The Warriors had a good offseason and, despite having a youthful squad, have been displaying maturity early.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain

Even with a quarter century of teaching and coaching under his belt, Socorro soccer coach Daniel Sanchez wasn’t afraid to take on the challenge of rebuilding the Warriors.

“I’ve always enjoyed doing what it takes to make a team competitive,” Sanchez said during a summer practice earlier this year.

As he was talking, the Warriors were running on all cylinders during a team scrimmage, and the biggest changes the second-year coach saw from last year were maturity and his athletes buying into what he was selling.

Last year was rough, with two wins and 17 losses, and several of those matches had goose eggs on the scoreboard for the Warriors.

It’s also a little strange for a coach to talk about a “mature” team when Sanchez has 19 players, and 15 of them are underclassmen, including five eighth graders.

Sanchez has one senior (Braden Mounyo) and three juniors (Ivan Giron, Hector Leon, and David Kracke) heading up his team, and the focus has been on developing and keeping a positive attitude.

“When you have a very young team like we did last year, it is hard for players to keep focused, and that’s come around over the summer,” Sanchez said.

The Warriors 2023 roster includes Braden Mounyo, Javier Leon, Kyle Berger, Ben Watkins, Derek Acosta, Ivan Giron, Sebastian Mercado, Stever Baca, Antonio Chavez, Hector Leon, Aiden Masterson, Isaiah Trujillo, David Kracke, Connor Johnston, Daniel Leon, Damien Leon, Angel Licano Mijares, Billy Hufft, Julian Hinojosa and Rylan  Hicks.