SALINAS VALLEY — High school boys soccer began in South Monterey County this week, with schools playing games at home and away.
The Gonzales and Soledad boys soccer teams are participating in a two-division league with schools from Monterey and San Benito counties.
The Gonzales Spartans will play in a division that includes Carmel, Pacific Grove, Trinity and York. The Soledad Aztecs division will include North County, Monterey, Palma and San Benito (Hollister).
Because of Covid-19, the boys soccer games will be played in the springtime instead of the usual wintertime season of play. Games will be played in a Tuesday/Thursday format and the schedule leaves time for a league tournament after the last scheduled games on May 15.
King City and Greenfield high schools will not be participating in the boys soccer league but will return to play in the 2021-22 school year.
“Although it is a little different playing high school games at this time of the year, I am still excited that we will be able to prepare our players to take the field and play my favorite sport,” said Soledad head coach Genaro Espinosa. “I look at it as a way to get some games in and more importantly to prepare for next season.”
In the 2019-20 season, the Aztecs finished 6-5-5 overall and 2-5-3 in the Gabilan Division of the Pacific Coast Athletic League that included soccer powers Watsonville, Everett Alvarez and Alisal. The Spartans had a 1-13 record and were 0-10 in the Cypress Division. Both teams had lost many senior players from the previous season.
The Aztecs traveled to Castroville on Tuesday to battle the North Monterey County Condors, after press deadlines. On Thursday, the Soledad team will host the Monterey Toreadores and the Spartans will play at Pacific Grove.
In other high school sports, baseball and softball will be starting next week as teams are being placed in respective divisions. All four South Monterey County schools will be fielding baseball and softball, although just a handful will be fielding varsity and junior varsity programs.
Gonzales High boys and girls tennis teams will have matches against Palma and Notre Dame today on the Spartan tennis courts.
Track and field meets begin next week for the four local high schools.
On Wednesday, April 21, Gonzales and Soledad will travel to King City for a tri-meet with the host Mustangs, and on Thursday, April 22, Greenfield will compete against York, Santa Catalina and Trinity Christian at either Pacific Grove or the new track facility at Seaside High.