Prep Boys Soccer Capsules
Last year: 10-5-1
Top returners: Ernesto Avila, jr., Mid; Carlos Raygoza, jr., GK; Ivan Miranda, jr., D; Andres Salcedo, sr., Mid.
Key newcomers: Alan Peru, jr., Mid; Nathan Guerrero, sr., S.
Coach Mike Fritz comments: “We have a lot of guys that have been in the program for all three years, so they know what's expected of them and work hard everyday. We're looking to go out there and put out a strong performance every game. All the teams in Yuma are top notch and have quality players so it's difficult whenever you step out on the field here.”
The lowdown: After returning all but three players from last year's team, Coach Fritz is hoping to not let his team get too ahead of themselves in the schedule, taking it game by game. The core of of his team consists of some returning juniors, so the experience gained this year could be a great stepping stone for 2013-14.
Gila Ridge Hawks
Last year: 9-4
Top returners: Michael Ostiguin, sr.; Jordan Ruiz, sr.; Danny Andrade, jr.
Key newcomers: Horacio Hurtado, jr.; Ricardo Banuelos, soph.; Angel Durazo, soph.; Matthew Jovenal, soph.
Coach Lucas Wolthuis comments: “I really think it's just going to come down to staying focused this season. We don't have any tournaments away, and that was partly because I wanted us to focus on every game counting toward our position at state. We're going to come in with a very attack-minded mentality of needing every single game. And hopefully that idea of desperation will stick with the guys early on and carry out the whole season.”
The lowdown: This is Wolthuis' first year as head coach at Gila Ridge coming over from the Track team at Gila Ridge. Wolthuis wants to instill a feeling of team unity this year for the Hawks. He said that unlike track, individuals having great performances doesn't always translate to the team performance in soccer. The kids seem to be onboard with this philosophy, deciding one of their goals this year was to commit to the defense and preventing goals.
Yuma High Criminals
Last year: 2-3-1
Top returners: Jairo Diaz, sr.; Juan Esqueda, sr.; Manuel Lizo, sr.
Key newcomers: Luis Angel Hernandez, soph.; Christian Raya sr.
Coach Evan Chamberlain's comments: “The problem that we had last year largely was that the team was unmotivated. A lot of them were either cut because of grades, or just stopped really showing up because they didn't believe the program was worth while. However we've seen a lot of talented players who last year and years prior didn't complete the season, come here with a spirit of just confidence. Their grades have improved, I've received that information from a lot of teachers that their confidence is up scholastically and on the field. I'm really confident in this group of seniors as well as juniors and the JV program.”
The lowdown: Keeping the kids on the field has led to some big problems for the Criminals, but first year coach Chamberlain seems confident that the attitude at Yuma High has changed this year. Led by a core group of seniors, Chamberlain anticipates a very successful year and said that the only reason that they would lose this season was because of their own mistakes.
San Luis Sidewinders
Last year: 11-2, lost away at Cibola and away at Kofa
Top returners: Returning all starters but Julio Carrianza.
Key newcomers: Alejandro Luzanilla, soph.; Victor Baez, jr.; Ian Cervantes, soph.
Coach Ian McDougall's comments: “This year we have such a massive head start. The guys know each other, all those freshmen have been through a year of varsity soccer, they know what to expect as soon as the whistle blows in every game. I've got some great senior leadership this year. I think realistically if we're going to make a run in state or even in the region, this is our best year. We've got a great group of kids, a lot of returning talent.”
The lowdown: The Sidewinders are returning 14 players on their varsity roster this year, including four of the five players that were named to the first-team all-region last year. One exciting new player is Alejandro Luzanilla, the little brother of San Luis alum Eric Luzanilla who plays at Arizona Western College. Coach McDougall is hoping that the continuity will lead to a great year this year, since a majority of the starters last year were freshman.
Last year: 6-4
Top returners: Carlos Maleanldo, sr.; Rafael Lizaree, sr.
Key newcomers: Jose Urias, fr.; Jose Perez, soph.
Coach Alfonso Perez comments: “Our goal's going to be just improve what we did last year. We have a young team so we're going to have to work a lot harder on working as a team aspect, team chemistry team building. I want them to be able to try to anticipate each others play, how they play and what to expect from each other. Try to group them up in positions groups as much as possible.”
The lowdown: The Rams will use their speed to move the ball as much as possible and as fast as possible. Coach Perez will try to build off of last year's 6-4 record by utilizing his team's speed in key positions.
Yuma Catholic Shamrocks
Last year: 4-10
Top returners: Karsten Frank, soph.; Ricardo Jaramillio, jr.; Hector Cha, jr.
Key newcomers: Omar Rojas fr.; George Ruiz; Fernando Ramirez; Chase Pancrazi
Coach Ralph Evans comments: “It's a really young team but we're focused this year. We're going to grow and get better each year and in a few years we're really going to be better but right now we have some really strong defensive players and some really strong midfielders and a few strikers that we didn't have last year so we're very optimistic.”
The lowdown: After a tough season last year, the Shamrocks will try to rise back up to the dominating force in Division IV soccer they were a few years ago. Led by a core of returning sophomores and juniors, Evans is confident his young team will take a big step in returning to form.