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Otero Junior College
1802 Colorado Ave.
La Junta CO 81050

PH: 719-384-6859
FX: 719-384-6933

Jim Rizzuto

Athletic Director
Gary Addington

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College News
OJC Men's Soccer season wrap up
November 13, 2014

The Otero Junior College Men’s Soccer team missed the National Tournament by one game for the second season in a row.  The Rattlers traveled to Tucson, Ariz. to face Pima Community College in the semi-finals of the District Tournament. They needed to win to advance to the District Final and a spot at the NJCAA National Tournament.

The game was played at the FC Tucson home field with hundreds of fans in the stands. FC Tucson is a USL Premier Development League.  The Rattlers let up a goal early-on, coming from a throw-in in the box, and finding the head of the Pima forward. 

Though the Rattlers kept their heads for the rest of the game, putting pressure on the Pima defense, they were not able to answer the early goal. They fell to Pima Community College 1-0.  

The other district semi-final featured Trinidad State, who faced off with Phoenix College.  Trinidad State won by the score of 3-1.  Pima College beat Trinidad State 1-0 the following Saturday night.

“We played very well against Pima. It was probably one of the best games we played all season,” said Head Coach Mike Bielski. “Overall, I’m happy with the guys on making the Region IX Final and making it to the District Tournament.”

As for All-Region selections, twelve Rattlers were selected.  Among them was Erick Chapa, who received Freshman of the Year honors.  The All-Region selections are as follows:

First Team All-Region

Erick Chapa

Zach Leon

Mikhail Hastings

Alex Hastings

Second Team All-Region

Luis Rangel

Chris Arce

Tristan Hugo

Honorable Mention

Omari Shabani

Jose Castro

Nic “June” Martinez

Mario Matute

Jay Marx

Lady Rattler Soccer team wins Region IX and heads to the NJCAA National Tournament
November 12, 2014

The Lady Rattlers defeated Trinidad State Junior College on Nov. 7 in the semifinal of the Region IX Tournament 3-0. Sophomore Megan Chandler started the scoring early in the first half with a shot from 20 yards out that slipped just under the crossbar and in. The shot put the Lady Rattlers up 1-0. The scoring continued in the second half with a goal each from freshmen Thalya Dwyer and Aleonya Hunter. The win was what the Lady Rattlers needed to get through to the final match on Saturday.

The Region IX Championship game was a rematch of last year's championship game between Otero Junior College and Laramie County Community College. The Golden Eagles from LCCC were able to take the lead early with a breakaway goal in the 4th minute of the game. The Lady Rattlers had to fight hard to come back and earn a late goal.

Sophomore McKenna Schmitt was able to score off of a corner kick in the 82nd minute of the game to send it into overtime. After two scoreless overtime periods, the game was decided in a penalty kick shootout. Each team had missed two of their first four penalty kicks going into the fifth and final shot from each team.

LCCC was first to shoot. A save by Lady Rattler freshmen goalkeeper Paige Lindbloom put her team up a goal. Megan Chandler was the last to shoot. She was able to tuck away the game winning shot and secure the win for the Lady Rattlers.

This marks the first time in program history that Otero Junior College Women’s Soccer has been Region IX Tournament Champions.

In addition to winning the Region IX Championship, the Lady Rattlers have earned a spot in the NJCAA National Tournament for the first time in history. The tournament will be held in Melbourne, Florida on November 17-23. 

Rattler Men's Basketball battles it out on the road
November 12, 2014

The Otero Junior College Men’s basketball team played in the Trinidad Classic tournament this weekend facing Northwest Technical College and New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI). On Tuesday they traveled to Colby, Kan. for a non-conference road game.

In the opening game of the Trinidad Classic, it was an epic battle of two grinding defensive teams that came down to the last possessions. Northwest came out on top beating the Rattlers 59-58. Otero was led in scoring by Tre O’Neal with 19 points. Freshman Brandon Wilson pulled 8 rebounds, freshmen Brandon Book handed out 3 assists, and Ikem Eriobuna recorded 3 steals in the contest.

The second night, Otero faced New Mexico Military Institute in a rematch from the previous weekend. After a slow start, the Rattlers went on a 14-2 run in the second half to seal the 80-71 victory. Wilson led all scorers with 19 points. Point guard O’Neal finished with 18 points and 7 assists, Book chipped in 13 points in the win.

On Tuesday, the Rattlers played their first road game of the year versus Colby Community College. Though the Rattlers struggled offensively at times, their defense held up to secure a 68-60 win. O’Neal led all scorers with 12 points and added 4 assists, while Wilson added 11 points with 8 rebounds.

“We are embracing the process at this point. We can get a lot better in several areas. Our young team is in the stage of defining and fulfilling their roles. If we can continue to progress and get it put together we have a chance to be a good team late in the year,” said head coach Houston Reed.

OJC Men's Basketball starts season 2-1
November 7, 2014

Photo Caption: Lamine Mbodj flies high last season.

Otero Junior College Men's Basketball started their season 2-1 at the Thunderbird Classic in Hobbs, N.M. On Friday night the Rattlers played New Mexico Military Institute. Otero held at 39-23 halftime lead, but NMMI crawled back into it late in the game. Sophomore Josh Blaylock hit a three with under one minute to play putting Otero up 5 points. The Rattlers went on to win 67-63 in their season opener. Otero was led in scoring by Lamine Mbodj with 18 points, followed by Tre O'Neal with 17 points, and freshman Brandon Wilson chipped in 12 points.

On the second night of the tournament Otero faced the home team, New Mexico Junior College, currently ranked #12 in the country. It was a long night for the Rattlers. After beating the T-Birds the previous two seasons, both years in which NMJC advanced to the national tournament, the Rattlers were handed some of their own medicine. NMJC beat Otero 94-75. The Rattlers were led in scoring by freshman Brandon Book with 11 points.

In the last game of the tournament Otero faced Ranger JV winning 81-66. The Rattlers were led in scoring by Blaylock who poured in 23 points and nabbed 11 rebounds. Freshman post Brandon Wilson added 17 points and 4 assists, and O'Neal tossed out 6 assists in the win. 

The Rattlers head to the Trinidad tournament this weekend where they will face a very good Northwest Kansas team on Friday and New Mexico Military Institute on Saturday. Both games will be played at 3 p.m.

Otero Men's Soccer advances to the West District tournament
November 5, 2014

Otero Men’s Soccer team reached the Region IX Final for the fourth time in five years. The Rattlers beat the Raiders of Central Nebraska Community College 4-2 on Friday, which advanced the Rattlers to the finals against Trinidad State Junior College.

The Rattlers traveled to Powell, Wyo. for the Region IX Tournament. Otero came out strong in the first half, scoring three goals against the Central Nebraska Community College Raiders. The first goal came just 10 minutes into the game, when the Raiders struggled to clear the ball out of their box.  Jose Castro was able to get a touch on the ball, scoring his 7th goal of the season.  

Just one minute later, the Rattlers continued to put pressure on the Raiders defense allowing a loose ball in front the Raiders goal.  Mikhail Hastings finished the opportunity, scoring his first goal of the season.  

The Rattlers once again capitalized on the Raiders mistakes by scoring their third goal.  Owayne Stone stole the ball from the Central defender, giving himself a break away.  
The second half was a scare for the Rattlers as the Raiders fought their way back into the game by scoring two goals. With a late goal from Erick Chappa in the 89th minute, the Rattlers advanced to the Region IX Final against #6 Trinidad State Junior College.

The Rattlers, who hoped to overcome their two-loss record with Trinidad during the regular season, would fall once more 3-0.  The first goal came off a free-kick in the 29th minute.  The second goal was a cross into the box and Nate Shumer, goalkeeper for the Rattlers, misread the cross allowing the ball to sneak past him.  The third goal would come late in the second half when a free ball was given in front of the Rattlers net.

“I’m really happy that we were able to make it to the Region final again; however, it would have been nice to be back-to-back champions,” said Mike Bielski. “Trinidad is a really good team. This turned out to be a really good rivalry between our two programs.”

Even with the loss in the Region IX finals, the Rattlers clinched a West District Tournament playoff spot. They will face the Region 1 Champions, #9 Pima Community College on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.  Trinidad State (#6) will face #15 Phoenix College at 5:00 p.m. The tournament will be held in Tucson, Ariz.

The winner of each of these games will advance to the district final on Saturday night and will clinch a spot at the NJCAA National Tournament in Prescott, Ariz., which is scheduled for November 17-23.

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