Athletics is adding two new sports to the BC roster

Mohamed Bafakih, Sports/Online Editor

Bakersfield College will be introduced to two athletic programs over the course of the next year. Sand volleyball, or beach volleyball, will make its inaugural debut for BC in spring 2016, while men’s soccer – after more than a 20-year interlude – will return next fall. With overwhelming confidence in regards to its possible success, sand volleyball and men’s soccer means BC just stands without water polo, men and women’s dive teams, men’s volleyball, and women’s badminton to complete its full array of available programs. “They’re the next two sports to add,” BC athletic director Sandi Taylor said on the additions of sand volleyball and men’s soccer. Sand volleyball made its debut with the California Community College Athletic Association last year with 16 schools, and although Taylor was “lobbying and researching” for it last year, this “up-and-coming” sport is ready for BC. Because Bakersfield College doesn’t have a designated area for the sport, the sand courts on Truxtun Extension, or possibility CSUB’s facility could be the “home” sites based on schedule and availability. Wrapping up his ninth year coaching the volleyball team following a second round playoff loss, soon-to-be first year BC sand volleyball coach Carl Ferreira is anticipating the arrival of the sport to Bakersfield College. “I think it’s going to be an unbelievable opportunity for the athletes of not only Bakersfield College, but the community of Bakersfield,” Ferreira said. “It’s a national thing, but I think what’s going to happen eventually is you’ll see it trickle down to the high schools as well. We want to be at the forefront and not behind, and give our kids the same opportunities to play the sport.” Ferreira mentioned it’s an open opportunity to try out, but only 10 individuals make the cut to join the team. The season will begin in March with BC competing in the expansion conference of the Western State Conference. As for men’s soccer, the passion for the game runs deep locally and with talent looming throughout Kern County, Taft College seems to get a chunk of it because it has been unavailable at BC for over two decades. Although BC has had various club teams over the past few years, fall 2016 will be the start of an official men’s soccer team. “We are confident men’s soccer is going to be off the charts,” Taylor said. Longtime women’s soccer head coach Scott Dameron also added, “There are a lot of guys that will be excited to play here…between the school, facilities, and a lot of support, I think a lot of people are going to want to play here.” Spring classes have been made available for those who are interested in the training course, and more information can be obtained by contacting the athletic department.