team looks for a leader
Madha searches for a team leader. Is he in this
soccer coach E.B. Madha looks back on last years
season and wonders if it was a dream.
In only their second year back to competition after a five-year
athletics hiatus, the Eagles won the conference title, were
ranked in the top 10 nationally most of the season, saw their
key player (Ivan Becerra) named a community college All American
and Conference Player of the Year, and celebrated when nine
Eagles landed on the All Conference first or second teams.
How do you top that?
Madha is not trying to. Just before the start of the 2004
season, Madha and assistant coaches Norman Mejia and Jose
Mejia have set a more immediate goal: find a leader.
"Last year, we had so many returning players, it was
easy to find leaders and thats why the team jelled so
quickly," said Madha. "With all the new faces, that
leader hasnt emerged yet this year."
Seven players are returning from last years squad. The
balance, about 15, are new. Madha says there is talent on
the team, led by last years starters Christian Piedra
and Antonio Llerenas, as well as some impressive new players
from local high school teams.
Coach E.B. Madha (center) with assistant coaches
Norman Mejia (left) and Jose Mejia
going to need a couple of games under our belt before we see
a team that can play well together," said Madha. He believes
a leader will emerge in those early games to show the others
the way. Even though he doesnt know who that player
will be, Madha can describe him to a tee.
"The leader on this team will be somebody who can pick
us up when we need picking up; who can rally us; who, by example,
shows hes giving 110 percent on the field and asks the
same from everybody else."
The Eagles begin pre-conference play on August 27 with a match
against San Diego Community College. Conference play begins
on September 10 with a home game against Oxnard. Home games
will be played at Birmingham High School, 17000 Haynes St.,
the Mens Soccer Schedule