East aims for continuity in programs
Jan. 1, 2014 at 6 p.m.
Updated Dec. 31, 2013 at 7:01 p.m.
Dusting the rust off early in the season will help later on, said East boys soccer coach Bobby Ramos.
The Titans played three scrimmages earlier this week in Corpus Christi.
"It was good for the kids; it gave us a chance to play around with lineups and look at kids in different situations," Ramos said.
With a 2-12 district record last season, Ramos said the Titans are aiming to change that around this year.
With nine returning starters, including East football running back Jose Oviedo and Ricky Stratmann at goalkeeper, Ramos is confident in his roster.
Ramos calls Stratmann the best goalie in the district.
"Last season, he wasn't as protected as he should have been," Ramos said. "What we have to do is limit the time he is exposed and protect him a lot better this year."
In his second year coaching soccer at East, Ramos said practice and play time have been "very effortless" so far.
"We're picking up where we left off," he said. "There's a continuity factor in the program."
Both the girls and boys teams will play alumni scrimmages Thursday at Memorial Stadium.
The Lady Titans will start at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys game.
Though the schools are entering just their fourth soccer season, East girls coach Misty Boenig opened the alumni game to all VISD's former players.
"With the girls, we have some Memorial kids that are coming to play and may have some Victoria High and Stroman players," Boenig said. "Their high school no longer exists, so it's cool to give them the chance to play."
Using last year's 21-6-1 season as a jump-off point, Boenig has a good feeling about 2014.
"The girls are coming together well; so many are returning from last year, and they're excited to be at practice," she said. "When they're excited about the upcoming season, that's always a plus."
The Lady Titans made it to the regional quarterfinals last season, missing out on the championship by one game.
"It was the furthest for the program, a first for a girls' program in Victoria," Boenig said. "We have an excellent group with quite a bit of experience coming back."
East's captains will be three-year captain Rachel Mansker (senior attacking midfielder), two-year captain Madison Hawkins (junior center forward) and first-year captain Kendyl Charbula (junior center defender).
Boenig's process for electing captains include a letter of intent, teacher recommendations, an interview with coaching staff and a speech to the team. Then, the team votes.
"Every year, they have to reapply," Boenig said. "To have three- and two-year captains means they're doing very well. The team likes them."