Scottsbluff boys ready to start strong
     2015-03-19      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Courtesy photo - Scottsbluff High School boys soccer, front row: Chris Gutierrez, Noah Hafner, Blake Nikont, Jackson Thomas, Cader Witmer, Owen Parra, Eseah Ingram, Hever Morales, Luis Cordova, Patrick Madden, Tristan Donelson, Jake Anderson, Bruno Flores, Benjamin Rodriguez, Alex Gurrola, Samuel McCaslin. Middle row: Oscar Maldonado, Luis Lopez, Juan Manriquez, Thomas Madden, Kaden Kautz, Mario Ybarra, Travis Zeiler, T.J. Albright, Soren Mercer-Smith, Brady Sindt, Zach Meier, Isaac Bowman, Hector Escamilla, Keiichi Miyagoshi. Back row: Jordan Salazar, Noah Bruner, Eli De Los Santos, Matthew Mickey, John Blomstedt, Johnny Carter, Santiago Lopez, Nikolas Hubbard, Tomas Carrillo, Trey Noe, Ryan Hubbard, Jackson Ronne. 
The Scottsbluff boys’ soccer team, which qualified for sub-state last season with a record of 12-7, is looking forward to strong competition as the 2015 season gets underway.
“Our goals every year are pretty much the same,” said Coach Nate Rock. “We want to win our district, get into the state tournament and be competitive.”

Rock said he has a talented group of freshmen coming in that will probably see playing time early in the season. And with a group of returning upperclassman, he sees the team learning and growing for the entire schedule. That means improving their overall tactical awareness and fundamentals with each match so they can make a strong push into districts and later into the state tournament.

The Bearcats have 43 members on the soccer team. As for team training, the varsity and JV teams are selected each week on a game-by-game basis, depending on how the players perform.

“Right now we need some good results early on to gain some confidence,” Rock said. “If we do that, we should be fine.”
The challenge for Scottsbluff is to find the goal early and often against some serious talent. The Bearcats open with district opponents this weekend, playing in North Platte. Five days later, Torrington comes to town. The Trailblazers beat Scottsbluff last year at home. Then Laramie, the Wyoming defending state champions two years running, will be in Scottsbluff for a match on April 2.
“We’re starting off with some strong competition,” Rock said. “Looking at the entire schedule, I’m sure there will be plenty of exciting matches.”

In addition to some freshmen who will probably see significant playing time, the Bearcats have a number of returners from last year. Matthew Mickey will be back in goal for the team. Tristan Donelson, another senior, is also back and will play on the left wing.
Juniors Owen Parra and Jackson Thomas also return as midfielders. And junior Eseah Ingram will return “up top” as Rock described him.
On defense, sophomores Ben Rodriguez and Jake Anderson are back for the 2015 season.

Rock is now in his eighth year as head coach. His assistants are Brad Wright and Matt Dreher.

Scottsbluff boys’ soccer schedule
Saturday, March 21 Away at North Platte vs. North Platte, Kearney Catholic (12:45 p.m.) and Holdrege (4:15 p.m.)
Thursday, March 26 Home vs. Torrington – 5 p.m.
Thursday, April 2 Home vs. Laramie – 5 p.m.
Monday, April 6 at North Platte, vs. Lexington (11 a.m.) and Northwest (2:30 p.m.)
Tuesday, April 7 at Douglas, Wyo. – 5 p.m.
Friday, April 10 at Lexington Tournament – 5 p.m.
Saturday, April 11 GNAC Tournament at Lexington – TBA
Tuesday, April 14 Home vs. Cheyenne Central – 5 p.m.
Saturday, April 18 Away vs. Central Catholic (11 a.m.) and Nebraska Lutheran (1:30 p.m.)
Monday, April 20 at Gering – 6:30 p.m.
Friday, April 24 at Torrington – 5 p.m.
Saturday, April 25 at Cheyenne East – 5 p.m.
Monday, April 27 Home vs. Gering – 5 p.m.
Friday, May 1 Home vs. North Platte – 5 p.m.
Monday – Tuesday, May 4 – 5 Districts – TBA
Thursday, May 7 Districts – TBA
Wednesday, May 13 State Tournament begins – TBA




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