Lake Tahoe Community College men seek to reclaim GCV soccer crown
Head coach Nicholas Arbelaez took over the Lake Tahoe Community College boys’ soccer team in November 2015, after being an assistant as the Coyotes claimed their first Golden Valley Conference championship and reached the final four in the state playoffs.
In his second season leading the program, Arbelaez thinks he has the team to claim another crown, especially with a full recruiting cycle under his belt where he added a large, mostly local recruiting class. He now has a large roster of 35 players.
“When we went to the final four a year ago, we had 34 on the roster at the beginning of the season and ended with just 19,” Arbelaez said. “It might sound like a lot, but anything can happen. These kids coming in are my recruits and they are very talented. But if they want time, they have to earn it.”
The Coyotes have nine returning sophomores listed on the school’s website and Arbelaez could have talked about all of them but narrowed them down to four, Dalton Rice, Sean Keith, Josh Sapsed and goalie Omar Trujillo. He’s relying on them to lend their experience and expertise to the younger players.
He also relying on the other sophomores Xavier Serra Busquet, James Agbertoni, Lewis Gillings, Josh Anderson and Marlon Correa.
“They are a possession-based group, but we’ll see if we can translate the talent into wins,” Arbelaez said. “I know we’ve done our job as a coaching staff if we can do that. I let the players play, I do my yelling at practice.”
Arbelaez enjoys working with college-level players
“I like the opportunity to coach in college, working with young athletes as they’re preparing to go to the next level is pretty cool,” said Arbelaez, a Las Vegas transplant, who’s still getting used to the snow in this part of the state. “This is a stepping-stone to something greater. They’re moving on to greater things and we’re trying to help these kids enjoy the process. I feel blessed to be at the helm.”
Arbelaez also appreciates the support the boys, and girls, receive from the community and administration.
“What they’ve put into sports and into these fields, it’s second to none,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
The Coyotes begin their 2017 season at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, against Folsom at their home field. They start Golden Valley Conference play Tueaday, Sept. 26, against Lassen on the road. The regular season ends Tuesday, Nov. 7.