Soccer chooses mission and loses scholarship

by | Aug. 03, 2010

Saints & Sports

Extraordinary. Amazing. Inspiring.

All of those adjectives — and any number of others — could be used to describe Junior Lartey's performance on the soccer field.

But, by all accounts, those same descriptions are even better used in explaining Lartey's character off the field, and most specifically, the sacrifices he made in order to serve an LDS Church mission.

A full ride — on, then off Despite being extended a full-ride soccer scholarship to the University of North Carolina, Lartey — a two-time first-team all-state defender who helped Mountain View High School to its first-ever 4A state championship in his junior year — will not be playing for the Tar Heels.

Instead, Lartey, who turned 18 on July 15, will be staying home in Orem, Utah, to play for BYU before leaving for his mission in summer 2011.

That turn of events following the state title season came about after Lartey attended a soccer camp in North Carolina and greatly impressed the coaching staff there.

After initially offering the scholarship, North Carolina head coach Elmar Bolowich had a follow-up conversation with Lartey.

"He asked me, 'I remember you said you're a Mormon. There's that mission thing, right?'" Lartey said.

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