By Kris McBride
THATCHER, Ariz. –– Coach Bobby Peters will lead the Eastern Arizona College Gila Monster men’s soccer team in their first collegiate match in the Gila Valley on Aug. 19 at John Mickelson Field against the College of Southern Nevada Coyotes. Gates open at 4 p.m. with the EAC women’s match starting at 5 p.m. and the men’s at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and the matches will feature raffles, food trucks, merchandise, and EAC’s Band.
The EAC men’s team will begin their inaugural match in the Gila Valley fresh off a pre-season tour. They were victorious against Park University but came up short in a very physical match against Ottawa University. The Gila Monsters also trailed in matches against #4 ranked Salt Lake Community College and Provo’s United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) team. The Gila Monsters lost their starting keeper fifteen-minutes into the high intensity match against Salt Lake Community College and played well against Provo’s UPSL team that was comprised mainly of USL2 players.
“The pre-season road trip showed us what we need to work on and helped us unite as a team,” said EAC’s Coach Peters. “We will take the lessons from these games and continue developing an identity that will make the Gila Valley proud.”
Coach Peters comes to Eastern Arizona College after coaching women’s soccer at Cochise College. While at Cochise, his teams went 8-6-2 in 2021, 5-5 in 2020, and 7-1-2 in 2019. Coach Peter’s team won the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference in 2019, and he was named the ACCAC Coach of the Year. While at Cochise, he coached a three-time ACCAC Player of the Year and numerous athletes who received all-region and all-conference honors.
Before his career at Cochise College, Coach Peters was the head coach for men’s and women’s soccer at Northwest College, assistant coach at Missouri Valley College, and head men’s soccer coach at East Central College. He holds multiple coaching awards for both men’s and women’s soccer, including the MCCAC and ACCAC Coach of the Year along with being named NAIA Regional Staff of the Year while assisting men’s soccer at Missouri Valley College.
“EAC’s vision for its students and the community, the family-friendly environment, and the Gila Valley’s love of soccer make this a great place to be,” said Coach Peters. “Come out and meet our student athletes who come from all over the world. We’d be honored to have you cheer us on.”
Coach Peters holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Missouri Valley College and a master’s in sports management from Missouri Baptist University. He and his wife Tracee are the parents of three daughters: Chloe, Bailey, and Charlotte.
The public is invited to EAC’s free “Soccer Siege” in the Gila Valley to watch Coach Peters and his Gila Monster men’s team take on the College of Southern Nevada Coyotes. The men’s and women’s soccer games kick off on Aug. 19, at John Mickelson Field. Gates open at 4 p.m. with the women starting at 5 p.m. and the men kicking off at 7 p.m. Admission is free to the public. For more information on EAC’s men’s and women’s Gila Monster soccer teams, go to www.eacmonsters.com. For tickets, visit www.eac.edu and click on “Get Tickets.”