Nick Kenebrew, Sports Editor
TJC’s Soccer Program has been built on a winning culture.
The work ethic of this program is well documented.
TJC Men’s soccer, who are (47-2) the last two seasons, is coming off a national championship. Ranked No.1 in the NCJAA Division 1 polls, they currently have a record of (15-2). Being (12-1) in conference play.
A national championship is a great achievement for any college program. The title is usually awarded by contests, ranking systems, stature, and ability
“The idea of winning three straight national championships would be mighty fun,” Coach Steve Clements said.
The Apaches soccer team, coached by Clements, will try to make it three straight national titles this season and seven overall.
Clements has led TJC to national championships in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017 and two runners-up spots in 2013 and 2015.
Clements also coached Meridian Community College of Mississippi.
“Although a national championship is a long way off, it would be nice for the team to be put in that position,” Clements said.
He really loves his job and with almost two decades down, is still excited about coaching. With that mindset, there are always players coming in and out, which means recruiting plays a big role.
With about 17 recruits, they strive to be better or just as good as the previous teams. “Pretty much by this part of the season, their kind like sophomores,” Clements said.
“Their goals are to try to outdo the last class or keep up with the pace of the last class. This is why they’re so goal-oriented,” said Clements.
Clements goal is to help these players to do well academically and do well enough on the field that they have the opportunity to go to a four-year school.
Although a national championship is a long way off, it would be nice for the team to be put in that position.
“Just the opportunity to compete for a national title is fun,” said Clements.
The team never talks about the rankings, polls or national titles. “We’re just trying to win one game at a time,” said Clements.
“Right now we’re trying to get ourselves in position to do well in conference, the better your opportunities are,” said Clements.
This program has been consistent over the last decade. A lot of that has to staff and players. “You have to have good quality players and our staff has done a great job recruiting and putting these teams together,” said Clements.
The Men’s national soccer tournament is Nov. 12-17 at Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, Florida.