Seven High School Seniors Commit to Matador Men's Soccer Program

April 28, 2010

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge men's soccer program has announced the inaugural members of their incoming recruiting class of 2010. Sam Ball, Carlos Benavides, Shawin Berenji, Thomas Ramos, Edwin Rivas, Alberto Rosas and Tanner Snediger have all signed National Letters of Intent, and will compete for the Matadors this fall.

"These new recruits have the ability to compete at the Division-I level, and will compete for a spot in our starting lineup this summer," stated Davila, the 2009 Big West Conference Men's Soccer Coach of the Year. "These are talented individuals, and we will do everything possible to help them with their transition from high school to Northridge both on and off the pitch."

Known and respected by his peers for unearthing and developing local talent, the seven newest members of the program are ready to put in the time, effort, and sacrifices needed to become the next Sean Franklin, Chad Borak, Kevin Guppy, or Sunghyun Kim.

After a decorated high school career as a forward for the boy's soccer team at Westlake High School, opponents will be forced to respect the goal scoring threat that Sam Ball presents or suffer the consequences.

Named Most Valuable Player in the Marmonte League during the 2008-09 season Ball set a new League record with his 22 goals scored that same season. A member of the 2009 Boys All-CIF Second Team during his junior season, Ball has been developing his skills even further as a member of the Real So Cal Academy.

"Sam is an explosive athlete that wants to help our program not only become more successful overall, but become an even more dangerous team within the Big West," states Davila.

Also hailing from the Real So Cal Academy, making his collegiate debut this fall at Northridge will be Carlos Benavides. A Region IV member, Benavides possesses the athleticism and versatility a midfielder needs to become a two-way threat in one of the deepest conferences in the nation.

In his most recent season with the Conquistadors, Benavides finished with five points on two goals and one assist.

"He makes plays, pure and simple," exclaimed Davila. "Not only is he a tremendous team player, but he has a knack for making the right decision at the right time. You will be amazed as the passing skills that he possesses."

Known for possessing one of the stingiest back-lines in the Big West, defender Shawhin Berenji will only further add to the frustrations felt by opposing coaches whenever he is on the field for CSUN.

The 2010 Delphic League Most Valuable Player finished his senior season at Village Christian High School scoring 13 goals and 14 assists as a midfielder for coach Bill Schnobrich.

"This is a player who possesses an incredible amount of charisma and energy. He has worked hard to prepare himself for the rigors of D-I soccer and is doing everything he can to contribute immediately," said Davila.

Prior to his senior season with the Crusaders, Berenji helped lead his club team, CZ Elite, to the 2009 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship.

Unlike the rest of his classmates who reside locally, midfielder/forward Thomas Ramos will make the trip from Phoenix, Arizona to compete for the Matadors in 2010.

"He is an explosive athlete who loves to score goals and get around the box. He is a winner, and we are thrilled to have him in our program,"

Having competed for the Sereno Soccer Club, one of the oldest and most successful soccer clubs in Arizona, Ramos is one of 27 club members who signed their names to letters to commit and compete for a four-year institution.

A member of the boy's state soccer team since 2004, Ramos earned Arizona State Player of the Year and Co-Most Valuable Player of the Year honors while at Pinnacle High School, leading the Pioneers to a 2010 Class 5A Division II State Championship in his senior season.

A four-sport letterwinner in soccer, basketball, football, and track and field for the league-championship winning program at the Santee Athletic Complex, forward/midfielder Edwin Rivas will continue to compete on the pitch alongside some familiar faces.

"Edwin is a striker who can put a lot of points on the board and quickly frustrate other teams. He is powerful player who is great in the air, and we are honored to have him in our program," added Davila.

Like newly minted Matador teammates Ball, Benavides, and Tanner Snediger, Rivas also decided to further hone his skill set as a member of the Real So Cal Academy in conjunction with his participation on a number of athletic teams at Santee.

A 2008 First Team All-City recipient during his time at Birmingham High School, midfielder Alberto Rosas was also a U.S. National Team member from 2005-09, and member of the U.S. National Residency Program in 2007 and 2009.

Possessing an incredible level of athleticism, speed, and versatility that gives the LAFC Chelsea Futbol Club member the ability to add his name to a long list of distinguished midfielders who have previously competed under Davila's tutelage.

"Alberto possesses a level of maturity and poise developed from his sizable amount of experience competing at the higher level. He is a great leader, passes with pin-point accuracy, and makes his teammates around him better," explained Davila.

Rounding out the incoming class of 2010 Quartz Hill High School alum Snedigar. In his last season at Quartz Hill, the defender/midfielder scored one goal and earned two assists for the Rebels.

"Tanner has what it takes to compete right away," declared Davila. "He is a hard-working player who is outstanding on both sides of the ball. As I coach I need student-athletes who are team players, willing to do whatever it takes for collective group to succeed as a whole; Tanner is a mature individual who possesses these intangibles."

Before deciding to further develop his skill set and maximize his base of experiences with the staff of the Real So Cal Academy. Snedigar helped lead his high school team to an undefeated record in Golden League play, making it all the way to the CIF Division-I quarterfinals before being defeated by the eventual champions.

With a talented incoming class of high school recruits, and sweeping changes to Matador Field taking place during the summer months, fans of the Matador men's soccer program have good reason to be excited about the upcoming season.

"There are potential starters in this group here. It is up to them depending on how hard they work over the summer. All of them have talent to play right away in the Big West," said Davila.

2010 Matador Men's Soccer Recruiting Class

Sam Ball, F - Westlake HS

Carlos Benavides, MF - El Camino Real HS

Shawn Berenji, D - Village Christian HS

Thomas Ramos, MF/F - Pinnacle HS

Edwin Rivas, F/MF - Santee Education Complex

Alberto Rosas, MF - Birmingham HS

Tanner Snedigar, D/MF - Quartz Hill HS