CMC soccer teams sanctioned by NJCAA
GSPI Sports Editor
The Eagles are breaking new ground in college soccer in Colorado.
The Colorado Mountain College men’s and women’s soccer teams, based at the Spring Valley campus, have joined the National Junior College Athletic Association to become the only two-year college in Colorado to offer a varsity program.
“It brings an attitude, even from the prospects, that this is the real deal and not just a club team,” said head coach Steve White, who has already seen a jump in interest due to referrals from other college and high school coaches.
“(Four-year college coaches) are excited,” White added. “They feel like when they can’t take a player, they have another option to refer them to us. This gives coaches the opportunity to keep contact with a good prospect. A player gets two years of education out of the way and can transfer credits into another program and still has two years left to play.”
CMC-Spring Valley has offered men’s and women’s club soccer programs in the past, but, at times, had difficulty fielding teams due to a lack of commitment from the players.
White expects the NJCAA affiliation to attract players who want to dedicate themselves more fully to both academics and soccer because some will have the opportunity to transfer to a four-year program in the future.
“It’s definitely a fresh start and we feel like the commitment level of the players will be much higher than in the past,” White said. “We do have some returning players who demonstrated their commitment to the program last year, but it’s definitely got a new feel to it.”
The Eagles expect around seven players back on the men’s team and only a couple on the women’s squad, so the roster “is wide open.” White said he has been receiving one to two player references a day from high school and college coaches.
Along with enticing soccer players to enroll, CMC director of pre-enrollment Bill Sommers expects the varsity-level program to add to the quality of the CMC experience.
“Having varsity men’s and women’s college soccer teams will make us more attractive to more potential students,” Sommers said in a release. “We also expect these teams will bring more diversity to our degree-seeking student body and they will increase our persistence rate ” that is, the number of courses students take from us before earning their degree or transferring to another institution.”
The soccer players will need to take a full-time 12-credit schedule each semester and are required to meet the standards of performance both in the classroom and on the field. The players will also be eligible for Academic All-America and All-America honors.
The teams will play 15 games each with the opportunity to advance to the NJCAA postseason tournaments. The home opener is Aug. 28 with the women’s team playing the University of Northern Colorado and the men facing Air Force Academy Prep School. All home games will be played at the Gates Soccer Park on the Spring Valley Campus. The Eagles will also host the 5th Annual Colorado Mountain College Cup men’s and women’s tournaments in late October and early September.
For information on the Eagles soccer program contact White at 970-947-8253 or at email@example.com. There will also be a prospect visit held on April 17. To register for the visit, contact White or register online at http://www.coloradomtn.edu/campus_rfc/soccer/home.html.
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