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The first soccer game in school history ends in a 8-1 rout at the hands of the Cougars, but the Trojans avoid shutout

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Kennedy boys soccer player Josiah Martinez recorded the first goal in school history in his team's 8-1 defeat at the hands of Gervais on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

Kennedy avoids shutout in program debut

Kennedy boys soccer's maiden voyage got off to a rough start, but it wasn't without some promise. In the first game in school history, the Trojans squared off against Gervais on Wednesday, Sept. 7, and wound up on the wrong side of an 8-1 outcome.

Kennedy's first goal in school history came thanks to sophomore Josiah Martinez who put the ball away in the first half. It was a lone bright spot in a game largely dominated by Gervais, but Kennedy head coach Miguel Ramirez Valverde isn't terribly worried. After all, this is just the beginning and building up the team will take time and practice.

"We're probably not going to compete for playoffs, but we want to build a structure of a team," Ramirez Valverde said. "They were like, 'Yeah let's do it.' Especially the freshmen, they were really open to building the structure of the program. I told them, we're going to do it and try to fight. I think it would be just as it comes."

The Trojan's season opener also was one where the team was competing while being down several key players. Some of the athletes didn't have enough practices to compete, some were working; Kennedy had one player on the bench available to sub in. Ramirez Valverde expects his team to be at full strength soon.

In addition to growing together, the team will need to make strides on their skills as soccer players. According to the first year head coach, only two of his squad have club soccer experience, with the bulk of the players having competed primarily in rec soccer. Given that experience background, there are different goals in practice.

"It's a little tough doing practice with a lot of rec players, but overall I think it's making sure they understand that … I don't do it level-wise because it's pretty hard to test their level. At this stage it's more of a willingness, how willing they are to engage in practice and the ethics and the overall performance."

The team, which has only had roughly a month and a half to practice together and find its groove, will look to rebound Saturday, Sept. 10, against Willamette Valley Christian (0-1) in search of its first win.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Gervais senior Alighieri Diaz moves the ball upfield in his team's lopsided 8-1 win over Kennedy on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

Gervais starts season with victory

When it rains, it pours.

Gervais put up three goals in the first half to head into the break with a 3-1 advantage, and in the second 40 minutes, the Cougars put up five more goals to seal the deal. The bulk of the scoring came thanks, in large part, to a six-goal outing from junior forward Felix Navarro.

It was the first time that the Gervais boys soccer team has started a season with a win since 2017, and new Gervais head coach Austreberto Delgado was pleased with the way his team kicked off their 2022 campaign. There was, however, room for his team to improve.

"I told them to go in the field and enjoy what they're doing," Delgado said. "I like how they moved the ball, the first half was really nice. The second half was not that nice. But they played much better in the first half, they passed the ball around a lot in the first half. That's what I like. I don't like to just kick the ball; I like to play from the back."

The Gervais boys soccer team, led by seniors Guadalupe Santos and Alighieri Diaz, and Navarro already are starting out stronger than they did last season. The Cougars didn't play a game until Oct. 1 last year in a season that saw them go 2-6-1 and suffer an 8-0 defeat at the hands of Delphian in the league playoffs.

Delgado has his team on track with a more traditional first game, as well as expectations of how he wants his team to rise.

"Of course, I want to think big and be champions, but with this team if we get to the semifinals that would be great," Delgado said. "So, hopefully, we can. I think we have a good team. It's too early to say yet, but I think we have a good discipline with the team and I think we can make it."

Gervais (1-0) has a matchup against Grand View Christian Academy (0-2) ahead of it on Sept. 13.

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