Feb. 1, 2006
WACO, Texas-Baylor soccer head coach George Van Linder announced the signing of nine student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. The class, made up entirely of high school athletes, includes two international players and four players from the state of Texas.
In addition, Van Linder announced scholarship agreements with Nichol Watson and Katie White, a pair of signees who have already enrolled at Baylor and will participate with the team once spring practice begins.
"On paper this has to be one of the best signing classes in school history because we have been able to address quality with quantity. This is a very strong class from a defensive standpoint and will compliment the attacking players we have signed as well," head coach George Van Linder said. "To have a class that includes a high school All-America, two Olympic Development Program (ODP) regional players and two of Canada's finest players shows the future of the Baylor soccer program is bright. We are extremely excited about the class because we know almost any school in the country would want a signing class as talented as this one."
The signing class includes the following players: Kaitlyn Amos (5-5, MF, Midway High School, Waco, Texas); Beckah Brady (5-8, MF/F, Jenks High School, Tulsa, Okla.); Gianna Casarez-Quintana (5-8, GK, St. Pius X High School, Albuquerque, N. Mex.); Lara Doherty (5-7, MF, Bishop Grandin High School, Calgary, Alberta, Canada); Megan Humke (5-5, Def, The Woodlands High School, The Woodlands, Texas); Betsy Kyle (5-6, MF, Saugus High School, Saugus, Calif.); Tara Lomas (5-7, MF/F, Terry Fox Senior Secondary School, Pitt Meadows, BC, Canada); Nicky Smith (5'8, MF, Cedar Park High School, Cedar Park, Texas); Nichol Watson (5-5, Flower Mound High School, Flower Mound, Texas); Lauren Ann Weathers (5-10, Def, Cypress Creek High School, Houston, Texas) and Katie White (5-6, A&M Consolidated High School, College Station, Texas)
Kaitlyn Amos (5-5, MF, Midway High School, Waco, Texas)
Amos, a two-time first-team All-Super Centex selection out of Midway High School in Waco, Texas, signs with Baylor after helping lead Midway to the regional quarterfinals as a junior. The senior co-captain was named district newcomer of the year as a freshman and was named team midfielder most valuable player as a sophomore as she helped lead Midway to the state finals. Amos plays club soccer with the Lone Star Soccer Club '88 and helped lead the team to the quarterfinals of the regional.
"Waco Youth Soccer has done a tremendous job developing players," head coach George Van Linder said. "The program has allowed players like Kaitlyn (Amos) to evolve to the point where they can compete in the Big 12 Conference. We are excited to have her join our program as one of the first players to graduate from the program."
Beckah Brady (5-8, MF/F, Jenks High School, Tulsa, Okla.)
Brady, a three-year letter-winner at Jenks High School in Tulsa, Okla., helped lead her high school team to the Oklahoma Class 5A state championship as a freshman as Jenks captured runner-up finishes during her sophomore and junior seasons. While with her club team, Brady helped lead the team to four TSC State Championships.
"Beckah (Brady) comes from a strong club program in Tulsa," Van Linder said. "Her sister played at Oklahoma State so she has a good idea of what Big 12 soccer is all about. She is a hard working midfielder who should have a lot to contribute over her career."
Gianna Casarez-Quintana (5-8, GK, St. Pius X High School, Albuquerque, N. Mex.)
Casarez-Quintana, a goalkeeper who lettered for four seasons at St. Pius X Catholic High School, joins Baylor after earning New Mexico District 4A Player of the Year honors following her senior season. For her play her senior year, she earned all-district and all-metro honors while earning first-team all-state honors at goalkeeper. Casarez-Quintana, who played club soccer with RVFC '88 Showcase, helped lead her club team to the 2005 New Mexico State Championship.
"Gianna's (Quintana) will give us one of the top goalkeeping tandems in the conference," Van Linder said. "We expect her to push Ashley (Holder) the minute she steps on campus. She will continue the tradition at Baylor of strong play at goalkeeper."
Lara Doherty (5-7, MF, Bishop Grandin High School, Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
Doherty signs with Baylor after a stand-out career at Bishop Grandin High School in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. As a sophomore, Doherty was selected to be a part of the national player pool in Canada as she has spent the last three seasons at the Canadian National Training Center. Doherty, who also has lettered in volleyball and basketball, helped lead her team to a second-place finish at the 2004 Major League Provincial Championship and a third-place finish at the 2003 and 2004 National Select Provincial Championships.
"Lara (Doherty) is in the national pool in Canada and is an extremely talented player," Van Linder said. "When she came for her visit she had stitches over her eye from playing in a game. I think that is just an example of what a tough competitor she is."
Megan Humke (5-5, Def, The Woodlands High School, The Woodlands, Texas)
Humke, the younger sister of former Baylor soccer player Melissa Humke, signs with Baylor as a member of the ODP state and regional teams. Currently the captain of her club team, the Challenge '88, Humke earned all-district honors as a freshman and has attended numerous ODP regional camps.
"Megan (Humke) has been a member of the ODP regional team for a couple of years and is an extremely gifted player who is following in her sister's footsteps," Van Linder said. "We know she will fit in perfectly and will play an important role in the soccer program over the next few years."
Betsy Kyle (5-6, MF, Saugus High School, Saugus, Calif.)
Kyle, a four-year letter-winner at Saugas High School in Saugus, Calif., signs with Baylor after earning first-team all-Santa Clarita Valley and first-team all-Foothill League honors as a junior. During her junior season, Kyle helped lead Saugus to a second-place finish in the league after leading the team to a third-place finish as a sophomore. Kyle, who is the captain for her club team, So-Cal United SC, has participated in the ODP summer program since her freshman year in high school.
"Betsy (Kyle) has been a standout in the midfield on one of the strongest club teams in the United States," Van Linder said. "We really expect her to feel comfortable at this level of college soccer because she reads the game very well and always looks composed on the field."
Tara Lomas (5-7, MF/F, Terry Fox Senior Secondary School, Pitt Meadows, BC, Canada)
Lomas comes to Baylor after lettering for four seasons at Terry Fox Senior Secondary School. While at Terry Fox, Lomas was named most valuable player during her junior season and was named the school's most inspirational player as a sophomore. Lomas has played club soccer with the Poco FC Premier Women's Team as well as in the Vancouver Whitecaps U-17 Super Y League, where she was selected to the all-star team as a sophomore.
"Tara (Lomas) is a talented player who had the option of playing professional soccer in Canada straight out of school," Van Linder said. "She has great vision and can see the game extremely well and should have an immediate impact on the team once she arrives."
Nicky Smith (5'8, MF/Def, Cedar Park High School, Cedar Park, Texas)
Smith enters her senior season at Cedar Park High School as a returning high school All-America selection and is the team captain after being named first-team all-district following her junior season. Smith, who was named team defensive most valuable player as a junior, also earned first-team all-region and first-team all-Centex honors following her junior year. The midfielder was the leading scorer for the team as a freshman while earning second-team all-district honors.
"Nicky (Smith) is a player who makes a physical impact on the game as a defender," Van Linder said. "Fans and opponents will immediately notice the kind of impact she has on the game as we expect her to have a great career."
Nichol Watson (5-5, Flower Mound High School, Flower Mound, Texas)
Watson, an early graduate who is currently enrolled at Baylor, comes to the Bears soccer program as a member of the North Texas ODP team. The Baylor freshman has played club soccer for the Defeaters Soccer Club out of Dallas.
"Nichol (Watson) is an extremely versatile player," Van Linder said. "She is from a strong club tem in Dallas and the fact she graduated early and is already here working out with the team is a great benefit."
Lauren Ann Weathers (5-10, Def, Cypress Creek High School, Houston, Texas)
Weathers, a 2006 Houston Chronicle Pre-season Player to Watch, is a two-time first team all-district selection with Cypress Creek High School. A member of the all-region team, Weather plays club soccer with the Texas Premier Football Club and has been the team's leading scorer for three consecutive seasons.
"Lauren (Weathers) comes from a strong club team in Houston," Van Linder said. "She is a forward who always plays with a chip on her shoulder. She has good speed and is an extremely aggressive player who should do well in our system."
Katie White (5-6, A&M Consolidated High School, College Station, Texas)
White, who graduated early from A&M Consolidated High School and is currently enrolled at Baylor, comes to the Bears after a stand-out career with Challenge FC in Houston. The Baylor freshman, who only played club soccer at the high school level, is currently a member of one of four ODP regional teams in the country. White's step-father, Phil Bennett, is currently the head football coach at SMU.
Katie (White) is a member of the ODP regional team and we are excited about her arrival at Baylor," Van Linder said. "Even though she just enrolled at Baylor, it is obvious she is a fighter and has the type of attitude and approach we need."