Kyle Vierck’s ongoing mission for the Columbia Basin College men’s soccer team is to make better men, better students and better players out of his recruits, in that order.
Vierck, the Hawks’ head coach, looked around at the bulk of his 21-member recruiting class for 2012 during a signing ceremony Wednesday at the CBC student services building and had reason for optimism about the future of the program.
“I think we can expect to compete with the best,” said Vierck, a former Hawks goalkeeper who helped lead CBC to its first and only NWAACC men’s championship in 1999. “I’m happy with what we’ve done, and I’m willing to say we’re going to have a fantastic year.”
The incoming class includes several notable Mid-Columbia players, including three-time All-CBBN forward Rene Solorio of Chiawana; two-time CWAC player of the year Jorge Campos of Othello; and former Pasco star Richard Renteria, a transfer from Pacific Lutheran University.
But one of Vierck’s crown jewels is Jose Ramirez, a three-time Oregon 4A all-state forward who led Stayton to its first state championship in 2010.
The Hawks’ class of 2012 includes six players from the CBBN (3A and 4A divisions), six from the CWAC and five from Oregon. Edgar Camacho, a defender out of Eisenhower, was accepted to Eastern Wash- ington University but liked the opportunity Vierck had for him at CBC.
“I expect great things from Kyle,” said Camacho, an All-CBBN 4A selection who helped the Cadets reach the 4A state tournament for the first time in 12 seasons. “I liked the fact that (CBC) was close to home, and I don’t have to travel that far.”
Jesse Esquivel, a forward out of West Valley High School in Yakima, has been on Vierck’s radar for the last two seasons. Esquivel, who tied for second in the CBBN with nine goals, was impressed with the overall talent level of his fellow recruits.
“It’s a really impressive group. A lot of these guys are good club players,” said Esquivel, a member of the Sun City Strikers club team in Yakima. “I like (coach Vierck’s) determination. It seems like he really wants it.”
Vierck led CBC to the NWAACC semifinals in 2010, but his program was derailed a bit in 2011 after a handful of key recruits decided not to join the program at the last minute. Vierck used those challenges as an opportunity to grow as a coach.
“It was disappointing that things went sour for a short time, but my job as a coach is to coach,” he said. “If you focus on the negative things, it’s a disservice to the team.”
CBC will hold its first practice on August 13 before a season-opening scrimmage against Edmonds on Aug. 18 in Pasco. The Hawks will play the first of their seven nonleague matches on Aug. 28 against Everett at Starfire Complex in Tukwila.
“We purposely loaded our schedule with some pretty good teams,” Vierck said. “We’ll be able to take 11 guys for one match, and then play another 11 the next day. That way we can build up some depth.
“Everybody wants to chase records, but we want to be good in November.”
CBC’s first NWAACC match will be at 2:15 p.m., September 8 against Peninsula in Pasco.
CBC men’s soccer signings: Pedro Acevedo, Wahluke; Edgar Camacho, Eisenhower; Jorge Campos, Othello; Jesse Esquivel, WV; Victor Lopez, Toppenish; Osvaldo Martinez, Toppenish; Adolfo Mora, Davis; Erik Ruiz, Riverside; Ivan Sabalza, Toppenish; Connor Webb, Moses Lake; Rene Solorio, Chiawana; Rolando Garcia, Stayton (Ore.); Jose Ramirez, Stayton (Ore.); Simon Lindsay, Ashland (Ore.); Jaime Tenorio, Stayton (Ore.); Richard Renteria, Pasco; Matt Helsley, Ephrata; Freddy Rodriguez, Wapato; Daniel Razo, Pocatello (Idaho); Javy Carvahal, McLoughlin; Memo Silva, Eisenhower.