Soccer set to open preseason training
Media Contact: Amanda L. Booren -- August 6, 2012
By: John Bechtle for San Jacinto College
HOUSTON - A host of new faces will be seen all around as first-year San Jacinto College interim men’s soccer head coach Ian Spooner welcomes players on campus Aug. 2.
Spooner, the team’s acting head coach while longtime head coach David Santesteban is on a leave of absence and working with the U.S. Youth National program, expects to see as many as 25 newcomers as the team begins preparation for the Aug. 24 opener.
Having been San Jacinto’s assistant coach since 2008, Spooner is familar with the lay of the land both on campus and in Region XIV, where Tyler resides as the defending champion.
Now, Spooner gets his chance to lead the way into 2012.
Noting the team returns just five players from the 2011 club, Spooner concedes it may take a little more time than usual to put things together on the field. In the end, though, he holds high expectations that have forever been present on campus.
“It is a little more difficult when you have so many first-time freshmen,” Spooner said. “I have seen quite a few of them play, but several of them were also heavily recruited by coach Santesteban. At the end of the day, they all know how to play soccer. We still expect great things. Challenging for a regional title is up there, but we want to take it farther and give ourselves a shot at nationals. It will be more of a challenge this year with the young players, but we’re not discouraged.”
As for his role, Spooner is also counting on himself to put the right players in the right spots and to develop a style that suits the talent as quickly as possible.
In the early days of any preseason, it’s often difficult to determine a group’s strengths, where more work is needed and where a group might be lacking. The first week or so, said Spooner, will be important.
“Just getting the guys out onto the field for two-a-days, working on their fitness and getting them out there with the soccer balls will be a big key,” Spooner said. “Most of the guys this season are coming from the high school level. College soccer, the pace of the game, and the physical nature of the game are all different. We’ll get out there and see what we have. I expect a lot. San Jacinto College possesses an elite program, and in the end we want to be right there in the mix with the best.”
There will be plenty of new faces as the practices get under way, but that won’t keep one of the nation’s elite programs from expecting great things during the season. That much Spooner promises.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.