ASU bound Chasteen leads Watauga defense
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Watauga's goalkeeper Jake Chasteen verbally committed to play at Appalachian State over the summer. Chasteen has done nothing to make either the Mountaineers or himself regret that decision.
Chasteen leads a defense that has posted seven shutouts in 12 games. Watauga has given up more than just one goal all season, and has shut out two of its last three opponents.
"He's such a great athlete and a good keeper," Pioneers coach Woody McKay said. "He'll continue to develop under (App State coach) Matt Nelson. I think they're going to have a great keeper."
Chasteen said he committed after attending a camp at App State this summer. He liked the team, the campus and the academics that the college offers.
"I'm happy that I've got the decision made," Chasteen said. "I'm looking forward to next year."
Chasteen joins an App State team that is currently 1-1-5 this season. The Mountaineers have given up more than two goals just once this season, and owns a 5-0 victory over UNC Asheville.
Appalachian State moves to the Sun Belt Conference next season after one final year in the Southern Conference. Danny Free, the current App State goalkeeper, has given up nine goals in just seven games.
Free is a senior this season. Appalachian State also has junior Paul West and sophomores Jaron Bradley and Holland Hammond on the roster
Chasteen uses his athleticism -- he can also play other positions on the field -- to shut down opponents. But it's the mental parts of playing the position that are just as important.
"You've got to be aggressive with your decisions," Chasteen said. "You've got to make really good decisions really quickly. A lot of it is finding your angles and knowing when to come out, when to commit and when to stay back and communication and distributing from the back."
Chasteen also has one of the strongest legs, for a goalkeeper, in the Northwestern Conference. He punted one ball nearly 70 yards Wednesday night in a 1-0 victory over Fred T. Foard.
"I've been working on my dropkicks and my kicks off the ground in the summer," Chasteen said. "That's something I'm proud of and I'm working to get better."