Josh Shutter, senior captain of the men’s soccer team, has already garnered recognition in the conference. As a sophomore, he made the Atlantic-Sun All-Conference Second team. In his junior season, Shutter made the Atlantic-Sun All-Conference First team. Prior to the 2012 season, he was named to the Preseason All-Conference team roster. Shutter begins his senior season for the Bears, and looks to help them make a push for a conference title and an NCAA tournament berth.
Cluster: Where are you from?
Shutter: I was born and raised in Sinking Springs, Pennsylvania and transferred from Clemson to Mercer after my freshman year.
C: What is your major and academic year?
S: After being undeclared during my freshman and sophomore years, I declared my major last year as communications and am currently in my senior year.
C: What is your favorite part about playing soccer for Mercer?
S: My favorite part about playing soccer at Mercer would have to be the group of guys that are on the team. They are second to none and we are all one big family. Everyone takes care of each other and even the parents do anything they can for any one of us. I couldn’t ask for a better group of teammates!
C: How did you come to play soccer for the Mercer Bears?
S: Going into my freshman year at Clemson, I found out that the head coach was resigning due to legal matters and that the assistants would take over the team for the time being until another head coach could be assigned. At this point, I began to search for another team and coach whose style of play I fit better with and after talking with my former teammate Joey Heavner, I found out that Mercer was the team for me.
C: What position do you play and what do you like about your position?
S: I was recruited as a center back and after playing right back for a short stint, I am back in the center for Mercer. At center back I enjoy being able to help lead my team and keep them organized. I also enjoy the limited amount of running and getting to be an enforcer on the field.
C: How do you manage your time as a student athlete?
S: Being a student athlete, it is very important to manage your time wisely. Trying to work in time around games and practice can be difficult and we don’t have the spare time that many others students have and most of the time our work is being done during our travel times.
C: How does it feel to be named preseason all conference?
S: I am honored to be named to the preseason all conference team and knowing that my hard work has been paying off, but I am more worried about how the team does this year. I will be much more excited when we win the conference.
C: What are your personal goals for this season?
S: My personal goal for this season is to be on the all conference team at the end of the year and to also be the defensive player of the year.
C: What are your team goals for this season?
S: The team goals for this year have been set high after what we accomplished over the last two seasons. We want to be regular season champions, conference champions, and make it to the NCAA tournament.
C: What do you hope to improve on, both individually and as a team?
S: I personally would like to improve on being a better role model and team leader in order to help the team progress and become more connected than ever before. As a team, we look to improve on being able to close out games and limit our opponents scoring opportunities because after our preseason and the first couple of games, we have proven that we can play with the best in the country, but at the same time we have learned from these games and hope to improve on the areas that we lacked in so that we can finish games with a win. With this, I believe we can go further than we have before with the group of guys we have this year.