ALBANY — Bart Sasnett is glad he checked his email Thursday morning.
In a message sent from Uruguay by sophomore captain Diego Ramos, Sasnet, the head coach of the Darton men’s soccer team, read that the National Soccer Coaches Association of America chose Ramos as the 2011 Men’s Junior College Division I Player of the Year.
“I almost teared up when I read his name,” Sasnett said. “This is the greatest accomplishment you could ever have as a player.
“This is huge. Fifty years and 10,000 Darton athletes could go by and we may never have another national player of the year again.”
Ramos, of Deerfield Beach, Fla., led a group of 23 players designated to the 2011 NSCAA/Continental Tire Men’s Junior College Division I All-America Team, including teammate Troy Tucker.
Ramos, who is currently visiting family in Uruguay during the Christmas holidays, wrote in his email, “Coach I am so excited. This is the greatest accomplishment of my life.”
Darton athletic director Mike Kiefer recognized Ramos as very deserving of the award.
“Diego’s talent, work ethic, and leadership were instrumental in the success of the men’s soccer team this year,” Kiefer said.
Ramos helped power Darton to its second consecutive Region XVII championship and a No. 2 finish in the final NSCAA/Continental Tire national ranking. He led the Cavaliers as they clinched an undefeated conference record. The Region XVII Player of the Year, Ramos scored 17 goals and was credited with 30 assists, which led the NJCAA. His 64 points were fifth-best in the nation.
“I felt that he was the best player that I’ve seen play all year,” Sasnett said, “and this award is very accurate.”