The Tyler Junior College Apache soccer team is sending sevent players on to the next level after a successful 2013 campaign leading to the national championship game. The Apaches finished 2013 as the national runners-up with a 19-2-1 record on the season. TJC won the national championship in 2009, 2010, and 2012.
“I’m proud of these guys. We had another great group. They won the national championship last year with not a bad run this year as the national runners-up,” head soccer coach Steve Clements said. “They are going to great schools including six D-I schools and a D-II school. We are proud that all of our guys are graduating and are progressing on and off the field.”
Atsou Ayah is moving closer to home signing on with the University of South Florida. During the 2013 season, the Tampa native played in 22 games with three goals and one assist with seven points. Joining him at USF will be TJC teammate and fellow Floridian Brandon Riley. The defender from Orlando played in 21 games and was named to the 2013 NJCAA National All-Tournament Team.
Two Apaches are heading to Creighton University in the form of Fernando Castellanos and Mike Paye, both from Raleigh, North Carolina. Castellanos played in 21 games scoring 10 goals with five assists and a total of 25 points. He was also named to the 2013 NJCAA National All-Tournament Team. Paye played in 20 games with five assists and five points on the season.
Another pair of Apaches are going to Grand Canyon University including New Yorker Hector Lasso and El Paso native Ricardo Tavarez. The two defenders combined for two assists and two points with Lasso playing in 22 games and Tavarez playing in 19 games. Rayon Gibbs will continue his collegiate career at Rutgers University. Gibbs, from Jackson, Mississippi, played in 20 games with six goals and 12 points.