New signees bring Butte College soccer outbound class up to 10 – Chico Enterprise-Record

Butte College coach Ross Sandberg, second from the left, stands with players Bruno Lago, Simon Huebner and William Ours at the players’ signing ceremony on Thursday, May 18, 2023 at Butte College in Butte Valley, California. Lago signed with Division II Daemen University, Huebner signed with NAIA Southern Oregon and Ours signed with NAIA LSU Alexandria. (Justin Couchot/Enterprise-Record)

BUTTE VALLEY — On a team that featured 15 sophomores on its roster in 2023, the Butte College men’s soccer team has now had 10 players sign their letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at the four-year level.

Defender Simon Huebner signed his letter to play with NAIA Southern Oregon, sweeper Bruno Lago signed with Division II Daemen, midfielder/defender William Ours signed with NAIA LSU Alexandria and defender Alejandro Huguet signed with NAIA Sienna Heights.

Huebner, Lago and Ours signed their letters in front of a large group of teammates and coaches Thursday at Butte College, while Huguet remains in his home country of Peru due to the political climate and civil unrest currently going on.

“It says a lot about the program,” said Roadrunners’ coach Ross Sandberg. “They’ve really bought into the education and high GPA part of this. I’ve told them from day one the first question I get from every DI, DII, NAIA coach is, ‘What’s their GPA?’ All four of these guys are above a 3.0 GPA.

“We’ve become one of the premier junior college programs in California and in the country based on our rankings. It’s been a lot of work, but this right here is the cherry on the sundae for myself and coach Emiliano (Montoya).”

Huebner appeared in 39 matches for the Roadrunners across two seasons, scoring two goals and adding three assists.

After coming from Mönchengladbach, Germany, he’s adopted the West Coast as his new home and said he’s excited to stay in the area, but also wanted to explore a new state.

Huebner, who received All-Golden Valley Conference honors twice, had talks with schools at higher levels, but with him being 23 years old, the NCAA denied requests in granting him additional eligibility. As for why Southern Oregon fits best, he said, “I talked a lot with the coach, and he has an idea how he wants to play, and that fits best with me. It’s about formations, playing style, he knows what he wants from his players and expects from his players, and he also trusts his players.”

Huebner joins former Roadrunner Alexander Strohm with the Raiders.

“Southern Oregon is looking to make a jump and they are getting a fantastic player, a fantastic young man, a fantastic leader and a guy that demands effort and excellence from his teammates,” Sandberg said. “He can play multiple positions and he’s gonna come in and they’re expecting him to make a big impact immediately.”

Lago played one season for the Roadrunners, appearing in 22 games with three goals and three assists. He said getting the chance to play at the NCAA level is something he’s always dreamed about.

Lago began his soccer journey in Barcelona, Spain, before attending Graceland University. He then came to Butte College and is now headed to New York. Lago will be teaming up with 2023 teammate Juan Tejeda-Moreno, who signed with Daemon in April.

“It’s been a long journey and I’m so excited to make the next step,” Lago said. “I decided on Daemon because, since the first moment, the coach always wanted me a lot; also, I wanted to go to the East Coast. It’s close to Europe, I’m from Spain, so here it’s nine hours of difference, there it’s six, so it’s a big difference for me. It has been difficult to talk to my family, but it’s a great step for me.”

Sandberg said Daemon is getting a player who is extremely hardworking, plays well with his back to the ball and is very good at pressing the defense when asked to.

“He’s going to continue to grow and get better with his size being 6-1 about 170 (pounds); he’s got the size that a lot of these coaches are looking for in a nine,” Sandberg said.

Ours played in 39 matches for Butte in two seasons, scoring nine goals and recording seven assists. Sandberg said Ours plays very physical for his size at 5-6, 158. Sandberg called Ours a “bulldog” on the field with a tendency for the flashy side of play.

Ours said the coaches at LSU Alexandria liked the way he fought for the ball near midfield and needed an impact from their midfielders next season.

When asked about his style of play, Ours said, “I never give up on the ball, even on the last play I’ll play as if it’s 0-0. I’ll put the last shot if I can. I’ll never give up and use my athletic skills because I think I’m fast, I can be strong; people underestimate me because I’m small, but when they come to the shooter, they finish on the ground.”

Huguet played in nine matches for the Roadrunners in two seasons, starting one, but was limited his sophomore season.

He is a defensive center back who had academic success while working multiple jobs on the Butte College campus. At 6-0, 186, he has the size for a center back, played smart and was liked by all of his teammates.

“This is what it’s all about, watching them move on,” Sandberg said. “Being a coach for them that they’re never going to have, being part of a family that they’re probably not going to have again as they keep moving up the rungs of success with soccer.”