Madera South falls loses to Sanger and CMAC
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South senior Luis Diaz battles with a Sanger defender during Wednesday’s loss to the eventual league champions.
After an up-and-down road to open the season, the Madera South Stallions boys soccer team found their groove with three straight wins that put them right in the hunt for a 2021 County/Metro Athletic Conference league title, but the Sanger Apaches were intent on keeping their 2020 championship.
The Apaches capped off a single-loss CMAC season (with one game remaining) with a 4-0 victory over the Stallions. Madera South was nearly there, but couldn’t come away with the title.
But despite coming up short, Madera South head coach Enrique Garcia and his group of young Stallions proved many wrong and look towards the 2021 playoffs with optimism and the future with intrigue.
“It’s definitely tough to take in,” Garcia said. “I know with us being a young team, it was maybe a stretch to be able to win league, but it was a goal I wanted to accomplish for us. It does give us confidence because we at least have 15 guys coming back and already have experienced the competitive atmosphere in the CMAC.”
And to Garcia’s credit, he not only pulled up players that might’ve been to green for varsity, but he coached them and matured them into what the Stallion faithful see in front of them — team that not only goes toe-to-toe with the very best of CMAC, but beyond.
It was this same group of young players that beat Bullard 3-0, beat Division I Buchanan 2-1 and not only beating them, but played a step ahead throughout the entire match.
Despite the 4-0 loss and their CMAC title campaign coming to an end, the Stallions have a lot to play for. It wasn’t that long ago that the Stallions were on the mountaintop.
And in this game, when you step onto the pitch, records go out the window.
“Come playoffs the rankings go out the door. The team that shows up and wants it more can win the game. That will be our mindset. We will be going in to win and leave absolutely everything on the field,” Garcia said.
“We have always believed we are a team that can compete come playoffs. Our record doesn’t show us being a team to be scared of but, I think that is what is going to surprise the rest. We will probably be seeded between six and nine but we are ready to travel and shock the rankings.”