Led by head coach Brian Speer, the 32-man squad had their first-ever game last weekend against Hill College in Hillsboro, where they won 2-0. They will play their first home match on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 4 p.m. against the defending national champions of Tyler Junior College.
“I was very pleased with how we handled ourselves in Hillsboro. There is no doubt that Tyler is going to be a tough team, but we have an incredibly talented group of guys who want to win. I invite the community to come out and support us in this important game,” Speer said.
NTCC has discussed adding soccer for several years. Speer came on board in spring 2010 and officially began building the program.
“There is a lot more to adding an NJCAA sport than constructing a field. A lot of planning has gone into making this happen and I commend Coach Speer for his hard work and dedication to getting this off the ground. We have high hopes for NTCC Soccer,” NTCC Athletic Director, Chris Smith, said.
Speer began recruiting immediately and open tryouts were held throughout the summer.
“I sent out e-mails to coaches in the surrounding area announcing tryouts. We relied largely on word of mouth to get the word out. I was very pleased with the response and the level of talented athletes we were able to attract,” Speer said.
The growing popularity of soccer in the region played an important role in getting the program off the ground. Speer said that the talent level in Northeast Texas is as good as anywhere else in the state. What was lacking in the region was the opportunity for players to continue their careers after high school.
“So many great players in this area have been content to just play in local leagues on the weekend. The NTCC soccer program will give them the chance to continue to play competitively and get the exposure that comes with playing on a collegiate level,” Speer said.
As with any college sport, academics will also be a top priority. Speer said he plans to carry the full roster into the spring as long as grades are not a problem.
“Our team’s strength seems to be our camaraderie and our commitment to hard work. We are going to laugh and we are going to learn, but when it’s time to work we are all business,” he said.
NTCC plans to add women’s soccer to the lineup in fall 2011. For more information about NTCC Athletics, including schedules and rosters, visit www.ntcceagles.com.
Pictured is the 2010-2011 NTCC Eagles Men’s Soccer team: back row (from left): Coach Brian Speer, Matthew Hamilton, Javier Aquayo, Alpha Barry, Oscar Martinez, Clayton Ferguson, Brian Wilson, Geovanni DeJesus and Juan Reyes. Middle row (from left): Thomas Williams, Ben Tibene, Salvador Ponce, Noe Avila, Juan Ramirez, Josh Wortham, Samuel Vielma, Jose Robles, Markus Martinez and Juan Lopez. Front row (from left) Richard Martinez, Adan Gonzalez, Joel Martinez, Leo Aguilar, Erik Garcia, Brent Merryman, Ignacio Castro, Ramiro Jaimes, Oscar Aquayo, and Rodrigo Aquayo.