Lake Tahoe Community College men’s soccer sees strong recruiting class
The Lake Tahoe Community College men’s soccer team recently settled on its recruiting class for the 2017 season. The Coyotes are bringing in 27 new members to the team and head coach Nicholas Arbelaez said he’s looking forward to seeing what the guys can do as a team.
“This is kind of my first class,” said Abrelaez. “My predecessor had recruited quite a few guys before me and most of them are moving on to four-year schools. This will be my first big recruiting class.“
Arbelaez previously served as the assistant coach for the men’s team, but has been the head coach at full capacity since the 2016 season. Most of his new class will be comprised of regional athletes.
“This class coming in, we have guys from Texas and Arizona,” said Arbelaez. “But most of the guys are from the greater area — Reno, Carson, Truckee, South Lake. I’d say about 75 percent of the team are guys from within an hour of here. I have about four returners and we’re adding 27 quality players.”
Arbelaez said that previous classes had been heavy on international players, but there are only a few in the 2017 class. Two South Lake Tahoe residents are part of the new recruiting class.
Arbelaez said the process has been going on for several months and feels this is going to be a strong team for the next couple seasons.
“[The recruits] really bought in to what we’re doing here,” he said. “We have guys coming in with a 4.0 that could have gone to a four-year school, but they want to come here and get some time in and get the experience, then move on.”
The recruiting process usually works by players contacting LTCC and its staff about possibly being recruited. They then set up a visit so the coaches and recruiters can assess their potential for being a LTCC athlete.
“I believe this group coming in will be extremely focused. There are many four and five star recruits from around the country,” said Arbelaez. “The expectation this year is to win the whole thing.”
Arbelaez said that the team did well overall last season, but he’s hoping to have a little more life in post-season play.
“We lost in the first round of the playoffs last year, and we had a final four berth the year before,” he said. “It’s always tough when you’re coaching guys that were recruited by someone else. Nonetheless, we had a great group and we just got unlucky in the first round and lost to Evergreen, which is a very good school. We’re looking to build off of that this year with the guys we’re bringing in.”
Arbelaez is confident they can do just that — the sky is the limit for the new class of players, he added.
“The goal is to be in that final four in Sacramento in December,” said Arbelaez. “We want to bring a championship here to South Lake Tahoe and I believe through hard work, with these guys putting in the effort in the classroom and on the field, there shouldn’t be any reason we couldn’t attain that goal.”
The Coyotes begin their season at home Aug. 22, with an exhibition game against the professional team, Reno 1868. The game will be held at the LTCC soccer field and admission is free.
Lex Merrifield, of South Lake Tahoe; Wyatt Skeie, of South Lake Tahoe; Jose Collazo, of Reno; Keiran McCluskie, of Reno; Jorge Medina, of Sparks; Miguel Rodriguez, of Reno; Alex Gonzalez, of Carson City; David Trujillo, of Reno; Daniel Vazquez, of Reno.
Jose Lopez , of Las Vegas; Jose Cerritos, of Reno; Ryan Gartland, or England; Juan Garcia, of California; Christian Flores, of California; Melvin Mendez, of California; Manuel Sarabia, of Truckee; Jose Gonzalez, of Truckee; Peter Garrett, of Carson City.
Brandon Dunham, of Texas; Xavier Sierra, of Texas; Josh Corlett, of England; Diego Anaya, of Texas; Hugo Rodriguez, of Reno; Jonathan Mendoza, of Reno; Juan Bustos, of Arizona; Waulberto Torres, of Arizona; Eduardo Quintana, of Arizona; Ryan Smith, of Texas; Marlon Cruz, of Idaho; and Alix Girdlestone, of England.