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Ordorica wins POY after thriving in midfield role for San Luis
Marlon Atondo, San Luis
Antonio Carrion, San Luis
Ivan Mosqueda, Kofa
Marlon Atondo, San Luis
Frank Mallek, Kofa
Jesus Felix, Kofa
Edgar Leyva, Kofa
Jorge Ruiz, Yuma Catholic
Ernesto Avila, Cibola
Carlos Raygoza, Cibola
Leonardo Moreno, San Luis
When Ian McDougall took over the San Luis boys soccer program in 2011, he'd heard a lot about Raul Ordorica, some things more flattering than others.
One tidbit McDougall was concerned with was the rumor that Ordorica never attended practice the day after a game.
“That was all I knew about him,” McDougall said. “That he was this incredible talent in the making, but he never came to practice the day after a game. That's how he was as a sophomore.”
But as a junior and senior, Ordorica was a different story. This year he led the Sidewinders to 13-3 regular season record with 16 assists and helped them reach the semifinals of the state tournament to earn the 2012-13 Yuma Sun/Yuma Rotary Club Boys Soccer Player of the Year award.
Although McDougall always saw Ordorica's potential in practice, it wasn't until this year that he finally found the right spot on the field for him.
“I could never figure out whether he was midfielder or whether he was a forward,” McDougall said.
Ordorica played forward most of his junior year to some success, but McDougall wasn't satisfied.
“He scored a few goals and had a few assists, but he didn't break out the way I thought he would,” McDougall said. “In practice we'd see the things he'd do on the field and we'd just say, ‘God, how do we unleash this on other teams?'”
It turned out the answer had been right in front of them.
In a 2011-12 game against Yuma High, Ordorica was playing forward and McDougall noticed how often he was retreating into the midfield to get the ball.â€¨“If I was a great coach instead of just an average coach, it probably would have donned on me right then,” McDougall said with a laugh. “But of course it took me about nine more months to figure that out.”
Ordorica wasn't the only one that benefitted from the move back to midfield. San Luis' lone forward Leo Moreno also reaped the rewards, leading the team in goals with 16.
“I've known him since we were little and we played together,” Ordorica said. “We have a lot of communication, we play in a league in southwest Arizona and sometimes I get to play forward with him, sometimes I get to play midfield. So every time he needs something or someone needs help he can talk to me and I'll go and back him up.”
As much as he likes playing soccer, Ordorica also relishes his leadership role.
“My role as a captain try to be a leader and lead my teammates to give their best and to achieve some of their goals,” he said. “I don't need to scream at them if they did a mistake, I have to talk to them and make them feel better. Talk to them about what they did wrong and try to help them out with their problem.”
Ironically, after two years of coaching Ordorica, one thing McDougall never had to worry with was attendance.
“Now we kind of joke about it like, ‘Hey is Raul at practice?'” McDougall said. “‘Yeah he's at practice.'”