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DECOU'S FIRST CLASS BRINGS "UNITY" TO TRINITY

Men's soccer coach Steve DeCou signed the first two players of his Trinity tenure when high school teammates Eric VandenBerg and Jamie Prins committed to play for Trinity.

VandenBerg, a center defender, and Prins, a goalkeeper, helped the Unity Christian Crusaders win their conference and district. DeCou foresees both of them fortifying the Trolls' defense.

"We have filled two pressing needs that have arisen because we're losing players to graduation," DeCou said. "Eric will bring a tenacious, blue-collar mentality, great athleticism, and a tireless work ethic. Jamie will compete for our net-minding responsibilities. He has great size for a goalie and is a good shot-stopper."

VandenBerg, also a starter on Unity's basketball and baseball teams, was named to Michigan's all-state team. Prins plays on his school's tennis team and limited opponents to less than one goal per game while registering 10 shutouts in 2004. Both have grade-point averages above 3.5.

The Trolls look to upgrade last season's 6-10-2 record. DeCou hopes VandenBerg's and Prins' signings will signal the beginning of an improved trend in his team's success.

"I am very excited about these two commitments," he said. "We're getting two quality soccer players, but more importantly, we're getting two quality students who will excel in the classroom. Our goal is to win championships, and adding these young men will help us achieve that goal."

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