Few athletes ever get the opportunity to play for their dream school.
Sometimes the difference between getting that opportunity and missing out on it comes down to a single event, which can determine everything.
One Hokie athlete knows this all too well.
Junior Kyle Renfro is entering his third season as the men’s soccer goalkeeper and has amassed statistics that put him in comparison with some of the best college goalkeepers in the country.
Renfro started in the third game of his college career against South Florida in a game that was nationally televised, and when healthy, he has been the Hokies’ starting goalkeeper ever since.
He has amounted eight shutouts in his career and is rapidly climbing the all-time saves list at Virginia Tech.
However, it did not always seem like Renfro would be playing college soccer at the highest level.
Kyle started playing sports at a young age and, like many athletes, had to make the decision about which sport was going to take precedence over the others.
“I started playing rec ball when I was younger and it was just something I enjoyed,” Renfro said. “I played multiple sports growing up but soccer was the one thing I was best at. I enjoyed it and loved it so I just stuck with it and dropped the others throughout my life.”
By the time Renfro entered Brookville High School in Lynchburg, Va., he had narrowed it down to just two sports — basketball and soccer.
Renfro was named captain of the soccer team twice and three times for the basketball team, where he played alongside another current Hokie, quarterback Logan Thomas.
Not only was Renfro a standout athlete in high school; he was also diligent in the classroom. He was able to sustain a 4.0 GPA throughout his four years there.
During Renfro’s time at Brookville, he had decided soccer was the sport he wanted to pursue. As well as playing for Brookville’s soccer team, he also played for a small club team based in Lynchburg.
Before entering his junior year of high school, the athlete made a decision in an attempt to gain more exposure to college soccer scouts.
“My last two years of travel, I transferred to Roanoke (to play for the Roanoke Star Soccer Club) because the competition is the best in the state and it’s how to get recruited,” Renfro said.
Although Kyle made the decision to play against tougher competition for his last two years of high school, it was already too late for him to prove himself to big soccer programs.
Danny Beamer, Roanoke Star executive director and former coach of Renfro, said the player was at a disadvantage.
“He played in Lynchburg at a club that didn’t play in as many high level recruiting tournaments, and I just think coming to play later (at Roanoke) put him behind a little bit,” Beamer said.
Although at the time it seemed like Renfro had missed his opportunity to play for a big university, he was not discouraged.
He decided to attend one of Tech’s soccer camps in an effort to prove himself against some of the best high school players in the state.