Carson High's Christohper Camacho keeps his head on a swivel during practice earlier this week. Head coach Frank Martinez expects Camacho and several other upperclassmen to help lead a team that is without 14 seniors from a season prior.
After getting within one win of the state tournament last season, the Carson High boys’ soccer team will be a different experiment this year.
The Senators went 10-7-5 overall, but managed to play their last 11 games without a loss prior to the regional semifinal.
It was a confident team, but 14 seniors graduated from that 2019 squad, leaving head coach Frank Martinez with plenty of new players at his disposal.
Along with losing a large senior class, Martinez said he has a few players that opted to sit out the season for COVID reasons or to pursue work opportunities.
“This will be the first time, I’ve ever had two freshman on varsity,” said Martinez. “We expect to make the playoffs. … It’s going to be tough this year. I believe at least six, if not all the teams (in Northern Nevada) will be tough.”
Piecing together the formation
While the youth on the team will make for some challenges, Martinez says the team doesn’t lack ball skills.
“Even though we are young, we do have some talented players,” said Martinez.
Carson High‘s biggest change – in terms of experience – will come in goal as Rene Gonzalez takes over as a freshman after two senior keepers departed after last season.
“He doesn’t play like a freshman,” said Martinez, who added that his teammates have already started referring to Gonzalez as ‘The Beast.’
Another freshman on the varsity roster will be Samuel Guerra, who is the younger brother of former Carson High player Isael Lopez.
Junior Christopher Camacho, Luis Carrillo, Omar Mora, Emiliano Bravo and Josue Flores-Moran are a few returning names Martinez is expected to see big things from this season.
“Carrillo is very skilled. If he controls the mid, and communicates with other guys, ... our midfield should be pretty good,” said Martinez.
The Senators won’t open on their home field either, hitting the road for the first three contests before getting their first home game March 17 against Reed.
Opening the season against Galena will be a tall task for Carson and should serve as a decent litmus test for where the team stands.
However, playing four out of the final five games at home could prove to be crucial for the Senators, who have been historically successful on its home turf.
Saturday, March 6 – @ Galena (L, 4-3)
Wednesday, March 10 – @ North Valleys
Saturday, March 13 – @ Hug
Wednesday, March 17 – v. Reed
Saturday, March 20 – @ Spanish Springs
Wednesday, March 24 – v. Damonte Ranch
Saturday, March 27 – v. Sparks
Saturday, April 3 – v. Wooster
April 5-10 – Regional tournament
Editor's note: Luis Carrillo's has been corrected after his name was mistakenly misspelled in the print edition as Luis Castillo.