Soccer at Seward: Athletic Director McSpadden expects program within two years

“Soccer is targeted to come to Seward within the next two years. Depending on how soon we can get the facilities and how our finances look, that is the targeted time period,” said Seward County Athletic Director/Head Baseball Coach Galen McSpadden. Talk of a men’s soccer program coming to the college has been circulating Liberal for a few years. The Liberal High School boys soccer program has been a contender for the Kansas state title every year since its start, taking home runner-up during the 2003, 2005. and 2010 seasons. The Redskins have taken first in the Western Athletic Conference 10 years in a row (from 2001-2010.) Seward freshman Socorro Martinez played soccer for the Redskins every year of high school. “I think the whole soccer team would play here [at Seward] if they could. I have a lot of friends that played for the high school. Because they weren’t able to play at some of the bigger schools, they just get jobs and start working here in Liberal. I just wonder why they’re taking so long to bring it into town; I think it should’ve been here a long time ago.” Athletic Director McSpadden wants the Seward soccer program done right. “I want a program that can be administered properly. That means we need the funds and facilities to be able to compete within the conference, the region, and be able to compete for the national title. We would need to find athletes who are very grounded and trained in the sport — find those who know and love the history of soccer.” Garden City Community College recently shut down its soccer program. Some wonder if that is a bad sign or just a good opportunity for a soccer program at Seward County Community College. “It’s a two-sided coin,” McSpadden continued. “On the positive side, there would be one less school we would have to compete against in our conference. On the negative side, there were reasons that Garden terminated that program, whether it was because of problems with players on or off the field, improper documentation, or whatever.” A new NJCAA rule will only allow 25 percent of a team’s international players to be on scholarship. “It will affect the tennis program, and I could see it affecting a soccer program. Some communities have found it difficult to provide documentation for players,” McSpadden explained. Martinez thinks the new program will do well when it arrives. “We have talent here, in and around Liberal. If I could play, I would. Of course I would.”