By David Arkin
Eastern New Mexico University is excited about fielding its first ever men’s soccer team in the fall.
They will be even more excited though if that team gets a little financial assistant in operational costs for its first year from the Legislature.
Officials are seeking $100,000 for start up and operational costs for its newest athletic team.
The funding would go for basic expenses like uniforms, travel, equipment and scholarships for students.
The money would only be for the men’s team, said ENMU President Steve Gamble.
The women’s team finished its first season this year. They went 3-12.
ravis McCorkle, the coach for both teams, said there are many things the programs need.
“We have a lot of start up costs and we have some needs for things like bleachers and a scoreboard,” he said.
McCorkle said he would like to see two dugouts on the soccer field for both teams. He also wants a smaller area where people can film the games, score keepers can sit and a stereo system can be placed.
He said a new soccer field has been “put down” west of the university’s track, which is located across the street from ENMU’s basketball arena.
While McCorkle is hopeful that the Legislature will approve the funds, he just recently got something else he asked for — a full-time assistant coach.
“It was a huge blessing,” he said. “I was going crazy trying to do everything.”
There are currently 10 players — all from New Mexico — who have committed to play for the Hounds next year. However, McCorkle hopes 15 more commit to ENMU during the next few months.
He’s presently seeking players in Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
The fact that he already has 10 players who have committed is good news.
“I’m starting a little earlier than I did for the women’s team,” he said. “It’s a little easier to recruit for the men’s team though because there are only three men collegiate programs and there are four women programs in New Mexico.”
Things are looking up for next season’s women’s team, McCorkle said.
“The girls are in their off season right now doing group training,” he said. “The difference between now and a year ago is that I brought 24 girls in last year and now I have 16 players on the roster. But I have 12 players who have already committed to Eastern. If we keep those numbers we will boost the roster to 28 players. “
Last season, the women’s team finished ninth in the Lone Star Conference.
“We got two conference wins in there,” he said. “I’m very excited about next year and the new players. I think we are off to a great start with both teams.”