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Countryside soccer trio make college picks

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Wed. January 19, 2011 | Chris Girandola

Countryside senior soccer players Jagger Martinez, Nikolai Hammer and Hunter Maricle have orally committed to play at Division I-A colleges next fall and will sign with their respective schools in February, according to Countryside coach David Sica. Martinez will attend Northwestern, Hammer has selected Furman and Maricle will go to Virginia Tech.

"The three of them have made such a huge impact on our team and each one of them has had a significant influence on the rest of the players, including each other," Sica said.  "Their success has been just as much about them pushing each other to greater heights as anything else and each one would tell you that their success would not have been as great without the other one having been there this whole time."

Martinez, who was a Times' first-team all-county selection last year, has 11 goals and nine assists in 19 starts in helping the Cougars compile an 18-1-1 record.  Both he and Hammer are listed in the ESPN RISE magazine as two of the top players in Florida.

Hammer and Maricle, who were honorable mention picks for the Times' all-county team last season, have been equally impressive in helping guide Countryside to a No. 33 ranking in the most recent ESPN RISE Fab 50 national poll.  Hammer is the leading goal scorer for the Cougars with 18 goals, and Maricle has six shutouts and 39 saves over nine starts in compiling an 8-0-1 record.

"They all have a chance to compete for starting spots when they arrive to play," Sica said.

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