North Tahoe soccer preview | Boys field young team after dropping JV program |

North Tahoe soccer preview | Boys field young team after dropping JV program

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Sylas Wright / Sierra SunJunior midfielder Nico Monforte is the Lakers' only All-League selection from last year. The young North Tahoe team returns just five players from the 2010 squad.

North Tahoe boys’ soccer coach Beto Alcaraz may not have quite the same skilled and experienced, juggernaut squad that he grew accustomed to during the Lakers’ heyday. But these Lakers do have heart.

and#8220;We have a very young and inexperienced team, but I love the willingness to learn from these kids. Their attitude is great, and their hearts are big,and#8221; said Alcaraz, a longtime head coach whose Lakers have amassed a total of six state championships, and four under his tutelage.

and#8220;We know how to play soccer, we’re just inexperienced. But I love the energy.and#8221;

For the first time in Alcaraz’s 11-year tenure, the coach will not field a JV team, citing a lack of players. The Lakers also return only two seniors, co-team captain Felipe Rodriguez and Hugo Moreno, and five players total from last year’s varsity team. Junior co-captain Nico Monforte is the lone player to earn All-League recognition in 2010.

Nevertheless, Alcaraz is encouraged by what the young group has shown in the early going. The Lakers are 1-4-2 overall so far, and 0-1 in league after dropping their Northern 3A Sierra League opener to undefeated Sparks, 6-2, this past Thursday.

and#8220;I think we’re coming together really well,and#8221; Alcaraz said. and#8220;The beginning of the season was kind of uncertain, just because we don’t have a JV program anymore due to a lack of numbers. We just have varsity. It’s unfortunate. I’m kind of disappointed we don’t have a JV program.and#8221;

Without a JV team, North Tahoe’s varsity roster is filled to the max with 32 players and#8212; five seniors (three of whom did not play varsity last season), six juniors, 14 sophomores and seven freshmen.

Alcaraz said he will choose 18 of the most deserving players on a weekly basis to compete in the games.

and#8220;I will base it on their skills, aggressiveness, fitness, technical skills, how well they’re doing in school, all of those things, not just one thing,and#8221; he said. and#8220;So hopefully that will help kind of motivate the kids.and#8221;

Not counting the currently ineligible Moreno, who plays midfield, and senior Jonathan Gonzalez, a forward, the Lakers’ starting lineup includes junior Danny Garcia and sophomore Eduardo Martinez at forward, junior Riley McCarthy and freshman Lucas Early at center midfield, Monforte on the right side and freshmen Chase Whitney or Austin Nall opposite Monforte.

On defense, Rodriguez is the sweeper and sophomore Alex Tyler the stopper, while sophomores Garrett Driller, Shane Christian and Wildon DesLauriers have held down the left and right sides. Jose Chavez and Alex Bourriague, also sophomores, have traded off at goalie, Alcaraz said.

Junior Trevor Semmens also returns from last year’s varsity team, while Alcaraz hopes Gonzalez and Moreno will be eligible to return by the end of September.

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