Spirit gets 'guys we wanted' in six-selection college draft Hopkins midfielder West taken as territorial pick


December 18, 1997|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

The Spirit's brain trust, Drew Forrester and Mike Stankovic, looked at the names of the team's six selections in the NPSL college draft yesterday and issued job-well-done nods.

"This is the first time we've gotten the guys we wanted in the order we wanted them," general manager Forrester said.

"There's a lot of good kids coming out of the colleges these days," said coach Stankovic, more than hinting that he couldn't wait to get to work tutoring them.

Eric West, the all-time top scorer at John Hopkins and striker of six game-winning goals as the Jays were going 15-2-1 this season, was taken as the territorial pick.

With its two picks in the first round and its final pick in the fourth round, the Spirit went for Rowan (N.J.) University teammates David Hesch (midfielder), Kevin Ridpath (goalkeeper) and Justin Abbey (midfielder).

The Spirit grabbed the No. 1 spot in the regular draft -- which it used to select Hesch -- yesterday morning from Cleveland, sending the Crunch cash and future considerations.

Ian Wildey, a defender from Towson University, became the 29th pick overall in the second round, then the team went back to offense by taking midfielder Richie Eger of Kean (N.J.) University.

"We got in touch with everyone we drafted and got assurances that indoor soccer was the way they wanted to go," Forrester said. "As a matter of fact, a couple of the players said they'd like to come in right now and try out.

"That's what Shane Dougherty did after the draft last year, forgoing his last semester, and he made the team. He's gone back to school and he's combining careers right now."

West, from Mechanicsburg, Pa., is scheduled to graduate from Hopkins next spring with a double major in economics and environmental studies.

"And after that," Forrester said, "you'll major in goal-scoring for us."

Pub Date: 12/18/97

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