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It just happened by chance that Roman Jaconette signed his national letter of intent to play soccer for Asbury University March 21 at Grant County High School.
“I really wasn’t going for collegiate soccer,” he said. “It was more like a coincidence.”
Jaconette said he went on a college visit to Asbury and the coaches asked him to come out and practice with the team.
“They liked how I was performing and asked if I wanted to play for them,” he said.
Jaconette played defense for the Braves soccer team the past two seasons and even scored a goal this season for Grant County.
“I jumped from sport to sport while I have been here at GCHS,” he said. “I have gone from marching band to football, and always played soccer on the side before joining the varsity team.”
Jaconette said he is excited to play for Asbury and that he is fortunate to have the scholarship, considering some of his other Grant County teammates have not gotten one to this point. Dustin Mills is the only other Braves senior to sign to play collegiate soccer.
Asbury assistant coach Zachary Derr said Jaconette will be a good fit with the soccer team and fits with the values of the university.
“One thing we do as a Christian university is that we look for people that are going to grow emotionally and physically,” he said.
Jaconette fits that profile.
“I like the aspect of being in a Christian home,” he said. “I liked the econ-management program at Asbury. It has always been my passion to work with animals and the environment.”
Derr said he didn’t do much recruiting for Jaconette, but that Jaconette approached Asbury.
“We wanted a player that wants to play and Roman is serious about soccer,” he said. “We saw that with his persistence.”
Derr said that the men’s soccer program at Asbury has been a successful one and that this season’s team has a lot of returning players.
“Last season we didn’t get out of the first round of our conference tournament,” he said. “In the past we have won the conference championships, so last year was a bit of a disappointment.”
Jaconette had his share of disappointments this season as the Braves season ended in the first round of the 23rd district tournament to Pendleton County. He said that he committed the foul that gave Pendleton County the penalty kick that won the game, but that it’s a part of the past.
“We had a great senior year,” he said. “I have never had so much fun playing for a team than that soccer team this year. Overall, you can’t look on the bad times. Focus on the good times and learn from the bad ones.”