Jobe, Dixon continue soccer friendship at Mesa
Pittman realizes his luck in recruiting Jobe and Dixon
Jake Jobe and Sam Dixon lived down the street from each other in Missoula, Mont.
Now they live together in an apartment in Grand Junction.
The Mesa State College men’s soccer players grew up playing soccer together and now the sophomores are helping the No. 23 Mavericks (5-1-0, 2-0-0 RMAC) start strong this season.
Mesa State hosts Colorado Christian (0-6-0, 0-1-0 RMAC) and No. 7 Fort Lewis (3-1-0, 2-0-0 RMAC) in conference games this weekend. Colorado Christian visits at 4 p.m. on Friday and the Skyhawks visit at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Between games Friday, the college is planning a dedication of the year-old soccer stadium.
“(The Cougars) play different formations,” Pittman said. “That’s tough to play against. We don’t want to be the team that gets snake-bit. They have good players.
“Fort Lewis is a monster. They were very strong last year and were stronger in the spring. They’ve picked up some international players. They are really big, fast and skillful.”
Jobe and Dixon have developed plenty of soccer skills since they first started playing the game.
“We were playing for the Microstrikers with the little goals,” Jobe said of his first recollection of Dixon.
“Jake and (my) team was beating teams all the time,” Dixon said. “The parents of the other teams would get mad at us because they hardly touched the ball.”
Jobe and Dixon often played on an upper age level team and were successful.
“Our town is a big soccer town,” Dixon said. “Our club team has a rich history. It’s a big deal how they do.”
That under-19 club team competed in regionals three consecutive years with Jobe and Dixon on the team.
They were co-captains of the Sentinel High School team as seniors.
Jobe, a 6-foot-4 defender, and Dixon, a 5-11 midfielder, both had aspirations of playing in college. Jobe was being recruited by Seattle Pacific University, a Division II program. Dixon was considering Whitworth (Wash.) College, a Division III school.
Neither had made their choices official when Mesa State coach Josh Pittman spotted them in a tournament in Las Vegas.
“Sometimes you get lucky,” Pittman said. “I was recruiting Jake, and Sam was on the same field. I found out Sam wasn’t being recruited heavily and we were able to get him.
“Hopefully, we’ll start pulling more players from Montana. They do great academically and love the lifestyle here.
Both of them are coaching in the Grand Junction Soccer Club. They are model kids.”
It was a dream come true for the young men who grew up down the street from each other.
“It’s nice to go to a brand-new place and have a friend already there,” Dixon said.
As freshmen last year, Jobe scored the game-winning goal in overtime against Regis off an assist by Dixon.
Last weekend, Jobe scored on a header off a corner kick from Dixon in the Mavericks’ 2-1 victory against the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.
“They are two of our strongest players in the program,” Pittman said. “Both are hard workers and skillful players.
Jake brings a presence with his size. He fights for the ball. Sam is one of the most skillful players. He reads the game well. He is a workhorse.”