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Shady's Shamblin signs to play soccer at Concord

Feb. 27—Jacob Shamblin had a busy fall sports season.

He wrapped up his high school soccer career as part of the most successful Shady Spring team in recent seasons. At the same time, he came basically out of nowhere to become one of the area's top kickers on the Tigers football team.

It made for a crammed three-plus months. And he would do it all again.

"It was a heavy load," Shamblin said. "I had to do a lot, but it was fun. I feel like I wouldn't regret doing it again if I had the choice to. Most definitely."

The football part is likely over, but Shamblin will continue to play soccer at the college level. He recently signed his letter of intent to stay close to home and play at Concord University.

Concord was the only school Shamblin considered for soccer. He was looking at Marshall and WVU Tech as possible landing spots on the academic side.

"More or less it felt like the more comfortable environment for me," said Shamblin, who plans to major in cybersecurity. "It felt more right than any of the places I had been to. The coaches, they're really nice. I felt like it was the best option for me."

Shamblin began playing soccer at the age of 2 and had one of the top seasons of his career last fall for the Tigers. Under second-year head coach Josiah Smith, Shady earned the top seed in the Class AA/A Region 3, Section 1 tournament and defeated PikeView 2-1 at H.B. Thomas Field for the championship.

It was Shady's first sectional championship since 2011.

The following week, the Tigers traveled to perennial power Charleston Catholic for the Region 3 championship and berth in the state tournament. The game went to a shootout tied 1-1, and the Tigers fell just short, 6-5.

Despite that, Shamblin is thankful for having been part of a pivotal time in the program.

"It's been really nice," the midfielder said. "We've been through a couple of coaches, but I think we've found the one with Josiah. He's really nice. He knows what he's talking about when he's talking about soccer. He led us to a winning season this year (15-5-1), so it was nice."

Shamblin ended up on the coaches all-region first team. He finished the year with four goals and nine assists.

Meanwhile, Shamblin was also impactful on Friday nights.

He played football as a freshman before deciding to focus on soccer his sophomore and junior years. At the urging of assistant football coach John Smith, he decided to rejoin the team as the kicker. He wound up successful on 26 of 35 extra points and had a 32-yard field goal on a rainy night against Summers County.

"I was in gym class and I was just kicking for fun," Shamblin said. "He saw me kicking and he was like, 'You've got to come play for the football team.' So I just went out and tried. It was just more natural where I've been kicking in soccer."