2013: Developmental year for Warriors

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While the Socorro High School athletic director is laid up nursing an injury — one that may keep him out all season — Socorro Warrior athletics carries on with the help of an experienced and dedicated coaching staff.

Superintendent Randall Earwood could not be reached for comment on coach Damien Ocampo’s injury — which occured at the high school — and Ocampo is off of work for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, the coaches are hard at work with their teams, holding tryouts and practices as scheduled.

Coach Cody Lee, with help from assistant coaches Michael Armijo, Scottie Crespin and Chuck Zimmerlee, will lead a relatively balanced football team this year. They have 6-7 seniors, several juniors and a lot of younger players. Lee anticipates 8-10 more freshmen will join the ranks this week with the start of school.

“If we have any standout leader, it’s Zeb (Esquivel),” Lee said, “but we have a lot of freshmen who are showing leadership, and the juniors will step up and take a role.”

The Warriors kick off the football season the last weekend of August, with a junior varsity game Aug. 29 at home and a varsity game at Capital High School on Aug. 30. See the full schedule for details. This year the Warriors will work on building a stronger game and show promise for a good year.

“We’re going to have our struggles, like every team does,” Lee said. “A lot of our players should see the field this year, and several freshmen will get varsity time.”

Girls soccer coach Mitch Carrejo has a similar situation with a young team — half of which is eighth-graders, with no seniors and only one junior this year.

“We are seeing a lot of skill in these young players,” said Carrejo. “Their inexperience and physical size and strength will be what they have to overcome.”

The girls soccer team has been working since July 4, including participating in a Lobo camp in Albuquerque and some in the AYSO soccer camp in Socorro last month.

Boys soccer has a little more breadth of experience.

Both the boys and girls soccer teams started the season Aug. 19 at East Mountain High School. The Lady Warriors soccer team will host the Socorro Cup on Aug. 24, and the boys soccer team will play at home Aug. 26.

The Lady Warriors volleyball team had a great turnout for tryouts Aug. 13. Coach Joni Mauldin was pleased to see a lot of the younger girls she had worked with the last two years on the floor, and is excited about the talent she has to work with this year. Mauldin felt it was too early to tell how the year would shape up, but is confident of a good season.

“We’re just getting started,” Mauldin said. “We have a lot of girls to work with, and I’m glad to see many of the girls that we’ve been coaching at various levels for a few years.”

Coach Steven Montoya is pleased with his cross-country team and their chances at the championships this year. The cross-country team finished strong last season, and is starting strong this year.

The boys cross-country team has several five-year runners, including senior and leader Jared Lam, who is being suggested for team captain. Sophomore Manuel Licano is also showing great promise in his first year running but leading races in trials.

“Jared and Manuel will have a big impact on the team this year,” Montoya said. “They will be strong leaders.

Montoya highlighted Juli Aster, a junior, as a strong leader for the girls cross-country team this year. He also anticipates twin freshmen Autumn and Emerald Goranson will rise to leadership in short order.

You will have to get up early to see this team in practice, with a 6:15 a.m. practice schedule. Spectators will only get one opportunity to see the cross-country team at home — on Sept. 6.

Yearlong athletic passes are available for spectators wanting to attend games throughout the year. These passes are good for all athletic events for the 2013-2014 school year. Adult passes are $75; student/senior passes are $40; and a family pass is available for $125. Contact Socorro High School Principal Jennifer Molina at 575-835-0700.