Truckee boys soccer loaded again |

Truckee boys soccer loaded again

Seth Lightcap/Sierra SunTruckee senior Max Brixey takes on teammate Abel Islas during a drill at practice this past week. Although the defending state champion Wolverines return six All-League players from last year, the team is young overall with seven sophomores.

New season, same story for the Truckee High boys soccer team.Like every other year, the Wolverines are stacked with talent and brimming with confidence, this time coming off their sixth Nevada state championship.We look really good, said Truckee head coach Hernan Valdivia, who is back with the team after taking a year off. We have a lot of really good young players and strong leadership.That leadership comes in the form of several returning All-League players, including senior Max Brixey, a center midfielder who was voted to the first team last season after scoring 29 times.Brixeys goal in 2008 is a given: Win state, he said, sucking wind after scrimmaging in practice this past week. Brixey said as long as the Wolverines work hard and play as a team, that goal is attainable, as always.Other top returners for Truckee include senior keeper Ryan Newland, who earned first team All-League recognition as a junior, and sophomore Raul Cardenas, who made the first team as a freshman at fullback.(The team) is strong. There are a lot of young players, but I think theyre going to step up big, said Newland, referring to the seven sophomores on the squad. Were just as strong as any other year.Also returning after All-League seasons are A.J. Delforge (second team fullback), Salvador Tejeda (honorable mention forward) and Abel Islas (honorable mention utility). Valdivia expects Islas, whom he describes as tall and strong but also a really smart player, to excel at sweeper.The roster breaks down to nine seniors, four juniors and the seven sophomores. Last years team, which finished 25-1 overall and captured the state title with a 3-1 win over North Tahoe, had eight seniors. Valdivia said the Wolverines have much to prove before they can be compared to that group.It will take time to get to that level, he said. Last years team was more polished. But thats not to say we wont get there.Theyre also a self-driven bunch, the coach said.Ive been happy with the motivation so far. Theyre working extremely hard. Its a young team, but I have high expectations to win league and state, Valdivia said.As is the case every year, the rival Lakers likely will pose the biggest threat to Truckees success. After all, North Tahoe also has six state championships. No other program in Nevada has more than three.North Tahoe always gives us trouble, Newland said when asked about the Northern 3A competition. But they lost some big kids. … Not having (Michele) Basile back there (at keeper) is going to be weird. Im excited to see what he (North Tahoe coach Beto Alcaraz) has for us. It should be fun.Valdivia is well aware of the Lakers prowess as well.Like us, I expect them to reload and be as strong as ever. I dont see that changing. They have good players and good coaching, so theyll be good.Brixey said he expects Sparks and Incline to be much improved, and perhaps may even the teams to beat. Only time will tell.

Truckee kicks off its season with the Galena Tournament on Friday and Saturday. The Wolverines defeated South Tahoe in last year’s championship game.

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