Hopefully, you were able to pick up on the theme of the above factors: None of these involve soccer! While the soccer program and your success at the next level on the field will play a massive role in your college experience, the reality is a large majority of your time will be spent off the soccer field in college! It is just as, if not more important to make sure the schools you are looking into and adding to your list fit you not only from a soccer perspective but from a holistic perspective as well. Creating a list of what is important for you and what is non-negotiable in your search and your future home, will help you to alleviate some of the stress of narrowing down what seems to be unlimited options for your college experience.

Here is a link to a webinar from Sports Recruits that talks about finding the “Right Fit” in a college: Sports Recruits-Building Your Target List of Schools

Personal Development – Identifying Core Values

When thinking about what is important to you, it is critical to understand what are the things, traits, and qualities that you find to matter the most. This can be related to how you want to be perceived by others, who you want to surround yourself with, as well as the things that you find to be most important to be the best version of yourself. Having core values allow you to be your authentic self while maintaining guiding principles and qualities that help you in times of internal conflict. Below are some examples of core values that one may identify or relate to:









































































Take 20-30 minutes and reflect on these words. What do they mean to you? Which are the most important?  After doing so, try to narrow your list your personal core values (this will be harder than you think). Create a list of your five core values and describe what they mean to you and why they are important. Keep this list somewhere accessible to you and use it as a resource when needed. This list can change throughout your life but understanding who you are and what is important to you will help you to lead a value-driven life and ultimately have peace of mind in the decisions and choices you make!

Monthly Help Links from SportsRecruits

College Commitments

  • CJ DeBra – Youngstown State University
  • Riley Arnold – Ohio Dominican
  • Ellie Greenwell – Ohio University
  • Zara Graff – Wright State University
  • Abby Unkraut – University of Georgia
  • Mia Fiore – Xavier University
  • Victoria Zappasodi – Cleveland State
  • Ella Smith – Miami University
  • Jordan Church – Arkansas State University
  • Amanda Schlueter – Ohio State University
  • Sophie Decker – Marian University
  • Ruby Dunlevy – Eastern Kentucky University
  • Margo Roberts – Ohio Dominican University
  • Olivia Parmer – Marian University
  • Emma Morrison – Kentucky Christian University
  • Shannon Ott – Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Rose Vigran – George Washington University
  • Jill Planeaux – Ohio Dominican University
  • Katie Hoog – Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Millie Cluxton – College of Charleston
  • Mia Jackson – Purdue University Fort Wayne
  • Chloe Morrison – Milligan University
  • Kalyn Rich – Baldwin Wallace University
  • Ella James – Baldwin Wallace University
  • Donna Bundy – Northern Kentucky University
  • Timothy Griffin – Northern Kentucky University
  • Aiden Byrd – Transylvania University
  • Avery May – University of Dayton
  • Caitlin Burger – Wright State University
  • Sophia Kuerze – Wright State University
  • Lainey Smith – University of Dayton
  • Aliana Weibel – Kent State University
  • Peyton Jones – Thomas More University
  • Asia Espiritu – West Liberty University
  • Faith George – Thomas More University
  • Sydney Bortz – University of Richmond
  • Brynn Collins – Taylor University
  • Ellie Walker – University of Tennessee Southern
  • Trey Pitzer – Heidelburg University
  • Barrett Moore – Otterbein University

Remember to post your commitment to your Sports Recruits account and send commitment photos to so that you can be recognized for your achievements.

Tryout FAQ’s

How do I register for tryouts?
ALL soccer-athletes MUST COMPLETE the tryout registration online before participating in the tryout process. Click here to register now!

*Please make sure that you register online at least 24 hours in advance to ensure that the soccer athlete is in the system and we have your information to notify you after the tryout process.  There is a Registration Steps document on the Tryouts page that will walk you through the process. Each soccer athlete should attend both tryout days if possible. If you are unable to attend both days please reach out to the Program Director listed below.

Birth Years for the 2022/2023 Season
For the 2022/2023 season, Kings Hammer will follow U.S Youth Soccer’s guidelines and will organize its teams by birth year:

*Interested players must register to try out for their birth year.

Can my child play up an age group?
Any player playing up will be at the discretion of their respective director. All players need to register and attend the tryout for their correct age group.

What should I wear/bring to tryouts?
Please come prepared with a fully inflated soccer ball, proper footwear, shin guards, and water. Each prospective soccer-athlete will receive one free Kings Hammer Soccer Club tryout t-shirt with a tryout identification number on the back of the t-shirt.  Each prospective player will be identified by the identification number throughout the process and MUST wear this t-shirt at each tryout session for the 2022/2023 soccer year.

We will not be able to attend tryouts or are new to the area and missed tryouts. Is there a process in place to allow for an alternate tryout?
Yes! If you are not able to attend tryouts or missed the tryout dates, please register and then contact the Director for the Program/Age Group you wish to tryout for so that arrangements can be made. We also hold supplemental tryouts throughout the year. Roster openings may be limited after the initial tryout period.

What are the differences between Academy and Premier?
Our Academy provides a highly competitive environment for higher-level soccer athletes. This program provides those athletes with the best local training offered by our qualified and professional staff. Our Academy teams play at the highest possible level providing showcase opportunities to College, Professional, and National level programs.

The Premier Program is a community-based program. The Premier Program provides the opportunity for players to play other sports or have other interests outside of soccer. This program is designed to be flexible, convenient, and affordable.

Can I try out for multiple programs?
We encourage anyone who wants to tryout for all levels to do so. Current KHSC players can ask their coach/director for guidance if they are unsure about which program to tryout for. You will need to register for each tryout separately.

If I tryout for a program and don’t make it, can I try out for another program?
Yes. If you don’t make an Academy team, we strongly encourage you to tryout for a Premier team, attending tryouts for at least one day.

If you don’t make a Premier team, the Classic Program may be an option. Contact Michelle Okumura ( if you’d like to pursue this option.

Will there be more than one team in each age group?
Yes, when possible, there will be more than one team per age group, per program. It all depends on the number of players at tryouts and their skill level.

If my child doesn’t make the top team, can they move up during the year?
Yes, there may be opportunities to move up throughout the year as long as the coach/director feels it is in the best interest of the player’s development. There may also be opportunities to guest play across all levels.

What can I expect after tryouts?
After tryouts you can expect communication from the club in the form of an email.  (Please double-check that your email is correct in the PlayMetrics system, this is the email we use) This will either be an acceptance email, offering your child a position on a team, or an email letting you know that they should tryout for a different program. Players who are offered positions on a team may also receive a phone call from their coach. All communication will come within 24-48 hours of the end of the last tryout. You will then have 24 hours to either accept or decline your email before your spot is offered to another child.

What are the next steps if my child makes a team?

  1. If you are new to the club, you will receive more information regarding your uniform ordering in your confirmation email.
  2. If you are part of the Academy or Premier Programs, you will receive the link to Demosphere to register your child in the state system in your confirmation email as well.

How long is the season?

  • Academy
    • U11-U14: August-November, January-May (possible post-season in June)
    • U15-U19: November-May
  • Premier
    • U7-U14: August-October, March-May
    • U15-U19: November-December, March-May

My child is in middle school but plays on a U15 team. Will there be a fall U15 program for trapped players?
Yes, we will offer a program for trapped 8th graders for the fall season depending on interest. The program will run from August to October and is open to players that are currently in the 8th grade that will be playing on a U15 team starting in November 2022. Questions please contact:

Academy North: Ryan Handbury |
Academy South Boys: James Thomas |
Academy South Girls: Chris Black |
Academy Bluegrass Boys: Dan Ensley  |
Academy Bluegrass Girls: Megan Adkins |

Can a team come to the club and join as a team?
Yes! The team can join the Classic Program. For more information please reach out to Michelle Okumura at

Who is in charge of hiring coaches?
If you are interested in a coaching opportunity, please fill out the following coaching form –

Program Directors:

Academy North: Ryan Handbury |
Academy South Girls: Chris Black |
Academy South Boys: James Thomas |
Academy Bluegrass Boys: Dan Ensley |
Academy Bluegrass Girls: Megan Adkins |
Premier Xenia: Brent Lewis |
Premier North: Wil Cagle |
Premier Sycamore: Ryan Handbury |
Premier Central: Michael Ratliff |
Premier South: David Shemilt |
Premier Versailles: Brandon Cummons |
Premier Lexington: Fonyam Atanga |