PASCO — Richie Ramirez had always dreamed of playing soccer in college.
But the 2008 Moses Lake graduate kind of gave up on that dream a few years ago when he injured his knee.
“Since I tore my ACL I hadn’t thought about it,” said Ramirez. “I hadn’t planned to play at the college level.”
But then Kyle Vierck entered the picture.
Vierck, the men’s soccer coach at Columbia Basin College, called Ramirez to see if he wanted to come to the school in Pasco and play for his team.
Suddenly, Ramirez has another shot at his dream.
“I’ve been working since I was 6 years old to sign with a college, and this one’s high class,” said Ramirez. “It sounds like a really good program.”
This is what community college sports are about — giving young athletes a shot at playing sports in college.
Umatilla’s Samuel Navarette is getting that same chance Ramirez is getting.
“I didn’t think I’d get into college to play soccer,” he said. “After our last game in state I thought it was all over for me. I’d end up playing city league.”
Navarette was invited to a CBC scrimmage.
“It seemed like a pretty good program,” Navarette said.
And it helped Navarette realize his path to college.
“That was the key plan,” he said. “To go to a community college, then go to a four-year school.”
Vierck held a signing party Friday at CBC, where he collected letters of intent from 16 new recruits.
“We had a great year last year,” said Vierck. “We went 8-4-5 and only dropped two matches in our division.”
Vierck has roughly 10 players returning from last season’s squad. And he’s been busy trying to fill in the gaps in his roster.
“We’ve been to Spokane four or five times, up and down the (Yakima) Valley, and to Portland,” said Vierck.
With this recruiting class, Vierck is hoping to find a second and third goalie.
“And we didn’t have an out-and-out finisher last year,” said Vierck. “Guys like Raul Farias (of Connell) and Sergio Sanchez (of Wapato), we want to put them up front along with some of our returners.
“We were slow in the backfield last year and gave up some goals. We were midfield-heavy last year,” Vierck said. “That’ll change this year.”
CBC men’s soccer signings: Guillermo Carvahal, Mac-Hi; Mikey Chavez, Kennewick; Raul Farias, Connell; Chris Garcia, Prosser; Christian Gonzales, West Valley-Yakima; Boanerges Guzman, Othello; Jordan Jones, West Valley-Yakima; Adiel Lozano, Richland; Osvaldo Martinez, Mac-Hi; Samuel Navarette, Umatilla; Richie Ramirez, Moses Lake; Merced Rodriguez, Kennewick; Lupito Salazar, Mac-Hi; Sergio Sanchez, Wapato; Samuel Torres, Chelan; Justin Walker, Forest Grove, Ore.