By Dave Wagner
The Clovis High boys soccer team lost about half of its regulars from last fall, but coach Greg Trujillo thinks the Wildcats have more than an adequate chance to be competitive this season.
“I don’t think we’ll be as deep, so we have to stay healthy,” said Trujillo, beginning his seventh season. “If some younger kids mature as the season goes on, it’ll be a big benefit come district time.”
Among the personnel losses from a year ago were Darrian Whiting and Josh Otero, who ranked fifth and sixth in Class 5A in goals. Otero would have been a senior this year, but his family moved to San Antonio, Trujillo said.
Among the key returnees are senior forward Kousei Richeson, senior midfielder Juan Ramos, junior midfielders Edwin Medina and Eduardo Hernandez and junior defenders Albert Nava and Drew Kernan.
The Cats (9-12, 3-1 District 4-5A last year), Carlsbad and Hobbs will compete in the new District 4-6A, which expanded by one team with the addition of Alamogordo. Clovis opens the season on Tuesday at first-year program Lovington.
CHS suffered eight losses by one goal last season, and two came to the Tigers — including a 5-4 decision at Alamo after the Cats led 4-0 at halftime.
“We’re looking forward to playing them,” Hernandez said. “We want to show them that we’re a better team than that.”
Hernandez became a starter toward the end of last season, and was able to get a feel for the varsity level.
“Experience helps,” he said. “I kind of know what to expect. Every team you play is different, but you just need to play the best you can.”
Trujillo, whose teams have won three of the last four district titles, said things could be jumbled in the district.
“Carlsbad will be a little better; they had a traveling team this summer and they looked pretty good,” he said. “With Alamogordo, you never know. They’re kind of in the same boat we are with an Air Force (base) there. They could gain some solid players, or they could lose some.”