Despite taking advantage of a late start, the soccer boys still lost to Rancho Viejo 2-1 last Thursday
■ Corey Evan / Sports Reporter
Middle school sports involve a lot of school-boy errors. But some mistakes can be very embarrassing, as Rancho Viejo Middle School learned as their Maverick boys headed to Diamond Valley to take on the Diamondbacks on Feb. 9. You see, their bus drivers got mixed signals and took everyone to Dartmouth instead. That instance of “D’oh!” caused the Mavericks to not only be late… but also to scramble to prep the game. #DelayOfGame
Having started 25 minutes late on this unseasonably warm, sunny and calm winter day, Rancho Viejo won the toss to start the game. But for the Mavericks, a good start wasn’t easy to come by as Guillermo Aceituno scored a goal for the D-backs halfway through the first half. As it turns out, that’s Guillermo’s first goal this season! #GoodStart
In the second half of gameplay, the Mavericks equalized. It was a game now! Both teams kept on that ball to see who would take the lead as sunset rapidly approached. Unfortunately for the D-backs, the Mavericks would take a second goal to take the match 2-1. #ToughBreak
Coach Wilder DeLeon is proud of his boys for taking on some tough teams this season: “The Rancho Viejo team has experienced players; they also have some club players. I have a young team; Three-quarters of my team are sixth graders, the others are divided between seventh and eighth. Hopefully next season they grow, a lot of them played as starters. We have some great teams in the valley that have kids that play club.”
On that note, the bit of Hemet that Diamond Valley is located in isn’t exactly a big little-league part of town, and DeLeon recognizes his team tends to be the underdogs: “Unfortunately, our area… a lot of our players, they don’t get to play club; they don’t participate in AYSO. This is their only opportunity to play soccer and learn the game,” DeLeon noted.
Otherwise, it’s worth noting that Alexis Jimenez brought in three goals this season. Diamond Valley may not have taken any wins this soccer season, but these boys just making the team is a win in and of itself. To parents: Do what you can to encourage your aspiring athletes, it’s really good for them to help them stay out of trouble. To their fellow Diamondbacks, assuming you’re getting this paper, don’t hold this season against them. Give them some love… or at least a fist bump. #Encouragement