Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — Since he was old enough to dribble a soccer ball, Unioto’s Hayden Longcoy has had a dream of playing collegiately in the back of his mind.
If you’ve seen him play, you’ve probably never doubted that dream would come true.
Sunday morning, via Twitter, Longcoy’s dream indeed became a reality when he announced his commitment to play soccer at Lake Erie College … where he plans to be either a Pre-Physical Therapy or Pre-Physician Assistant major.
“This is a big accomplishment for me. I have played soccer since I was four years old and have put in countless hours of work,” Longcoy said. “To be recruited was an honor and it was always my goal to play at the next level.”
Directly after finishing his senior season with the Shermans, the Storm came rolling in. That was the beginning of a fruitful relationship.
“Lake Erie College recruited me right after the season,” Longcoy said. “The head soccer coach invited me to come train and I thought the coaching staff was very organized and showed a lot of interest in me. The players who I met seemed to have the same work ethic as me and the campus has a small feel with small class sizes.”
Longcoy will join a program that finished 9-6-4 last fall with a 6-5-3 mark inside the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. The Storm will be gaining a defender that was a second-team All-Ohio selection as a senior — becoming Unioto’s third defender to ever claim that honor.
“My biggest on field traits would include my knowledge of the sport and my intense physical play,” Longcoy said. “Being a defender, my most memorable moments are shutting down the opposing team’s top scorer.”
With Lake Erie, Longcoy will be able to play close to home during the season. The Storm have conference dates lined up with in-state schools such as Cedarville, Findlay, Ohio Dominican, Findlay, etc.
When he does play within a couple hours of his hometown, you can bet he’ll have supporters in the stands cheering him on.
“My family and supporters have always encouraged me to do my best and be a leader. I wouldn’t be here without them,” Longcoy said. “Many thanks to my family, coaches, and teammates along the way. [Unioto] Coach Brandon Hanes especially paved the way for this opportunity.”