ALBANY -- Darton's soccer program didn't just get better Wednesday afternoon, it got a lot more local.
Three soccer players -- Danny Brown, Bridger Ferrell and Michael Barron -- from Westover High signed scholarships to play at Darton, where the influx of local talent should make a statement on and off the field.
"It's a win-win situation for both sides,'' Westover coach Van Pressley said. "These are quality players and it helps build a bridge where we will have a relationship with Darton.''
Darton coach Bart Sasnett not only recruited all three players, but he has coached them on a traveling team over the years when he was their trainer.
"We bring in players from all over the world.'' Sasnett said. "To bring in players as good as they are is good for Darton and Albany. The biggest upside is I have known them for a few years. I've worked with them, and I know them. I was the trainer on their club team.''
The threesome should have an immediate impact.
"We expect them to come in and play right away,'' Sasnett said. "I think they will do a good job for us.''
Brown led Westover in scoring with 39 goals and 11 assists and Ferrell scored six goals and led the Patriots in assists with 15, and played everywhere on the field. He was the Region 1-AAA Defender of the Year this season. Barron, a defender, had three assists and scored one goal.
The three players are close friends who have played together since youth soccer, and all three planned to attend Darton together.
"We've known each other for 10 years,'' Brown said. "We're best friends. It's great that we are staying together.''
Brown's sister, Becky, plays for Darton's women's soccer team and Ferrell's brother, Spenser, is a member of Darton's golf team, so there were connections everywhere, including the relationship with Sasnett.
"We played with the coach and like the coach,'' Ferrell said.
It seemed like a perfect fit Wednesday afternoon when all three signed together at Westover amid family and friends.
"We're hoping to do really well,'' said Brown, who was The Herald's Player of the Year in boys soccer the last two years and the leading candidate to win that award again. "It will be a challenge. It's a good soccer team and gives us a lot of experience.''
Pressley believes the Westover kids can help Darton.
"These guys will help put that program together,'' he said. 'They need guys just like these guys.''