Pair of Golden Triangle standouts sign with ICC men’s soccer team

By Adam Gore/

FULTON – Itawamba Community College head men’s soccer coach Mike Sullivan announced the signing of Columbus High School star Ricky Hackler and Starkville High School standout Dylan Howard on Monday.

“This is a big day for our men’s program,” said Sullivan. “I feel like both Ricky and Dylan will bring a lot to our team next season with the ability to score goals and an equally good ability to set their teammates up for scoring opportunities. Both these guys will come in with a chance to play and see a lot of minutes right away.”

Hackler, a midfielder, leads Columbus with 14 goals and 3 assists for a team-high 31 points the 11-5 Falcons.

“This is a surreal moment,” said Hackler. “I’ve always wanted to play college soccer, but didn’t know if I would ever get this opportunity so it feels great knowing I’ll get the chance to be an Indian next season.”

“Ricky has been an outstanding leader for this team for as long as I’ve been coaching,” said Columbus head coach Ben Moore. “He is one of the more experienced players, fantastic with the ball and is very unselfish with the ball. He has really built his character and role on this team over the years to be able to do whatever he needs to help the team win.”

Howard, a midfielder, has 2 goals and 2 assists this season and helped lead for Coach Brian Bennett and the Yellowjackets to the Class 5A State Championship last season.

“It feels good to have this opportunity,” said Howard. “I was glad to be able to sign with a program like ICC and be able to play with a couple of former teammates. I am going to train hard this summer and finish out the season strong to get ready for a great year next year.”

“Dylan is going to leave as one of the winningest players in our program’s history,” said Bennett. “He is having a great season this year coming off our championship season last year. Dylan is a supper player that is very smart and has excellent touch on the ball.”

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