By Erica Henry
The National Junior College Athletic Association recently released their annual preseason poll and the Darton College men’s soccer team received votes for the second time in school history.
“We have a lot to prove this season,” said coach Bart Sasnett. “We play in a great conference, it is one of the toughest in the country and several of the teams have shown that they are capable of being in the top and receiving votes.”
The other time Darton received votes was in fall 2004, when the Cavaliers were ranked No. 13 in preseason.
“We are extremely excited to be getting the publicity this early,” stated Sasnett. “But we still have a lot to prove. The goal is to win the Region-17 regular season title and the tournament. The preseason poll does not affect that. The team and I look forward to seeing how this plays out.”
Darton is returning four starters one of which is Mati Artistegui. For the Cavs, he was one of the key components that helped the team finish 12-4-1 last season. Artistegui earned First Team All-Region and Second Team All-South accolades.
The Cavaliers were ranked as high as No. 14 last season. They lead the region in scoring. DC lost to Georgia Perimeter in the semi-finals of the Region 17 tournament in overtime. GPC is ranked No. 2 in the pre-season polls right behind the defending national champions, Tyler Junior College.
Middle Georgia College also received votes in the pre-season polls.
“I want the guys to understand that it’s just pre-season, we have not played any games yet. We have a lot to do to keep the NJCAA, GJCAA and our fans respect,” stated coach Sasnett.
The Darton men’s soccer season is set to kickoff Sundaywith a home scrimmage against the College Experience Club.
NJCAA Top 15 National Poll:
1. Tyler Junior College
2. Georgia Perimeter College
3. Schoolcraft College
4. Louisburg College
5. Yavapai College
6. Illinois Central College
7. Essex County College
8. Mercer County Community College
9. San Jacinto College-South
10. Barton Community College
11. Iowa Central Community College
12. Garden City Community College
13. Arizona Western College
14. College of DuPage
15. Lincoln Land Community College
Other schools receiving votes:
Bryant & Stratton College, CCBC-Essex, Cincinnati State Technical & CC, College of Southern Maryland, Darton College, Iowa Western Community College, Johnson County Community College, Massasoit Community College, Middle Georgia College, Monroe Community College, Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa , Phoenix College, Pima Community College, Western Texas College.