March 3, 2012
Santa Clarita, Calif -- Friday afternoon proved to be a win for The Master’s College Athletics Department as local prepstar A.J. Rochow signed his letter of intent for the 2012 soccer season.
With family by his side, the Canyon High School senior inked his commitment to what appears to be a bright future with the Mustangs.
Hailing from Canyon Country, California, the All-Foothill League forward boasts an impressive repertoire that rightfully has Mustang soccer excited for the coming years. The versatile forward offers an impressive high school career with over seventy goals, thirteen of which he claimed in his final campaign as a Cowboy. This talent caught the eye of the Mustangs’ head soccer coach Jim Rickard, causing him to be very optimistic for the future.
But Rochow’s skill set isn’t the only attribute that makes him a valuable addition.
“Teachable,” is how Rickard describes the young forward. “He’s athletic, possesses great ball-handling skills, and is teachable. In this level of competition, you’ve got to be teachable. He’s a great fit.”
Even before the squad takes the field in August, Rochow and Rickard are already on the same page.
“I’m thrilled,” Rochow states. “To be able to play at The Master’s College under Coach Rickard’s leadership is a blessing. Humbled and blessed are the only words I can use to describe it.” But soccer isn’t the only thing Rochow’s excited about. “I’m excited to get involved. I can’t wait to take part in [The Master’s College] atmosphere, community, and to meet new people. I’m ready.” Rochow says with a smile.
Rochow is no stranger to The Master’s College. “I‘ve attended soccer camps at TMC as a kid, and grew up around the college.” The familiarity of the campus, and close proximity to home is partially what drew Rochow to be a Mustang. While looking forward to receiving a Christ-centered education emphasizing on Business and Marketing, Rochow is excited for the opportunities to be by his family and to continue serving and worshipping at Grace Community Church, both of which have played a pivotal role in the life of the young soccer star.
Parents David and Kelly, themselves both alumni of TMC, couldn’t be more delighted with their son’s decision. “It boiled down to The Master’s and UC Irvine. We would support him no matter where he decided to go, but we’re proud and excited about his choice. We’re excited to watch him play", David Rochow happily stated while watching his son meet and converse with his new teammates. “TMC has played a big part of our family- it’s where we met!” David said smiling, looking at his wife Kelly. “We’re eager to see what the Lord will do in the life of our son.”
Rochow’s expertise is expected to add even more depth to an already-successful program. The 11-6-3 (3-4-2 in the Golden State Athletic Conference) Mustangs only graduated four seniors and are staring at a promising run to contend for a GSAC title and another appearance in the NAIA national tournament. With their past behind them and looking toward the future, Rickard, Rochow, and the rest of the Mustangs are well aware of the climb that lies in front of them and are fully ready for the challenge, and yet they know that the most important element is glorifying the Lord both on and off the field. “If you work hard, train, and have all the talent in the world, but lack Christ- then your talent is worthless,” says the new recruit. “I’m excited to learn and grow while at The Master’s College. I’m ready for the next step.” With their priorities in line, the Mustangs are already on the right track to a promising season.