Coaching change throws team for a loop


Hard work, talent, and discipline are all things that Alisal’s varsity team had this year. Those are some of the many factors that contribute to making a great team. Another factor that helped the team was being able to make adjustments which is what the varsity team had to deal with this year.

The girls started their preseason with the Coach Ramon Hernandez, going 4-2-1. However, Hernandez was asked to leave and the girls had to get used to a new coach, Juan Amesquita, at the start of league.

This was Amesquita’s first year coaching the girls’ varsity team, but not his first time coaching. He coached JV and Varsity for 12 years at North High and he has coached the JV team here for three years. Amesquita said he felt good and excited to be part of Alisal High School.

Junior Anahi Guzman explained, “It hurt the team emotionally, it was unexpected when he left. For seniors it was sad because they were with him for almost four years.” A disadvantage for the team was that Amesquita came in the Monday following the girls’ last preseason game, which was a shock to the whole team. Junior Esmeralda Garcia said, “It was sad. I was sad at first, but it’s not like I could stop playing. I had to adjust like everybody else on my team. We had to work with him like he is with us.”

Being a new coach, it was hard for Amesquita to get a clear idea of what to expect from the team this year, especially and after opening league with big losses against Hollister (0-5) and Christopher High (0-3). Amesquita said, “I could tell that the girls weren’t ready yet playing against other teams. The team was really hard working during practice, but they forgot to bring it to the game which affected if they could have made it to CCS this year or not.”

Amesquita was able to see how the team had changed since he first arrived and as he gotten to know them better. “I noticed that the girls had a better attitude, first it was frustrating, but now that they’re in shape it’s better.” Garcia agreed, saying the whole team had faith in each other, “We have the players and the talent…we don’t have a bad coach and we don’t have bad people.”

Many people had different opinions about how the team did this year. Senior goalie Brittany Perez believed that even though they didn’t have much conditioning, there was always room for improvement. Perez felt the team was more connected and open with Amesquita, which helped out during practice and games. “He actually tells us to our faces we need to stop doing this and this, from the team, he has more respect.” Senior co-captain Melissa Rodriguez agreed with Perez. “Amesquita made the team more fun and alive.”

While the team is currently 2-1-7, the win came over rival Alvarez.  Rodriguez stated, “I felt good. A sense of pride because they’re our biggest rivals so it was good to beat them.”

Although the goal of making CCS quickly faded away, the players adapted, especially after their 4th loss. Rodriguez said, “We started playing for fun because in our minds we had nothing to lose anymore.”