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Stephenson signs with Rio Grande

Jun. 26, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Jaz Stephenson's familiarity with the University of Rio Grande men's soccer program led to his signing with the RedStorm.

Stephenson, a goalkeeper from Boyd County High School, also had recruiting interest from Kentucky Christian University.

"I've been coming to camp here (Rio Grande) for a while and I know how good the program is," he said. "I'm just happy to be a part of it."

Rio Grande is a Gallia County, Ohio, school that plays NAIA soccer. The RedStorm had a 16-3-1 record last season, lost in the Mid-South Conference tournament finals and advanced to the national tournament second round.

RedStorm coach Scott Morrissey said it's always nice to add area players who have some skill and ability.

Stephenson will begin his college career as a junior varsity goalkeeper.

"I feel like I can come in and compete at a higher level and help Rio continue to excel," he said. "I'm willing to do whatever I need to do to help the program win a national championship."

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Stephenson posted a 1.7 goals-against average per game as a Boyd County senior when the Lions went 12-8-1 and lost to Greenup County in the 16th Region championship game. He had an 0.9 average as a junior when the Lions were 12-5-1.

"I'm very excited," Stephenson said. "I've worked hard to get here. It's a dream come true, something I've been thinking about since I was eight years old."

The son of Adam and Karri Stephenson of Ashland will major in computer networking.