Bowen signs to play soccer at Montreat

Published 5:39 pm Tuesday, April 4, 2017

CHOCOWINITY — It’s not easy for a Beaufort County athlete to garner the attention to play after high school.

Avery Bowen’s 43-goal season for Unity Christian Academy spoke volumes, though, and the Warrior standout earned an offer from Montreat College. He signed his letter of intent Tuesday afternoon and will continue his soccer career.

“It’s a very cool campus in the mountains. I like that a lot,” he said. “They have a brand-new turf field, which is cool. The facilities are nice. I’m really excited. All the players will really nice. They all came over and introduced themselves to me personally. The coach was really personable.”

This opportunity required plenty of effort on Bowen’s part. He’s been building his recruiting profile and sending out information for the better part of three years.

“Basketball and soccer, I’ve just been filling out a bunch of forms and playing travel ball for basketball,” he said.

On the field, Bowen has been playing at the varsity level for six years. He’s spent plenty of time sharpening his game outside of his work with Unity. He’s been working with Terra Ceia coach and individual trainer Nate Burns since he was in 8th grade.

“He was always a smart player, but he didn’t have all the technical skills that it takes to play at the next level,” Burns said. “He worked really hard in the offseason on those things.”

Bowen had the intelligence and the athleticism. He just had to put it all together. He and Burns spent time developing his shot technique and scoring positioning, which helped turn him into a 40-plus-goal scorer.

Bowen also developed his vision and passing. For someone that found the twine as often as he did this past season, Bowen was an unselfish teammate.

“We worked on making your teammates better by being a good passer, and an accurate passer,” Burns said. “Getting the ball there when it needs to be there.”

Burns called Bowen a “diamond in the rough.” The jump from high school to college soccer will likely take some adjusting to, but Burns believes Bowen has the tools for success.

“He’s humble and he’ll work hard,” Burns said. “I know he’ll be successful.”

Bowen added, “Hopefully I can get a decent amount of playing time and help the guys around me become better players.”

Bowen is of a rare breed of Unity athletes to get a chance to play in college. He’s set the bar high for the young school and its soccer program.

“I don’t know if someone will break (43 goals),” Bowen laughed.

In the classroom, Bowen wants to study to get into the music business.