The University of Arkansas Rich Mountain signed four new soccer player players on Friday, March 15, at the Union Bank Center on campus of Mena High School. The Bucks signed four Mena athletes; Cristian Lua and Camden Brodersen for the men's program, and Haley Castillo and Aliyah Ayres for the women's program.
Greg Tibbitt, Coach of Mena Soccer, commented on his players signing saying, "Cristian and Camden have been a staple for our soccer program." Tibbitt added, "They are three-year captains, they have been All-State, and have been All-Conference for three years. Christian is leading the state is scoring right now, so Rich Mountain is getting some good soccer players, and I am just proud of them and where they are right now."
Bucks Soccer Coach, Brian Byrd, made his excitement known stating, "I'm very excited to have these four signing with us. We hope that they are a foundation to a great relationship with Mena High School moving forward, and I also hope that they are a foundation to great success within our soccer program."
Byrd added, "We are excited to have all four of them."
Bearcat senior, Cristian Lua, noted about the opportunity to play at UARM saying, "It's honestly a great honor to be able to play for the first team ever at Rich Mountain."
Lua mentioned, "I am super thankful to get to play something I love at the next level."
Camden Brodersen, another Mena senior, commented in his signing, "It means a lot for one thing because I have seen this college grow for a long while. Seeing it start up a sport that I love and to have me be on the team is really crazy, but awesome."
Brodersen added, "I am most excited to see how it progresses even further as I am apart of UARM."
Haley Castillo, a graduate of Mena, stated about her opportunity to sign with UARM saying, "I am so blessed to be apart of the first UARM soccer team. Playing at the next level is something that seemed so out of reach for me, as I haven't been playing soccer all of my life like most other players. So, getting this opportunity is such a blessing."
Castillo noted, "I can't wait to represent my college and make history."