PHS soccer teams prepare for new season

By Eric Norwood Jr.

PNT staff writer

enorwood@pntonline.com

Portales High School is kicking things into gear as soccer season has rolled around.

The boys and girls teams have new coaches who have big goals.

Eric Norwood Jr.: Portales News-Tribune Portales High senior forward Brandon Gomez, left, and junior forward Jonathan Tijerno prepare to scrimmage on Thursday at the PHS soccer field. Rams coach Nathan Dodge said he is counting on Gomez and Tijerno to be leaders this year.

Eric Norwood Jr.: Portales News-Tribune
Portales High senior forward Brandon Gomez, left, and junior forward Jonathan Tijerno prepare to scrimmage on Thursday at the PHS soccer field. Rams coach Nathan Dodge said he is counting on Gomez and Tijerno to be leaders this year.

Nathan Dodge takes over a boys program with a roster that includes 13 freshmen among its 25 players.

“We only have one senior, Brandon Gomez,” Dodge said.

Gomez, who was second-team all-district and honorable mention all-state last season, is looking forward to being a team leader this season.

“It’s crazy,” Gomez said. “We have a lot of freshmen, but I’m gonna try my best.”

The Rams made it to the second round of last year’s Class 3A state playoffs, but Dodge is looking for bigger things in 2013.

“First off, we want to win district, and then make it back to the state tournament,” Dodge said. “From there I think we can make a run at state.”

Dodge is also aiming to take out some of the Rams’ top rivals.

“We’re looking to make a run at some of the private schools such as Sandia Prep (and) St. Mike’s,” he said.

The Rams open their season on Saturday at New Mexico Military in Roswell.

Meanwhile, the Lady Rams under Sara Vasquez, an assistant last year, are also ready to get things kicked off.

“A lot of these girls have taken a lot of responsibility,” Vasquez said. “The commitment is there and these girls are ready.”

Vasquez is looking forward to the start of the season after familiarizing herself with the nuances of being a head coach.

“There is so much paperwork, but now I can focus on soccer,” said the recently married Vasquez, who is also expecting a baby boy in late September.

Eric Norwood Jr.: Portales News-Tribune Portales High senior Rocio Olguin dribbles the ball upfield during Thursday’s Rams soccer practice. Both PHS squads will be in Roswell this weekend to open the 2013 season.

Eric Norwood Jr.: Portales News-Tribune
Portales High senior Rocio Olguin dribbles the ball upfield during Thursday’s Rams soccer practice. Both PHS squads will be in Roswell this weekend to open the 2013 season.

The girls open the season today at the Goddard tournament in Roswell.

“We play Goddard on Friday and two more games Saturday, depending on how we do,” Vasquez said.

Speak Your Mind

*