By DIDI MALVEAUX
The Redlands East Valley’s Varsity Boy’s soccer team had a very successful season in this year’s CBL. With the boys’ victory from their last game against Citrus Valley High School they were able to solidify their number 1 rating in CBL making them 13-0-1 and advancing them to the CIF rounds.
The boys have an exceptional amount of pressure coming off as last year’s champions and for the seniors on the team: they wish to continue their winning streak all the way until the end, in which they will receive another championship ring. Hours before the game on Thursday Feb. 16, the boys had time to reflect on their situation and evaluate their chances of another successful CIF championship. Rene Gonzales, goalkeeper, had this to say before the game “The team we will be playing against tonight is a really great team they have many strengths and skills on the field, however I have faith in my team and their set of skills as well, as long as we can keep a level head and stick to our game plan, I believe we can make another wildcat victory.”
The crowd could feel the thickness in the air, the energy of both teams in the stands, the drive and the determination in order to win and to continue on in the tournament. Jonathan Bonilla, midfielder, had the following comments: “Tonight’s game will be difficult because both teams have been through so much in order to get to this point in the season and as soon as you lose you are done, and to have the chances of winning CIF be torn away after one loss is difficult for any team to go through. So tonight should be very emotional for either team and their families.”
After the first half the Wildcats were able to make a miraculous score of 2-0 within the same 5 minutes. One of those goals was made by Nick Perez, forward right wing, who credited the success to his teammates and their chemistry on the field. Tensions roared high during this time period. Centennial High School had really put the pressure on the boys, making them work even harder in order to keep their 2-0 lead. By the end of the first half, they were able to keep that going.
Starting the second half was a continuous back and forth of the ball; each team fighting equally as hard as the other, both wanting the chance to advance to the next round. However senior and captain Jonathan Bonilla was able to make another goal for his team making the score 3-0. The stands went wild. The energy from friends and family was radiating, the chants and support they showed for their boys is truly an amazing one. With that, the boys were able to advance to the next round in CIF. Feeling both eager and excited, the boys are ready to face any task thrown their way. The East Valley Wildcats truly believe that with the strengths of their teammates combined with their communication skills, they will once again be CIF champions.