Go to TJC and see the USA

Published on Sunday, 12 November 2017 22:45 - Written by PHIL HICKS, phicks@tylerpaper.com


Dr. Tim Drain has a dilemma most athletic directors can only dream about - which national tournament to attend.

Drain, Tyler Junior College’s sports boss, has three teams in national tournaments this week - women’s soccer on the East coast, volleyball in the heartland of America and men’s soccer in the desert.

While he would like to be at all three, logistics make that impossible. So Drain will travel to Melbourne, Florida, with the Apache Ladies’ soccer team. Associate athletic director Chuck Smith (men’s soccer in Prescott, Arizona) and assistant athletic director Kelsi Weeks (volleyball in Hutchinson, Kansas) will travel with the other squads.

“I am so excited for our teams as they compete in their respective national championships,” Drain said. “Our conference is so tough, and we compete against some of the best teams in the nation in our regular season.

“I am so proud of our players and coaches, and wish them all the best in their tournaments.”

TJC is the only school with teams in all three tournaments.

Four other schools have teams in two of the tourneys - Iowa Western (VB, women’s soccer), Laramie County (Wyoming) (VB, women’s soccer), Schoolcraft (Michigan) (men’s and women’s soccer) and Monroe (New York) College (VB, men’s soccer).

Both soccer teams begin their quest for gold on Monday with the volleyball squad starting on Wednesday.

The men’s soccer team is seeking back-to-back national championships for the first time since 2009 and 2010. Last year, the Apaches finished with a perfect 24-0 record. TJC also won men’s soccer national crowns in 2012 and 2014. The squad placed as national runners-up in 2013 and 2015.

The women’s soccer team is seeking its third title, previously winning in 2009 and 2011. Last year, the Apache Ladies finished as national runner-up.

The Apache Ladies volleyball team is eyeing its first national championship, having previously finished runner-up in 2013.



Steve Clements’ Apaches, despite being the defending national champion, are seeded only fourth in this year’s tournament, something that has not escaped the eye of Clements and his club.

TJC (19-2) is in Pool D with No. 5 Indian Hills (Iowa) (17-2) and No. 9 Louisburg (North Carolina) (16-5-0). The winner of the pool advances to the semifinals on Friday.

The Apaches open the tourney on Monday with a 3:30 p.m. (CST) match against Louisburg. After an off day Tuesday, TJC meets Indian Hills at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

TJC is playing in its 13th national tournament, including the ninth consecutive time.



Cory Rose’s Apache Ladies are appearing in their seventh national tournament in 10 years of the program’s existence.

TJC is seeded No. 2 with a 20-1 record. The Apache Ladies are in Pool B with No. 7 Harford (Maryland) (18-1) and No. 11 Cloud County (Kansas) (15-3). The winner of the pool advances to the semifinals on Friday.

The Apache Ladies play Cloud County at 11:30 a.m. Monday and after a day off on Tuesday meet Harford at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.



Brandi Hood, the former Hutchinson Community College All-American and standout Big 12 player at Texas Tech, is taking the Apache Ladies to their sixth national tournament, including two of her three years as head coach.

The Apache Ladies are seeded No. 7 with a 19-9 record. TJC has won nine straight matches, plus a 3-0 mark to capture the Region XIV Tournament.

TJC has a first-round match with No. 10 St. Petersburg (Florida) (17-5) at 11 a.m. Thursday. A win there moves the Apache Ladies into the quarterfinals to face either No. 2 Iowa Western (37-1) or No. 15 Hutchinson (Kansas) (27-12) at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

However, a loss would mean TJC will play at 11 a.m. Friday in the double-elimination event. The loser of Iowa Western and Hutchinson would be the opponent.




NJCAA Division I Volleyball Tournament

Nov. 16-19

Hutchinson Sports Arena, Hutchinson, Kansas

Seeding - 1, Miami Dade, 30-0; 2, Iowa Western, 37-1; 3, Southern Idaho, 28-3; 4, Western Nebraska, 32-6; 5, Hill (Texas), 26-1; 6, Mineral Area (Missouri), 34-0; 7, Tyler JC, 19-9; 8, Panola, 25-6; 9, Polk State (Florida), 17-8; 10, St. Petersburg (Florida), 17-5; 11, Laramie County (Wyoming), 32-6; 12, Monroe (New York), 20-9; 13, New Mexico Military, 28-11; 14, Eastern Arizona, 22-8; 15, Hutchinson (Kansas), 27-12; 16, Wallace State (Alabama), 34-8.


NJCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Tournament

Nov. 13-18

Titan Stadium, Melbourne, Florida

Seeding - 1, Phoenix (21-0-1); 2, Tyler JC (20-1-0); 3, Laramie County (Wyoming) (16-1-0); 4, Eastern Florida State (11-2-0); 5, Schoolcraft (Michigan) (13-0-1); 6, ASA Brooklyn (New York) (10-0); 7, Harford (Maryland) (18-1-0); 8, Lewis & Clark (Illinois) (17-2-0); 9, Iowa Western (12-5-0); 10, Moraine Valley (Illinois) (17-0-0); 11, Cloud County (Kansas) (15-3-0); 12, Georgia Military (14-2-1).


NJCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament

Nov. 13-18

Mountain Valley Field, Prescott, Arizona

Seeding - 1, St. Louis (22-0-0); 2, Schoolcraft (Michigan) (15-0-0); 3, Yavapai (Arizona) (21-2-3); 4, Tyler JC (19-2-0); 5, Indian Hills (Iowa) (17-2-0); 6, Mercer (New Jersey) (19-3-1); 7, Monroe (New York) (12-1-2); 8, Pima (Arizona) (17-4-3); 9, Louisburg (North Carolina) (16-5-0); 10, Waubonsee (Illinois) (17-4-1); 11, Kansas City (Kansas) (11-3-2); 12, Illinois Central (10-8-2).