July College Recruiting Newsletter 2022


As we look ahead to the upcoming Fall season, College Soccer will soon be in full swing which means college coaches’ time will be at a premium. As potential student athletes, it is important to enter a conversation with a coach with a plan in place, in order to best steer the conversation where you want it to go. There is a strategy that is needed in order to balance building a personal relationship that helps you to stand out, while also getting vital information that can help you in your recruiting process. Below you will find 6 questions (3 soccer related, 3 culture related) to ask college coaches that can not only help you get to know them and their programs better, but also show proactivity and preparation on your part.

Soccer Questions

  • Would you be willing to describe your team’s principles of play? This is a much better question than asking coaches what formation their team plays. By asking about principles, you will get a much better sense of HOW the team plays. Formations and systems of play can adapt, but the principles of a program should remain regardless of the shape they are playing.
  • What attributes are needed from a player in my position in order to fit your team’s identity? Asking about player traits that are specific to each team’s identity (principles of play) for your position will give you a better sense of how a team likes to play and if your natural style of play as a player will fit with what the program is trying to do on the field.
  • What are some non-negotiable attributes that every player on your team has in an ideal world? By asking this question, you get a deeper understanding of how a coach truly wants to play. If they say “comfort on the ball,” you can assume they want to keep the ball and possess. If they say “speed,” this may mean they want to press and play in transition a bit more.  Ultimately, each coach has things they prioritize in all players, and asking this question should give you an inside look on what that is.

Culture Questions

  • How do the core values of your program align with the core values that you have personally? This is a fantastic question that allows you to get a sense of the culture of the program, as well as the morals and personal values that the coach embodies.
  • How does your team handle conflict? This question is a great indicator of a team’s culture and how they react when faced with adversity.
  • What makes your program special? As you are navigating this process, each program will have somewhat similar answers to the common questions that are asked. By asking coaches what makes their program special, you will get a clear sense of the program’s vision.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: Creating Standards/Habits

A lot of what we’ve talked about to this point in this section of the newsletter should be pointing you towards becoming the best version of yourself. But how you live your life on a day-to-day basis is more important than the words you have put onto paper or the things you’ve said you are going to do.

Just like in college soccer, every program has great ideas of what they want their culture to look like. But the best programs are the ones that are a living embodiment of their values and principals and act accordingly because it is inside them and part of who they are. If you have created a list of values that are important to you, it is vital that you are intentional about living them out each day.

Just as important, if you have goals that you have set for yourself as a player or person, it is important that you are setting yourself up for success with the daily habits and rituals that you have created for yourself. Easier said than done, I know! It is human nature to have dips in energy, motivation, and to fall into a state of complacency.

There are ways to combat this, and it all comes down to being intentional in your actions. Below are 5 ways to help you stay the course in your quest for becoming the best version of yourself!

  • Start each day with positivity – Whether it be a motivational video, reading a page out of a book, or simply taking time to be thankful for another day, being intentional about being excited for what is to come in the day will give you a spark of energy.
  • Be intentional with who you surround yourself with – Are your friends like-minded in wanting to improve? Or are they inhibiting you from reaching your goals with their words and actions? Often, you are a byproduct of who you surround yourself with. It is much easier to stay motivated if you are surrounded with motivated individuals!
  • Make a daily to-do list – By having small things you want to accomplish each day, this can make your goals seem less insurmountable. Set tasks for each day that are able to be met and take the time to be proud of yourself as you achieve each small milestone!
  • Reflect on your progress – Being intentional about taking 5-10 minutes, whether it be in thought or in writing (journaling) to think about where you’ve been, how far you’ve come, and where you want to go can be very motivating. Before bed each night, instead of scrolling through tik-tok for hours, take 5 minutes to think about your goals and how you can continue to manifest them.
  • Enjoy the process – Ultimately, no one knows yourself better than you. If you need to take a day to rest and recover, do it. If you feel the need to push a little harder, do it. You will never get to where you want to go if you do not LOVE what you are doing. Keep this at the center of your mindset and you will be surprised at just how far you can go!

Monthly Help Links from Sports Recruits

College Commitments

  • Natalie Bain – Xavier University
  • Eleanor Simkonis – Cleveland State University
  • Mya Gerak – University of Kentucky
  • Summer Denigan – Florida State University
  • Marina Ruthsatz – Wright State University
  • Claire Wiseman – Ohio Northern University
  • Faith Broering – University of Cincinnati
  • Jade Rehberger – Illinois State University
  • Danielle Hicks – Ashland University
  • Maddy Murphy – Eastern Kentucky University
  • Annie Isphording – Johns Hopkins University
  • Kali Funk – Ashland University
  • Ella Madden – Ohio Northern University
  • Molly McNeill – Cedarville University
  • Sarah Zimmerman – Washington and Lee University
  • Morgan Gerak – Michigan State University
  • Katie Adams – Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Meg Gessner – Northern Kentucky University
  • Emily Duffey – Hanover College
  • Sydney Noble – University of Findlay
  • Kaitlyn Siefert – University of Findlay
  • Chloe Spitzer – Berea College
  • Shyanne Iles – University of Southern Illinois
  • CJ DeBra – Youngstown State University
  • Sarah Henson – Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Courtney Lindgren – California University of Pennsylvania
  • Jackson Byrd – Mount St. Joseph University
  • Leo Bill – Transylvania University
  • Adam Gritton – Spalding University
  • Amber Branum – Wright State University
  • Tyron Reynolds – Spalding University
  • Abby Cole – Mount Saint Joseph University
  • Ella Madden – Fairmont State University
  • Shannon Crogan – Northern Kentucky University
  • Jon Gordon – Asbury University
  • Will Freson – Marietta College
  • Macie Chappell – Campbellsville University
  • Riley Arnold – Ohio Dominican
  • Elizabeth Dreas – Austin Peay State University
  • Emily Lloyd – Florida Southern College
  • Ellie Greenwell – Ohio University
  • Shannon Crogan – Northern Kentucky University
  • Zara Graff – Wright State University
  • Abby Unkraut – University of Georgia
  • Mia Fiore – Xavier University
  • Victoria Zappasodi – Cleveland State
  • Ella Smith – Miami University
  • Ellie Lanyi – University of Alabama
  • Jason Litzler – Thomas More University
  • Colson Neace – Transylvania University
  • Ethan Green – University of Cincinnati-Clermont
  • Cameron Engel – University of Cincinnati-Clermont
  • Olivia Jones – Centre College
  • Jordan Church – Arkansas State University

2023 Verbal College Commitments:

  • Amanda Schlueter – Ohio State University
  • Sophie Decker – Marian University
  • Ruby Dunlevy – Eastern Kentucky 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 |