CENTENARY, Ohio — Sports can take you anywhere in the world, for instance soccer is taking one Blue Devil to a small Illinois town halfway between Springfield and Bloomington.
Gallia Academy senior Dekota Metzler signed his letter of intent on Monday in the GAHS library, committing to play soccer at Lincoln Christian University next season.
“It’s a blessing honestly, I thank God for everything that I’ve done and giving me the ability to play,” Metzler said. “Playing at the next level and pursuing a career in soccer are things that I’ve wanted to do my whole entire life. Me and my dad were praying for it, looking for a more affordable college than what I was going to go to. (LCU) wanted me to play soccer there, so it’s another answered prayer.”
Metzler was an All-Southeastern Ohio Athletic League special mention and an All-District special mention for his efforts on the pitch as a senior.
“(Dekota) improved a lot during the season,” first-year GAHS head coach Richard Isberner said. “He’s a natural leader that always wants to learn and improve himself. He’s a very coachable kid that works very hard and I can see him improving a lot over the next four years, as well.”
Metzler spent four years on the GAHS varsity soccer team, a span in which the Blue Devils were 19-47-4 overall. As a senior, Dekota helped Gallia Academy claim its first sectional title in over 10 years.
“The coaching really helps,” Metzler said of GAHS. “My two coaches (Richard Isberner and Josh Simmons) really helped me out with my game and were able to propel me on to the next level.”
At Lincoln Christian, Metzler plans on majoring in Business Administration with a plan to pursue a masters degree in Health Care Administration.
“Dekota will be an excellent addition to our team this fall,” Lincoln Christian coach Craig Hoskins said. “He gives us defensive depth, which is an area of great need for our team. He comes from a successful high school program and will help bring a winning culture and attitude to our young and rebuilding team. Dekota is also an extremely high character student-athlete that will be a great asset to our university. I look forward to all he can bring to the program the next four years.”
The Lincoln Christian University Red Lions finished 6-10 last year and compete in the National Christian College Athletic Association.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.