New club hopes to bring men’s soccer back to Bakersfield College

Daniel Ojeda, Reporter

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Bakersfield College hasn’t had a men’s soccer team in over 10 years. But the start of the new semester also brings with it the start of something else, BC’s new men’s soccer club.
After submitting the required paperwork last semester, Raul Carrillo and Saul Ortega, BC students who helped start the club, believe the new club is ready to begin fresh this year and start off strong.
“We know there is amazing talent here and unfortunately you can only get so far because there’s no opportunity. That’s what we’re trying to do, not only for us, but for future athletes as well,” said Carrillo.
With only fliers and word of mouth, over 60 players showed up to a recent tryout. Enthusiasm for the soccer club is high and both players are just trying to show the school that soccer is important and that it can make a difference in the community.
Ortega has already received calls from several players from different high schools around Bakersfield about the soccer club and what they need in order to join once they attend BC.
“A lot of people call me, like players from Centennial and Stockdale that are about to graduate asking how do I get in the program,” he said.
In order to join, players have to be enrolled at BC and be taking a minimum of six units for the semester, they are also looking for athletes that love the sport and are ready to take soccer to a new level competitively.
Practices are held three times a week in two locations, Monday practices are at the BC soccer field and on Tuesday andWednesday they are held at Garden Park located near South Laurelglen.
The head coach for the soccer club is former CSUB player Justin Finch, who is currently playing for the Fresno Fuego in the Player Development League, and they are also being advised by the women’s soccer coach Scott Dameron.
The soccer club will also be a traveling team that will compete with other soccer clubs from different colleges.
Despite this being the first year, expectations are still high. “No excuses, it’s college level. You’re not learning the sport, you already know it, so you have to bring the A game,” Carrillo said.
Roles are still being decided on the team and roster cuts are being made to bring the roster down to its final size. The soccer club is also trying to raise money and find a sponsor because in order to compete and pull this type of club off it costs money to travel to these other places.
Both Carrillo and Ortega agree that the future goals of the club is to one day become the official soccer team for BC.
“One step at a time, we want the big picture but it’s going to take time. That it’s going to happen absolutely, we believe it’s going to happen and only get better.”
The clubs first game is February 23 at 1 p.m. against the CSUSB Coyote soccer club at the women’s soccer field.
For any questions about tryouts. fundraising or sponsorship opportunities, contact Saul Ortega at 661-808-7239

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