Marksberry Announces First Recruiting Class

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. -- Scott Marksberry, who assumed the helm of the John Brown men's soccer program only a few months ago, announced today the signing of six incoming student-athletes that round out his 2013 recruiting class.

"I am looking forward to getting this class of guys integrated with our returning team," said Marksberry. "We only graduated two regular starters from last year, but have a lot of guys from the new class who could compete for time right away.

"As always, we have made a significant effort to recruit players who are not only able to compete for us on the field, but who will also be influential on campus. I think we did a really nice job of bringing in a class of guys who will graduate from JBU."

The six newcomers include Jordan Story, Adam Holt, Marco Cardona, Daniel Marulanda, Will Easley and Jonathan Shin.

Signing on to play for John Brown on the same day at the same table are classmates Daniel Marulanda and Marco Cardona. Both graduated from Mount Airy Christian Academy in Maryland under the tutelage of head coach Matthew Reisberg. Marulanda, standing at 5-foot-4, patrolled the back line while Cardona, a 6-foot-3 striker, led the Lions in scoring in 2012.

"Marco is a big, physical attacking player who gives us more flexibility with our attacking personnel," added Marksberry. "We expect him to be a significant part of our attack from the day he arrives and to contribute to the Christ-centered culture of our team.

"Daniel will compete for the spot that Chris Soenksen left with his graduation. We saw some great elements to his game in the back line, and we also feel that Daniel will become a culture leader for us."

A native of Mount Airy, Marulanda is the son of Jorge Marulanda and Claudio Londoo and will look to major in International Business. Cardona, a native of Medellin, Columbia, will also major in International Business and is the son of Marco Cardona Ruiz and Angelica Arcn.

Joining the goalkeeping tandem of Pablo Garcia and Matthew Henry is keeper Adam Holt. Holt, a native of Tulsa, Okla., who will look to push the play of starter Garcia and backup Henry immediately. A graduate of Union High School under head coach Cory Butler, Holt's most outstanding year as a Redskin came in 2011 during his junior campaign as the 6-foot-2 netminder earned All-Conference, All-District and second team All-Metro accolades. In 2012, the senior captured a first-team All-State nod from the OSSAA.

"Adam is a big goalkeeper who will definitely push JP and Matt right away. He adds to an already solid group of goalkeepers on our roster, and his work rate will fit well with our team culture," commented Marksberry.

Holt, the son of John and Nan, will major in Sports Medicine while wearing the Blue and Gold.

Also joining the Golden Eagle defense corps is Rockwall, Texas native Jordan Story and Siloam Springs' own, Will Easley.

Story, a 6-foot-0 center back, comes to JBU by way of Rockwall High School after playing under Yellowjacket head coach Troy Williams. Story, the son of Frank and Wendy, looks to major in International Business.

Story is partially a product of the USSF Development Academy program, which is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an everyday environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players.

"Jordan has a wealth of experience from his time in the Development Academy System," added Marksberry. "He also anchored a very solid team at Rockwall High School this spring. His size, athleticism, and vocal leadership on the field will fit well with our style of play."

Will Easley originates from John Brown's own backyard, as the 5-foot-6 defender played his high school soccer at Siloam Springs High School. Under Jason Bowen, head coach of the Panthers, Easley accumulated numerous accolades. He was named All-conference during his junior campaign while earning All-State, All-Tournament and NWA All-Big Six awards his senior season.

"Will brings a little local flair to our team. We originally saw him as a midfielder, but he has moved into the back line recently and could look to make that move more permanent. He brings good pace, toughness and leadership to the squad," said Marksberry.

Easley, the son of John and Heather, will major in Management during his time at JBU.

The only student-athlete that played and studied at an international school, Jonathan Shin, will make his way to Northwest Arkansas after playing his high school soccer at Grace International School in Chaing Mei, Thailand. While at the school predominantly established to education the children of missionaries in the largest city in northern Thailand, Shin was named on two occasions to the All-Star team of the Five Nations Cup, a tournament that pits similar schools from southeast Asia against one another. Countries that were featured included Malaysia, Hong Kong, The Philippines and Taiwan.

"Jonathan is the next in a line of JBU players from Grace International School in Thailand," Marksberry added. "He is a solid, technical winger who should compete for minutes right away. We expect him to be a great JBU fit."

Shin, the son of David Shin and Jinny Jung, will look to major in Social Studies while at John Brown.

Lastly, as a late addition, transfer midfielder Guilherme Barbosa will finish his collegiate career at JBU after playing a single season in 2011 at Mountain View College (Texas) prior to redshirting his second season. Barbosa netted seven goals and three assists (17 points) in his freshman campaign and will be available for three seasons as a Golden Eagle.

"Guilherme adds a some experience to this class," noted Marksberry. "As the lone transfer, Guilherme has demonstrated a lot of maturity in his move to JBU. He grew up in a strong youth academy system in Brazil, so he is very technical, but his defensive ability and work rate caught our attention right away. The Christ-centered community was a big reason he chose JBU, so we expect him to become a leader in our culture during his time here, beyond the skills he brings to the pitch."

Barbosa, the son of Osvaldo Barbosa Filho and Carmen Serrano Barbosa, played his youth days for the Sao Paulo Football Club in his native Brazil before graduating from Colegio T. Partenon. He will pursue a major in International Business.

The men's soccer program finished the 2012 season with an impressive 11-5-2 mark while grabbing a 4-3-1 record in Sooner Athletic Conference play. Despite its finish in the regular season, the Golden Eagles made a heroic run for the SAC tournament championship, dispatching of Mid-America Christian (Okla.) and Oklahoma City before falling in front of a standing room-only crowd at Alumni Field to Oklahoma Baptist in the championship match, falling one game short of an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships.

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