After a 2018 campaign that saw the Northwest College men’s soccer team advance to the semifinals of the Region IX tournament, one of the Trappers’ key players is moving on to the next level.
NWC sophomore forward Jarrett Shrum has signed to play next season for Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. The All-Region IX North selection will reunite with former NWC coach Stan Rodrigues, now entering his second season as the Grizzlies’ head coach.
“Moving on to the next level and playing for coach Rodrigues means a lot to me,” Shrum said. “It validates all of the hard work that I have put in, and makes me feel like everything I have done has been worth it.”
Shrum’s top-end speed and ability to create scoring opportunities made him a valuable commodity to four-year schools looking for a dynamic playmaker. Rodrigues first recognized Shrum’s potential when he recruited him to NWC out of high school. The coach is looking forward to working with the Gillette native again — this time on a larger stage.
“I’m really excited to have Jarrett [Shrum] come to ASU. He really fits the bill in a lot of ways,” Rodrigues said. “Not only is he a strong academic student, he’s got an amazing amount of ability. He’s got the ability that I always knew he had, and after he left to go play in Washington and Oregon over the summer, I was very impressed with his maturity and his game. He’s really grown as a player.”
Shrum entertained several offers from other four-year schools before deciding on ASU, a DII school. After factoring in not only his familiarity with the coaching staff but what the school had to offer academically, he decided becoming a Grizzly made sense.
“I am looking forward to improving as a player, meeting new people, growing as a person and continuing my education at Adams State,” he said. “I feel like this school is a good fit for me and I hope that I have success there.”
Rodrigues said Shrum has a very clear picture of what he wants to accomplish on and off the pitch, and believes the young forward will be able to attain all his goals at ASU.
“He [Shrum] wants to test himself at the highest levels available to him,” Rodrigues said. “In my opinion, even though there were some really good NAIA schools that were definitely on his radar, he’ll find what he’s looking for here. I think he’s going to get that opportunity, and now that he’s had two years of college play under his belt, he’ll come in ready to face the RMAC [Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference]. This conference is a doozy. Man, it’s definitely no walk in the park.”
Athletically, Rodrigues said Shrum will make an immediate impact on a team that went through a rebuilding process last season. The Grizzlies finished 1-11-2 in Rodrigues’ first year at the helm, but now with a full year to recruit, and a talented group of returners, he expects the team to be competitive in 2019.
“We can only improve, I believe, next year,” Rodrigues said of his team. “Jarrett [Shrum], in my mind, is one of those top-tier kids that can come in and make an impact quickly.”
Several players Rodrigues coached during his season at NWC, most notably defender Ryan Tyrer, keeper Luke Holt and midfielder Robert George, have found success at four-year colleges, making Shrum’s decision to join his former coach that much more special.
“It just gives me such joy when you see these kids flourish at the next level,” Rodrigues said. “With Jarrett [Shrum], to be able to have a kid for one year, let him go, then all of a sudden be able to bring him into the next level, I’m really proud of that. And also, I know what kind of kid I’m getting. There’s no surprises. That’s why I wish I could have brought more [NWC players].”
For Shrum, his two seasons as a Trapper were memorable ones.
“I enjoyed meeting new people each season,” he said. “I will miss being around my NWC teammates once I am gone because I felt that we became so close to one another. I have friends from NWC that I hope to stay connected with for the rest of my life.”