By Chase Shannon, Sports Anchor / News Reporter - email
TISHOMINGO, OK -- Fans
of soccer now have a local collegiate team to cheer on. Murray State
College is adding women's and men's soccer to the Aggie athletics
line-up for the fall 2014 season. The teams will be based out of the
Ardmore campus. The move to add the sport was a few years in the
idea started as a discussion among some of the two-year college
presidents," says Murray State College President Joy McDaniel. "There
was a desire to start a soccer program, but we wanted to make sure there
would be colleges within our area to play to decrease the travel
fall, there will be five colleges competing in soccer in the National
Junior College Athletic Association Region 2. Northern Oklahoma
College-Tonkawa and Northeastern Oklahoma A & M already have soccer
programs in place. Rose State College and Eastern Oklahoma State
College join MSC in debuting programs in the upcoming fall season.
Murray State College will compete in the NJCAA Division III.
Junior College has a soccer program, and there are also several
colleges in the Dallas area we can play," says Athletic Director Zach
Crabtree. "So we are able to get a good schedule without a lot of long
bus rides. In addition, there are a couple more Oklahoma colleges that
could be adding soccer in the few years."
over as head coach for both the women's and men's soccer teams is Shane
Ross. A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Ross came to Oklahoma to
play college level soccer. He received his Bachelor's and Master's
degrees from Northeastern State University where he was a member and
graduate assistant of the varsity soccer team. An Ardmore
business-owner, Ross now lives in Ardmore with his wife Sarah and their
has been a goal of mine for a long time," says Ross. "I'm very excited
for the community of Ardmore and for this opportunity. I look forward
to meeting all of our local supporters."
name of the game now is building the team, and Ross is working hard to
recruit players. Crabtree says the soccer program will bring anywhere
from fifty to sixty student-athletes to Murray State College. He says
Ross's experience and connections as a former player and coach will help
recruit the right students.
success of the golf program and Coach Al Smith certainly shows us that
we can support an athletic program based in Ardmore," says McDaniel.
"The soccer program will draw students from around the area, and maybe
up from Dallas, and will attract a group of students that we haven't
reached before. By diversifying our athletic offerings, we are
diversifying our campuses. And that benefits everyone."
first game for the new Murray State College soccer teams is scheduled
for late August. The season runs through October. Recruitment
information is up on the Murray State College website now. The
schedules will be online as soon as they are finalized.