HSJ soccer’s Short graciously picks Concord
HUNTINGTON — Savannah Short’s signing was designed to be a celebration of her commitment to play soccer at Concord University, but instead the Huntington St. Joe star turned it into a touching tribute to family and friends.
Short, a standout defender with the Irish, signed Thursday in the St. Joe cafeteria to play for the Mountain Lions. After putting pen to paper, she brought much of the room to tears.
“I thank my family for having my back, for taking me to all the practices and tournaments and putting up with the smelly cleats,” Short said, drawing laughter. “I learned the last four years that family is everything, then school and soccer come after that. School and soccer will end, but family won’t leave you. I promise to do everything to make you all proud to call me your daughter, sister or granddaughter.”
Short thanked coaches Nick Turner, Ben Eng and Kyle Sniatecki, as well as her teammates while naming each individually.
“I didn’t get any of this by myself,” Short said. “I thank my team, the defenders especially. They’re some of the harder-working girls I’ve ever played alongside. All of them are insanely talented.”
Short helped the Irish to a 19-3 record last season. She chose Concord over offers from Transylvania University, Georgetown College and the University of Pikeville. Short, who was accepted into Concord’s honors program, said she will major in biology with a goal of becoming a forensic pathologist.
Turner said Short will succeed on the field and in the classroom.
“When Ben and I got here in 2015, Savannah became an instant starter and anchor for our defense,” Turner said. “She’s a huge reason for our success the last four seasons.”
Eng said St. Joe will miss Short’s tenacity.
“She’s a really tough defender,” Eng said. “She’s physical and she has a heart of gold. Our offense gets a lot of attention, but our defense is our secret weapon.”
Short said the combination of academics and athletics, closeness to home and family atmosphere promoted by Concord coaches Luke Duffy, Sarah Mahar and Kiana Brown helped in her choice of the Mountain Lions, who participate in the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference.