by Brian Quarstad
When Cam Stoltz, soccer coach at DCTC, contacted me last fall about Dakota County Technical Centers new soccer complex that will open this spring, I was surprised to hear that DCTC had a soccer program. I was even more surprised to hear they offered scholarships. So after several very interesting emails, I promised Cam we would talk early in 2009 so I could understand more fully the special niches that some young men and women soccer players fall into perfectly in a 2-year college program.
I was somewhat familiar with the 2-year program because of Bo Conroy’s soccer programs at Century College in White Bear Lake. Conroy is the first Head Soccer Coach at Century College, coaching both the women’s and men’s program. In 2007, soccer was introduced as a club sport with an overwhelming response. 52 men and 18 women played soccer the first year, proving the need for soccer at a 2-year school. In 2008, Century played in the Minnesota Junior College Conference.
Talking to Stoltz, I also learned that 2 year programs have their own governing body like the NCAA. The NJCAA is the 2-year colleges equivalent and just like the NCAA, they break their organizations of higher learning into 3 divisions. D-1, offering scholarships, and D-3, not allowing scholarships.
DCTC recently reported on a wonderful story of a couple of Ugandan brothers who play for the Blue Knights. The school and its scholarships are helping these young men overcome some very difficult circumstances.
Stoltz talked with me at the Augsburg Dome while scouting several players, one of whom he signed that day for the Blue Knights. Stoltz explained his journey to coaching at a 2 year college, and what advantages these programs have over entering a 4 year school. Surprisingly, some of the players on his team were captains of their high school teams, but are choosing a different route for school that fulfills their career ambitions.
Please click to listen to this very interesting conversation with Cam Stoltz.