Soccer team washed away again

One of these days the Gilroy High boys’ soccer team might play
That day wasn’t Wednesday, though. And that day hasn’t come for
nearly a month now.
One of these days the Gilroy High boys’ soccer team might play again.

That day wasn’t Wednesday, though. And that day hasn’t come for nearly a month now.

The Mustangs’ latest attempt to end their lengthy, not-so-welcome winter break came and went yesterday without a game. The team’s scheduled match with Palma was postponed after the muddy field at the Salinas Sports Complex was deemed unplayable.

“I thought two weeks was going to be a long time off,” GHS co-head coach Armando Padilla said of the normal gap between games his team had expected. “This is like we’re preparing for a whole new season.”

The ‘Stangs (7-1-1) last played on Dec. 16, when they beat Burlingame 1-0. The final rounds of the Homestead Cup were scheduled for right before Christmas, but Gilroy failed to qualify.

Then last Friday’s scheduled TCAL league opener with Hollister was washed away by the recent area downpours. And now the Palma game has been pushed back.

And on top of all that, the Mustangs’ much-anticipated match with nationally ranked Watsonville was never rescheduled after being rained out Dec. 8. Gilroy was hoping to make up the game around New Year’s, but it appears the Wildcatz – fresh off a trip to Florida – aren’t interesting in a make-up date.

“It’s very frustrating,” senior midfielder Arron Thomas said. “After awhile it gets hard not being able to play in a real game. You don’t always have the intensity you need in practice.”

The team has tried its best to keep the rust off. Some of its practices have pushed four hours, and many of them have involved scrimmages with the junior varsity squad.

But while the game action is productive, it’s still not the same, said captain Alfonso Motagalvan as his team readied for yet another scrimmage Wednesday afternoon.

“Like right now, I think some of the guys have no energy to play the JV again,” he said. “We’ve been scrimmaging them for awhile now. It gets kind of old.”

Although no makeup dates have been determined for the Hollister and Palma games, the Mustangs are scheduled to finally kick off their league season Friday at North Salinas.

According to Motagalvan, any rustiness the team might face will be overcome by the excitement of actually playing.

“I think when it finally comes we’ll be ready to go,” he said. “We’ve been hyped for awhile. We were ready for Hollister and it got canceled. We were ready for Palma and it got canceled.

“So the guys will be fired up. I know I will be.”

And even if it rains tommorrow – and for the record, it’s not supposed to – the Vikings play on a synthetic turf that’s not affected by weather.

“No chances, though,” Padilla said with a laugh. “We want sunny and clear skies. No thunder. No lightning.”

Wrestling opportunity

Weather didn’t stop the Gilroy wrestling team from competing Wednesday. The competition did, though.

With the North Salinas program in a rebuilding mode, the Mustangs rested most of their varsity squad, eight of whom are leaving today for the prestigous Five Counties Tournament in Los Angeles.

Instead, many of the junior varsity grapplers were given a chance to wrestle the Vikings.

“It was good for the JV guys who don’t usually get to wrestle,” assistant coach Greg Varela said. “They got some quality mat time.”

Eight of the 10 Mustangs who competed walked away with a victory. The list of winners (weight class in parentheses): Tim Ibanez (112), Travis Sakamoto (119), Ethan Ogle (130), Ismael Gutierrez (140), Justin Blankenship (145), Joseph Delgado (152), Seth Whitney (171) and Vanessa Gutierrez (189).

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