POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Friday marked a momentous day for Pearl River's men's soccer program as two sophomore Wildcats solidified their spots at the next level.
Centerbacks Andrew Elkins (Bay St. Louis; St. Stanislaus) and Joe Elliott (Leicester, England) signed with four-year programs during a ceremony held on campus.
Elkins, who transferred to PRCC prior to the 2018 season, is headed to Auburn-Montgomery. Elliott has signed with Delta State.
"I really looked at it as a whole," Elkins said of his commitment. "It's a very good school with a very good coach who has pushed his players to the next level.
"He's a really motivated guy and I'm ready to work for anther motivated coach."
Elkins was an immediate difference maker for the Wildcats in 2018. In addition to registering a goal and two assists, Elkins was a force along the back line in tandem with Elliott. Following the season, Elkins earned a spot on the MACJC All-Star game. Elkins also got it done in the classroom, earning a 4.0 GPA and spot on the President's List.
"Andrew filled a big need we had at centerback after transferring in from Mississippi College," Pearl River coach Drew Gallant said. "He proved to be the player we knew he could be. He was always a leader at the back, vocal, great in the air and just a complete center back."
Elkins said he's grateful to the Wildcat staff.
"Honestly, this is the best decision I made was coming to PRCC; it was my second chance at college soccer and I'm happy I had the chance to play here," he said. "It's in large part because of Coach Gallant's connections that I'm able to live out my dream of playing college soccer at the next level."
Elliott was both a calming presence along the backline and an unquestioned leader of the Wildcats over the last two seasons. Elliott graduates having helped PRCC claim 22 wins — and an MACJC Title — over the last two seasons.
"Joe has been very good for us the last two years as a team captain who brought a lot of experience," Gallant said. "He was one of the best technical players we have.
"It's going to be very hard to fill his shoes.
Elliott is excited about his opportunity to play at DSU — a program he sees as being poised to take the next step.
"For me it really came down to how the coaches carried themselves," he said. "They knew what they're talking about and I can see the program is going in the right direction."
Like Elkins, Elliott, who was a Scottish youth international, glowed about his time in Poplarville.
"Coming from a different country, it's the best thing I've ever done," he said. "I've been all over the place. This is where I call home. I'd recommend it to anyone, whether they're in state or abroad."
MORE TO SIGN
More Wildcats are expected to sign throughout the semester. Jevaun Ennis (Maypen, Jamaica) recently committed to Cincinnati.
Pearl River soccer next-level signees