Craig’s CNCC soccer starts practices, ready for season in September | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig’s CNCC soccer starts practices, ready for season in September

Spartans will join Scenic West Athletic Conference amid other new teams

Luis Lopez, goalie for Colorado Northwestern Community College men's soccer team dives on a ball kicked by visiting instructor Rick Kessel while CNCC assistant coach Joe Eades and teammate Hugo Snyder look on Thursday at Loudy-Simpson Park. CNCC's newest athletics program for men and women, the first for the Craig campus, began practices this week and will attend scrimmages out of state in the following weeks in preparation for a season that begins in September.

The goal of beginning a new athletic endeavor in Craig has been all but achieved.

Colorado Northwestern Community College'sColorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus has its men’s and women’s soccer teams in place and ready for the season ahead, with initial practice sessions beginning earlier this week at Loudy-Simpson Park. Craig campus has its men's and women's soccer teams in place and ready for the season ahead, with initial practice sessions beginning earlier this week at Loudy-Simpson Park.

Colorado Northwestern Community College's Craig campus has its men's and women's soccer teams in place and ready for the season ahead, with initial practice sessions beginning earlier this week at Loudy-Simpson Park.

2016 Colorado Northwestern Community College men's and women's soccer schedule

Date, Women's Game Time, Men's Game Time — Opponent, Game Location

Aug. 10, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. — Sheridan College, Sheridan, Wyoming (scrimmage)

Aug. 19, 1 p.m., 3 p.m. — Utah State University Eastern, Price, Utah (scrimmage)

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Sept. 9, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. — Salt Lake Community College, Craig

Sept. 10, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. — Salt Lake Community College, Craig

Sept. 16, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. — Snow College, Craig

Sept. 17, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. — Snow College, Craig

Sept. 23, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. — College of Southern Nevada, Henderson, Nevada

Sept. 24, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. — College of Southern Nevada, Henderson, Nevada

Oct. 7, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. — Utah State University Eastern, Price, Utah

Oct. 8, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. — Utah State University Eastern, Price, Utah

Oct. 12, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. — Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City

Oct. 13, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. — Snow College, Ephraim, Utah

Oct. 15, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. — College of Southern Nevada, Craig

Oct. 16, Noon, 2 p.m. — Hesston College, Denver

Oct. 22, Noon, 2 p.m. — Utah State University Eastern, Craig

Oct. 27, 28, 29 — Scenic West Athletic Conference Tournament, TBD

— All home games will take place at Loudy-Simpson Park. All events are subject to change.

The rosters for both squads are prepped with talent, with players both local and from out of state. About 15 currently make up the women's group, which is a small but manageable number, said head coach Lance Noble.

"We're not going to be deep, but we're there, we have a team," he said.

Noble has 18 committed to the men's side, which gives him more breathing room in way of subs.

Players are on their way to Northwest Colorado from multiple locations to join the Spartans, including Utah, California and Texas, with players from Louisiana and Florida possible adds to the list.

Noble's assistant coach and recruiter Joe Eades said he has also been in touch with international athletes — including England, Nigeria, Australia, Greece and Brazil — to join the program, though with a small timeframe to arrange travel, they will need to wait until next season.

"I'm putting the word out, and I think it'll really blow up," he said. "In the last two weeks, everything has started to click, and I think we're starting to see everything for the final picture."

Goaltenders have been the focus of practices this week, with Hannah Walker, Bethanie Najera and Luis Lopez working with Rick Kessel, a longtime keeper who's played at the professional level in town from San Antonio for the sessions. Kessel said he played from middle school to high school to college and into the pros, working the box for the Cincinnati Kids and the Philadelphia Fever of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

A coach at all levels ever since, he noted he is impressed with the progress Noble has made getting the CNCC soccer program in motion.

Kessel put the Spartan goalies through their paces this week with intensive drills.

"We work on technique, tactics, courage, trying to get their bodies to understand the position they need their bodies to be in to not get hurt," he said. "It's a potentially very dangerous position unless you really train to hit the ground and know what you're doing."

Noble will work in his field players starting Sunday, and the teams will quickly be thrown into a game scenario as CNCC heads up to Sheridan, Wyoming, for a Wednesday scrimmage with Sheridan College. Another scrimmage takes place against Utah State University Eastern Aug. 19 in Price, Utah.

The first true games will be at home at Loudy-Simpson Sept. 9 and 10 against Salt Lake Community College, another program that is brand-new. The Scenic West Athletic Conference will be full of schools just starting up soccer teams, with USU the only existing one.

Forming the program and making the arrangements has been challenging, Noble said, but the administration of CNCC has supported him every step of the way.

"I'm extremely pleased, the community has been great, and everything's in order, everything's in line," he said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

2016 Colorado Northwestern Community College men’s and women’s soccer schedule

Date, Women’s Game Time, Men’s Game Time — Opponent, Game Location

Aug. 10, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. — Sheridan College, Sheridan, Wyoming (scrimmage)

Aug. 19, 1 p.m., 3 p.m. — Utah State University Eastern, Price, Utah (scrimmage)

Sept. 9, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. — Salt Lake Community College, Craig

Sept. 10, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. — Salt Lake Community College, Craig

Sept. 16, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. — Snow College, Craig

Sept. 17, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. — Snow College, Craig

Sept. 23, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. — College of Southern Nevada, Henderson, Nevada

Sept. 24, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. — College of Southern Nevada, Henderson, Nevada

Oct. 7, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. — Utah State University Eastern, Price, Utah

Oct. 8, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. — Utah State University Eastern, Price, Utah

Oct. 12, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. — Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City

Oct. 13, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. — Snow College, Ephraim, Utah

Oct. 15, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. — College of Southern Nevada, Craig

Oct. 16, Noon, 2 p.m. — Hesston College, Denver

Oct. 22, Noon, 2 p.m. — Utah State University Eastern, Craig

Oct. 27, 28, 29 — Scenic West Athletic Conference Tournament, TBD

— All home games will take place at Loudy-Simpson Park. All events are subject to change.