Douglas High's José Saldana Vargas traps a ball during the Tigers' season-opener against Bishop Manogue. The Tigers played to a 2-2 tie with the Miners.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
It’ll be a totally new test for Douglas High boy’s soccer this year.
With NIAA realignment moving the Tigers down to Class 3A, Douglas will be adjusting to not only a shortened, out-of-season schedule, but a lineup that features several new teams from Northern Nevada.
Douglas High will also have a new coach at the helm in Ricardo (Ricky) Diaz.
Diaz takes over after serving as the coach of the junior varsity squad for the last several years.
“I played at a competitive level personally. I’ve been coaching with Carson Valley Soccer Club for about 10 years now,” said Diaz. “It’s pretty exciting phase right now.”
The Tigers’ opened the season with a positive result too, posting a 2-2 tie with Class 5A’s Bishop Manogue.
Early season challenges
Douglas went 2-15-4 last season and the new coach is looking to instill a different mentality with the Tigers this season.
“We’re still going to be playing a lot of games against teams from, … 5A,” said Diaz. “We will still have hard competition. What’s going to be challenging is getting that mindset coming from four years of straight losses.”
With plenty of prior coaching experience in the area, Diaz has already had a chance to connect with most of his players.
He will also get to coach his son for one season, Ricky Diaz, who committed to the Clarke University’s men’s soccer team earlier this week.
Alongside his son will be 10 other Tiger seniors, who will get to compete one last time on the high school pitch.
“It’s pretty exciting just to be on the field and now we have to change gears,” Diaz added.
A big senior class didn’t take away from the first-year head coach’s attention to his younger players as well.
“I’ve got some good juniors coming up, even sophomores too,” said coach Diaz. “Ricky’s younger brother, Alex Diaz. So, there are some really good quality players.”
Coach Diaz was expecting the Miners to be one of the Tigers’ toughest tests this season, along with Truckee and South Tahoe.
“I’m working on is to build their physicality,” said coach Diaz. “Technically and tactically, it’s going to be fun to follow.”
Thursday, March 4 – v. Bishop Manogue (T, 2-2)
Friday, March 12 – @ McQueen
Saturday, March 13 – @ Reno
Friday, March 19 – TBA
Wednesday, March 24 – @ Bishop Mangoue
Friday, March 26 – TBA
Friday, April 2 – v. Reno
Saturday, April 3 – @ TBA
Editor’s note: Schedules are tentative and subject to change.Varsity roster
Christian Diaz, Alexander Diaz, Ricardo Diaz, Jeremy Estrada Avila, Jose Gallegos-Graciano, Marcanthony Gassaway, Joseph Guariglia, Eduardo Gutierrez-Luquin, Ryan Henman, David Jauregui-Fausto, Fernando Lobatos Vidales, Jon-paul McNamara, Emilio Munoz, Luccas Peterson, Steven Romero, José Saldana Vargas, Ajay Schwartz, Manuel Solis, Joseph Thurston, Jordan Watts, Wiu Wiu and Juan Zavala.