The National Junior College Athletic Association recognized Darton State College women’s soccer as the No. 2 team and Darton’s men’s soccer as the No. 3 program in its first preseason poll recently.
“It’s good because we have to play (No. 1 ranked) Tyler in our second game of the season, and that’s kind of fun. We could beat them and become number one,” said Ken Veilands, Darton head women’s soccer coach.
The Darton women’s program is also scheduled to face two other teams who earned top-20 spots in the polls – Brevard Community College (8) and conference-foe Georgia Perimeter College (17).
The Lady Cavs finished the 2011 season as national runners-up, with an 18-2 record.
“You have to be realistic,” Veilands said. “This poll is based off the result of history – not this year.”
On the men’s side, Darton head men’s soccer coach Bart Sasnett has similar ideas.
“I think it’s a great representation of the success of the program’s past season,” he said. “I also think it puts a big ‘X’ on your back where everybody’s gunning for you and it makes your work that much harder.
The Cavaliers went into the NJCAA championship as the top seed in 2011, and finished third overall. The men’s team will host the 2012 national championship tournament in November.