Mount Hebron's Pat Halter and Wilde Lake's David Briefel, both first-team All-Metro soccer players, have signed letters of intent.
Halter received a half athletic scholarship to attend Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va.. Briefel will attend Cornell, an Ivy League school in Ithaca, N.Y. that does not award athletic scholarships.
"I wanted to attend a school where soccer is the main fall sport and to play in a top-notch conference," Halter said. "I wanted to go out of Maryland but not too far away. Old Dominion also has one of the best soccer facilities and it's near the beach."
Old Dominion, which does not have a football program, plays in the Colonial Athletic Association with schools such as James Madison, George Washington and William and Mary. The team suffered its first losing season in seven years last fall and will have a new coach, Alan Dawson.
"He was an assistant coach at North Carolina-Chapel Hill and had been recruiting me to go there before he got this job at Old Dominion," Halter said. "I'm excited to be going there, and am looking forward to working with him."
Halter expects to play outside midfield, where he has played in club ball. He played center midfield for Mount Hebron, and the 6-0, 165-pounder scored nine goals and had nine assists last season. Halter, a four-year varsity player, was All-County three times, All-Metro and Maryland Association of Coaches of Soccer All-State twice and MACS All-South once. He is undecided about a major, but carries a 3.0 grade-point average and scored 1,060 on the Scholastic Assessment Test.
"I took visits to Richmond, Rutgers, North Carolina and UNC-Charlotte," Halter said. "But it came down to either James Madison or Old Dominion."
Old Dominion plays a tough schedule that includes the University of Virginia next season.
Briefel, a 5-11, 155-pound midfielder, led Wilde Lake to the state finals the past two seasons and three times in his four-year career.
Cornell has made the NCAA tournament the past two seasons and was ranked among the top 25 last season.
"They are losing two midfielders and they play smart soccer so I like their style of play," Briefel said. "I also liked the coach, David Sarachan, and felt comfortable with the players."
He said he had met the coach during regional Olympic Development Player tournaments.
Briefel scored a career-high 16 goals and had seven assists for Wilde Lake last season. He was first team All-County, All-Metro and MACS All-State.
He carries a 3.63 GPA and scored 1,200 on the SAT. "Soccer definitely helped me get accepted," Briefel said.
Briefel wants to study hotel administration, and said Cornell has the No. 1 program in the country.
Two $2,000 scholarships are available to the top male and female scholar athletes in Howard County.
The 12th annual Robert Davidson Scholar Athlete Program for Howard County public high school-graduating seniors will make the awards to applicants judged the best based on academic and athletic achievement.
There are also two runner-up scholarships of $500. Requirements and applications can be obtained through high school guidance offices. Applications must be received by noon on April 19.