As if high school football coaches weren’t busy enough, another layer was added to their duties when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Despite having to make lineup changes to account for the numerous injuries sustained throughout the season, the San Benito High girls soccer team has maintained a high level of play. The Haybalers entered the week with a 3-1-1 record in the Monterey Bay League’s Gabilan Division, tied for first place with Christopher and Gilroy.
The Anzar High girls soccer team started off the season with 23 girls in its program. But that number dwindled to 17 a month in to its current number of 14. Due to some absences last week, the Hawks only had 11 players available in a 1-1 tie with York on Jan. 11.
With eight goals in nine matches entering this week’s play, Jonathan Garcia has already surpassed his output from last season. Although Garcia has made improvements in his game from a physical standpoint, the San Benito High senior striker said a renewed mindset has boosted his play.
In the first several minutes of every match, Manny Ceja measures up his defender in a couple of different ways. A student of the game, the San Benito High junior forward has become a potent goal-scorer by being aware of his surroundings and sizing up opponents.
Down to stoppage time, the San Benito High girls soccer team looked as if it would have to be relegated to a draw with visiting Sobrato in their non-league contest on Dec. 21. It would’ve been a tough pill to swallow given the fact that the Haybalers had controlled the run of play, dominating the possession for long stretches.
The San Benito High girls soccer team is coming off arguably its best season in program history, winning its first-ever Central Coast Section playoff game (not counting a forfeit victory it received four years ago). The Haybalers were expected to return up to nine starters this season, a huge haul that would’ve made them the odds-on favorite to win the Monterey Bay League’s Gabilan Division and make a deep run in the postseason.
When it comes to winning championships, no one likes to share them. That was the attitude San Benito High had entering Tuesday’s home match against Monte Vista Christian. Five days earlier, the Haybalers had clinched at least a share of its second straight Monterey Bay League Gabilan Division title.
On occasion, the San Benito High girls volleyball team will sit in coach Ruth Testman’s classroom on campus and study film of a particular opponent. A week ago, the Haybalers watched film of Monte Vista Christian, which dealt them their only Monterey Bay League Gabilan Division loss on Sept. 29.
Sisters Corissa and Railyn King have plenty of fond memories together sharing experiences in ice hockey, rodeo and agriculture. As of last year, field hockey was added to that list. San Benito High debuted its field hockey program in 2015, and participation has been high in both years.