By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
NEOSHO, Mo. —
Many players have used the expression that they grew up on a soccer field.
But when Neosho’s Dustin Hill says it, the phrase carries a little more weight.
“I started walking at my older brother’s game when I was like 2,” Hill said.
Hill certainly has come a long way since those first steps. With his parents, Dan and Traci Hill at his side, Dustin Hill signed his letter of intent Thursday at Neosho High School to continue his soccer career at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa.
He earned all-conference and all-district honors his junior and senior seasons at Neosho.
“His skill set will definitely carry him a long way at the next level,” Neosho coach Steve Schnackenberg said. “I think he will be able to step up to the speed of play that he will see. He was a great leader in high school, and I’m sure when he gets to college he will find a role like that.”
Hill displayed his versatility with the Wildcats.
“He was a goal scorer, and he also set people up,” Schnackenberg said. “He played on both sides of the ball. He’s a good defender. He played in the middle for us most of the time, yet when it was time to put a shot up he was the guy to do it. But he also could find the open guy. He saw the field real well.”
Hill joins a Graceland program that has had success in recent years. The Yellowjackets captured an NAIA national championship in 2006.
“I have been going to their camp in the summer time,” Hill said. “Their coach saw me there, and it’s really fun. It’s a great campus. I have already integrated myself into the soccer team. They’re a great team. I can’t wait to play with them.”