Jon Paul Smith has signed to play soccer at Florida College. Smith served as the team captain at Foundation Christian Academy in Valrico, Florida and was named Most Valuable Player after scoring 40 goals during the 2014-15 season under the direction of Coach Brett Mitchell. Smith is the fourth student from Foundation Christian Academy's class of 2015 to sign to play college soccer.
Jon Paul also played with Bay Area Youth Soccer League for ten years. Smith predominately played striker and midfield. BAYSL's Coach Gary Rach sees Jon Paul as a solid player. "I could sell you to anybody," Coach Rach said to Jon Paul during a discussion about colligate soccer opportunities.
Smith has already begun his college training by running, maintaining a healthy diet, and sticking to a rigorous workout schedule. The son of Jonathan and Sherri Smith said he officially starts practice with the Florida College Falcons on August 8. "Then it's two weeks of soccer practice before classes begin."
While serving as an SGA officer and Beta Chi president at Foundation, JP was also a dual enrollment student at HCC. A National Honor Society student with a 5.6 grade point average, Smith says while at FC, he plans to major in health science in pursuit of becoming a dentist.
Smith's dad says, "Jon Paul has always had a passion for the sport and been a devoted player." Playing soccer with Coach Saif Alsafeer was a big part of his decision in choosing the Christian college located in Temple Terrace. According to Coach Alsafeer, JP is likely to play striker. Coach Alsafeer first met Smith in 2012 while watching him play in a high school game. JP left a lasting impression which led to Alsafeer's recruiting him to become a Falcon.
"I've always liked soccer. Maybe it's the pace and how competitive and physical it can be but I also like the mental aspect of the game," says 18 year old Smith. "I really appreciate my parents and all of my past coaches who have inspired me to become a better player and have led me to this point. I look forward to the challenge of playing collegiate soccer and being a Florida College Falcon."
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