CNCC-Craig Soccer coaches work toward consistency, longevity
Five-year-old programs hope to see more landmarks this school year
Doug Seigle is entering into uncharted territory this year at Colorado Northwest Community College. He is starting his third year as the head coach of the men’s soccer team.
“We are a young program that has had to start from ground zero,” he said. “The best thing we can do to build it is to create some longevity and consistency.”
When Seigle was hired he became the third head coach in as many years. As he goes into this year, he is celebrating several new accomplishments from last year. The boys’ team earned the program’s first-ever victory. They also posted a tie in a conference game and competed closely with a nationally-ranked team, eventually falling 2-0. That team had four Academic All-Americans (2nd team Cameron Aragon Falcon, Co., and 3rd teamers, Dillon O’Farrell, West Jordan, UT, Pedro Romero, Craig, Co., and Jose Salazar Renteria, Greely, Co., 3rd team).
This year’s team will return 10-12 athletes from last year including O’Farrell, Romero and All Scenic West Athletic Conference player Turner West, (Commerce City, Co.). In addition, Siegle has about 18-20 new signees.
“This will easily be our largest roster,” he said. “Unlike the past, we won’t be in danger of having to lose a game because of an injury.” The Spartans’ bench has been so thin in the past that they could not afford an injury to have the full 11 on the field.
Seigle said that one tactic that has helped him build a roster is to understand what type of student athlete will thrive in Northwest Colorado.
“The program started out focusing recruiting on talent, but sometimes they ran into Texas kids not wanting to stay here,” he said. “Now I look at more than just their talent. I’m looking at their staying ability and their durability for this area.”
Seigle said he is working to get his student athletes to be involved in the community and also get past the “there’s nothing to do in Craig” mentality. He said he tries to help them see there are lots of fun opportunities. The strategy has helped bolster the roster and the numbers for 20-21 show that.
Not only will Seigle have numbers, he will have more time to develop the team. On July 13, the National Junior College Athletics Association announced that all fall contact sports would be moved to the spring. Both men’s and women’s soccer is included in that move.
“Initially that threw a wrench in our momentum,” Seigle said. “But since our kids will probably be able to be on campus, we will have an advantage over the schools that are just going to meet virtually because we will be practicing and scrimmaging in the fall.”
Joining the mix with Seigle is new women’s coach, Jason Bond. He is facing a similar rebuilding issue that Seigle faced in his first year.
“We have some returning players who will help,” said Bond, who was hired in May after eight years as an assistant at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami, OK, and moved to Craig in June. “I’m the fifth coach in five years, so I came with the hope to follow in Doug’s footsteps and build some consistency.”
The women’s program has yet to tally a win in its five-year existence, but Bond knows one advantage in junior college athletics is that, “you can turn things around quicker because you have a completely different team every two years,” he said.
Bond will return a significant portion of the roster from last year and with new signees hopes to have a roster of up to 20 athletes.
Both coaches moved to Craig from the midwest, with Seigle coming from Wisconsin and Bond from Oklahoma. They are learning to practice what they preach when it comes to living in their new community.
“I have been getting out to enjoy local music and explore the valley,” Seigle said. “But my next step is definitely getting out more into the community and getting to know more people.”
Bond and his girlfriend relocated and he said they are acclimating to the new recreational opportunities.
“We are learning to go and experience the trails and the rivers,” he said.
Seigle, who was a part of the interview process for the women’s position, said that he was excited to have Bond in the athletics office with him.
“We’ve worked well together bouncing ideas off each other and working on projects,” he said. “It’s also just nice to share my office again and have someone to work with. When one of us gets a win, we both get a win.”
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