As students are let out for the holidays so too are the athletes. Many winter sports experience a brief break around Christmas and New Year before this break soccer and basketball teams play in many tournaments as they work to get their rotations set and their feel for their teammates.
The Bearcats enter their break with nearly an undefeated record. Paso Robles is currently 6-1-4, meaning they have won six games lost one and tied five times. The Bearcats started the season hot winning their first three games in the Cats and Hounds tournament that was hosted at Barney Schwartz. In the Championship game, Paso lost to Santa Barbara in penalty kick shootouts.
The Paso Robles Press was able to catch up with some of the captains of the team during their time off and ask them about the season so far and about their excitement for
Victor Rodriguez — Senior —
PRP: How do you feel about the team so far through the season and what are you guys looking to do in League?
Rodriguez: So far I feel really good about the team. Every game we have been improving more and more throughout the preseason and especially through our tournament the Cats’ and Dogs. Unfortunately, we lost in the final but it really defined us as a team and showed us what we can be, and in PAC 7. I’m excited and expect really big things from this team. We should go far.
PRP: As a keeper, I know you command the defense as the vocal leader from the back so how is the defense looking this year?
Rodriguez: The defense is looking solid, it started off a little shaky because everyone was new in the back but I think after those first 10 preseason games I think we have a pretty solid defense that can compete with anyone.
PRP: Have you done anything in preparation this year that maybe you didn't do in years past?
Rodriguez: I think this year I came in with a new mentality because it is going to be my last year. I think I came in with a little more confidence and that has led me to play a lot of good games and keep a lot of shutouts but physically I have been preparing the same.
PRP: How do you feel after recording a shutout?
Rodriguez: It feels great. It not only motivates me but it also motivates the team knowing that we’re good enough to score and not get scored on and I think it gives us an even bigger morale boost to shut out more teams ahead.
Erick Reyes - Junior- leading goal scorer
PRP: Now that you guys are about 10 games through the season, how do you feel about the team as you head into League play?
Reyes: I think we have a really good shot this year. We proved ourselves in the Cats’ and Hounds tournament that came down to penalties against a really good team. So I just think we have a really good shot this year.
PRP: Last time we talked you already scored four or five goals, do you know how many you have at this point in the season?
Reyes: I think that I am at 10 or 11.
PRP: Awesome, did you set a goal before the season or do you have a specific number of goals you want to score this year?
Reyes: I didn't really look at it, to be honest. It’s just something where I go for it when I’m in the game and if I get the chance I have to finish it.
PRP: How have most of the goals come this season? Have you been taking a lot of guys on 1v1 or has the offense flowed nicely and you have been at the receiving end of some great looks?
Reyes: Oh it’s been my team most of the time they help me out a lot. I had about three goals where I’ve done it myself but it’s all about the team.
PRP: What would you say is the leading force on this team? Is it your guy's offense or defense or maybe strength in possession?
Reyes: I think the defense is holding it down right now. They are doing their thing and they help us out the most.
Javier Solis - Senior
PRP: How do you feel about the team through around 10 games so far and what have you learned about yourself?
Solis: I feel pretty confident with our team, we just need to work on our defense a little more, be stronger in the air because they have won a lot of balls in the air. We have to have a little better communication in the field but I feel really confident about our team.
PRP: Have you scored any goals this year?
Solis: Yeah, I have scored five goals this year.
PRP: That’s awesome. So what does it feel like for you when you score and what is your go-to celebration move?
Solis: I get more confident in the field. It boosts me up and makes me play harder. I help my teammates get better too I start boosting them up.
PRP: Have you done anything to prepare for this season that maybe you didn't do in years past?