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Girls basketball season begins for valley teams

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 28th, 2012

Photo by Michael Ramirez - Soledad resident Joe Gonzales has returned to Soledad High School to coach the Lady Aztec girls basketball team. Gonzales lives in Soledad with his wife, Dina, and his son, Jeter.

SOLEDAD — Soledad High School has welcomed back Joe Gonzales as the head coach of the Lady Aztecs basketball team, the biggest local change as the girls basketball season starts in south Monterey County.

Gonzales was a member of the Soledad basketball coaching staff from 2003 until 2009, when he took some time off to complete his degree. He has served as the junior varsity head coach, and was the varsity head coach in his last two years in Soledad.

“There have been three head coaches for the girls since I left, and it is time for the program to have some stability and restore some pride,” Gonzales said. “We are going to work on improving the things the girls do right and be detail-oriented in how we prepare for practices and games. There are seven returning players from last year’s team, and they are all pretty good athletes. I will carry 12 girls on the varsity roster.”

Gonzales could receive plenty of scoring from four-year varsity athlete Felicia Villarruel. The senior led the tri-county area in scoring average (22.5 points per game) and 3-point shooting (63) and made the All-Mission Trail Athletic League team for the first time.

“It is good to have Coach Gonzales back because he has a lot of experience and cares about the program,” Villarruel said. “He is really organized and makes everyone work. I am really looking forward to this season.”

Soledad finished 7-7 in league a year ago, 9-15 overall, and qualified for the Central Coast Section Division III playoffs where the Aztecs lost 74-31 to Seaside in the first round.

The Aztecs will host the North Monterey County Condors this Friday at 7 p.m.

King City High School began the non-league schedule on Tuesday against the Coast Union Broncos of Cambria and will play the San Lorenzo Valley Cougars in Felton on Dec. 4. Last year, the Lady Mustangs finished 11-3 in the MTAL and were 17-8 overall. King City is coached by Tito Velasco.

For the complete article see the 11-28-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-28-2012 paper.

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