Men's Rattler Soccer
Meet your 2017-2018 Men's Soccer Team
Since its inaugural season in 2010, the Otero Men’s soccer program has continued a successful tradition on and off the field. Hundreds of student-athletes continue to grow and compete at a high level each year. Chris Smith, first year Head Coach, is looking to keep his student- athletes competing at the highest level and moving players on.
OJC is a National Junior College Athletic Association Division I institution, the highest level in the NJCAA. Our teams at OJC have had continual success both academically and athletically each and every year due to a very strong commitment from the administration and staff. The Rattlers compete in the Region IX conference that encompasses the states of Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska. The program is one of the first junior college programs to be offered in Colorado.
OJC Men’s Soccer Team Looks Back on Successful Season
The Otero Junior College Men’s Soccer Program has enjoyed a history of success over the past eight years and the 2017 season was no exception. The men’s team finished the season on an incredibly high note with the Rattlers winning the Region IX Championship title after great exhibitions during regular season play. The team posted an overall winning record of 11-6-2 and had a tremendous showing during post-season tournament play.
To win the Region IX Championship, the Otero men beat Sheridan College at their home for quarter finals, bested Trinidad in an intense match up during semifinals, and defeated Northeastern Junior College in the Region Tournament final held in Denver.
After such a success in Region IX, OJC qualified to the District Tournament held in Prescott, Arizona. The semifinal match against Pima College, ranked 8th in the nation in the NJCAA polls, was intense and met all expectations for a championship caliber competition. Otero tied the game in regular time and unfortunately conceded a golden goal winner five minutes from the final whistle in second overtime.
At the conclusion of the District Tournament, OJC was one game short of attending the NJCAA National Tournament that would also be held in Arizona. OJC finished the season in the nation’s top NJCAA Men’s Soccer programs according to national polls and votes. Although the ambition was to be at Nationals, the team felt no shame in falling just a tad short to Pima. Pima College proceeded to compete and fell in the semifinals of the National Tournament, representing the district with great class and level.
During NJCAA All-Region voting, two of OJC’s players were named First Team All-Region, four others were named Second Team All-Region, including the Freshman of the Region and Goalkeeper of the Region. The USC also voted one of our players to the First West District Team, and another to the Second All District Team.
First Team: Sophomore Gimale Essacu- Port Monesty, Pappa New Guinea; Freshmen Petar Pesic- Nis, Serbia (Goal Keeper of The Year)
Second Team: Sophomore Kevin Chavez- El Paso, Texas; Sophomore Salvador Jimenez- Reno, Nevada; Sophomore Martin Soriano- Herriman, Utah; Freshmen Arturo Chairez- Sunland Park, New Mexico (Freshmen of The Year)
United Soccer Coaches
West-District First Team: Sophomore Gimale Essacu- Port Monesty, Pappa New Guinea
West District Second Team: Sophomore Kevin Chavez- El Paso, Texas
Head Coach Chris Smith stated that he is extremely proud of his team and their accomplishments. “The bar has been set high for next season, but the incoming class of OJC men’s soccer players are highly committed to having a historic season again next year. We will continue to build upon our success and learn from our mistakes. It has been a pleasure to coach such a group of talented and dedicated players,” said Smith.
We welcome our fans and prospective players to follow us via webcasts that can be accessed through this website and on social media.
- 2017 REGION IX CHAMPIONS
- 2015 REGION IX CHAMPIONS
- 2014 REGION IX RUNNER-UPS
- 2014 WEST DISTRICT SEMI-FINALIST
- 2013 REGION IX CHAMPIONS
- 2010 REGION IX CHAMPIONS
- 2010 WEST DISTRICT CHAMPIONS
- 2010 NJCAA NATIONAL QUALIFIER (Finished 7th in the nation)