WALNUT RIDGE (WBCEagles.com) - Williams Baptist College is adding women's soccer to its sports lineup. The 4-year, liberal arts college at Walnut Ridge has announced that it will field a women's soccer team starting next fall.
Shane Stolz, who is already serving as head coach of the WBC men's soccer team, will also be the coach of the women's squad.
"We feel women's soccer is the logical next step for the Williams athletic program," said Athletic Director Jeff Rider. "It is exciting to see the Eagles add another varsity sport, and we are very pleased to have Coach Stolz heading up the launch of this new team."
Stolz has hit the ground running with the women's soccer program, noting that he is already in the process of recruiting players. The goal is to have 20 players on the team for its inaugural season.
"I started recruiting last Friday when I was informed that the women's program was a go for the fall of 2013. I have contacted many area coaches, as well as a few players. I will continue to do that, as well as going to different showcases over the next few months," Stolz said.
The head coach says women's soccer is a good addition for Williams, and it should also provide a welcome opportunity for a number of talented athletes.
"Women's soccer is a good fit at WBC because there is a solid amount of talent in the high schools and clubs in the state of Arkansas. Many of the girls get overlooked and end up going to college without having the opportunity to continue their athletic career," he noted.
Women's soccer brings the number of varsity sports at WBC to seven. Williams also fields teams in women's basketball, softball and volleyball, and in men's baseball, basketball and soccer. The Eagles compete in the American Midwest Conference, and the college is affiliated with the NAIA..
"Williams believes very strongly in the role of student-athletes in higher education," said Dr. Tom Jones, WBC's president. "Our athletic program builds school spirit and gives us a stronger sense of identity as an institution, not to mention the fine young men and women who represent us in the field of competition. We are delighted to add women's soccer to the Eagles' athletic tradition."
Stolz will continue to serve as WBC's sports information director, as well, although his focus in the fall months will be on soccer season.
The coach noted, "You can really tell that our administration and our athletic director are looking to improve the programs at this great college. They have a clear and concise vision, and I believe in the future of both the men's and women's soccer programs at this place. There is an excitement among the coaches, players and stakeholders at WBC."