New head coach preaches teamwork

DOWNEY - The Downey High School girls' lacrosse team is busy practicing and working out in preparation for their season to start next spring.Coach Matas is no longer the head coach of the Lady Vikings as Marvin Mires has stepped in as new head coach. Since assuming coaching duties at the end of the academic school year, Coach Mires has put together a Summer Camp in which his players are practicing Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8-10 a.m. After sitting out the C.I.F. mandated "dead period" earlier this summer, Coach Mires has engaged his athletes in team building. His players are working on the fundamentals of the game, as well as conditioning activities. His players seemed upbeat, positive and looking forward to the upcoming season. The Lady Vikings key returners from last season are midfielder Toni Guembes, attacker Minji Kim and goalie Alexis Cortez. Key departures to graduation from last season include attackers Liz Buck and Adriana Mendoza, as well as midfielder Carmen Periban. Last season was certainly a challenge for the Lady Vikings and things are looking upbeat for the upcoming season. The Bay League is competitive and the Lady Vikings played such teams Mira Costa, Peninsula, and perennial power and Bay League champion Redondo Union twice during league play. The Lady Vikings are working to become more competitive and are actively trying to do more training and team building activities off the field, such as barbecues and cardio beach workouts. Cohesiveness and a sense of family is what Coach Mires is aiming for. Interestingly, as I spoke to the girls after practice, I asked them why they decided to play lacrosse. Some said it was different and a few others said it was "fun" and "new." Toni Guembes, a former P.E. student of mine at East Middle School, said "why not?" I then added to her comment, "good answer... lacrosse is a physical sport where you can hit your opponent and not get a referral for it." The girls seem to really enjoy the camaraderie, as well as the physicality, of the sport.

********** Published: August 16, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 18