Downey soccer team still young

DOWNEY - The Downey High School boys' soccer team has gotten off to a 1-2 start.The Vikings lost to defending C.I.F. finalist El Rancho in the season opener 5-0 on 11/28, lost to Newport Harbor 1-0 on 12/3 and beat Santa Fe 1-0 on 12/5. Downey will play in the North Orange County Classic Tournament during Christmas Break. The Vikings will also play Lakewood, Pacifica, Firebaugh and Schurr this preseason in preparation for a league schedule that includes three time defending C.I.F. and current state champion Paramount, twice, and cross-town rival and last year's regular season Division III number one ranked Warren, twice. The Vikings had an overall record last year of 6-12-3 and a league record of 3-7. The rebuilding year for the Vikings last season ended a four year consecutive run in qualifying for the C.I.F. playoffs. The Vikings return several key players from last year's team. Captains Kevin Baker, Jimmie Alvarez and Javier Reveles all return with more experience and skill. Other key Vikings looking to play important roles are Ernesto Patino, Javier Torreblanco, Hector Serpas, Erick Bermuzez, Isaias Rodriguez and Marcello Frasca. Senior Mario Galvan is still addressing an injury he suffered the week leading up to the Viking C.I.F. title game in football. Galvan was the kicker on the championship team. Galvan hopes to return in early January and his presence will help bolster a young Viking squad. Coach Barber said, "besides Paramount and Warren, Lynwood and Dominguez put together solid teams every season." Barber further said that "it's going to be a typical San Gabriel Valley League season where every team is competitive, and the teams that stay united, and fight from game one to game ten will be in the hunt for a C.I.F. berth." Coach Barber concluded by saying, "we're young, starting two seniors, and returning only three starters from last season. The younger players who have moved up to varsity have been successful on the J.V. level for the last couple of seasons, and as long as they grow up quickly and adapt to the pace and strength of the varsity game, we'll be okay." Things certainly sound interesting for the Vikings early in the soccer season.

********** Published: December 13, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 35