Jahren Barrow will continue his soccer career at Presbyterian College, the first Kansas City Kansas Community College soccer player to commit to an NCAA Division I college or university.
A member of the Big South Conference in Clinton, S.C., Presbyterian was founded in 1880 and has competed in men's soccer since 1977.
"I had offers from two other schools in New York including one Division I and was planning on going to school there but Presbyterian felt like a better fit," said Barrow, a two-year starter at KCKCC and an All-Jayhawk Conference selection. As centerback, Barrow anchored the Blue Devil defense and was team captain.
"A team leader," said KCKCC head coach Ruben Rodriguez. "He has a boisterous personality and plays aggressively. But I'm just as proud of the fact that he has done well in school. A mature young man, he has done an outstanding job academically."
"Division I athletic ability with Division I strength and speed, he also has excellent game recognition," added assistant coach Burke Slusher. In addition to playing soccer, Barrow was a resident assistant in the on-campus housing.
Barrow was born in New York but moved to England at age five. "My mother is British," said Barrow, who played high school soccer in Nottingham, England. "I was supposed to come to play for Maple Woods but my mom wouldn't let me; she made me stay and study in England one more year."
Barrow said his decision to come to KCKCC was something of a "spur of the moment, last minute" decision after being contacted through a recruiting agent. "I knew a couple of other players who were coming here, Harry Williams and Bradley Tshibangu," he said.
The decision, said Barrow, was "definitely a good one. It has allowed me to get me halfway to a bachelor's degree, an opportunity to attend a four-year college and hopefully to open doors to play professionally. Who knows?" Barrow will receive his Associate's Degree later this month.
Barrow is hopeful of stepping into the starting lineup at Presbyterian. "They are in a building process with a whole new coaching staff, a whole new team and a bright new future," says Barrow. "But there will be competition (for playing time). They want to push you a little bit farther ahead."
With head coach Ruben Rodriguez (left) and assistant Burke Slusher as witnesses, sophomore Jahren Barrow became the first Kansas City Kansas Community College soccer player to commit to an NCAA Division I college, Presbyterian College in Clinton, Mo. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)