SBCC football, soccer players moving on

Two SBCC football players signed letters-of-intent to play at four-year schools on Wednesday in the press box of La Playa Stadium.

For the Vaquero soccer teams, it was a package deal with two women going to Cal State San Bernardino and four men heading to Hawaii-Hilo.

Cornerback Tavonte Jackson, a second-team All-American Pacific Conference choice, accepted a full scholarship to NCAA Div. 1 Idaho State, with nearly a dozen friends and family watching. The sophomore from Oxnard had 46 tackles on last season’s 7-3 Vaquero squad and ranked No. 1 in the APC in pass breakups (10) and No. 2 in interceptions (5).

“They showed huge interest in me from the start, I was able to develop a good relationship with the coaches and it felt like a good fit,” said Jackson, who plans to major in communications. “Coming to SBCC was a great experience, a life experience. I was able to develop and mature, not only as an athlete, but as a person.

“I go to church in Santa Barbara and I’ve been coming here my whole life. To be able to go to City College, the No. 1 school in the nation, was great.”

Linebacker Jackson Weed got a scholarship to Glenville State, a Div. 2 school in West Virginia. Tight end Andrew Forse, who played high school ball in Caldwell, Idaho and wasn’t present on Wednesday, previously signed with the College of Idaho. The Coyotes are bringing back football in 2014 after a 35-year hiatus and Forse is expected to play on special teams and as a long snapper.

Women’s soccer players Brandie Harris, a sophomore forward from Dos Pueblos High, and midfielder Heather Rivera (Righetti High) signed with Cal State San Bernardino, a Div. 2 school.

“I hear they have a very good nursing program and that’s my major,” said Harris, who set a school record with 30 goals last season. “I also have family down there.”

They’re both solid students with Harris carrying a 3.7 GPA and Rivera a 3.6. Harris was the WSC North Player of the Year and Rivera was a first-team All-WSC choice. Harris tied another school record, matching Jessica Dominichelli’s single-season point total of 64.

The men’s soccer team is sending four players to Hawaii-Hilo – WSC Player of the Year Adam Colton, Jamie Sporcic, George Wakefield and Juan David Diaz. The first three are from England and Diaz is from Colombia.

“When I first heard that Hawaii-Hilo was interested, I was excited because it was Hawaii,” said Colton, who led the 2013 Vaqueros with eight assists. “The coach was looking for a few guys and I’m happy to be going there with three teammates.”

Sisterson, who also coaches the SBCC men’s soccer squad, said all four could have played at the NCAA Div. 1 level.

“I think their coach stole them from all the other coaches,” said Sisterson. “Lance (Thompson) was at Cal Poly Pomona and CS San Bernardino and he recently took over as director of both the men and women at Hawaii-Hilo.

“Our players are very good students and I’m sure they’ll do well there.”