Football | Soledad Aztecs return to field for training – Salinas Valley Tribune

SOLEDAD – When the Valley enters the canine days of summer, the Aztecs Soledad returned to the football field to train after coming out of a disappointing 3-7 season.

Many things went wrong for the Aztecs last season. A late start when it comes to hiring a coach and the coaches who left during the 2021 season made it difficult for Soledad to restart her program.

At the start of the season, when the Aztecs started 2-1, it looked like they would recover after a year out of football. In addition to a bad half against Everett Alvarez, Soledad’s defense and offense looked like they could play a playoff spot.

The season went south, however, after the Aztecs lost to North Salinas, who began their streak of six straight defeats. Then, after the season, Soledad’s football coach, José Martínez, resigned, leaving the Aztecs to look for a new leader again.

The search did not last long, as they hired former student Marc Villanueva. Last year, Villanueva spent some time coaching JV before being called up to the college team to lead the attack.

In his last two games under Villanueva, Soledad’s offense made his best offensive games of the year.

Entering this season, Villanueva brings back another former coach, Eric Rodriguez, to lead the defense that didn’t do so well. Rodriguez led the Aztecs to the playoffs in 2018 as head coach.

Soledad will have tons of great players to choose from this year. Like most football teams, everyone wants to know who will start as quarterback, and Soledad has a good one this year.

Víctor Ruano (left) will be a big part of the Soledad Aztecs’ defense this year. (Jason Gallardo / Staff)

Looking ahead to the season, Dominic Chávez will be behind the center when the Aztec lineup in the first week. Chávez, who last season took over as quarterback, was able to do a lot despite the lack of protection in advance. He finished the year pitching for 1,228 yards with 10 touchdowns.

This spring Chávez only participated in a training session because he helped the Aztecs reach the semifinals of the baseball CCS. Just after the end of the baseball season, he returned to the football field for the last day of spring training.

For someone who hadn’t thrown a football since the last game of the season last year, he looked good and was able to lead on defense with a scout team offense.

Losing former receiver Isaiah Cruz is a big loss for this attack, but last year’s defensive player Daniel Raso will be more involved with the offense this year. This year he will line up across the field as a runner, wide receiver and even a couple of times behind center.

Like Chávez, Raso also missed spring training due to baseball, but once the usual training sessions and the 7-on-7 arrive, he will be a full-time football player.

In addition, Víctor Ruano is a player who could win all kinds of awards before finishing his stage in Soledad. Between Ruano and Raso it will be difficult to complete a pass this year by having to face them.

It doesn’t happen often when teams can weaken a rival before they touch the field, but that’s what Soledad did to King City with the transfer of Iván Salcido. Salcido will be another player that Rodrígez will be able to count on to defend the ball.

Another player who could contribute this season is basketball player Jason Mendoza. Mendoza, who has never played high school football, is ready to try the tight end this year. If Soledad’s coaching staff can accompany him, another great athletic body for the red zone can be of great help.

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