Evangel University Adding Soccer?

Evangel CrusadersCruising for regional soccer news recently, I stumbled upon this bit of news on the Evangel University website:

The Evangel athletics department is asking former athletes to help match a $1,000,000 grant that will greatly improve the facilities for all sports. The Ashcroft Center project will include new coaches’ offices, a greatly enlarged training room, and new locker rooms for volleyball, basketball, and soccer.

You can see the request, along with diagrams and photos of the project, at this link.

For some background on the situation, it’s useful to know that Evangel competes in the Heart of America Athletics Conference which includes the Avila Eagles, Baker Wildcats, Benedictine Ravens, Central Methodist Eagles, Culver-Stockton Wildcat, Graceland Yellowjacket, Lindenwood Lions, MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneer, Missouri Valley Vikings and the William Jewell Cardinal in the NAIA.

There are Springfield natives playing soccer at several of these schools, including Jesus Zuniga (Nixa 2006 & SW All Star) at Avila, John Richmiller (Cassville 2003) at Culver-Stockton, Dilan Chastain (Marshfield 2006) at Lindenwood, Zac Buchanan (Ava 2006) and Ace Everett (Ozark 2006) at MidAmerica Nazarene, Kris Scoville (Ava 2003), Louis Wampler (Camdenton 2006 & SW All Star), and Michael Drozdowski (Springfield MO) at Missouri Valley and Katie Brooks (Parkview 2005) at William Jewell.

In other words, soccer is played at every member school in the HAAC EXCEPT Evangel. Lindenwood and William Jewell compete at a national level in the NAIA on a regular basis. I contacted David Filmore in the Sports Information Department on Monday (via the website contact form) asking for clarification but haven’t heard back from him or the University at this point.

It seems to me that an organization that values outreach the way Evangel does could benefit from the greatest cross-cultural communication program I know – the world’s game.