By Dave Wagner
Staff writer 

CHS soccer teams to face Lovington


Last updated 3/2/2021 at 4:40pm

CLOVIS — Veteran Clovis High soccer coaches Greg Trujillo and Traci Sievers aren’t sure just what to expect with their teams’ upcoming abbreviated seasons.

They figure to learn a lot, though, in a short period of time.

“We’ll find out right away where we’re at,” said Trujillo, in his 14th season as the boys coach. “It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.”

Sievers, entering her 10th campaign with the girls’ program, sustained some key losses to graduation but expects the Lady Wildcats to be able to hold their own.

“I know we have a solid core group,” she said. “Most of our top scorers return. I think we’re going to be pretty good.”

Both squads open the season on Saturday against Lovington — the boys at Leon Williams Stadium, the girls at Lovington in the first of six road outings on a nine-match schedule.

It’s been an unusual year all around with the coronavirus pandemic, and that includes playing soccer in March instead of September and November. No complaints, though.

“It’s a good thing we’re back,” Trujillo said. “We’re happy with what we can get. I’m just thankful our seniors can have a season.”

He said he’s a little concerned about conditioning, noting that the players have been expected to do a lot of it on their own. Full workouts only resumed on Feb. 22.

Returning starters, all seniors, include forwards Lupe Meza and Diego Perez and midfielders Grant Pella and Marco Galindo. Senior Kevin Avila, who helped the Wildcats reach the Class 5A state semifinals as a sophomore but did not play in 2019, is back to man the goal, and Trujillo is expecting good things from senior defender Luis Macias.

The District 4-5A race should be competitive, Trujillo said, noting that some teams may have lost players who would have been playing in the fall.

“I guess my main concern is to stay healthy and not get injured while trying to get fit,” Trujillo said. “We’re trying to make the best of it.”

Meantime, the Lady Cats are looking to replace about half their starting lineup. Still, Sievers says the team should be formidable.

“The girls are really excited to get the season going,” Sievers said. “For so long, we didn’t know if this was going to happen. I think we’re just going to have to figure it out as we go.”

Six of the Lady Cats’ nine matches will be away from home, including their first five. They play three in a row at Leon Williams Stadium in district play, beginning with Roswell High on March 23.

“There’s no telling (what to expect),” Sievers said of the district race. “Talking to other district coaches, everybody’s numbers are down.”

Returning starters for CHS include junior midfielder Nevaeh Coronado, senior forward/midfielders Madison Lynch and Danielle Griego, junior forward/midfielder Illeana Griego, senior defender Mika Yanez and senior goalkeeper Hanna Nussbaumer. Sievers also thinks freshmen Sienna Bueno and Aspen Ulibarri will be able to help out on the defensive end of the pitch.


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