Easton Schlein Signs with Men’s Soccer on Team IMPACT Signing Day
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNC Greensboro (UNCG) men’s soccer team officially welcomed its newest teammate on Thursday morning. The Spartans signed Easton Schlein, through Team IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, Play Against Challenges, Together) in a ceremony inside Fleming Gymnasium.
Easton is seven years old and was born with a heart defect and later diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor at 19 months old. Easton loves playing with his brothers Grayson and Bryson when he isn’t at the field cheering on the Spartan men’s soccer team.
At the signing day event, Easton was surrounded by the whole Spartan team, as well as his parents Julie and Marlin, his two brothers, and his friends and family.
“We are so excited to sign Easton to a national letter of intent and officially welcome him to the UNCG soccer family,” exclaimed Head Coach Chris Rich. “Easton and his family have been a big part of our team for a while now, and his impact on our guys has been incredible. His constant joy, contagious smile, and his game-day first bumps are everything to us. He is consistently that energy-giver to our group and we couldn’t be more grateful!”
Team IMPACT, a national non-profit organization, has developed a unique multiyear program that matches children facing serious illness and disability with college athletic teams across the country. Based on a clinical model, Team IMPACT guides a symbiotic relationship between teams and children focused on socialization, empowerment, and resilience.
“Six heart surgeries, two brain surgeries, radiation treatment, and sixteen heart catheterizations later, here we are signing Easton with one of the top college soccer teams in the nation!” exclaimed mom Julie. “I knew we were home from the first day we met the leadership team and got to step foot on the soccer field. Easton tells everyone that he is on the UNCG soccer team. Easton’s face lights up when he is around the team and I can’t thank this team enough for allowing our family to tag along and being someone for Easton to look up to.”
Helping acclimate to his new team are team advocates senior Ethan Conley, senior Matthew Skinner, senior Jarrett Payne, junior Niclas Wild, junior Emmanuel Hagan, sophomore Jack Birch, and sophomore Basile Marc.
“We’ve had some special players join the UNCG Soccer program over the last four years and Easton is up there with some of our top signings,” said Conley. “If you want a player who has overcome adversity and has the character to succeed in a competitive environment, it’s Easton. Scholarships aside, signings like these are a reminder of how much joy the game of soccer can bring into a young man’s life. His attitude toward life is contagious and I personally can’t wait to learn from Easton.”
“In three years without Easton, we made one NCAA Tournament appearance,” reflected Skinner. “But, during Easton’s first year with us we went on a memorable NCAA Tournament run to make the Elite Eight, so obviously he has had a huge impact on the team and I look forward to the future with him as a Spartan.”
Easton signed his name on the letter of intent, received a UNCG jersey with his name on the back, and hung out with the team playing indoor soccer and eating donuts and cookies in honor of his special day and joining the Spartan family.
About Team IMPACT
Team IMPACT’s unique multiyear program signs children facing serious illness and disability onto college athletic teams across the country. Based on a clinical model, Team IMPACT guides a symbiotic relationship between teams and children focused on socialization, empowerment, and resilience, ensuring everyone involved has the personalized game plan they need to win – effectively building confidence and independence. Founded in 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 2,300 children with 700+ colleges and universities in 49 states, impacting more than 60,000 student-athletes. If you know a child or team who may be interested, please visit www.teamimpact.org.
Courtesy of Denise Archetto
Assistant Athletic Director For Strategic Communications