Barons crowned league champs

BVH boys’ soccer continues their winning streak into playoffs

Valerie Torres, Opinion Editor

On Feb. 2, Bonita Vista High (BVH) boys’ varsity soccer played their senior night against Mater Dei Catholic High School (MDCHS) at BVHs home field resulting in a 4-1 winning score. Although it was a competitive game, BVH rose to the top continuing their 7-0 winning streak and becoming league champs.

The special night began at 6 p.m., starting with a mini celebration and introduction of the senior players. Each senior walked through a tunnel created by their teammates with a short introduction and song as they walked onto the field. Family and friends in the bleachers cheered them on with balloons and posters to celebrate their last memories of playing in high school. The game starts with all seniors starting in the lineup on the field. 

“It was amazing. When I was playing in high school we didn’t really have senior night, so this was something new. We [held] a small event and had cool introductions [for] introducing our senior players onto the field. It was a great atmosphere, this was the biggest crowd I’ve seen in the stadium so far,” boys’ varsity soccer head coach, Jonathan Zurita said.

The beginning of the first half was a competitive start for both teams as they went back and forth. MDCHS player (22) is fouled and BVH gains possession of the ball. BVHs team becomes frustrated as a player on MDCHS (22) proceeds to foul this time against BVH midfielder and senior Luis Diaz (8).

In the middle of the first half the score remains at 0-0, both BVH and MDCHS have yet to score. Diaz saves the ball from going out of bounds and proceeds to make a failed attempt to score. Soon after, goalkeeper and junior Drew Robinett (00) stays alert as he continues to save the ball from MDCHS scoring on him. 

Not long after, forward and senior Ulisses Palafox (3) gets an assist by passing the ball to striker and senior Esteban Salais (16) who scores the first goal in the last 20 minutes of the first half, giving BVH the lead. Teammates from both on the field and on the sidelines rush to celebrate the goal by surrounding Salais.

“[Scoring] definitely pumped us up. You can say it [created] more motivation to play better,” Salais said.

The first half continues on, when midfielder and senior, Dominic Calvin (6) misses an attempt to score another goal for the Barons. The game continues to become more aggressive with fouls between both teams back and forth. Salias tries to redeem the previous missed shots and nearly scores a headshot at the corner of the goal. However, he misses another shot, bringing an end to the first half of the game with BVH leading 1-0. 

During halftime the team surrounds their coaches for their tactical pep talks. This being Zurita and boys’ jv and varsity assistant coach Brian Berman’s first year coaching at BVH, is a new experience when building up a connection with the team throughout the season.

“The guys are buying into our philosophy that we are trying to set down. At first I was new, like every coach there is going to be a little bit of pushback, but as soon as they all start believing [in] our philosophy, we start to get results [during the games]. They are buying into it so if they keep it up they can go [further] than they think they can,” Zurita said. 

In the second half of the game, family and friends of the BVH players began to show their support and started yelling chants to motivate players on the field. One particular chant many in the stands are familiar with that rallied up the crowd is “go go Bonita quiere [wants a] goal”.

Within the first three minutes of the second half, Salais once again scores. Less than a minute later Salais then scores another goal giving BVH a 3-0 lead. Diaz then gets fouled again by MDCHS player (22), BVH teammates and the crowd begin shouting for a red card. 

The Barons get an opportunity for a penalty kick but miss. MDCHS then scored 14 minutes into the second half, now at 3-1. Palafox gains an opportunity for a penalty kick and makes it, updating the score to 4-1.

Towards the last few minutes of the second half, MDCHS made a few attempts to score but  Robinett is able to save the ball both times, keeping BVH in the lead. This completes the senior night game with the final score 4-1 allowing BVH to officially be crowned league champs and gives them the opportunity to head into playoffs in the upcoming weeks. 

“Going into [senior night], we thought that it was going to be an emotional rollercoaster. Senior night is always emotional for everyone,” Berman said. “We put in a lot of work throughout the season to get to this point [of] being able to put on the show we did tonight. It was very rewarding.”