Wil Rimer’s college soccer career will be delayed a year thanks to his recent ACL injury.

But that’s OK with the Polk County senior – he’s just happy college playing days are in his future.

Rimer has decided to join the soccer program at Emory & Henry, a private liberal arts college in Emory, Virginia. He will join Polk County senior Ashley Love, who accepted a spot this week on Emory & Henry’s women’s team, at the school.

A dialogue with Emory & Henry’s coaching staff that began some two years ago at a college showcase tournament in Tennessee ended with Rimer’s decision to attend the school.

“I’m really blessed,” Rimer said. “Since middle school, I’ve always wanted to play college soccer. To do that, I knew I had to put in the work and had to be dedicated. I just did everything I could to make it.

“I couldn’t have done it without my parents. They supported me, they encouraged me to stay active whether it was soccer or something else. And my coaches, (Lennox Charles and Will Pack), they did everything they could to help me and make it easier.”

The Western Highlands Conference player of the year, Rimer scored 40 goals this season in leading Polk County to the WHC regular-season title and the third round of the state 2A playoffs.

Rimer also talked with Gardner-Webb and Montreat, but Emory & Henry ultimately felt like the perfect fit, he said.

“I love the campus. It’s far away from home, but still close enough if I need to come back,” he said. “I love the coaches. I’ve already met some of my teammates and I like them a lot. It just had everything I wanted.”

A member of the Division III Old Dominion Athletic Conference, Emory & Henry posted a 4-10-3 record last season. The Wasps’ head coach, Robert Richardson, was an assistant at Brevard College before taking over the E&H program in 2013.

Emory & Henry coaches had told Rimer he would likely be line to earn playing time as a freshman, but the ACL injury changed those plans. Rimer now plans to take a medical redshirt this season as he goes through surgery and the rehabilitation process.

“It’s not exactly what I wanted, but I’m still playing college soccer,” Rimer said. “I’m still going to work hard, and hopefully I’ll come back faster and stronger than I was before.”