IRONTON — Finding players which compete at a high level, especially across multiple sports in high school, is always a welcoming sign when a program is looking to add quality with a penchant of winning.
For Ironton St. Joseph goalkeeper Jimmy Mahlmeister, the opportunity to play for a program like Shawnee State was attractive from the get-go — as Mahlmeister was involved with SSU camps from a young age.
He’ll now get to suit up for the Blue and White for real — from the 2021 season on forward.
“It means a lot to be able to sign with SSU because it is my hometown university,” Mahlmeister said. “I attended many of their basketball and soccer camps growing up. I have always followed the university and wanted to be a part of its growing success.”
Family is very important to Mahlmeister.
That’s made obvious by his decisions, and how he carries himself.
Whether he was discussing his high school career or choice of college, it was the theme of the conversation.
“It meant a lot to play for St. Joe because most of my Dad’s side of the family attended St. Joe and they were on the rise in their sports programs when I was entering high school. My older brother (Justin) attended SSU and was a part of the soccer team as a goalkeeper, so it is cool to follow in his footsteps.”
Aside from Justin playing a big role in bringing him to SSU, there were other factors that also played a part.
“What attracted me to the program was its growing success,” Jimmy said. “In 2019, the team matched its best overall record in program history. Growing up, I had been on campus many times. It is a very nice campus and I wanted to be a part of the culture at Shawnee State.”
It is safe to say being able to stay home meant a lot for Mahlmeister.
Having the ability for family to easily come support during gameday is something that is unmatched elsewhere.
Although soccer is what Mahlmeister will be focusing on during his college years, it didn’t tell the story of his high school days.
He was a five-sport athlete consisting of soccer, baseball, basketball, golf and football (for Ironton High School).
Juggling all five as well as setting aside time for school, however, was a challenge — as it would be for anyone.
“It was great to be able to play five sports, but it wasn’t easy,” Mahlmeister said. “During the fall, I played three sports and it was difficult to try and balance soccer, football, and golf on top of schoolwork, but I had great coaches and teachers who helped me with whatever I needed when I needed it.”
Mahlmeister, however, didn’t just play five sports — but excelled in all five, tallying accomplishments such as recording the most saves by a goalkeeper in school history.
Along with his soccer exploits, Mahlmeister was an all-state talent in soccer as well as football, and was named all-district in basketball, baseball and golf, winning SOC Player of the Year honors in soccer.
Although Mahlmeister has seen more personal success in sports than most of us could ever dream of experiencing, it isn’t what is important to him.
“Personally, I would like to accomplish whatever helps the team,” Mahlmeister said. “I have never really been all about personal stats. I just want to see my team succeed. From a team standpoint, I want to accomplish winning seasons, conference championships and national championships. I also want to see my teammates succeed.”
For more information on SSU Bears Athletics, visit www.ssubears.com or visit the Twitter and Facebook pages at https://twitter.com/SSUBears and https://www.facebook.com/SSUBears. For more information on how to join the SSU Bear Club or for sponsorship of specific SSU players or events, visit https://givetossu.com/bear-club and https://givetossu.com/sponsorthebears.