By Carey Phillips
Smoky Mountain senior Caleb Borchelt has signed to play college soccer for Brevard.
“I just wanted to stay close to home, and Brevard was my first choice because I really wanted to play soccer,” Borchelt said. “I love the campus and the small school environment, and the coach (Helio D’Anna) is really nice. I’ve been there quite a few times already.”
Borchelt said he started playing soccer when he was 3 years old and living in Georgia. He lived in the Atlanta area until he was 6 and played rec league soccer there.
“Playing in college was a goal of mine since I started playing in high school,” he said. “I didn’t play as well as I thought I could early in high school, but by the time I was a junior Brevard came into the picture.”
Achieving this goal made signing day special.
“It felt great,” Borchelt said. “I just wanted to keep playing. When I stay busy is when I’m doing my best. I felt if I went to college and wasn’t playing a sport it would not have been best for me. I like to be part of a team.”
He plans to major in exercise science.
“I’m really excited to see what I can do with a different style of soccer,” Borchelt said. “The coach is Brazilian, and they play a Brazilian style.”
“Caleb is a great teammate,” SM Coach Emory Rhoads said. “He was willing to learn a different position on the field. He was asked to play center back throughout the season. We transitioned to a more traditional four back lineup, and he was outstanding. There was a learning curve, and he was up for the challenge.”
Borchelt was honorable mention all-conference last season.
“He’s going to have a more rounded skill set and bring more value to the Brevard team,” Rhoads said. “They bring in players from South America. He’ll have the opportunity to be around a competitive program, and I see him thriving. It may take some time to get into the pecking order, but I think he is going to do fantastic. They are lucky to have him.”