The eight-member recruiting class is comprised of Holly Alexander (Belmont/Rockford), Joy Alexander (Belmont/Rockford), Amanda (Mandy) Cafmeyer (Greenville), Alana Dombrowski (Gaylord), Laurie Girdwood (Grand Rapids/Forest Hills Northern), Amanda Kirkwood (Westfield, Ind.), Gayle Lukes (Kokomo, Ind./Western), and Emily Rogers (Traverse City/Central). Joy Alexander is transferring to Ferris State from Tri-State University in Angola, Ind.
“Overall, I’m extremely pleased with the new additions,” said Watkins. “We have improved tremendously in all areas. These student-athletes wanted the challenge to come into a first-year program and get us off to a great start. They get an opportunity to start and play right away while pushing us towards our goal of being a top NCAA Division II program.
“With these players in the fold, our recruiting is two-thirds of the way towards our goal,” added Watkins. “We still want to add a starting-quality player in midfield, defense, forward and another goalkeeper. This group shows other student-athletes the progress we’re making and we want to bring in four more players who have the same commitment to excellence.”
In alphabetical order the student-athletes are:
Belmont, Mich. (Rockford)/Great Lakes Soccer Club
An all-state honorable mention selection . . .Two-time OK Red Conference honoree . . . Received all-area and all-district accolades . . . Younger sister of FSU recruit Joy Alexander . . . “Holly will be a major force for us in the center of midfield next season.”
Belmont, Mich. (Rockford)
Transfer from Tri-State University . . . This fall marks her final season of eligibility . . . Has three-year career numbers of seven points (5-27) in 60 games. . . Garnered academic All-America and academic all-conference laurels at TSU last fall . . . Two-time all-conference selection and team captain at TSU . . . “Joys provides us with two valuable commodities next fall experience and tenacity. She’s a fearless defender who will create an intense and focused atmosphere within our squad.”
Amanda (Mandy) Cafmeyer
Greenville, Mich./Great Lakes Soccer Club
All-district performer and coach’s award recipient last year as GHS competed in district playoff finals for the first-time ever . . . Top team goal scorer as a junior with 14 goals. . . “Mandy has the heart of a champion and will be a force for us in the midfield this fall. She’s one of the hardest workers I have seen and her athleticism will allow her to compete right away.”
Gaylord, Mich./Grand Valley Premier Soccer Club
All-state honorable mention and Big North Conference’s Most Valuable Player . . . All-conference, district, and region selection . . . “Alana is one of the best athletes in our incoming class and her athletic ability gives her the potential to be a great college goalkeeper. She has worked hard to develop into one of the top keepers in West Michigan and at the college level, will be able to focus in on soccer (she also plays volleyball).”
Grand Rapids, Mich. (Forest Hills Northern)/Grand Valley Premier Soccer Club
All-conference honorable mention and all-district selection last season . . .“Laurie is a very coachable athlete who can compete both in defense and mid field. She possesses great quickness, a strong vision for the game and solid skills in both attacking and defensive responsibilities.”
Westfield, Ind./Carmel Vengeance Soccer Club
Achieved 1999 Indiana State Coaches Association Academic All-State honors and Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association All-State kudos . . .Three-time all-conference selection . . .‘99 ICGSA All-State Team member and was an all-county pick . . .“Amanda is an extremely quick and versatile defender, who can play out wide as a marking back or in the center of defense. Her speed and experience will help us shore up our defense next year and she will contribute right away.”
Kokomo, Ind. (Western)/Carmel Vengeance Soccer Club
Four-year member of the Olympic Development Program (ODP) State Team and ODP Regional Camp participant . . .Two-time team Most Valuable Player. . .All-area Most Valuable Player and all-area first-team performer . . .“Gayle is a two-way athlete, who has great fitness and work ethic in midfield in both attacking and defending roles. Gayle will be a great influence on our young team and even as a freshman, will be a leader for us.”
Traverse City, Mich. (Central)/Northstar Soccer Club
Member of Olympic Development Program State Team and participant at ODP Regional Camp . . .A third-team all-state selection as a junior after tallying a personal career-best 29 goals with 11 assists in 1999 campaign . . .Three-time conference all-academic honoree and member of the state’s top-ranked all-academic team . . . “Emily is a tremendous addition to our attack because she’s a skillful goal-scorer who can change a game with one touch. She brings a dynamic element to our team and I believe she is one of the best one-on-one attacking players in Michigan.”
This season’s recruiting class represents the first for Ferris State, which completed its inaugural varsity season during the 1999 fall campaign.