MITCHELL, S.D. – Dakota Wesleyan University men’s soccer coach Jeremy Tosaya pushed his recruiting total to 11 this week when he announced the addition of Blaine Bacon and Erick Mendez to the Tigers’ 2013 roster.
The duo comes to Dakota Wesleyan from Spearfish High School in Spearfish, S.D. Bacon is a 6-foot defender who started and lettered three years for the Spartans. He was named the team’s defender of the year as a junior and senior and helped the team to a 15-2 record and a runner-up finish at the state tournament as a senior.
He earned Class AA Second Team All-State honors and to the Elite 11. Bacon, who also played for the South Dakota United club team, also lettered three times in basketball and led the team in field-goal percentage as a sophomore and junior.
“Blaine is a solid center back that we can look to build on for the next four years,” Tosaya said. “We are going to be losing two very experienced center backs after 2013, and my expectations for Blaine are really high as he learns our system and develops into a strong presence for us in the back four. He knows how to play against quality strikers and solid programs.”
Mendez is a 5-11 midfielder who earned three varsity letters at Spearfish. He was also part of the Spartans’ runner-up finish at the state tournament this past season and was an Elite 11 selection in 2012. Mendez also played for the South Dakota United club team and earned one varsity letter in football.
“I’ve been fortunate to watch Erick develop as a player since I first met him in ODP several years ago,” Tosaya said. “Through high school, club and ODP, he has developed into a confident center midfielder. If you look at the midfielders we’ve been able to sign this year, they each bring something different. When we put them together, it should translate into a very dangerous line for us.”
Mendez and Bacon are Tosaya’s fifth and sixth recruits from within the South Dakota borders this offseason. They join Derek Granum (Brookings), Nick Tschakert and Brier Derby (Watertown) and Kenny Mattson (Brandon). Sam Roberts and Mike Cluck (Papillion, Neb.); Colby Sprung (Lakeville, Minn.); Peter Wartenberg (Chaska, Minn.) and Donevan Roe (Blair, Neb.), have also signed to join DWU this fall.