It’s only fitting that the first steps Dustin Hill took in his life were at his big brother’s high school soccer game.
Perhaps that was, or at least should have been, the giveaway to Dan and Traci Hill that the sport of soccer would continue to allow the youngster to walk right into college.
Well, if his parents didn’t see it then they certainly know now as the Wildcat standout signed a letter of intent on Friday to continue his career at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, next season.
“It’s all I’ve known,” Hill professed of the sport. “It’s just in my blood. I’ve tried other sports, but they’re just not as fun.”
A versatile player for the Wildcats, Hill earned all-conference and all-district awards in his junior and senior campaigns under coach Steve Schnackenberg.
Hill said the team-first approach demanded by Yellowjackets head coach Guillermo Sanchez is what made his decision so easy.
“It’s not a one-man team,” Hill said. “It’s the whole team and if it’s not working (Sanchez) pulls people off so that the team always has great chemistry. I can’t stand having one person doing it all. They play well together.”
After attending camps at Graceland for the past three seasons, Hill said his acclimation with the team and the friendships he’s made will make the transition easy.
“I’m very excited to play with Graceland,” he said. “They’re a great team. The campus is great. I’ve been going to their camp in the summer for three years now. Their coach is awesome. The team is awesome. I’ve actually stayed overnight with them and I’m actually pretty good friends with (the team) already.
“I feel welcomed and at home there.”
Schnackenberg said Neosho’s loss is Graceland’s gain.
“His skill with the ball is amazing,” Schnackenberg said. “He definitely has the next level skill for the ball. He can step up and play good, physical soccer when he needs to. He’s just a finesse player that can find the open player and scores when he needs to.
“He’s just a good all-around player that we’re going to miss a lot. I think Graceland is going to find out that they found a good one here out of Neosho.”
Hill became the 15th NHS athlete to sign an athletic letter of intent this season.