Twenty-nine goals. That’s how many J.P. Snelgrove scored for Clinton High’s boys’ soccer team.
Undoubtedly, Newberry College will be happy with that total in Snelgrove’s freshman season playing for the Wolves, with whom he signed on Thursday.
For Snelgrove, Newberry is just the next level. The first was after a man pestered him so much to join his soccer team that Snelgrove finally gave it a try. It was elementary school. He grew to love the sport of international renown.
And, of course, like many soccer stars, Snelgrove went on to kick for the Red Devil football team. It’s one of the reasons why high school soccer is played in the spring. It’s good for the kicking game in the fall, when that brand of football is largely played without much direct use of the feet.
Clinton head football coach Corey Fountain assured soccer coach John Michael Hammond that Snelgrove wouldn’t get hurt because all he had to do was kick. Let the record note that Sne, Snelgrove was the Region 3-3A player of the year. Now he’s off to make his fortune at Newberry, and Hammond is off to coach at the new Fountain Inn High School, which opens in the fall. They were good for each other, and now it’s time to move on.
Snelgrove, who first made all-region at Clinton as a ninth grader, entertained offers from Anderson University, USC Salkehatchie and USC Union.
“Newberry is close to home,” Snelgrove said, “and everything I saw and heard tells me it’s a good place.”
Hammond said, “It’s obvious to anyone who watched J.P. that he is one of the best soccer players Clinton’s ever had.
“He’s not the most vocal, but clearly, he was our leader on the field.”
He plans to major in kinesiology.