HHS Soccer Athletes Sign to Play Next Level

HHS Soccer Athletes Sign to Play Next Level
Posted on 03/13/2017
soccer ball

Center: Parker (Chase) Cannon

Center: Jovana Ramirez-Sanchez

Center: Morgan Malikowski

HHS Soccer Athletes Sign

to Play Next Level

Hickory High’s head soccer coach, Brian Jillings, has coached numerous successful athletes, many who won scholarships to play on the college and university level.

This year is no different with three of his players recently signing to play the next level following their June graduation from Hickory High.

Parker (Chase) Cannon, Jovana Ramirez-Sanchez and Morgan Malikowski—have all accepted scholarships to play soccer at their respective schools.

Cannon, who played defender at HHS, was a 3-year starter with All-Conference selection (NW3A/4A) twice and four career goals. 

Cannon will attend Pfeiffer University starting in August with Coach Tony Faticoni. He plans to major in computer information systems with a hopeful career in software development and security.

Starting his soccer career when he was just three years old, speed is Cannon’s biggest strength.  His leadership on and off the field helped to earn the position as team captain during his senior year.

The son of Tina and Rick Taylor (step-father) and Donnie Cannon, Cannon credits Coach Jillings for teaching him how to be responsible and to use his speed; and he also credits his parents for all of their support during his soccer career.

“I'm proud of Parker and this opportunity to play collegiate soccer,” said Coach Jillings.  “He has worked extremely hard both on the field and in the weight room for this chance and is very deserving. 

“Parker has been a key component in our backline the past three years as a starter.  More often than not, he was given the task of marking up the other team's best player and he did just that.  He brings a combination of speed, skill and stamina that few players can match.  He provided the coaches with a peace of mind knowing that his side of the field would be well defended and opposition chances would be very few,” said Jillings.

“Parker is extremely coachable and always looking for ways to improve his game.  More importantly, Parker is an outstanding young man who has represented Hickory Soccer with the utmost character.  I'm going to miss working with him but wish him all the best and look forward to watching him play at the next level,” added Jillings.

Ramirez-Sanchez played midfielder and was a four-year starter. She earned All-Conference twice (NW3A/4A), All-Region twice (NCSCA) and her current stats include 42 goals and 35 assists for 109 points.

Ramirez-Sanchez will attend Catawba College this fall and she will be coached by head soccer coach, Nick Brown. She is undecided about a major but she does have an interest in the medical field.

Playing since she was six years old, Ramirez-Sanchez believes her footwork is her strongest skill.  She shared that she has learned a great deal about sportsmanship, responsibilities and teamwork from Coach Jillings.

The daughter of Regina Sanchez Rodriguez and Juan Nungaray, Ramirez-Sanchez stated she will cherish the memories of playing with the soccer team at Hickory High—the dedicated coaching staff and her bond with the players.

“Catawba College is getting a fantastic player and person in Jovana,” said Coach Jillings. “She has proven to be one of the most influential players to come through the Hickory High women's soccer program. 

“She is an extremely creative attacking midfielder. She is a lethal finisher in front of the goal and also an unselfish provider for her teammates,” said Jillings.  “Opponents will often double and triple team her in the midfield to try and slow her down.  When we are not in possession, Jovana is one of the first players working hard to win the ball. 

“She is a great example for her teammates on the pitch and a guiding figure off of it.  It's amazing to watch her taking the underclassmen under her wing and help them along.  With her mentality and work rate, I'm confident she can go to Catawba and contribute right away.  It's been a pleasure working with Jovana and she's going to leave a huge whole when she graduates,” said Jillings. 

Morgan Malikowski, who played defender/goalkeeper and served as a four-year varsity player at HHS, was selected as All-Conference during her sophomore year. Her current stats include two goals, eight assist for 12 points and two shutouts.

Malikowski, who has played soccer since she was four years old, believes her strongest suit on the field is serving her team as a goalkeeper although she is willing to step up into any position.  Playing for Guilford College starting this fall, Malikowski will train every day this summer to get ready to play for head soccer coach Mike Shenigo and assistant coach, Anna Smither.

With plans to study health sciences or forensic biology, Malikowski is considering a career as an occupational therapist.

Morgan is daughter of Leslie Christopher Malikowski and Mark Benedict Malikowski.  She shared her greatest lesson learned from Coach Jillings is to “never give up on yourself.”  Malikowski also shared that being out on the field erases all stress and contributes to quality of life.

“I'm excited for Morgan to continue her soccer career at the collegiate level.  She has been a key contributor for us since her freshman year,” said Jillings.

“She is an excellent athlete who has proven to be very versatile and capable of performing in a variety of roles.  During Morgan’s first three seasons she contributed as a field player both in the midfield and as a marking back.  She was an all-conference selection as a sophomore and on her way to a second selection as a junior before her season was cut short by an ankle injury. 

“This year,” said Jillings, “we are looking forward to her transition to her more natural position of goalkeeper.  She has all the tools to be successful. Morgan is an agile goalkeeper with a good command of her penalty area.  She is a terrific shot stopper and more than capable of making the big save when needed.  She is extremely coachable and works very hard to improve.  I think she will only continue to get better and better with the more experience she gets and will be prove to be a big asset for Guilford College.  I appreciate all that she has done for Hickory soccer and wish her the utmost success at the next level.”






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