CC Student, Aiden Bazzell, commits to High Point University for Soccer

Michelle Bazzell
Aiden Bazzell began playing soccer at the age of 4. When he was 8, he set himself a goal to be part of the Development Academy team when he was older. For the next 4 years, he remained dedicated to that goal, pushing himself to improve and grow and overcoming each obstacle as it was presented to him. When he was 12, he was selected as part of the U13 FC Dallas Development Academy team. Over the next few years, he won numerous accolades with the team; twice wining Liga MX Tournament (2019, 2020), Dallas Cup Champions (2021), MLS Next Texas Cup Champions (2022).
The fall of his junior year (2023), he was being pursued by numerous top D1 programs in the country. While completing visits and finalizing discussions, he landed poorly during training, breaking his right foot. Within days, he had surgery to repair the break and began his recovery. Blessed with access to some of the best technology and physical therapists he worked diligently and, to the amazement of his doctors and therapists, returned to the field 11 weeks later. Unfortunately, this had a serious impact on his college recruiting, stalling discussions and missing major recruiting events.
While this injury had a massive impact on his college recruiting, he returned stronger than ever. In addition, the experience gave him a passion for Physical Therapy and created a foundation for his desire to major in Exercise Science. As he revitalized his college pursuits, we were anxious about his opportunities to play college soccer given the timing of his injury.
In December Aiden reached out to college coaches and invited them to come watch him play in the MLS Next Fest showcase.  Many were able to see him play in that showcase, and we would later find out a few were misinformed that he had already committed to a school.  Mid-February he was asked to come for official visits to two D1 schools of interest. While visiting one of the schools in Charolette, the High Point University coach reached out via social media to clarify Aiden’s committed status.  Realizing that Aiden was in Charlotte, he immediately asked if we could reschedule our flights and visit that Tuesday.  
That evening, Aiden provided additional film and info for the coaching staff to analyze and, early Tuesday morning, Adien was on the HPU campus, visiting with the coaches, team, and touring the campus. He was impressed with the amount effort the coaches had dedicated in a very short amount of time to evaluating his film, preparing the visit, and even reaching out to FC Dallas coaches to learn about him as a player and person.  After the visit, Aiden could see himself at High Point knowing it was a place he could continue to grow and develop not only as a player but as a person.
While visiting, the High Point Head Coach noted Aiden’s unique perspective regarding his college evaluation criteria: a desirable location, a place to get an excellent education in his field of study, coaches that see him as a person and not just a player, and players with character and drive.  High Point exceeded his expectations on all four. 
Aiden had offers from all three schools he visited the previous week. As a family, we discussed and prayed about the right next step for Aiden. They were all good programs, and the offers were mostly comparable. Due to the difference in tuition, HPU would still cost significantly more.  Feeling God leading us to HPU, we were still uncertain until we were informed the school wanted to interview Aiden for both an advanced Presidential scholarship as well as recommend him for a fellowship opportunity in his field of study.
We believe God’s hand moved in this moment in Aiden’s life. Looking back, the series of “coincidences” and timing that led to the moment he committed to HPU are too unreal to be anything else but His hand. After an enormous setback, Aiden will attend a top university next fall and play for a D1 team that consistently wins their conference and has appeared at the NCAA D1 Tournament 3 times in the last 4 years.
Aiden’s work ethic and athletic ability provided him this unique opportunity; but it was his education and academic performance that enabled him to seize the opportunity at HPU to continue his education and soccer journey. Unlike football and basketball where students are granted full scholarships based on headcount statistics, soccer is a scholarship allocation sport dominated by partial scholarships. It is extremely rare for a student to receive a full athletic scholarship in allocation sports. Through Aiden’s academic credentials, he received the financial support that allowed him to commit to HPU.
CDA not only provided him an exceptional education, but the football program at CDA also provided Aiden with an unforgettable experience. This was a unique opportunity, having missed out on the high school sports experience due to the commitments of the FC Dallas MLS Next team. Going into his Senior year, he wanted the experience of being part of a team with his classmates. The boys had begged him to play since junior high. After talking with the coaches, the initial plan was for him to just be a kicker, maybe having the rare opportunity to play the field occasionally. Aiden eventually solidified a spot on the defensive line, creating a powerful and dynamic defensive pair with Cameron Kirk. Except in pre-season games, Aiden never kicked a football.
Aiden has repeatedly mentioned his coaches and teammates at CDA for making this short season of his life something to always remember. They lifted him up and encouraged him on and off the field. The coaches were amazing leaders and examples of how to be a man of God to those around you.  Men he could respect and look up to as examples. He will forever be grateful for the brief time and experiences he had with the CDA football team, and the true sense of camaraderie and fellowship created by the coaches and team.


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