The newest National Junior College Athletic Association poll came out on Wednesday, and the Barton Community College men’s soccer team is ranked No. 1 after former No. 1 Tyler (Texas) Junior College lost last week.
It is the first time in school history that the men’s soccer program has been ranked on top of the nation.
The Cougars opened the season ranked No. 3 behind Tyler and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in the NJCAA preseason poll. They moved to No. 2 after the first week.
“It’s something that we’ve been working towards,” BCC Oliver Twelvetrees said. “Obviously, we want to be No. 1 at the end of the season, but it is certainly a nice honor for the program. It’s the first time ever, and we’re all excited about it.”
Part of being No. 1 at the end of the season is continuing the hard work that got the team where it is now.
“We need to stay together with the boys,” sophomore David Major said. “We need to practice every day, keep working hard and don’t let everything go to our head. You got to understand where you are first. You’re first in the nation, but it’s a ranking. We haven’t won anything yet.
“That’s how you keep yourself grounded. I say it’s only a poll, but it’s a good poll.
Twelvetrees said that the important thing is holding the ranking.
“We’ve just got to make sure that we’re not a flash in the pan,” Twelvetrees said. “We need to make sure that we go out there this weekend and don’t think that we don’t have to work hard, and do all of those things that we’ve done all season to be successful.
“I don’t think this is the most talented team that I’ve ever had, and so we have to work extra hard to win game. To prove that we’re the best in the nation. It’s not always the most talented team in the nation that’s No. 1. It’s the best team.”
Twelvetrees said that the 2008 team that went 20-1-1 overall was the most talented team he has coached, though not necessarily the best team.
“I still think that talent-wise, it was the most talented team we’ve ever had, but it wasn’t a good enough team,” Twelvetrees said of his 2008 squad. “We weren’t able to make nationals even. It all goes on results, so last year’s team has to go down as the best team we’ve had here because they had the highest finish. That’s what it all comes down to.
“Talent doesn’t mean anything unless you put it together and get the results. This team has been doing it so far, and we hope it will be the best team ever.”
The 2008 team lost to Garden City in the Region VI championship game. Its one tie came against Garden City during the regular season.
NATIONAL JUNIOR COLLEGE
MEN’S SOCCER POLL
1. Barton Community College
2. Darton College
3. Schoolcraft College
4. Iowa Western Community College
5. Tyler Junior College
6. Monroe College
7. Yavapai College
8. Georgia Perimeter College
9. College of DuPage
10. Jefferson College