Good Sports: Madera Community College Soccer host first ever game as a program

Alec Nolan Image
Saturday, September 9, 2023
Good Sports: Madera Community College Soccer host first ever game as a program
It's a historical week for Madera Community College as the Mountain Lions host its first ever athletics event.

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- For the past 3 years, Madera Community College has been waiting for this moment.

A chance to host their first ever athletics event with the only team on campus.

The inaugural women's soccer team.

"The goal was to put Madera on the map," Mountain Lions head coach Jerry Stupar said.

In his first year at the helm, coach Stupar has put together a roster of homegrown talent.

"Madera's a small town nobody expects anything from Madera," Mountain Lions Midfielder Jazzell Ruiz said.

A lineup entirely made up of central valley players with more than two-thirds coming from all three Madera high schools.

"So we knew when I first arrived and we hadn't become a college yet, that we wanted to start with soccer," Madera Community College president Angel Reyna said.

Combine a community that loves its soccer and a campus with a female majority, women's soccer became the clear-cut choice.

"They've added new life to our campus that didn't have any athletic activity whatsoever," Reyna said.

But it's also adding life to the entire town.

"I just think it's taken a whole village," Reyna said.

Madera unified school district helping anyway they can.

"They've been very supportive. They've offered their cheerleaders they're coming this way right now," Reyna said.

A community atmosphere that coach Stupar takes to the field.

"Family enriched environment. A sisterhood for the players. A character-driven program, that's the philosophy," Stupar said.

For coach - just another day on the pitch.

"Nah, I'm nervous for the girls," Stupar said.

For the players - uncharted territory.

"Everybody's nervous. First home game, it basically feels like the real first game," Ruiz said.

The mountain lions would score not just once, but 3 times.

En route to a 3-0 victory over Cuesta College to claim the school's first ever victory on home soil.

"This is an experience that goes on for two years in their life and if they're lucky they get an extra two at the next level and we're going to have that happen," Stupar said.

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