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Two booters sign with Warriors

Kelsey Littmann is ready to play for Rochester College. (click for larger version)
July 14, 2010 - Two former varsity girl soccer players will be transforming themselves from Wildcats into Warriors when they play soccer next season.

It was announced on Saturday, July 3 that recent Oxford High School graduates Kelsey Littmann and Sarah Ricketts signed letters of intent to play soccer for the Rochester College Warriors next fall.

"I think that they are both solid players that will certainly help our program this year and they both will be able to contribute in their first year, which is nice for them and is nice for us," said Rochester Head Coach Todd Stank.

The Warriors will be getting two quality players in Littmann and Ricketts as they were both captains of this year's Wildcat squad.

One thing that both Stank and Wildcat Head Coach Larry Ferris commented on about both players was their leadership abilities.

"Both girls are very confident on the ball, confident in their decision making and confident leaders within their team," Stank said.

"They were very good examples of what captains are all about...they will bring a spirit of heart to that team," Ferris said.

Stank was introduced to both Ricketts and Littmann through Oxford's junior varsity coach Bernard Kanjoma, who plays soccer at Rochester. Stank said that he went out to see Ricketts, even though she was injured, because Kanjoma spoke highly of her.

While he was there, he spotted Littmann and began talking with her.

Littmann stated the reason she signed with Rochester was because she liked the small campus and the fact that it wasn't too far from her home. "I also wanted to continue playing soccer after high school because I have an incredible passion for the sport," she said.

She turned down offers from Siena Heights University, Adrian College and St. Francis University to play at Rochester.

"I love the soccer team and coaches," Littmann added.

Stark said that the only positions on the field that he saw Littmann play were defensive positions,

Ferris indicated that he had to move Littmann to defense because of the amount of injuries his starting defensive players suffered.

However, Stark envisions Littmann being a holding midfielder or distributing midfielder.

"I would like to see her begin to move forward and we will find that out in August when we get to work with her," he added.

As for Ricketts, who was a four-year starter for the Wildcats, Stark sees her being more of an offensive midfielder.

Both times that Stark saw Ricketts play, he was impressed with the different positions that she could play. In the game that he saw against Lake Orion, Ricketts played outside midfielder and left defensive back, while in the district final she played four different positions in a span of 40 minutes.

Ricketts could not be reached for comment after repeated attempts to contact her.

"I think that they will both play in different positions than they are used to this year, but I have no doubt that with their talent level, they will be able to contribute this year to the college game," Stark said.

Stark is in his second year of coaching soccer at Rochester and he would like to see the growth of the soccer program come from schools within the area.

"We're looking to grow the program with the talent that we have locally, and Oxford is one of those places that we can draw from, Stark said.

He said that Ricketts and Littmann were proof of that local talent.

"We have two girls coming from the same high school graduating class coming to Rochester, so that is not only a tribute to the high school, but the local clubs as well," Stark added.

In addition to playing for the Wildcats, both Littmann and Ricketts played club level soccer. Ricketts played for Clarkston Select while Littmann played locally with LOBOS for a number of years.

Ferris said that Ricketts and Littmann can help pave the way for other talented girls on the team to get recognized by colleges.

"Rochester coaches will tell other coaches that we have a program that is developing girls out draws attention to say hey, lets take a look at these girls out here," Ferris said.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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