PLEASANTON — It’s tough to lose senior leaders to graduation. It’s even tougher when said seniors’ contributions include being the top goal scorers of the program during their time as Apaches. Now add having to face top competition at a non-district tournament and it wouldn’t be a surprise to many what all those problems equate to.
And adversity is exactly what the 2018 Gonzales boys’ soccer team faced over the weekend as they traveled to Pleasanton for a two-day soccer tournament. As Head Coach Greg Ramirez described it, the Apaches are using these early games to not only test the formations they may implement this season — the games serve as an early test to the will of the young athletes who will have to fill the void that was left by the graduating talent.
On Friday, the Apaches took on Pharr-San Juan-Alamo North, a respectable Class 6A soccer team that was able to frustrate Gonzales, taking down the Apaches 4-0. The Apaches lost their second game of the tournament to Wimberley 4-2, with junior Anthony Veliz and sophomore Daniel Cruz scoring one goal each. The Apaches then got a win to conclude their tournament bid, an 8-0 rout against Beeville Jones. Veliz came away with a hat trick, Cruz finished with two goals, Erbin Orduna had two goals and Antonio Hernandez had one goal.
The Gonzales Apaches are young at the striker position, but Ramirez is hopeful that their tactics for 2018 will be more than enough to compete in what’s looking to be another tough Region IV-4A.
The Apaches were scheduled to take on Victoria East on Tuesday, but inclement weather canceled the game. Gonzales is scheduled to take on La Vernia on Friday on the road with kickoff set at 7 p.m.