By Marty Gordon
Radford High School’s Evan Rupe has announced plans to continue his playing career at nearby Radford University. Rupe was first-team All-Three Rivers District and Region C last season, leading the Bobcats with 18 goals that included scoring five goals in one game against James River.
At RU, he joins a team that posted a 5-11 record this past year, 3-5 record in Big South Conference play.
Chris Barrett was named the interim head men’s soccer coach at Radford in November 2020. While interim head coach, Barrett led the team to a 3-5-1 overall record in a modified 2021 spring season. The Highlanders defense held opponents to one or fewer goals in four games that season, picking up wins over Gardner-Webb, VMI, and Winthrop.
Prior to being named interim head coach, Barrett was set to begin his third stint and 10th season overall (1995-98, 2006-10) as an assistant coach of the Highlander men’s soccer program. Barrett has also spent a decade (2010-19) as an assistant coach of Radford’s women’s soccer program.
Rupe, who expects to play center, is familiar with Barrett, having played when he was 10 on a travel team he coached.
“I love the coaching staff,” said Rupe. “Also, the facilities are fantastic, and I like the school being in my hometown so I can have my family and friends come support me.”
Rupe’s goal is to claim a starting spot, score goals, and help the team to success. “It would also be great to push for a conference tournament championship, a conference regular season championship, or an NCAA tournament appearance,” he said.
In 2019, Rupe participated in an Adidas Winning Generation Soccer Program’s National Cup, playing and scoring overseas in the Gothia Cup. He also played with VBR Star in its USL pro academy this past summer.
Rupe is undecided on a major at RU as of yet.