There were a lot of kickoffs on gridirons around the nation.
On Tuesday, the TJC soccer teams will get their kicks on as the squads open their seasons.
The powerhouse sides play host to Jacksonville in a Region XIV Conference doubleheader at Pat Hartley Field on the Tyler Junior College campus.
The Apache Ladies, ranked No. 2 in the nation, will play the Lady Jaguars at 5 p.m., followed by the Apaches, ranked No. 3 in the land, tackling the Jaguars at 7 p.m.
Prior to the matches, the annual Meet the Apaches is scheduled from 3-6 p.m. at Pat Hartley Field. It is hosted by TJC Center for Student Life & Involvement. There will be tailgating and free food for students. From 5-6 p.m. there will be food trucks so fans may purchase food as well
Corey Rose enters his 12th season as Apache Ladies coach. TJC finished second in the nation last year, falling in the championship game to Monroe College (New York).
Rose’s squads have won three national championships — 2009, 2011 and 2017. The Apache Ladies have finished runner-up three time — 2010, 2016 and 2018.
As usual expectations are high.
“We expect to exceed what the coaches are asking from us,” said Natalie Martinez, a freshman midfielder from Perry, Iowa. “We expect to win all the games we possibly can and be national champions.”
Martinez, whose mother is from Gonzales, still has not grown accustomed the Texas heat.
“I’ve been here three weeks and I’m still trying to adjust,” Martinez said.
A couple of local athletes will be keys for the Apache Ladies as well — 6-2 sophomore goalkeeper Sydney Malmstrom of Whitehouse and sophomore Sarah Flannelly, a midfielder from the Rose City who graduated from Bishop Gorman.
Both grew up watching the Apache Ladies and hoping to play for the team some day.
Other sophomores include: midfielder Marta Estupinan (Canary Islands, Spain); defender Selma De Luna (Longview); defender Adamarie Moreno (San Angelo); midfielder/defender Carla Garcia (Brownsville); forward Patricia Estupinan (Canary Islands, Spain); midfielder/forward Paula Martinez (Barcelona, Spain); defender/midfielder Maria De La Fuente (Madrid, Spain); defender Alicia Salgado (Granbury) and defender Chrysanthi Voli (Martino, Greece).
Other freshmen include: goalkeeper Ayana Aoyagi (Melbourne, Australia); defender/midfielder Isabel Kopp (Santpoort-Zuid, The Netherlands); midfielder Heidi Mueller (Auerbach, Germany); forward Vicki Adams (Gyöngyös, Hungary); defender/midfielder Hitomi Yamaue (Okayama, Japan); midfielder Demi Van Stappershoef (Venray, The Netherlands); defender Maelwenn Gaffais (Saint-German-de-la-Grarge, France); midfielder Alexia Moreira (Jacksonville); forward Mukarama Abdulai (Tamale, Ghana); forward Isabel Garcia (Palestine); midfielder Evermore Mutandwa (Zimbabwe); defender Viktoria Witthinrich (Phuket, Thailand); defender Kayla Daughtry (Lindale), and defender/midfielder Kayleigh Minehart (Tyler).
Rose’s staff includes assistants Rodrigo Rocha (third season) and Kati Tamanaha (first season).
The NJCAA Division I Women’s National Tournament is scheduled for Nov. 18-23 at Orlando Heath Stadium in Melbourne, Florida.
The Apaches will be the last Region XIV team to take the pitch. Jacksonville enters with a 1-1 record.
With a number of sophomores returning coach Steve Clements is excited about the team’s prospects.
“Our guys have set a standard before these players,” said Clements, who has taken the Apaches to 10 straight national championship tournament, winning six titles. “I hope these live up to them. I like this team. They have worked hard. There is a lot of enthusiasm. It’s going to take some time. This team has a good bit of depth, a lot more than last year. We have a lot more sophomores than last year. I like the mix.
“We’ve had a good fall practice so far, but we have a long way to go.”
For the first time since 2011, the Apaches did not play in the national championship game. With a strong sophomore class returning they hope to start a new streak.
The sophomores include: goalkeeper Carl Koester (Syke, Germany), goalkeeper Neil Strauber (Tel Aviv, Israel); defender Jake Morris (Fort Lauderdale, Florida); defender Jannik Videbaek (Silkeborg, Denmark); defender Theofanis Lazarides (Nicosia, Cyprus); forward Dylan Bufton (Johannesburg, South Africa) midfielder Thaabit Baartman (Cape Town, South Africa); midfielder Dion Macfoy-Johnston (London); defender Josymar Gomez (Atlanta, Georgia); forward Victor Calvillo (Corsicana) and forward Rashad Dodds (Houston).
The freshmen include: goalkeeper Alejandro DeLeTorre (Georgetown); defender Tom Windle (Leeds, England); defender Tristan Singh (Johannesburg, South Africa); forward Karsimi Konneh (Seattle); forward Jorensky Augustin (Port-Au-Prince, Haiti); midfielder Tamar Clayon-Naute (Leicester, England); defender Dominik Kurija (Munich, Germany); forward Tahjae Green (St. Elizabeth, Jamaica); defender Jack McCourt (Ireland); midfielder Marc Tirado Belles (Vila-Real, Spain); midfielder Khaled Qasoum (Ibillin, Israel); midfielder Mads Eslund (Brondby, Denmark); midfielder Kahsay Sahlu (Atlanta, Georgia); midfielder Raul Carillo (Tyler); midfielder Jonathan Martinez (Atlanta, Georgia); midfielder Ralph Mangandoza (Harare, Zimbabwe) goalkeeper Edgar Gonzalez (Jacksonville); midfielder Tommy Hunt (King’s Lynn, England); goalkeeper Peter Neal (Tyler); defender Satoshi Irie (Fukuoka, Japan); and defender Ali Owusu Ansah (Accra, Ghana).
Clements enters his 18th season with the competitive desire still burning.
“What we love is watching them graduate from here and going to a four-year schools and graduating and watching them do the things they do down the road,” Clements said. “We love helping them get from point A to point B. If we can be any part of that; helping them progress on and off the field and in life that’s what we want to do.”
Clement’s staff includes Wayne Hall (sixth season), Derek Talcott (fourth season) and Shaun Stocker (first season).
The NJCAA Division I Men’s National Tournament is scheduled for Nov. 18-23 at Pat Hartley Field in Tyler.
TJC Women’s Soccer Schedule
Sept. 3 Jacksonville 5 p.m.
Sept. 6 Blinn 5 p.m.
Sept. 7 Angelina 5 p.m.
Sept. 10 Hill 5 p.m.
Sept. 20 at NE Texas 2 p.m.
Sept. 21 at Paris 2 p.m.
Sept. 25 Navarro 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 Johnson County 5 p.m.
Oct. 1 LSU-Eunice 5 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Blinn 5 p.m.
Oct. 5 at Angelina 2 p.m.
Oct. 8 Ranger 5 p.m.
Oct. 12 at Brookhaven 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 NE Texas 5 p.m.
Oct. 19 Paris 5 p.m.
Oct. 22 at Navarro 4 p.m.
Oct. 26 at Jacksonville 5 p.m.
All home games at TJC’s Pat Hartley Field
TJC Men’s Soccer Schedule
Sept. 3 Jacksonville 7 p.m.
Sept. 6 Blinn 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 Angelina 7 p.m.
Sept. 10 Hill 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 at Coastal Bend 3 p.m.
Sept. 14 at Laredo 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 at NE Texas 4 p.m.
Sept. 21 at Paris 4 p.m.
Sept. 24 Richland 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 Johnson County 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 Broward noon
Oct. 1 LSU-Eunice 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Blinn 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 at Angelina TBA
Oct. 11 Laredo 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 Coastal Bend 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 NE Texas 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 Paris 7 p.m.
Oct. 26 at Jacksonville 7 p.m.
All home games at TJC’s Pat Hartley Field