Patteson to play soccer for Tigers

Published 6:40 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Area spectators who enjoyed seeing Fuqua School soccer star Jalen Patteson shine will continue to get that chance even though he has graduated from high school.

Patteson formally announced his commitment to play soccer at the next level for Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) during a spring signing ceremony held at Gilmer Gymnasium that included his family, friends and coaches.

The occasion and the achievement that it represented meant a great deal to Patteson, who has been playing sports since he was 5 years old.

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“It makes me feel like all my hard work paid off, and I feel proud,” he said, adding that it has been a goal of his to play college soccer for probably seven to eight years.

He said he got his start playing soccer by being part of a youth team in Cumberland, and he later joined a Heart of Virginia travel team.

Estimating he has played travel soccer since he was 11, he said he gained experience as a left midfielder and forward on those teams, and he starred for Fuqua at the forward position.

In considering a future that involved soccer, Patteson weighed more than one collegiate option.

“I talked to a couple other college coaches, but they were from schools out of state, which I didn’t really want to go there,” he said.

This helped automatically give Hampden-Sydney a key edge over the other possibilities.

“It’s in Virginia, and it’s close to home but far enough away where I feel like I’m on my own,” he said of H-SC.

His parents, David and Norma Patteson, were excited by their son’s choice for multiple reasons.

“When he finally decided to go to a great school like Hampden-Sydney and have the opportunity to play soccer at the next level, (it) was a win-win for us all,” David Patteson said. “He will receive a great education and keep playing a sport he loves.”

He echoed his son’s thoughts in addressing what was invested to make signing with Hampden-Sydney possible.

“All the hours of practice and long road trips to travel games pay off,” the elder Patteson said. “I am very proud of him and appreciate all the coaches and players that help along the way.”

Though he has his college destination locked in, Jalen said he is not sure yet what position Tigers coaches want him to play. And on the academic side of things, he is undecided on what he would like to major in.

However, his strong grades at Fuqua indicate he should be in a strong position to tackle the rigorous H-SC academic experience regardless of what track he ultimately chooses.

As he prepares for his first year of college this summer, Patteson took a moment to express his gratitude for those who helped him reach his current level of achievement.

“I would like to thank all my coaches for teaching me and giving me life lessons along the way also and my mom and dad,” he said.

David Patteson alluded to what Tigers coaches are in for when he said that his son is “very athletic, a great kid and easy to coach,” traits developed from participating in baseball, football and basketball, as well as soccer.