Comets set to defend title, advance further


Denis Perez / The Advocate

A player dribbles past two defenders during a possession drill during the men’s soccer practice on Aug. 17 on the Soccer Field.

By Efrain Valdez, Social Media Editor

The defending Bay Valley Conference men’s soccer champions are set to start a new season this Friday at home against Evergreen Valley College at 7 p.m.

This is the first official non-conference game of the season beginning the Comet’s quest to three-peat as conference champions.

“We obviously want to remain as the top dogs in the conference,” coach Nikki Ferguson said.

Having made the state playoffs for a third time in a row last season, the team failed once again to advance past the first round.

Ferguson said that the team has to win the first game of the state playoffs before even thinking about a state championship run.

“We’ve set high expectations for ourselves, but one of the most important things for us to do to be successful is to communicate on and off the field,” freshman forward James Sibrian said.

With high expectations in place, the team will face very strong opponents throughout the season. Games against Fresno City College, San Francisco City College, Skyline College and Las Positas College highlight the strong Comet schedule.

“Having a large and deep roster will help us down the road because injuries are inevitable at times,” freshman midfielder Jaime Rodriguez said.

Ferguson said that this is one of the most talented groups of players he has coached at this school.

“We are really deep on the attacking side, I expect the team to score a lot of goals this year,” Ferguson said.

He said that it’s going to be hard to replace players like goalkeeper Eduardo Escamilla and defender Edgar Yepes.

“You simply can’t replace players like Escamilla and Yepes because they were really reliable and great leaders,” Ferguson said. “We just hope for growth and consistency in those positions.”

Sibrian said that the team feels the pressure to win the BVC title for a third consecutive time because the team needs to continue building on what the teams from the recent years have already accomplished.

Ferguson is excited about having so much talent at his disposal.

“I’m excited that 80 percent of the players on the team are from this area and all the different kind personalities this team has,” he said. “Dealing with a variety of personalities can be hard at times but this group of young men are very humble and motivated to succeed.”

Rodriguez said. “The road to repeating as league champions won’t be easy but we believe in each other and will do anything in our power to continue the success,”

“It’s really exciting watching the team practice because they improve every day and the players notice the improvements they’re making which boosts confidence,” Ferguson said.

He also said that he hopes the chemistry on the team will be good for the entirety of the season because it has been a problem in years past.

Last year the team went through a rough first half of the season but after a few internal changes they ended up winning 10 games in a row to win the BVC championship.

Ferguson said that the team seems to be getting along very well and they are an unselfish group of players.