Kenai Central senior Travis Verkuilen signs to play at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, while head coach Shane Lopez and assistant Scott Pitsch watch Monday, May 4, 2020, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo provided)

Kenai Central senior Travis Verkuilen signs to play at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, while head coach Shane Lopez and assistant Scott Pitsch watch Monday, May 4, 2020, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo provided)

Kenai Central’s Verkuilen to play soccer at Earlham College

Kenai Central senior Travis Verkuilen committed Monday to play soccer at Division III Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Verkuilen, son of Dan and Cherrie Verkuilen, did the signing on the soccer field at Kenai Central with social distancing protocols being observed.

In a statement sent to the Clarion, Verkuilen thanked coaches Shane Lopez and Scott Pitsch as well as the teammates, staff and administration at Kenai Central. Verkuilen plans to pursue a degree in sports management.

“I was drawn to the school by its environment on campus and the ‘family feel’ within the team and coaches,” Verkuilen said in the statement. “I feel that the similarities between Earlham and Kenai’s soccer programs will give me the best chance to develop and continue to grow as a player.”

Head coach Lopez said Verkuilen has seen varsity time for four years, including Division II state titles as a sophomore and junior. His senior season was canceled due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

“Anyone who has watched a Kenai soccer game over the past few years could see Travis’ skill and hard work on display,” Lopez said in a released statement. “But, few people get to see the work that Travis puts in behind the scenes, or the inspiration he gives his team.

“Travis is a true leader whose passion for the game is contagious and he has made Kenai a better program just by being a part of it. Travis is an amazing athlete to coach and an incredible person who I have had the privilege to get to know.”

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