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For the first time in 89 years, a high school athlete has committed to play a sport at Columbia International University. Soccer stand out Daniel Mallard of Greensboro, N.C. becomes the first intercollegiate athlete to commit to the CIU Rams, as the school fields its first teams in intercollegiate athletics this fall.
Mallard is the team captain for the Wesleyan Christian Academy Trojans in High Point, N.C., one of the top private school soccer programs in North Carolina. The Trojans won the NCISAA 3A State Championship this year. Mallard, a starting forward who led the team in scoring his sophomore and junior seasons, is also the team chaplain.
Off the field, Mallard is active in sports ministry in North Carolina and on mission trips. He also serves as senior class chaplain at Wesleyan and has been active in working with youth through his church and in the community.
CIU Soccer Coach James Whitaker says Mallard is the type of athlete CIU is looking for as the Christian school enters intercollegiate athletics.
“Daniel is an outstanding soccer player and team leader and has played at a very high level for his high school and club teams,” Whitaker said. “What excites me even more is to see Daniel’s heart for ministry and his great desire to use soccer to make an impact for Christ.”
In addition to men’s soccer, CIU will field teams in men’s and women’s cross country and women’s volleyball this fall, as the school competes in Division 1 of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Other schools within the division include Cedarville University, North Greenville University, Palm Beach Atlantic University and Taylor University.
For more on CIU athletics visit www.ciu.edu/athletics.