by Susan Suddarth and Clark Ruhland
As a freshman, Ken Jonmaire decided he wanted to play soccer for Virginia Tech.
?I decided I?ll walk on, try out for the team and see how it goes, and it?s been going pretty well so far,? Jonmaire said.
Since then, this power forward junior has become one of the Hokies? best offensive weapons and is known for being dangerous in the air.
?I have a decent vertical and I?m pretty good at reading the ball so I just flick it on,? he said.
Jonmaire, a civil engineering major, has one of the best work ethics in the league and his hard work and determination is evident on the field.
?There is always something to improve on,? he said. ?I need to work on my touch a little bit and receiving the ball. I?ve had a couple of chances that I didn?t put away which I should have. I don?t feel like the team has put a lot of pressure on me to be a leading scorer, but on our offense as a whole.?
Jonmaire has been playing soccer since he was five years old. During high school, he lettered three years and was named third team all state and first team all-Western New York. He was the teams? leading goal scorer as well.
When he came to Tech and walked onto the Hokie team, he decided to become a little more structured in his play.
?I wasn?t really structured,? Jonmaire said. ?I was running around, and it was run until you can?t run anymore and hope something good happens. I didn?t really know how to work with the team here. Now I have become more of a one-unit player.?
During Jonmaire?s first season with the team, he played in all 19 games, starting 12 of them. He was fourth on the team with goals and helped the Hokies acquire their first Big East win ever with the game-winning goal against Syracuse.
?At the Syracuse game, I scored the game-winning goal and it was great because I am from near there so a lot of my friends and family were there,? Jonmaire said. ?It was great having people I knew there, and we played at night and the excitement was unbelievable.?
In 2002, he started all 18 games and, with a team-leading 22 points, was ranked fifth in scoring in the Big East.
He scored eight goals, four of which were game winners, and had six assists.
He was named Big East Offensive Player of the Week twice, Soccer America Men?s Team of the Week on Oct. 13 and was third-team All-South Atlantic Region selection.
?It?s a nice honor,? he said, ?like my work is actually paying off.?
Now in his junior year, Jonmaire has scored three goals, one being a game-winner, and has had one assist. All this accumulated even though he missed the first three games of the season due to injury.
?This year has been a little frustrating because I?ve been injured,? Jonmaire said. ?I?m finally getting better. I have I.T. band tendonitis.?
He said he?s looking forward to the remaining season and is excited about the next four games.
?Any team can beat any team on any given day,? Jonmaire said. ?Hopefully we will be able to come out with some big wins. We have so much potential. (Tech head coach Oliver) Weiss really gets us together and makes us work as one team. He knows what he is doing and we do our best to give him the results he wants.?