Wills recently signs with the Cougars

Western Nebraska Community College men's soccer team will be gaining the services of a local product after Scottsbluff's Blake Wills committed to play for the Cougars last week.

Wills said that WNCC was his main option for school and it came down to whether he wanted to play soccer or just go to school.

"I was mainly looking at whether to play soccer or just go to school. Soccer was the best choice for me," he said. "I think it [WNCC] worked best for what I was looking for as far as college options. It is in my hometown and it is an easy transition. I have also played with [WNCC coach] Todd Rasnic for 10 years now and thankful for that."

Wills spent his offseason from football and soccer playing for Rasnic's club Reccos soccer team that was quite impressive. This past year, the Reccos team went 14-1-1 and won three of four tournaments. Wills said he knows what Rasnic expects from his players.

"It is a huge plus [playing club soccer] in knowing how he coaches and what kind of atmosphere he likes to create," Wills said. "It is a good advantage knowing what the coach expects from you."

Rasnic said that Wills brings toughness to the team. Wills started playing soccer when he was eight, and Rasnic said that he started out as a goalkeeper. But once he came out of the goal to play defense, he elevated his game.

"Since we have him out of the goal, I have been pleased with how he has adapted to the field and really turned into a player I think that will be very useful at Western Nebraska," Rasnic said. "He is tough and a player that is very resilient and never gives up.

"That was demonstrated this past year with their club team during the indoor soccer season. They have progressed well upon my original expectations and Blake has been a huge part of that. He will be someone that will bring that kind of mentality to Western Nebraska."

What Rasnic likes about Wills is that he is a team player first.

"Blake brings a lot of playing experience under my system, which is very helpful," he said. "Players who buy into what we want to do on the field typically become better teammates to players around them. He is one that always puts the team first. There was a time in our club team where there was a transition for him."

Wills is a standout 2-sport athlete at Scottsbluff. He helped the football team to the state playoffs while earning honorable mention all-conference honors. In soccer he helped the Bearcats to a district runner-up last season, falling to Lexington 1-0 in the final minutes.

Wills said his high school athletic career has been filled with many highlights and he is hoping to cap it off with a banner soccer season.

"It was a high school career and I can thank my coaches and my teammates," Wills said. "I am hoping we can make it far into the season this year."

After two years at WNCC, Wills is hoping to continue playing at the next level. Then, he said, it is off to Chiropractic school to become a chiropractor like his dad.

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