The Jacksonville High School boys soccer team spent the final day of its holiday vacation Monday getting back in the groove — the soccer groove, that is.
The Indians traveled to Palestine for full scrimmages against John Tyler and Athens as head coach Randy Hammontree’s bunch continues to prepare for its season opener, which will come in the Kilgore Tournament on Jan. 13 against an opponent and at a time to be announced.
The Tribe will be experiencing a youth movement of sorts this winter, as last May’s graduation took its toll on the team’s roster.
In fact, Hammontree says don’t be surprised to see two or three freshmen making varsity starts.
“We will be somewhat younger than we were last year and we may have two, maybe three, freshmen in our starting lineup,” Hammontree said.
Now, coach says these are not your “run of the mill” 9th graders and that he is confident that these freshmen will be able to assimilate with the olds hands just fine.
“I’m expecting great things out of these freshmen,” Hammontree said. “We don’t like to use the term “rebuilding” around here. We expect them (the younger players) to step up and play like seniors.”
One freshman who has already demonstrated a keen ability on the pitch is center midfielder Alberto Escareno, who punched in a pair of goals in the Tribe’s 8-1 win over the JHS Alumni unit on Dec. 19.
“Escareno has shown exceptional foot skills and the ability to score goals,” Hammontree said.
Another freshman that logged a pair of goals in the win over the Alumni was Martin Melchor, a forward.
“Melchor is very mature for his age and he possesses a great vision for the game and (has) a good skill set,” Hammontree added.
As for the key returnees, Daniel Forry, the District 35 Most Valuable Player in 2010 is back, as is center-midfielder Rodrigo Carreon, an All-District pick last year.
Forry, a forward, scored 28 goals a season ago and his teaming with Melchor is expected to give the Tribe a strong one-two punch.
Senior Roy Alvarez has been penciled in on the left wing, while Mustafa Ziedan should see plenty of minutes on the right flank.
Alvarez powered in 21 goals last season, a dozen of which came in league play.
“Alvarez has the ability to play any position on the field,” Hammontree said. “But we will use him mainly as a wing or forward.”
Cesar Trujillo, a senior captain, will be the Indians’ sweeper and will be the anchorman of the defensive unit.
Trujillo also picked up an award for making the All District Team in 2010.
Other players that are expected to comprise the JHS defensive unit include, Anthony Velasquez (Sr.), Antonio Montes (Jr.) and Eli Santana (Soph.).
Marco Remigio and Leo Cervantes are expected to be the Tribe’s goalkeepers this year.
Jacksonville Indian 2011
Varsity Boys Soccer Roster
No. Name Class
2 Rodrigo Carreon Jr.
3 Cesar Trujillo Sr. (Capt.)
4 Joel Mendosa Jr.
5 Leoanardo Cervantes Soph.
6 Anthony Velasquez Sr.
7 Daniel Forry Sr.( Capt.)
8 Eli Santana Jr.
9 Alberto Escareno Fr.
10 Jeremy Quiroz Sr.
11 Mustafa Ziedan Soph.
12 Salvador Moreia Sr.
13 Delfino Saucedo Soph.
14 Paulo Mandujano Soph.
15 Joel Luna Fr.
16 Antonio Montes Jr.
17 Roy Alvarez Sr.
18 Levi Santana Fr.
20 Martin Melchor Fr.
21 Marcos Remigio Jr.
Head coach: Randy Hammontree
Assistant coach: Jamie Palmer