HAYS, Kan. — All around him, people were talking about his work ethic and sound fundamentals — and even his academic success.
And Jordan Pfannenstiel just sat and listened, unfazed by all the accolades.
That’s Pfannenstiel’s style, and it’s worked quite well for him over the years.
That’s why neither he nor anyone who knows the Hays teenager were surprised when he was offered a scholarship to play soccer next year for Benedictine College, a highly successful NAIA program.
Pfannenstiel, a senior at Thomas More Prep-Marian, signed his letter of intent in the TMP cafeteria Wednesday afternoon, in front of friends, family, teammates and schoolmates.
“It was just a matter of which program he wanted to play for,” said Chris Jones, TMP’s head coach. “He has great technicality, good touch on the ball, and he reads the game very well.”
“One thing you can’t teach is speed,” Jones added, “and Jordan was one of my fastest players this year.”
True to form, Pfannenstiel thanked his parents and grandparents and coaches and teammates for all their support.
After helping the Monarchs to their best season in five years, he is looking forward to moving on to the next level.
One of the top scorers on the team, Pfannenstiel and the Monarchs posted a 9-8-1 mark, the first winning season in his high school career.
“I’m really proud for what my team did,” said Pfannenstiel, who added that “playing a lot of teams that are better than you, you really have to work hard and work with your team to win more games.”
As one of the team captains last fall, Pfannenstiel was a quiet leader, head coach Chris Jones said.
“He led by example, by his work ethic, his passion for the game,” Jones said.
A former college player and now an assistant coach for the Fort Hays State University women’s soccer team, Jones knows it takes a lot of aspects to succeed at the next level.
And one of those has nothing to do with soccer.
“That’s a big thing in college,” Jones said. “Can you help the team by being good in the classroom? Jordan is one who will do that.”
Pfannenstiel, who played mostly midfielder in high school, said he would play any position, “whatever the teams needs,” at Benedictine.
The Ravens’ success under 10th-year coach Rob Berringer impressed Pfannenstiel, who was considering several other NAIA and NCAA Division II programs.
Benedictine’s accomplishments under Berringer include a string of eight straight 10-win seasons, three NAIA national tournament appearances, numerous rankings in the NAIA top 25 and an overall winning percentage of .690 (115-46-20 record).
“I think it has the best was the best academic and athletic possibilities there, where other schools didn’t have as (good) of a combination,” said Pfannenstiel, who plans to major in finance.
“And,” he added, “you go to school for academics.”
Pfannenstiel attended a summer camp and a fall workout at Benedictine, and soon afterward Berringer offered him a scholarship.
Berringer was unable to make the trip to Hays Wednesday, but Benedictine assistants Jon Shaad and Terry Denker from Topeka, who coaches a club team for which Pfannenstiel plays, were present.
“We have gotten to know Jordan, and he has a lot of good qualities, both on and off the field,” Shaad said. “We know we’re getting a hard working young man who will help make us better.”
See the entire recruiting class on Victory Sports Network