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Feb. 10, 1998

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – University of Virginia head men’s soccer coach George Gelnovatch announced today that four student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to attend UVa at the beginning of the 1998-99 school year. The four players are Sheldon Barnes (Miramar, Fla.), Marshall Leonard (Midland, Ga.), Kyle Singer (Plymouth, Minn.) and Steve Totten (Allentown, N.J.).

Barnes, a forward, has won four letters at St. Thomas Aquinas High School under coach Jobi Hughes. He led his team to state championships each of the last two seasons, with the 1997 team being ranked No. 1 in the nation. Barnes was selected to the NSCAA / Umbro All-America team, while also being named the Florida state player of the year. He was twice chose all-state, all-conference and team MVP, while earning all-county honors three times. Barnes, who has played on the regional and state Olympic Development teams, was also a member of the football and track teams at St. Thomas Aquinas.

Gelnovatch on Barnes: “Sheldon is an extremely athletic forward who is very strong and fast. He is a proven goal scorer who is good in one-on-one situations, and we feel he will fit into our system and help us right away.”

Leonard, a midfielder / defender, is team captain for Bruce Wade’s Shaw High School team this season. He played the three previous season for coach Max Spurlin at Brookstone High School and was selected to both the Parade magazine and NSCAA / Umbro high school All-America teams, while also earned All Bi-City honors twice. A current member of the U.S. under-20 national team, Leonard also played for the U.S. at the under-17 World Championship in Egypt last year. In addition, Leonard won two letters as a member of the Brookstone basketball team.

Gelnovatch on Leonard: “Marshall is a left-footed player who can help us as a left flank midfielder or as at left back. He is a hard-working, technically sound player, who can play for us immediately.”

Singer, a goalkeeper, is a four-year letterwinner for coach Andy Benton at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School. An NSCAA / Umbro All-American, Singer led his team to a sectional championship in 1995 and a section runner-up finish last year. A two-time team captain, he has also earned all-state and all-metro honors twice, and all-conference honors four times. Singer has also played two years with the under-17 national team, and was in goal for the Americans’ only victory at the 1997 World Championship in Egypt, a 4-0 win over Austria. In addition, he has been a member of both the tennis and diving teams at Robbinsdale Armstrong.

Gelnovatch on Singer: “Kyle has played at very high levels with national teams and we are confident he will be a very good goalkeeper at Virginia. There is a chance he will redshirt his first year, since we have two seniors returning in goal.”

Totten, a midfielder, earned four letters while playing for coach Steve Collis at The Peddie School. He has been named an NSCAA / Umbro All-American three times, while also earning All-America honors from Parade magazine this past season. Totten also earned both all-state and all-league honors, and led his team to a runner-up finish in the 1996 New Jersey state tournament. He has also played on the U.S. under-17 national team, and was a teammate of both Leonard and Singer at the 1997 World Championship in Egypt.

Gelnovatch on Totten: “Steve is a tenacious worker who is technically sound. He is a smart player with good feet, and he can help us right away as a central midfielder.”

“Looking at our team and taking into account that we lost three underclassmen to Major League Soccer, I think we have done a good job of filling our voids,” said Gelnovatch, who will be in his third season as Virginia’s head coach this fall. “We have brought in four outstanding players, who have the ability to help us at every position. Adding them to our returning players we should once again be competitive, both in the ACC and nationally.”

Virginia will return seven starters from the 1997 team which posted an overall record of 19-4-3. The Cavaliers advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 17th consecutive season and finished the year as the national runner-up. Virginia also won the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament for the sixth time in the last seven years.

1998 UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA MEN'S SOCCER SIGNEESName             Pos.   Ht.   Wt.   Hometown          High SchoolSheldon Barnes   F     5-9    165   Miramar, Fla.     St. Thomas Aquinas H.S.Marshall Leonard M/D   5-7    165   Midland, Ga.      Shaw H.S.Kyle Singer      G     6-0    180   Plymouth, Ga.     Robbinsdale Armstrong H.S.Steve Totten     M     5-11   175   Allentown, N.J.   The Peddie School 
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