Ruston’s Langiulli signs to play soccer at the University of Dallas

Ruston High’s Jaiden Langiulli signed his NLI with the University of Dallas on Wednesday in the RHS Auditorium. (Photo by Malcolm Butler)

By Malcolm Butler

Jaiden Langiulli points to sacrifices as the reason he will have an opportunity to further his soccer career on the college level.

Langiulli signed a national letter of intent Wednesday morning during a signing day ceremony in the Ruston High Auditorium to play at Division III University of Dallas, a member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

“I have been playing soccer since I was two years old,” said Langiulli. “I practice every day if not every other day. A lot of weekend sacrifices where I had to tell my friends that I could not hang out with them. Girlfriend situations where I couldn’t hang out with them, and they would get mad at me. This is what it comes down to. All the work is for this.”

Erich Hankamer, the first-year soccer coach for the Bearcats, points to much more than just the Bearcat winger’s athletic ability for his opportunity to play at the next level.

“He is a very good technical player,” said Hankamer. “He understands the game very well. He reads it. He is one of the few in this area that has gone outside of Ruston to play club soccer. It’s one of the big things that I try to stress when I come to a new school. Playing club soccer and getting into that higher level will always help if you want to further your career.”

Langiulli, who leads the Bearcats with 14 goals and three assists in 15 games this season, said he didn’t really start to take the thought of playing college soccer seriously until his second year with Ruston. He was named first team all-District 1, Division I by the league coaches in 2022 and should find his name on this year’s all-district team once it is announced.

“I’ve never really seen myself as really good at (soccer),” said Langiulli. “But everyone around me is always telling me that I could play college. If I really worked at it, they said I could play college. I think my sophomore year of high school I decided I’m going to put my head down and really work towards playing in college.”

Asked what drew him to the University of Dallas, his answer was simple

“It’s Dallas,” said Langiulli. “I have always loved the city. Academically, they are a really good school. I feel like I will fit in good with the team too. It’s a young team so there is room to grow with that team.”

Langiulli said he plans to major in business.

Langiulli will lead Ruston into the Division III playoffs Friday as the No. 25 seed Bearcats face the No. 8 seed Neville at 7:15 in Monroe. The Tigers defeated the Bearcats 6-0 on Jan. 30 in the regular season finale.

As impressed as Hankamer is with his players on-the-field skill set, he is more impressed with him off the field.

“He is a great kid,” said Hankamer. “He is one of our captains. He has been a leader for some of the underclassmen that have struggled this year. He is just a great person to have in the locker room and off the field as well.”


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