Otters Look to SoCon for Nine Signings
Moving to a conference familiar to local sports fans, the Otters have signed nine players from the Southern Conference, athletic home of the ETSU Buccaneers. The group is comprised of six players who have suited up for ETSU in the past and present and three from SoCon Champion UNCG, and cover all levels of the formation. The USL League Two season is rapidly approaching, and the newly-revamped ottersoccer.com is the home of all Otters updates!
Cole Hunter, GK, ETSU
One of the only players this season to have ever previously appeared in a game for the Otters, Cole Hunter returns for his second year in Johnson City. In the summer of 2019, the Nashville-native made two appearances in goal for the Otters. Hunter began his career at Division II Lander University, where he was forced into action in the conference tournament, only allowing one goal between the semifinal and final. Following the 2019 fall season, Hunter transferred from Lander to ETSU.
Josh Hancock, CB, ETSU
Following his first season with the blue and gold, Josh Hancock will be wearing the blue and green this summer. The junior captain transferred out of Marquette in the Big East, where he made 18 appearances over two seasons, scoring a goal and an assist while also being named to the Big East All-Academic Team. In his first action with the Bucs this spring, Hancock started all eight games he played in, and scored a goal against Furman to send the game to extra time.
Matthew Skinner, CB, UNCG
Returning as an original 2020 commit, Matthew Skinner is coming to Johnson City with a SoCon Championship. As a freshman in 2019 with the Spartans, Skinner started all 16 games he played in and recorded a goal and an assist and played an integral role in the Spartans run to the SoCon Championship. For his efforts, Skinner was named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team. This spring, the Charlotte-native rotated with the deep centerback group of the Spartans, making eight appearances and helping UNCG win the SoCon Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament before falling 3–2 to Omaha.
Henrik Guenther, D, ETSU
Another Buccaneer defender set to make his Otters debut is Henrik Guenther. The versatile German defender began his career at Division II Limestone College where he started 19 games as a freshman and accumulated five assists. After transferring to ETSU this spring, Guenther made six appearances with one start, playing as both a centerback and outside back.
Aidan O’Brien, DMF, ETSU
Aidan O’Brien returns to the Otters after playing for the during the inaugural 2016 season and being a 2020 commit before the season was cancelled. From Asheville, O’Brien’s collegiate journey saw him play at South Carolina and La Salle, before choosing to finish his career locally at ETSU. This spring, O’Brien started every match and was the only player to log over 1,000 minutes in the shortened spring. Sharing free kick duties, he was also able to rack up two assists and six shots.
Gabriel Ramos, MF, ETSU
Another 2020 commit, set to make their debut for the Otters is Brazilian midfielder Gabriel Ramos. Ramos began his college career at Akron University in the spring of 2020 and transferred to ETSU that fall. As a freshman this spring, Ramos made his debut at right back for the Bucs, and despite suffering an arm injury in the first game, returned and appeared in six games, getting four shots off as the Bucs finished the season with a 3–5–3 record.
Maycol Reyes, W, UNCG
After joining the Spartans from Hill College, Maycol Reyes comes to the Otters looking to boost the attack on the wings. Originally from Honduras, Reyes scored nine goals and seven assists at Hill College, both good for second on the team. This spring, Reyes shuffled between the starting lineup and coming off the bench, ultimately appearing in nine matches and scoring a goal in a 3–0 win against Gardner-Webb.
Cam Fowler, F, UNCG
The final Spartan set to join the Otters this summer is Cam Fowler, an original 2020 commit. The Knoxville-native just completed his second season in Greensboro, being used as a super-sub off the bench and set the tone physically up front for the Spartans and appearing in eight matches. As a freshman in 2019, Fowler, again in the super sub role, scored three goals in just under 600 minutes, leading the freshman group in goals, points, shots and shots on goal.
Lucas Lightner, F, ETSU
Lucas Lightner just completed his second season with the Bucs. As a freshman in 2019, Lightner finished the season strong, making ten appearances off the bench and contributing one assist. The forward from Nashville made a big jump in his second season, in ten games with two starts, Lightner scored four goals, second-most goals on the team. He also finished tied for second in points and tied for third in shots and shots on goal.
All signings are pending league and federation approval
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