MOHAVE COUNTY – Mohave Community College just announced another historic move in its plan to launch the first-ever men’s and women’s college soccer teams in Mohave County.
The National Junior College Athletic Association, NJCAA, informed college President Dr. Stacy Klippenstein that MCC has been approved to join the association. The college plans to form teams and compete in the Division 1 soccer season beginning in the fall of 2023.
“This is a very monumental day,” said Dr. Klippenstein. “Men’s and women’s soccer at collegiate level will open new the doors to higher education benefitting students and the region, plus it will greatly add to the overall college experience at MCC.”
The MCC Bighorns will participate in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference. Other colleges in the conference include Arizona Western College, Cochise College, Eastern Arizona, Yavapai College, Central Arizona College and many of the colleges in the Maricopa Community College system.
The men’s and women’s teams will be based out of the college’s Bullhead City campus, near the Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse which will be home field for the MCC Bighorns Soccer teams.
“What an amazing opportunity for all of the kids of Mohave county, these are very exciting times and we are extremely proud to be the future home of Bighorn Soccer. Go Bighorns!” said Fieldhouse General Manager Ed Catalfamo who will be one of the founding members of the MCC Bighorns Booster Club.
The City of Bullhead City has also offered its facilities at Rotary Park as a backup to the fieldhouse. City Manager Toby Cotter is among many in the region supporting the college effort to start college soccer teams.
“Next level, that’s what I call it, next level,” Bullhead City Manager Toby Cotter said after hearing the NJCAA approved the college membership application. “Bullhead City has built a culture of sports and sports tourism. Collegiate athletics takes us to the next level. The city will work hand in hand with the college providing facilities when needed and support for tournament fundraisers so that the program can be extremely successful.”
The college plans to recruit players first from throughout Mohave County so local student-athletes can benefit from both the educational and athletic experience. The college also plans to host matches and tournaments throughout the region to help boost support for the teams and raise funds for the program.
Several business and education leaders are already in the process of forming the Bighorns Booster Club to support the soccer teams. Founding booster club members will include Mohave Superior Court Judge Steven Moss, Kingman Economic Development Manager Bennett Bratley, Baron Services Co-Owner Matt Hanrahan, Vice President of Fairway Constructors Mehdi Azarmi, Superior Tire Owner Kelly Burgess, and Anderson Fieldhouse General Manager Ed Catalfamo.
Those interested in becoming Bighorn Booster Club members should contact MCC Dean of Student and Community Engagement Carolyn Hamblin at CHamblin@mohave.edu or Mehdi Azarmi at Mehdi@FairwayConstructors.com.
Legacy Foundation donates $300,000 to help start MCC men’s and women’s soccer teams
The BHHS Legacy Foundation awarded a $300,000 grant to the college to help fund the athletics program for its first two years. The funds will be used to hire coaches, develop youth soccer players through camp programs, equipment, and game and practice venue arrangements.
“BHHS Legacy Foundation is pleased and excited about the new intercollegiate athletic program being developed at Mohave Community College,” said Dan Oehler, Board Chair of the Legacy Foundation. “Our board is convinced that the College’s implementation of this program will allow many of our local Mohave County athletes to further their education while continuing to develop their athletic skills yet remain within their home environment.”
Oehler said these student athletes on a post graduate basis will have a greater opportunity to remain within our Mohave County communities during their future employment careers.