Youthful Camp Verde boys soccer off to 3-0 start

Gary Ortega (4). VVN/James Kelley

Gary Ortega (4). VVN/James Kelley

Camp Verde High boys soccer has a young side but is off to a perfect start.

With their 9-0 win over Tucson Desert Christian on Tuesday, the Cowboys improved to 3-0 so far this year.

“I was expecting a little bit more competition from those guys, I mean Desert Christian is a superb program, an excellent school, they always come well prepared,” CV head coach David Miller said. “I think we caught them a little young and so it took us a little while to get started but after we got it going then the first half was one after another, you know how scoring goes, one does it and then it sort of like goes in a flurry.”

The Cowboys start comes despite only have two seniors with varsity soccer experience, defender Joseph Jones and forward Brandon Cruz.

Miller said the Cowboys have played above expectations so far.

“We’re really young, I mean we have 14 freshmen on the team, we have eight that travel with the varsity squad, we’re just really, really young,” Miller said. “Two or three seniors on the team that lend experience and flavor to the team but in general we’re young, so we got a lot to learn. We’ve been able to be pretty cohesive, I think the seniors have been great leadership and they move the team around, they keep us balanced. We try not to make the highs too high or the lows too low. We’ve had to come from behind on a couple already, but we’ve been very fortunate to get the job done.”

Camp Verde opened the season with a 3-2 win over Snowflake, rallying from an early deficit. They also came back in their first road game of the year, at Northland Prep, which they won 2-1.

Against Snowflake, Cruz scored a goal and freshman Gary Ortega had two.

Jones said he was also surprised at the Cowboys’ start.

“We’re off to a great start, 3-0,” Jones said. “Coming back from our first game when we were losing 2-1 and then catching up to 2-2 and then coming back to 3-2 and taking it, it shows that we have a lot of determination and we’re willing to fight back.”

Joan Ruiz Alamos scored both the CV goals against Northland Prep.

Seven players scored in the win over Desert Christian, led by Ortega and Cruz, who each had a brace.

Cruz said the Cowboys have been practicing together since May, so they have a good understanding of the game.

“We just gotta keep it up,” Cruz said. “The last two games before this one we were playing good communication, just the confidence level in this game was higher because we knew this team wasn’t all that good. But that could also be a bad thing for the next couple of games, if we keep up that mentality.”

Miller said they’ve already figured out everyone’s primary positions.

“Now we’re figuring out where they can be if the need arises,” Miller said. “The guys got to be able to play more than one place. On our team we tell them that there’s only three positions on the team: there’s the keeper, there’s the field and there’s the bench and so everybody wants to play the first two positions, so you got to be able to step in where ever you’re needed and know the position, be able to play it. It may not be your primary position, but you need to be able to be competitive at that position.”

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