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Dominguez was Cibola's leader of the pack
Leadership is a quality that every coach seeks, but few athletes possess.
Cibola's Carlos Dominguez Jr. emerged as a leader on the boys soccer team and earned the Yuma Sun/Yuma Rotary Club 2011-2012 Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
“Since I was one of the only seniors, I kind of had to step it up and push some of the younger guys,” Dominguez said. “They're the ones that when I told them to do something they would do it and work hard.”
That leadership, Cibola coach Mike Fritz said, was a key component to the Raiders' success this season.
“Carlos is a quiet, quiet young man,” Fritz said. “But his work ethic every day in training pushed those younger kids on the team and that obviously helped us improve quite a bit as the year went on.”
Dominguez scored 11 goals and picked up two assists in his senior season with the Raiders, including game-winning goals against San Luis, Gila Ridge and Yuma. The Raiders narrowly missed the postseason despite an 8-4 record.
“He scored some really big goals in some really big games,” Fritz said. “He set up a lot of goals that led to some big victories for us this season.”
Being a three-year varsity player, Fritz said, he's seen Dominguez grow tremendously in terms of learning tactics and positioning to give him the best opportunity to score. Dominguez said he has one person to thank for that knowledge.
“I've improved a lot because of Fritz. He did a lot of stuff during the offseason that made me change as a player and get a lot more experience.”
Dominguez starting playing soccer at an early age and said it was like love at first kick.
“Since I was 5, my parents just put me in it and I've loved it ever since. I just love it, it's my passion.”
The forward has just wrapped up his final season with Cibola but has no plans of quitting soccer anytime soon.
Dominguez said he hopes to play for Arizona Western College next season and is currently playing for its academy team to achieve that goal.
“I believe if he keeps working as hard as he has been, Carlos will be success in anything he does in life,” Fritz said.
Fritz is hoping that Dominguez has left an impression on his teammates, one that will help their success in the future.
“(We will miss) his leadership and the way he works and the way he shows other kids how to work,” Fritz said. “Hopefully that will carry on with the kids next year, hopefully he's given that to them so they're ready to step up next year.”
Erin Redmond can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6880. Find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YSErinRedmond.