West Jessamine soccer coach Brock Sutherland choked back tears at the college signing of Colt seniors Joshua Owens and Austin Martin on March 19. It was an emotional day for Sutherland as not only did he get the opportunity to coach the pair during their senior years; he has worked with them since they 10 years old, and next fall they will attend his alma mater, Alderson-Broaddus College.
“To see them sign to go play soccer at Alderson-Broaddus for four years is a real honor for me,” Sutherland said. “These boys love soccer ... they’ve played since before they were 10 years old.”
Sutherland said he was lucky to get to coach them this season.
“I’ve done this before, signed three or four kids to college, but never done boys that I’ve been coaching since they were 10,” Sutherland said. “It’s a real honor to mentor them and coach them and see them turn into good young men and great soccer players.”
One of the first times Owens and Sutherland met, Sutherland told him that he would play college soccer one day.
“I told him, ‘If you listen to me, and you obey me, it’s going to be the best time of your life,’” Sutherland said.
Owens acknowledged how hard it is to get a soccer scholarship but Alderson-Broaddus made the right kind of offer that he couldn’t pass up.
“It’s going to help (to go to college with Martin). We’ll have a lot of chemistry,” Owens said.
He said he’s looking forward to some of the freedom that college will provide and helping himself to a better future.
He is considering the medical field as his area of study.
Sutherland was doing individual training with Martin and told him, “just keeping working harder, put your whole life into it, and one day you’ll get to play college soccer.”
Martin goes to Alderson-Broaddus in the footsteps of a number of coaches he’s had, which was a big selling point on his college choice.
“It’s one of those things that makes you feel like it’s a real honor to go where the coaches who coached you went,” Martin said.
Going with Owens is big deal for Martin. They’ve been best friends for a long time, and he can’t wait to play with his longtime teammate at the college level.
“It’s always been a dream of mine since I was little to play at the college level, but I think it came into a reality this year,” Martin said. He said Sutherland taking over the program, the quality of his teammates and everything falling into place helped him get to the next level.
“West Jessamine is probably the best place to learn to play at the next level because you have highly competitive players,” Martin said.
Martin plans on majoring in business.
Alderson-Broaddus is a Division II school located in Philippi, W.Va.