The562’s season previews for the 2022-23 school year are sponsored by Vertical Raise, the official team fundraising partner of The562.
The562’s soccer coverage for the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Beach Futbol Club.
Things are looking up for the Compton boys’ soccer program.
“We’re very excited for this year,” coach Juan Reynoso said. “COVID really did a number on us over here. In previous years we’ve had like nine kids show up to practice. This year at our first practice we had 23 guys come out. In the next year and half we’ll have JV and Frosh/Soph teams. In previous years I wasn’t even able to schedule preseason games, but I can this year.”
Compton will start its season against Compton Centennial and Compton Early College High School in the coming month before starting the Moore League schedule where they haven’t won a game in years.
“I think we’re going to have a really strong attack this year because we have so many new players,” All-Moore League senior Damian Burgueno said. “I think we’re going to be scoring goals this year and winning some games.”
Jason Rosales and Giovani Bravo will be the top options at forward. Rosales joined the football team last year to be the kicker, but this year he started playing running back and Reynoso said he can see the difference in his speed already. Midfielder and forward Robert Smith is also a football player who did a lot to improve his foot work with the ball in the offseason.
Burgueno, a small but mighty defender, also worked on his speed and conditioning in the offseason by joining the cross country and track teams.
“I have to show a good example and guide the others to be stronger for the program,” Burgueno said. “We’re pretty strong right now compared to previous years, and a lot of that is because of (assistant coach Kevin Rodriguez) who gives up excellent in-game drills that improves our chemistry, passing, shooting and everything.”
“I want to play more aggressively but at the same time there’s a lot of new guys who need to play and understand how much speed, agility and endurance plays into this,” Reynoso added. “We’re going to do pretty well if everyone keeps coming to practice and no one gets discouraged. If we lose a game, so what? WE just need to dust ourselves off and keep moving forward.”
Despite the excitement for results, Reynoso knows his number one goal.
“Winning is great and we all want to win, but I want to make sure they all get into a college somewhere and start pursuing their careers,” Reynoso said. “But this time around I think we’re possibly looking at winning some games. The guys who are returners are tired of losing and they’ve been stepping up to be the leaders that I wanted them to be from the beginning.”