As usual, there was plenty going on around the Angelina College Athletics programs, but the big news of the week kicked off with the men’s soccer team and its quest for a national title in the upcoming NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Wichita, Kansas.
AC’s basketball teams also got their regular seasons in full swing after last week’s season openers.
And the soccer accolades kept coming all week long.
Following is a recap of the week.
Roadrunner Men’s Soccer:
After capturing the Gulf South District championship in last week’s thrilling 2-1 win over Tyler Junior College, the Roadrunners began this week with a “Watch Party.” The team and fans gathered in the Conference Center to watch the NJCAA Bracket Reveal/Selection Show, when the ‘Runners learned they would enter the national tournament as the overall No. 5 seed playing out of Pool D with No. 4 seed – and defending national champion – Monroe College (NY) and No. 9 seed Cowley College (KS).
AC’s first match of the tournament in Wichita, KS is against Cowley at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 13. The Roadrunners then face Monroe on Tuesday, Nov. 14. The pool winner (the team with the most points accumulated for wins and goals scored) moves on to the semifinals, while the other group members see their seasons come to an end.
All group matches will be live-streamed on the NJCAA Network, which is a subscription service. The semifinals and finals will be available for live streaming on ESPN+.
With all that information in tow, the Roadrunners departed for Wichita on Friday morning, and AC fans showed up for a big sendoff complete with a police escort.
Melchor Earns Coach of the Year Honor:
During Saturday’s NJCAA Tournament Kickoff banquet, Roadrunner head men’s soccer coach Martin Melchor received a plaque for earning the District Coach of the Year in the Gulf South District. His Roadrunners (13-0-2) haven’t lost a match all season,
Melchor joins Lady Roadrunner softball coach Brette Kohring as the only two head coaches in Angelina College history to lead their respective teams to a national tournament in their first years at the helm. Kohring also was named Coach of the Year following the 2023 softball season.
Roadrunners Earn Post-Season Honors:
As expected, the Roadrunners raked in a host of post-season honors, with Omar Mora leading the charge.
Mora, a sophomore from El Paso, TX was named the Region XIV Most Valuable Player after leading the nation in points (45 so far) and goals scored (19 so far).
First-Team All-Conference selections included sophomore defender Rochaine Baker (Kingston, Jamaica), freshman goalkeeper Viktor Hojbjerg (Copenhagen, Denmark), sophomore midfielder Luan Rangel (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Kaito Ueki (Tokyo, Japan).
Freshman defender Abdallah Traore (Trondheim, Norway) earned 2nd Team All-Conference honors.
Lady Roadrunner Basketball:
As is his usual Thanksgiving tradition, Lady Roadrunner head coach Byron Coleman led his players over to the Christian Information and Service Center in Lufkin, where the ladies helped with the packaging and distribution of Thanksgiving meals for area families in need.
On the court, the Lady ‘Runners hosted their home opener on Tuesday against Grayson College. After a shaky first half, AC’s ladies bounced back to outscore Grayson 21-12 in the fourth quarter to take the 57-52 win at Shands Gymnasium.
Amyria Walker led AC with 27 points. Janay Quinn scored 10 while dishing out five assists.
Later in the week, the Lady Roadrunners played a pair of games in the Herb Richardson Classic at Tyler Junior College. AC fell 84-61 to Temple on Friday but rebounded with a solid 63-53 win over Western Texas on Saturday. Walker led all scores in that game with 30 points.
This week, AC’s ladies host CCBC-Essex at 6 p.m. on Thursday before tipping off the weekend’s Angelina Classic at Shands Gymnasium.
Friday’s Classic schedule includes Tyler JC vs. CCBC-Essex at 2 p.m., Shorter College vs. LSU-Eunice at 4 p.m., and the Lady Roadrunners vs. McLennan College at 8 p.m. (The Roadrunner men host a home game at 6 p.m. on Friday).
Saturday’s slate includes Tyler vs. Shorter at noon, CCBC-Essex vs. McLennan at 2 p.m. and the Lady Roadrunners vs. LSU-Eunice at 4 p.m.
Roadrunner Men’s Basketball:
The Roadrunners ran past Honor Armour in Monday’s home game, with every AC player wearing a uniform landing in the box score in a 101-39 win over the Lions. Patrick Johnson led the scoring with 15 points, adding six rebounds and four assists to his totals. Kyle Morgan added 13, Keddric Mays 12, and Elijah Moody 11 points.
AC then headed off to Plano, TX for the annual East/West Challenge. The ‘Runners fell to No. 21 Clarendon College 80-66 on Friday and bounced back for a 69-59 win over Collin County on Saturday. Johnson finished with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists; Mays came off the bench to add 14 points, Xavier Owens added 13 and Cade Holzman 11 to lift the Roadrunners to a 3-1 record to open the season.
AC next hosts Howard College at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. On Friday, during the Angelina Classic, the Roadrunners host Lonestar College-Tomball at 6 p.m.
For the men’s soccer national tournament updates, here’s the link:
For other updates, follow Angelina College on the AC Athletics Facebook page, or on X (the artist formerly known as Twitter), @ACAthletics.