BOONVILLE - Chandler Chappell, “one of the five best players” in Starmount’s rich soccer history, fulfilled his lifelong goal of playing at the next level Thursday.
Chappell signed his official letter of intent to play soccer at UNC Greensboro next fall in a ceremony Thursday with head coach Dale Draughn and parents, Mark and Tammy.
“I’m excited to play at the next level,” Chappell said. “I’ve always played soccer since I was young and have always enjoyed it. I’m ready to play for real now.”
The senior ranks near the top of every scoring category in Starmount’s record books, including first in career goals with 78 and career assists with 48. Draughn puts Chappell in the top five of the players he has coached in Boonville.
“Chandler is probably one of the five best players I have ever coached at Starmount, if not the best,” he explained. “We have some strong alumni in Mauricio Lopez, Justin Shores, Edgar Zamora, Juan Lopez and Nate Benfield, but I truly think that Chandler is the most well-rounded player I have coached.”
After narrowing down his college choices from Southern Conference rivals Appalachian State and Elon, Chappell decided on UNC Greensboro.
“I had a couple other colleges looking at me, but I went and visited there and really liked the campus,” he said. “I felt like it was the right choice.”
Chappell, a four-year starter for the Rams, will graduate from Starmount in December in order to enroll at Greensboro in time for the second semester and begin training with the Spartans.
During his senior year, Chappell guided the Rams to the 2A state playoffs with a 9-8-2 record and a 7-7 mark in the Mountain Valley Conference with a team-high 21 goals and 14 assists. The senior scored in every game but three this season, including a four-goal outburst against Thomasville.
In addition to Starmount, Chappell played with the Yadkin Stars, the Greensboro Fusion and Twin City Soccer in Winston-Salem.
Draughn said he expects to see Chappell on the field as a freshman next year for the Spartans.
“Chandler has a bright future at UNCG, and I expect to see him on the field during his freshmen year,” he explained. “Chandler has been a four-year varsity starter - not very many players can say that. Chandler is the type of player who can take over a game or he can be a role player. He is not interested in personal goals but team goals. He is very soft spoken but leads by example; and when he does speak, his teammates listen.
“It has been a pleasure and privilege to be able to coach and watch him grow into the player he has become over the last four years,” Draughn added.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.