William Peace gaining a do-it-all Crusader

Jun. 04, 2014 @ 07:00 PM

Isaac Kruger has helped Grace Christian’s soccer program to one state championship, this past fall, and two state runner-up seasons. He’s also been a Crusader basketball, golf and baseball player.

If that schedule wasn’t enough, he’s an outstanding student along with being an active, generous volunteer around the community.

So it’s fitting that his new soccer coach, William Peace University head coach Zane Hill, mentions Kruger’s goal-scoring ability and what he’ll add to the university off the soccer pitch.

Kruger has accepted an academic scholarship to attend William Peace and he’ll continue his soccer career with the Pacers, who are entering their second season as a program this coming fall.

“He’s a young man who has a great track record as an athlete and a community member,” Hill said Wednesday at Grace Christian School. “He’s shown he’s about service to his school, a community and to a team with how he works on the field.”

Putting the ball in the net is something a coach loves, too. Kruger scored 27 goals and totaled 32 assists in his last three varsity years as a Crusader.

“He has an amazing drive to succeed and pushes himself to be better,” said Kruger’s now-former head coach Chris Pratt.

“He’s an all-around good player and an unbelievable young man with high character,” Pratt said.

Kruger picked up soccer as a sixth grader.

“The more I played, the game became more and more to me,” he said.

By his sophomore and junior years, he was aiming to keep playing at the college level.

“I like playing basketball and baseball, but I’ve always loved soccer. I love working at it and I’m just passionate about it,” Kruger said.

Success with Grace Christian and with club team SASL (Sanford Area Soccer League) Lightning and head coach Chris Palme, helped Kruger toward his goal. Success in the classroom is important, too.

Kruger, a 14-year student at Grace Christian, will finish his senior year with a 3.9 or 4.0 GPA. He thinks he’ll be majoring in biology.

In addition to a multi-sport athlete, Kruger is a National Honor Society member, on the Student Government Association and attended leadership camps thanks to nominations from the school’s headmaster.

Hill said there will be a tough learning curve from high school soccer to collegiate competition. His practices require attention to detail and catching on quickly. Playing opponents with more 21- or 22-year-olds than 18-year-olds, especially as the Pacers head into their first season in NCAA Div. III and the USA South Conference, is a challenge. The Pacers went 0-9-1 in their first season.

“We are definitely building a program from the ground up,” Hill said. “So finding quality players it very important. Isaac’s a very dynamic young man and he’s a leader.”