Orestimba’s soccer Warriors will largely turn to younger players in the season ahead.
New head coach Jose Serrato said a talented group of underclassmen has provided a deep pool of players from which to choose.
He anticipates that six freshmen will start for the Warriors this season - including Julian Verdin, to whom the goalkeeper position is being entrusted.
The Warriors return only two seniors, Brian Mondragon and Daniel Robles.
Team chemistry is going to be critical if the Warriors are to improve on last year’s 4-10 Southern League mark, Serrato said.
“They haven’t played together, so we have to find that balance between our freshmen and our seniors,” he commented. “We have different pieces, and we have to put them all together. We have some work to do, and we will go from there.”
Several juniors are joining Serrato, who is working closely with fellow coach Scott Ball, in making the transition to varsity ranks.
As varsity head coach, Serrato said, he will work to instill not just fundamentals of the sport but sportsmanship and scholastic achievement.
“We look at grades first,” he stated. “We want them to be successful in class as well as (on the field).”
The freshman, Serrato added, bring their own skill set to the program.
“They have good ball control and spatial awareness,” he commented. “They look up and see the whole field, without hesitation.”
Serrato said the Warriors will emphasize defense first - but will also try to be opportunistic on the offense side.
“We will try to be aggressive offensively when we have the ball,” he explained.
Serrato said he believes the Warriors have the talent to put together a successful season.
“It seems like we will have a pretty good team,” he remarked. “We want to improve and hopefully make the playoffs. We have a good group, and we will work to be better.”