This coming fall, Texas Southmost College returns to interscholastic play as a member of the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association). The big return will feature a men’s and women’s soccer team under the direction of former soccer Scorpion Mario Zamora, who played center midfielder during the 2008 – 2009 season.
A vital feature of the returning men’s and women’s roster is that it is wholly composed of Rio Grande Valley soccer talent, who are ranked as MVPs, Offensive, Defensive, Goalkeeper, and Utility Players of the Year, to name a few.
“I loved the opportunity I had to recruit and coach players from the Valley as a high school coach,” said Zamora, “and I am extremely excited about the impact that we will have on the collegiate soccer community as we will continue recruiting all-star talent from the Rio Grande Valley. We are The Valley’s Team.”
“Lindenwood University made my dream come true when they offered me a full-ride scholarship, but I had to move away from family and friends,” he said.
Zamora played for Lindenwood University for two seasons and found himself at a crossroads as he opted to try out for the Scorpions soccer team when an opportunity availed, and he went on for a season. That season they were the 2008 NAIA Red River Athletic Conference Champions and played in the NAIA Nationals 1st Round. Zamora also received the Athletic Director Honor Roll award for excellent academic achievement as a student-athlete.
Texas Southmost College President Dr. Jesús Roberto Rodríguez said Zamora was the perfect choice to launch this new team due to his soccer player experience and coaching players from the Rio Grande Valley, but also because he once was in their shoes. He was also a soccer coach at St. Joseph Academy for three years, at Pace High School for eight years, and one season for the FC Brownsville. He recently coached the Texas Southmost College Club Sports Men’s Soccer team.
“He understands the significance of our culture and does a fantastic job navigating through situations utilizing that lens when working with the team,” said Dr. Rodríguez. “He understands the players and the soccer culture in the Rio Grande Valley. This is significant because the entire roster will include Rio Grande Valley students from Cameron, Hidalgo, Willacy, and Starr Cameron Counties. We do not have to go that far to find some of the best talent in the country.”
The Scorpions soccer season launches September 1 with a women’s home game against Trinity Valley at 5 p.m. and the men’s game at 7:30 p.m. The following day, September 2, the Women’s Scorpions will play against Tyler at 11:30 a.m. The Men’s team will play against Tyler at 2 p.m.
“Something was missing, and our community had been asking for this day for a long time,” said Dr. Rodriguez about the launch of the NJCAA soccer program at Texas Southmost College, “and thanks to the board of trustee’s support and approval of this project, we can accommodate the TSC community’s desire for their own NJCAA Soccer team. There is something special about the pride of a college athletic team, and we cannot wait to show opponents the sting of a Scorpion!”
“Our roster features several former district MVP’s and All-Area selections,” explained Dr. Ponce. “The local soccer community will recognize the immense talent that will be representing the Scorpions and the entire Rio Grande Valley. This will truly be the Valley’s team.”
For the latest information on Scorpions soccer, visit tscscorpions.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @tscscorpionsathletics.
The men’s roster includes:
Jose Diaz – Rivera High School (6A) MVP
Kevin Zamora – Los Fresnos High School (6A) Offensive Player of the Year
Ricardo Davila – IDEA Sports Park (4A) MVP & Utility Player of the Year
Hazel Mejia – IDEA Riverview (4A) Offensive Player of the Year
Ramiro Castaneda – First Baptist High School MVP
The women’s roster includes:
Andrea Calvillo – Los Fresnos High School (6A) Goalkeeper of the Year
Kenia Quiñones – Lopez High School (5A) Defensive Player of the Year
Mia Ramos – IDEA Riverview (4A) MVP
Elizabeth Torres – Raymondville High School (4A) Offensive Player of the Year
Adriana Bazaldua – Donna North High School (5A) Defensive Player of the Year
Melanie Delgadillo – La Joya Palmview High School (6A) Defensive Player of the Year
Aliyah Pelayo – Mission Veterans (5A) Offensive Player of the Year