NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Three teams added to Athletics program

Men’s Soccer and Women’s Basketball to come back and eSports to debut

NECC has announced that three new teams have been added to the athletic program for 2019-2020. Two sports teams that were once removed have been added to the athletic department, Men’s Soccer and Women’s basketball. Joining the list of other schools across the nation NECC has added an eSports program.

Both Men’s soccer and Women’s basketball will be competing in NJCAA Region XXI becoming the 10th institution Men’s soccer team in the region and 12th Women’s basketball in the region.

The eSports team will be competing against other college teams in (NACE) National Association of Collegiate eSports. “We are excited about bringing both men’s soccer and women’s basketball back to the college. The addition of eSports will open an entire world of college athletics for gamers here at NECC,” Athletic Director Dan Blair stated in a press release: “We look forward to competing at a high level and allowing more students to succeed both academically and athletically while they pursue their degrees.” Since the arrival of Blair to the Athletic Department, he has helped more students come to the program in recent years. “Since the addition of the golf program for the 2018-2019 academic year and growth in all NECC’s athletic programs, the college has nearly doubled its student-athlete population since the start of the 2016-17 academic year from 43 to 90 athletes,” the press release said.

Every four years the World Cup comes, and everyone is a fan -Anthony Domingo

The last time NECC had a soccer program it was in the mid 1990’s, Since the popularity of American Soccer and the MLS, soccer has become part of the major sports in the United States. United States soccer has grown since recent years, the World Cup that comes every four years is a big-time event for the entire world. Former NECC student Anthony Domingo said, “Every four years the World Cup comes, and everyone is a fan.” Soccer has been well known in many European countries where its known as “football” with the talents of Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi. These are just some names that are well known in the “Soccer verse.” With the recent arrival of Christian Pulisic who is known to be one of the better United States players soccer has been a country-wide sport. Domingo also stated that “Learning the rules helps you understand the game, like every sport its different.” With this sport coming to the school, many more students will be joining the program.

The Women’s basketball program previously had numerous achievements, two of them becoming champions in the NJCAA Region XXI in 1994 and 2001. Haverhill women’s basketball has become an interest in the area since its rise in the 90’s. Women’s basketball shows that NECC is diverse with all its programs. The last time there was a team was in 2012. A coach has not been found yet for the team.

Coaching searches are underway for the soccer and basketball programs, the press release said. According to the press release, NECC alum and nationally ranked Fortnite gamer RJ Warnock will lead the eSports program as its first coach. Warnock, of North Reading, played baseball for Northern Essex before transferring in 2013, the press release said.

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