The Wilson Bruins are coming off arguably one of the most successful seasons in program history. They battled a tough Moore League to win their first title in 12 years, and then won a pair of penalty kick shootouts to reach the CIF Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinals for the first time since 2007.
After graduating 24 seniors from that historic squad, Wilson is ready to reload with a new level of expectations.
“The seniors need to help the underclassman in order to live up to what we did last year,” Wilson senior captain Zami Moscoso said. “Everyone is very hard working. Even though we might not be the most skilled, our guys put in the most work and I feel like that will benefit us through the whole season.”
Moscoso, who is the only returning captain, is also a talented runner on the track and cross country teams at Wilson where he’s a hardworking midfielder on the soccer field. He scored a few important goals in league play last year.
“He’s able to transition from offense to defense well due to his endurance levels, something every midfielder needs to do, and he does it the best,” Wilson coach C.J. Brewer said. “Currently he runs 15:14 in the 3-mile, so there’s no slowing down on the pitch for Zami.”
Fellow seniors and returning starters Dylan Bryne and Andres Mota are the other two team captains. Brewer said he plans on playing Bryne at multiple positions depending on the strength and weaknesses of their opponent.
“He has explosive moments in the game where he will burst down the field and make a big play,” Brewer said of Bryne. “His vocal leadership is the first thing you notice… he is always making sure his teammates are in position and organized.”
Mota was an All-League central defender last year, and could be one of the best in the local area this season. He’s a big reason why the Bruins only allowed five league goals last year.
“His strong knowledge of the game, touch on the ball, and large stature make it hard for teams to get anything done in the attacking third,” Brewer said.
With so many new names on the roster, most of the impact players will be considered newcomers. Brewer said they had to choose 90 players out of 190 who tried out for all levels.
“At our best we’re going to be passing and keeping our composure,” Moscoso said. “We just need to have our explosive moments when our time comes and we need it the most. The biggest key (in league) is capitalizing on the opportunities. It’s so competitive this year so we have to capitalize on our opportunities.”
Brewer put together a challenging nonleague schedule to keep his team prepared for the difficult league games ahead. Wilson opens league play on Dec. 18 against Millikan.