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Soccer returns to Co-Lin field

After a two-year hiatus, soccer is returning to the Co-Lin campus.

The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Board of Trustees voted Thursday to re-instate a men’s and women’s soccer program beginning in the fall of 2020.

  “We are really excited about bringing soccer back to Co-Lin,” said Co-Lin Athletics Director Bryan Nobile. “We have excellent high school programs in our district and we are ready to hit the ground running beginning with hiring a coach who can go out and recruit for the 2020 season.”

The soccer program was originally started in 1998, but was suspended in 2017 amid budget cuts and a team that struggled to be competitive. Co-Lin President Jane Hulon said things have changed for the better.

“We have had an overwhelming interest from our students, community, and our board of trustees,” Hulon said.

An important piece of the puzzle is being able to recruit promising players. Hulon said the school has more to offer incoming soccer players than it did when the program was closed.

“We feel the timing is right to reinstate the program with the addition of our new state-of-the-art turf field in Stone Stadium,” she said. “When we put turf on the football field, we had soccer markings put on the turf. We believe we can be competitive recruiting people now because we have a mighty fine playing surface with that field.”

The school has budgeted $20,000 annually for a part-time head coach and $10,000 for a part-time assistant coach. There is also $28,000 budgeted for equipment and travel. Despite the costs, the program is expected to bring in money for the school.

“It will actually — we project — benefit the college by bringing soccer back,” Dean of Students Christopher Warren said.

The program will include 46 students, and at $5,000 of FTE funding from the state, the program could bring in $230,000. With an annual cost of $58,000, the program is projected to have $172,000 in net revenue.

The reinstatement of men’s and women’s soccer gives Co-Lin a total of 12 varsity sports. Men’s sports include archery, baseball, basketball, football, golf and tennis while the women’s sports include archery, basketball, softball and tennis.