Lady Roadrunners basketball head coach Kevin Bucher encourages his team during a Nov. 5, 2019, contest at the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center in Sedalia.

An overhauled roster is appropriate for a State Fair Community College women’s basketball campaign in which the practices, calendar and day-to-day routine received a similar facelift.

“Everybody has to adapt,” said Lady Roadrunners head coach Kevin Bucher. ”It’s not going to be normal. It’s not going to be the same.”

The team started eight-hour training outside of the 60-day fall practice period Aug. 31. Official fall practices are scheduled for Sept. 15.

Practice for the spring season is permitted to begin Jan. 11, 2021 and games may begin Jan. 22. Teams can schedule up to 22 games to be completed by April 10, with the NJCAA Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championships scheduled for April 19.

Bucher said the schedule has yet to be finalized, but the Region 16 slate should remain intact. He hopes to keep the team motivated through the next five months.

“We’re talking about, they’re going to be off for over a month, and it’s going to be bad enough to keep them interested and excited when there’s no games in the fall,” Bucher said. “Up until August through December without any games can be long and miserable. You want them to be excited, but then those games are back-to-back-to-back.”

Guidelines specific to women’s basketball in the SFCC Athletics return-to-play handbook include the use of individual basketballs, water bottles and the sanitization of equipment after each use.

Bucher said the recruitment process was also affected by the pandemic.

“This will be the first time — we had a player come up last weekend — and I had never met her once,” Bucher said. “We’ve watched tons of videos, we’ve contacted coaches. This will be the first time I’ve really only seen one of these players in person.”

Bucher added that multiple players chose not to return to SFCC for the modified season.

“We had several coming back and with this pandemic, they decided they wanted to stay closer to home,” Bucher said. “You don’t blame them … There are just so many questions about all this.”

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SFCC soccer announces men’s, women’s rosters

State Fair Community College soccer head coach Jaime Beltran announced the men’s and women’s rosters ahead of fall practices as part of the restructured NJCAA athletics calendar.

In July, NJCAA moved its soccer programs to a spring season permitted to begin April 2. Spring practices are scheduled to begin March 15. Soccer programs are allotted 60 consecutive calendar days in fall for practice and scrimmages between Aug. 15-Nov. 15.

"We are going to treat these days like an extended preseason," Beltran said in a news release. "We will try to take advantage of that and make sure that our student-athletes understand our playing philosophy. This could help us in the long run. We have 60 days to be ready to hit the ground running when we start in the spring."

SFCC listed 14 sophomores: Francisco Rojas, Sedalia; Francois Elize, Antoine Kamengele, Patrick Kisinja, and John Mlondani, Houston, Texas; Erick Murrillo, Las Cruces, New Mexico; Nicolas Olmos, Bolivia; Tebello Ntene and Chichi Shoniwa, Kingdom of Lesotho; and Eduardo Antunes, Matheus de Navasquez, Leo Fernandez, Leo Marinho and Wagner Simoes, Brazil.

The Roadrunners also have 17 freshmen or redshirt freshmen: Juan Fernandez, Trent Willis, and Jordan Lawson, Sedalia; Gabriel Myers, Marshall; Ryan Dority, Boonville; Gage Behee and Abimael Rodriguez, Camdenton; Hayden Ream; Harrisonville; Fernando Rivera, Brookfield; Mario Cisneros, Javier Huerta, and Francisco Zubia, El Paso, Texas; Zakariya Abdi and Julius Tabe, Houston, Texas; Malachi Cotter and Lewis Simpson, England; Breno Prado; Brazil.

The Lady Roadrunners claim eight seniors: Haille Acton, Fulton; Alexandra Herring, Oak Grove; Leah Overbay is from Harrisonville; Maleah Ray is from Columbia, Missouri; Skyler Sweezor, Linn Creek; Jorri Toone, Raymore; Christina Vinroe, Wichita, Kansas; and Natalie Clarke, England.

SFCC women’s soccer newcomers include: Sabra Moon and Megan Toops, Sedalia; Emily Bauer and Jenna Bellis, Stover; Destiny Dodge, Odessa; Nicole Foeller, Summit; Carly Roberts, Higginsville; Briscia Zuniga, Houston, Texas; Savannah Romero, Las Cruces, New Mexico and Maddi Bradbury, Australia.

Beltran, with help from newly-hired assistant coach Roberto Tucker, is back as head coach of the women’s program this season.

"We're just excited to get back out on the field," Beltran said. "I'm excited to be coaching our women's team again and see the drive they have. If that drive carries over until the spring season, they're going to make some noise."


Sports Editor

Alex Agueros is the sports editor for the Sedalia Democrat, covering games and sports features in Sedalia and Pettis County and surrounding areas. He can be reached at 660-530-0142 or on Twitter @abagueros2.

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