Roadrunner soccer team tramples No. 4 Tyler

The Angelina College men’s soccer team pulled off an amazing 1-0 win Saturday, Oct. 5 against No. 4 Tyler Junior College to set off a wild celebration. After three years as a team, the Roadrunners finally had their first win against a ranked opponent.

Jack Price leapt the Tyler goalkeeper on a blocked shot and smoked the ball into the net in the 59th minute for the match’s lone goal, but the work from AC’s back line, including Roadrunner goalkeeper Sven Van den Oever, helped secure the program’s biggest win to date. 

Brad Lowes, Usman Sotomi, Joe Estrada and others continually pushed back on every Apache scoring run with Van den Oever slapping away two critical saves late in the match. When Van den Oever went down with an injury with just 28 seconds to play, Shane Wallace stepped in and, along with the rest of the defense, held off Tyler’s final charge.

The win gave the Roadrunners their second two-match winning streak of the season. More importantly, the win lifted AC into a tie with Coastal Bend Community College for the fourth-place spot in the Region XIV standings. The conference tournament at the end of the month will feature the league’s top four teams, and with five matches remaining in the regular season (all of those on the road), the Roadrunners have an opportunity to qualify for the post season for the first time in the program’s brief history.

Earlier in the day, the Roadrunner women fell 3-0 to No. 2 Tyler.

Both AC teams celebrated Sophomore Day in pre-match ceremonies. Roadrunner women playing in their final home games were Eva Phillips, Italli Suarez, Stefany Lopez, Bety Hernandez, Makayla Lewis, Jasmin Keller, Savannah Keziah, Bailey Bowers, Daisy de Boer and Sasha Moreira. 

Roadrunner men sophomores seeing their home finale were Elmer Hernandez, Jose Estrada, Fernando Marquez, Bryan Nunez, Brad Lowes, Matthew Lannan, Usman Sotomi, Eldi Seiti, Javier Montes and Mikolaj Stan. 

Angelina College’s Bety Hernandez, No. 9, fights off a Western Texas Defender during the soccer match Sunday Sept. 29.

Lady Roadrunners outscore Western Texas College

Fernanda Pena Nieto scored the first goal of the soccer match against Western Texas College on Sunday, Sept. 29 a mere four minutes into regulation time. 

Bety Hernandez scored twice in the first three minutes of the second half, and Daisy de Boer added a goal late to lead the Angelina College Roadrunner women to a 4-2 win.

The win moves AC’s women to 7-3 for the season and 4-2 in conference play and marks the team’s fifth win in the past six tries. 

Pena Nieto capitalized on Hernandez’s ball win in the corner. Hernandez sent a cross to the top of the box, and Pena Nieto did not miss the nets.

Hernandez then opened the second half with two quick scores, followed by de Boer’s open-netter set up with a great run from Pena Nieto.

The Roadrunner men lost 1-0 to the Westerners on Sunday to fall to 3-7-1, 2-5 for the year. AC’s men fought Ranger College to a double-overtime, scoreless draw on Saturday night before Sunday’s frustration.

AC soccer teams sweep Jaguars

In a chippy, testy and physical battle – and one that needed overtime to decide – the Angelina College Roadrunner soccer team pulled out a potential season-saving win on Friday, Oct. 4 at Jase Magers Field.

Scott Gray’s penalty kick in the 93rd minute found the back of the net and set off a wild celebration as the Roadrunners held off Jacksonville College 3-2.

Earlier, the Roadrunner women blanked the Jaguars 5-0 behind a pair of goals from Daisy de Boer.

The men’s win kept the Runners in the hunt for a post-season berth, while the women’s shutout marked the AC women’s fourth straight win to keep the team locked into the third-place spot in the conference standings.

The men jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half behind goals from Bryan Nunez and Ulises Mercado. AC led by those two goals at the half, but the Jaguars evened the match with a pair of scores early in the second half. With both teams just missing out on chances as the clock ticked down on regulation, the match entered overtime.

Just three minutes into the extra frame, the Jaguars were called for a penalty in the box, and Gray calmly stepped up and left-footed the ball past the goalkeeper to set off an energetic celebration. The win kept the Roadrunners just two games back of the fourth-place position in the standings. 

In the women’s game, de Boer was able to put on a show for her parents, who visited this week from Apeldoorn, The Netherlands. After Jasmin Keller and Fernanda Pena Nieto staked AC to a 2-0 lead in the first half, de Boer struck two quick goals in the second half, followed by a final goal from Avery Alexander in the 5-0 win. 

Angelina College’s Avery Alexander, No. 6, fights her way to a goal during the soccer match Friday, Oct. 4 against Jacksonville College. The Roadrunner women won 5-0, and the men followed with a 3-2 win against the Jaguars in overtime at Jase Magers Field.

Six baseball players earn JUCO All-Star positions.

The Angelina College Roadrunner baseball team sent six players to the NJCAA New Mexico/Texas Junior College Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game, the second-most number of players a Jeff Livin-coached team has sent in his time at AC.

Drew Shifflet, Dalton Roblin, Wes Gafford, Sawyre Thornhill, JoJo Munoz and Eric Worden have been named to the coveted event Saturday, Sept. 28 at Abilene Christian University in Abilene. 

Shifflet, a sophomore from Woden High School, appeared in 15 games in 2019 and posted a 4.61 ERA while going 4-2 for the season. His season finale was a gem, as he tossed a complete-game win against Wharton College in the Region XIV conference tournament. Shifflet finished the season averaging 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings. He also homered in his first official collegiate at-bat. 

Roblin, a sophomore from West Brook High School in Beaumont, evolved into the team’s designated closer. He appeared in 17 games and posted a 3.55 ERA. Roblin also struck out 13.09 hitters per nine innings pitched. 

Gafford, a product from Georgetown High School in Georgetown, developed into one of the team’s most reliable starters down the stretch. He finished with an ERA of 4.37, but closed out the season on a strong note, allowing just six earned runs during his final eight starts. 

Thornhill, who came to AC from nearby Huntington High School in Huntington, showed he is ready for prime time as a freshman. Thornhill hit .370 with 10 extra-base hits and 17 RBI in just 23 games played.  

Munoz from Los Fresnos High School, Los Fresnos, Texas, drove in 22 runs and hit .351 while anchoring the right-field position. Munoz also scored 27 runs and stole eight bases for the Roadrunners. 

Finally, Worden, a product of McCallum High School in Austin, pulled double duty in 2019, starring both at the plate and on the mound. 

He hit .364, drove in 12 runs and scored another 17 for the Roadrunner offense. He also posted a 2.08 ERA with 7.62 strikeouts per nine innings while appearing in six games as a pitcher. 

The baseball showcase opened Thursday, Sept. 26 and concluded Saturday, Sept. 28. 

The 2019-2020 Angelina College Roadrunner men’s basketball team, shown
during the Region XIV Media Day, has been picked to finish first in the South
Zone, according to a coaches’ poll released Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Coaches pick Roadrunner
basketball team for No. 1

Clearly, Angelina College head men’s basketball coach Nick Wade has made an impression and not just with his team’s fan base.

In his very first season at the helm, Wade and assistant coach Zac Kircher guided the 2018- 2019 Roadrunners to an 18-14 record, including a second-place finish in the Region XIV South Zone and a two-deep run in the conference tournament. The team accomplished those feats despite Wade’s having inherited just two returning starters.

At the Region XIV Media Day in Tyler Tuesday, Oct. 15, fellow coaches recognized Wade’s efforts – and progress – by picking the Roadrunners to finish first in the zone in the pre-season coaches’ poll. Blinn was picked second, Lamar State College-Port Arthur third, Jacksonville College fourth, Lee College fifth, Coastal Bend College sixth and Victoria College seventh.

Tyler Junior College was picked first in the conference’s East Zone.

In a pre-season interview held earlier this week, Wade spoke of last season’s successes and how tough it would be to carry them over into the new year.

“Last year was a good first step in this process,” Wade said. “I think the biggest thing I took from it all was the entire process and how important every single detail of the process is. Wins and losses will come and go, but there was a lot to be excited about. Those guys gave a tremendous amount of effort and heart, and they gave us a great first step in our building process here.”

For his second season, Wade will have the benefit of several returning players, and those men are expected to help the new faces transition into the staff’s expectations.

“They (the sophomores) know the foundational piece has been set, and I’ve got to give them credit,” Wade said. “Those returners have done a great job in keeping up with what we started last year and building on that. Guys are where they’re supposed to be, they’re working really hard and they’re representing the college with class. As long as they do that, we’ll continue the trend of doing things the right way.”

Byron Coleman’s Lady Roadrunners, coming off a 2018-2019 conference tournament win and an appearance in the national tournament, were picked fourth in the conference poll behind Trinity Valley, Tyler and Kilgore. The Lady Runners return just two starters from last year.

Following the 2018-2019 run, Coleman earned the NJCAA District L Coach of the Year award while assistant coach Randy McKelvey was named the WBCA’s Assistant Coach of the Year.

The Roadrunners host Up Tempo Academy at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2 in the final scrimmage of the year. AC then will host McLennan College in the regular-season opener at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The Roadrunner women open the regular season as participants in the McLennan Classic in Waco (Nov. 1 and 2) and in the Tyler Classic in Tyler (Nov. 8 and 9) before hosting their first home game on Tuesday, Nov. 12 against Southern Shreveport. 

The 2019-2020 Angelina College women’s basketball team, shown during the
Region XIV Media Day, has been picked to finish fourth in the South Zone
by a coaches’ poll released Tuesday, Oct. 15.