MOHAVE COUNTY – The Mohave Community College Soccer program has officially entered its inaugural year of 2024, with both Men’s and Women’s squads continuing to add to their rosters in preparation for the start of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) season in August.
Athletic Director and Men’s Head Coach Camilo Valencia says staff are focused on recruiting talented, hard workers for both teams. The overall quality of the players is of the utmost importance during recruitment, especially given the tight window between preseason camp and the first game of the season, Aug. 1 and Aug. 22, respectively.
“In College soccer, the preseason is not very long,” Valencia says. “We expect our players to come in very fit and ready to go. In the three weeks we have before we start playing, as new programs, we need to create a team environment and set the standard that we want to help us become cohesive groups on and off the field.”
A typical preseason day for the Bighorns will include two on-field training sessions, meetings throughout the day and workouts in the weight room. Valencia also noted practices will be open to the public and most will be held at Rotary Park in Bullhead City. MCC Soccer aims to represent the county as a whole, with Valencia adding that he wants players to know and understand those who comprise the community.
“The best way to do that is to get to know the community, and so we want the community out there,” Valencia said. “We want to be able to work and keep our focus but the community is welcome to come and see us in action.”
For the Men’s team, Valencia expects exciting play to dominate the pitch and entertain fans throughout Mohave County.
“There’s going to be excitement in the way we play because of the players we have signed,” Valencia said. “The guys we have so far, they can score a lot of goals and are just creative. It’s just going to be exciting to watch them play.”
The search for a new head coach of the women’s team continues, with Valencia noting that the hope is to have an update before the end of February.
“Our hope is that we’ll have a Women’s coach in place by the start of March’s Girls ID Camp,” Valencia said. “That way, we’ll welcome our new coach and the coach will also get to see the local talent in Mohave County.”
The Girls ID Camp, designed to identify, evaluate and prepare players seeking to compete at the collegiate level, is scheduled for Saturday, March 9. Two Boys ID Camps are slated for Saturday, April 6 and Saturday, June 29. For more information, go to mohavesoccercamps.com.
Valencia says the camps focus on the future of the two programs, and that some previous camp participants have already been identified and signed by the Bighorns. Participation is a great way for local players to not only demonstrate their skills but to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a Bighorn.