Few players in the history of Durango High School soccer have enjoyed the level of success Elijah Fenton achieved in four years with the Demons. Now, the star talent will move on to play at the college level.
Fenton received strong offers from hometown Fort Lewis College in Durango as well as Metropolitan State University-Denver. Ultimately, Fenton wanted a new opportunity in a new city, and he chose the Roadrunners when he signed a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday during a special National Signing Day ceremony at DHS.
“It was a tough decision to make,” Fenton said. “They both offered me good deals, but I liked Metro and I kind of wanted to get a new experience outside of Durango. That was a big factor.”
Fenton’s parents, Mike and Wendy, are both from the Denver area. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound senior is looking forward to exploring the town while playing soccer and studying business entrepreneurship.
Fenton was a force all over the field in four years of varsity soccer at DHS. He scored 49 goals and had 40 assists in 63 games. His 10 goals his senior season were the fewest of his high school career, as he adjusted to playing more of a true midfield role.
The talented player also has competed with the Rio Rapids club team for years and has faced international competition at some of the biggest tournaments in the country. As a member of the Rapids, he also won three state cups.
Playing for the Rio Rapids meant countless trips to Albuquerque over the years. All those trips down U.S. Highway 550 were all made worth it when he signed a college scholarship.
“All worth it,” he said. “Mainly for the sport. I love playing soccer and getting good competition. I’m excited to play in college and hopefully develop even more.”
Fenton will join the Roadrunners under head coach Jeremy Tittle, who has a 102-62-15 record in his previous 10 years on the coaching staff. Tittle is 33-21-5 in three years as head coach.
Fenton will play right back on the defensive back line for the Roadrunners, the position he played in club soccer.
“I really liked the setting of the school and coach Tittle,” Fenton said. “He’s a really nice guy, and it seems like a good decision for me to make moving forward. He basically said he’s looking for me to fill in right away at right back.”
Fenton said his fondest memories of his DHS career, in which he helped the team to a 53-12-4 record, was the 17-2 record his junior season that ended with the team reaching the Class 4A semifinals. He also had fond memories of a few game-winning goals against rival Montrose to go along with Southwestern League championships.
Now, Fenton will join the ultra-competitive Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference that will allow him to play at least one game a year in Durango at Dirks Field against the FLC Skyhawks.
“I’ll be playing with the bad guys when I come back,” Fenton said.