BCC Fall Sports Rosters Feature Local Athletes

By  //  August 15, 2012

Home-Grown Talent

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Athletes from across the Space Coast are well represented on the rosters of Brevard Community College’s fall sports teams.

Brevard Community College freshman volleyball player Layla Wilson is from Eau Gallie High School. (Image courtesy Brevard Community College)

The three sports playing formal fall seasons – golf, women’s soccer and volleyball – feature of total of 10 locals.

They are:

• Golf: Nelson Apsey, freshman, Melbourne High; Max Menkes, freshman, Viera High; Anthony Skirk, sophomore, Viera High.

• Volleyball: Alicia Vaccerelli, sophomore, Melbourne High; Layla Wilson, freshman Eau Gallie High.

• Women’s soccer: Katlyn Bales, freshman, Palm Bay High; Sarah Compton, Cocoa, home-schooled; Erin Davis, sophomore, Florida Air Academy; Mariah Robbins, freshman, Melbourne High; Chelsea Seng, sophomore, Merritt Island High.

BCC was an attractive alternative for Bales.

“I didn’t want to go away from home just yet,” she said. “I wanted to stay for two years and see what college was like and see how I handled and being in college at the same time but staying home so I was more comfortable.”

Also, playing at home will give her family the opportunity to see Bales play.

“Both of my parents like to watch my games,” she said. “My sister (Julianna Bales, 16) plays (club soccer) so she’d probably like to see my games too.”

Robbins had similar sentiments.

BCC women's soccer player Sarah Compton is from Cocoa. (Image courtesy Brevard Community College)

At home

“I wanted to come to BCC, it is cheaper, it’s closer to home, I wasn’t ready to leave home,” she said.

“My parents weren’t ready to not be able to see me play if I were to go away.”

Being close to home also resonated with Compton.

“It’s close and school is a lot cheaper,” she said. “I don’t have to go to a university right away and I can still stay at home. I just wanted to play soccer.”

For Merritt Island’s Seng, BCC is her bridge from two years in the U.S. Army, that included six months in Germany, to resuming her civilian life and setting her future course. And, the opportunity to play soccer.

“It was until I got back up on my feet and ventured off back into the world,” she said.

For volleyball’s Wilson familiarity was the key.

“I decided to come here because I’ve known Coach Herb (Tokumoto) and Coach Kim (Tokumoto) through club,” she said. “They’ve always been super nice and I like the way they coach.

“I think the advantage of playing here will be being able to show the other girls around and knowing my environment so I’m not nervous or scared to be here because I’ve been around it for so long I feel more confident.”

That familiarity also was a factor for Apsey.

“I chose to attend BCC because I wanted to stay in the area,” he said. “I get to play golf with and go to school with the kids I have known half my life.”

Jeff Carr is Brevard Community College's womens' soccer coach and athletic director. (Image courtesy of Brevard Community College)

Recruiting benefits

BCC coaches Jeff Carr, women’s soccer, Herb Tokumoto, volleyball and Jamie Howell, golf, see the benefits of recruiting and signing local athletes.

“Naturally we always seek to recruit locally,” said Carr who is assisted by Melbourne Central Catholic High girls head soccer coach Mike Martin, former youth coach Mark Nicole and Calvin Dixon, all who have deep knowledge of the local soccer scene.

“Brevard County is a hotbed for soccer talent but that has a downside since the Division I and Division II schools recruit here very heavily. Adding local players naturally raises the profile of and the interest in our program.

“I believe as our program becomes more established we will be a destination for more local players.”

Tokumoto, assistant coach and wife Kim Tokumoto and assistant coach Pete Klonowski all have extensive local backgrounds and naturally comb Brevard for players.

“Being in our backyard we usually will have an idea of who is a candidate,” Herb Tokumoto said. “Normally we would know or have an idea of the athlete. Chemistry for a team is a major part of the success of the team.”

Unfortunately, BCC finds itself competing for talent in two respects with schools from outside the area.

“It’s just the fact that quite a few want to get away from home and be independent,” Tokumoto said. “If we have an interest there will be others with interest also.

“By all means having local athletes means s

Jamie Howell is golf coach at Brevard Community College. (Image courtesy Brevard Community College)

upport and interest from local athletes does help us with recruiting future athletes.”

Building relationships

Howell echoed Carr’s and Tokumoto’s comments.

“We are a community college and it is always good to have local talent on board,” he said.

“Also, local recruiting builds relationships with area schools and supporters.”

That being said, golf, much like soccer and volleyball, faces stiff recruiting competition.

“Generally the most talented athletes will be recruited by NCAA Division I and/or Division II colleges,” he said. “The ripest fruit tends to be picked first. If we are referring to academia, many aspiring student athletes just aren’t ready for the rigors of a collegiate schedule both athletically and academically.

“For those who are not ready for a four-year university be it travel from home, not meeting NCAA Clearing House requirements or are not quite ready competitively to take the next step, community colleges may be their only choice if they truly aspire to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.”