|RC boys expect big season
Cougars off to 4-2 start, primed for NBL action
Head coach Eamon Kelly believes Rancho Cotate High School’s boys’ soccer team has a lot to be excited about this season.
He senses a level of determination and commitment he hasn’t experienced as the Cougars’ coach. They’ve gotten their season off to a solid 4-2 start, with their two losses coming to highly regarded Terra Linda of San Rafael and Granite Bay of the Sacramento area, which also is ranked No. 6 nationally. The loss to Granite Bay came in the Bay City Invitational Soccer Tournament last week in Santa Rosa, where the Cougars went 2-1.
“It’s been the hard work…they decided they’re going to work hard,” Kelly said. “They’re disciplined Their motto is hard work. It’s so much better than it used to be. They’ve got real team spirit.”
The Bay City Invitational was one part encouraging and one part discouraging for the Cougars.
“They were slightly disappointed because they have great expectations for themselves,” Kelly said. “And, we got a real unlucky goal scored on us. They know what type of team they lost to in Granite Bay, and it has them excited for the NBL (North Bay League).”
The Cougars have a standout player in senior wing Roy Boateng, who leads the team with five goals this season.
“He’s definitely a strong player for us…he’s done well,” Kelly said.
While Boateng has the ability to put pressure on the opposing goalkeeper, junior Danny Ortiz has been solid at goal for the Cougars.
“Danny’s a strong keeper,” Kelly said. “We’ve had a few goals scored on us, but we’re still juggling our defense. We’re building our defense around Ortiz and we’re looking forward to getting a few more shutouts.”
The Cougars this year feature a solid mix of experienced and youth, as 11 of the 19 players on the team are underclassmen. For example, Kelly says senior Sergio Bobadilla is an excellent sweeper but that his younger brother, freshman Kevin Bobadilla, has proven surprisingly good for a first-year performer.
Other underclassmen expected to make contributions this season include junior attacker and center Allan Gomez and sophomore midfielder and defender Guillermo Irizarry.
Kelly believes the usual suspects – Montgomery, Santa Rosa, Maria Carrillo and Casa Grande – will be in the mix for the NBL title. But he definitely isn’t counting out his team.
“The last couple of years, we’ve been in the top four in the NBL, and we plan on keeping it that way,” Kelly said.
Rancho Cotate’s next home game is Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. against Cardinal Newman. Before that contest, the Cougars will at Windsor and Santa Rosa.