JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman head soccer coach Richard Moodie announced the eight men's soccer signees for the upcoming fall season.
"We obviously want to do better," Coach Moodie said, "than what we did last year. Bringing in these kids, it's important we brought in the right ones."
Tanner Heath, the son of Michael and Kristi Heath, is a 5'8" freshman out of Murfreesboro, Tenn. capable of playing defensive or attacking center midfield or left wing. Heath played under Jeff Boynton at Oakland High School.
"Tanner is one of the few local players we found this year," Coach Moodie said, "that I think could step in and automatically help our team."
In his first three years as a Patriot, Heath tallied 20 goals and 15 assists, and led his team in assists in 2012 earning the Silver Boot award.
In 2010, Heath was named the top freshman to watch by the Journal and Courier. The following year, his hometown paper, the Daily News Journal, named Heath in the top 20 players to watch overall. As a team, the Patriots were district runners up in both 2010 and 2012. Heath made second team All-District in 2012, and first team All-Area in 2013.
"Tanner is naturally left-footed," Coach Moodie said. "He's young, he's enthusiastic. That makes him a special player alone. He's one to watch for the future."
Heath was named to the Honor Roll 2011-13, and was awarded for outstanding academic excellence in 2013. He was a member of the Beta Club 2013-14.
Heath chose Carson-Newman for the fantastic education offered, the atmosphere of the school, the coaching staff and players. He intends to major in Marketing or Nursing.
Luke Greer, son of Bob and Alice Greer, is a 5'11" freshman goalkeeper out of Abington, Northampton, United Kingdom. He attended the Northampton School for Boys where he played soccer and table tennis competitively, and ran the 1500m in cross country.
"Luke is trained to play at a very high standard of soccer," Coach Moodie said. "He's one that's going to come in and fight for that number one spot."
Greer was also recruited by Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa. He chose Carson-Newman because of the program's achievements making it the the NCAA DII title match last fall. Greer was also enticed by the availability of a goalie coach, and the coaching staff as a whole. He is undecided in his major.
"Luke is a younger talent," Coach Moodie said, "but I think it's safe to say that if we put him in the goal tomorrow, I wouldn't have any doubt that he could do the job for us."
Aleksander Naric, son of Zarko and Radojka Naric, is a 6'2" center back from Bosnia. He went to Rhein-Weid-Gymnasium high school, and the University of Applied Sciences Koblenz after.
"Aleksander, we're hoping, is going to come in," Coach Moodie said, "and compete for that starting spot at center back."
Naric played for the soccer club Tus Koblenz under Dirk Laux. As a center back, he tallied seven goals, five assists, played 2,700 minutes and started all 30 matches.
"He is a quality center back," Coach Moodie said. "From someone who played in that position, I think we will have the top center backs from what we saw in the conference last year."
Naric will be pursuing a degree in Economics.
James Ward, son of Julia Branch, is a 6'3" center back from Truro, Cornwall, United Kingdom. He played under Joe Hocking at Penair School from where he graduated in 2009. During his high school career, Ward led his team to a 19-1 season and a regional championship.
"Hopefully James will transfer in," Coach Moodie said, "and fill that center back roll. He's going to be one of the top defenders in the conference."
After high school, Ward attended Cardiff Metropolitan Unviersity. While at Cardiff, Ward earned Freshman of the Year 2011. His team earned three trophies in the year, was the 2010 regional champion and national runners up, and was the Treble Champion in 2013 setting a school record. He finished his college career with a 59-3 team record. Throughout his schooling, Ward has played soccer, cricket, tennis and golf competitively.
He's very strong, very physical," Coach Moodie said, "and he commands well vocally from the back."
Ward chose Carson-Newman because of the team's past achievements and can see his self being the person to help drive the University to a championship. He intends to major in Sports Coaching.
Kavi Luchowa, son of Susan Luchowa, is a 6'0" goalkeeper from London, Middlesex, United Kingdom. He attended Brentside High School and graduated in 2011.
"Kavi comes in with a wealth of experience," Coach Moodie said. "He's looking to transfer in and challenge to be our number one."
Luchowa was also recruited by Rollins College, C-N's opponent in its Elite Eight match last fall. He chose Carson-Newman because, with the support received from Coach Moodie and his staff, he knew he would be welcomed into a great squad in a great location. Luchowa will be getting his Master's in Business Administration while at C-N.
"He's got lots of attributes that you'd love to have in your goalkeeper," Coach Moodie said. "We're definitely looking forward to getting him in on campus."
Robert Wagner, son of Katrin and Hendrik Wagner, is a 6'0" winger from Halle (Saale), Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Wagner attended Sportgymnasium Halle where he played both soccer and basketball. His soccer coach was Hagen Schmidt.
"Robert has spent a lot of time," Coach Moodie said, "playing in some tough leagues against tough competition. He's an exciting player to watch. He's unpredictable and loves the ball at his feet."
Wagner was MVP of the International Youth-Cup Plattenhardt 2010. His high school team won the State Championship Sachsen-Auball in 2008, '09 and '10. In 2009, Wagner's team also won the State Championship Nord-Ost.
"He's a top signing for us," Coach Moodie said. "He had lots of opportunities to play at other places. Thankfully they were at places we beat on our way to the national finals, so that made it easier for him to decide."
Wagner is undecided in his major. He chose Carson-Newman for its elite soccer team.
Lukas Jokisch, son of Angelika and Markus Jokisch, is a 5'9" attacking midfielder from Leipzig, Germany. Jokisch attended high school at the Gymnasium "Am Breiten Teich," Borna where he played under Holm Woiczek. His high school was district champions many years in a row. He graduated in 2009.
"Lukas is one of those players," Coach Moodie said, "who is very versatile. He can play out wide, and he can play in the middle of the park."
After high school, Jokisch attended the University of Corporate Education Riesa. He graduated valedictorian in 2013.
"He's definitely one," Coach Moodie said, "that is going to give us a little bit more experience on the squad. He's been around the game and already has a lot of knowledge."
Jokisch was also recruited by Erskine College and Bloomsburg University. He chose C-N because of its good reputation, good soccer program and the good offer he received to attend. He will be enrolling in the MBA program.
Dominik Gronwald, son of Matthias Gronwald and Ursula Klŏpfer, is a 6'0" center midfielder from Waabs, Germany.
"Dominik loves the ball and loves to make things take," Coach Moodie said. "He's one of the hardest working players we've got. He's definitely got a bright future here."
Gronwald went to high school at the Gungmannschule Eckernfoerde from which he graduated in 2008. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in sports management from RheinAhrCampus Remagen.
"He's someone we brought in," Coach Moodie said, "knowing that he was going to contribute something to the squad. His experience as a player will be an immediate impact."
Gronwald was also recruited by Savannah College of Art and Design, and SAC rival Lincoln Memorial University. He chose to become an Eagle because of the combination of the soccer and Master's programs. Gronwald will be working toward his Master's in Business Administration while at C-N.
"Our desire as a program," Coach Moodie said, "is to keep getting better every year, and we've built our squad around that."