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Denair boys look to continue winning ways, girls hope to make a splash
Denair boys soccer
Timothy Hernandez is one of nearly 10 returning players for the Denair High boys soccer team as they hope to defend their Southern League and Sac-Joaquin Section titles (Photo courtesy of Denair Athletics).

Last season, the Denair High boys were crowned the Southern League champions and were victorious in their quest for the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI title. With a roster filled with talent including the likes of Eddie Corral and Brando Gutierrez, the Coyotes are looking to build an enduring culture of success.

Over on the girls side, the team led by new head coach Mark Morphy is also hoping to put the local soccer scene on notice. In what seems to be a complete turnaround from last season’s shorthanded roster, the Lady Coyotes now have 20 players on the roster, and the strength in numbers that they’ve discovered is evident.

Denair girls soccer
Denair varsity girls head coach Mark Morphy believes that players like Genesis Palos can help lead the Coyotes to glory this season (Photo courtesy of Denair Athletics).

Boys team

Head coach: Antonio Padilla, third season

2021-22 record: 16-2-5 overall, 9-0-5 Southern League, CIF SJS D6 Champions

Key losses: Eddie Corral, Brando Gutierrez, John Hernandez, Aaron Morales, Christian Rojas

Key returners: Timothy Hernandez, Emanuel Renteria, Angel Sanchez, Abraham Aguilar


Girls team

Head coach: Mark Morphy, first year w/ Denair, third season overall

2021-22 record: 1-7 overall, 0-7 Southern League

Key returners: Genesis Palos, junior, defender; Maryfer Carillo, junior, goalkeeper

Key additions: Skylynn High, junior

Through the team’s first five preseason games of the year, they have a 3-1-1 record.

“I wasn’t around last year, but from what I here, the numbers weren’t quite close. I don’t think they even finished the season because they kept losing players” said Morphy. “With 20 girls this year, it shows a lot for a school that only has like 290 kids in it. The fact that we have that many girls on the team is remarkable to me that they will step up and join the play.”

And the 20 players currently on the roster aren’t just anybody. In Morphy’s eyes, they have the potential to be some of the top players in the region. These players include defender Genesis Palos, star goalkeeper Maryfer Carillo and recent Turlock High transfer Skylynn High.

“I've seen that they have a strong desire to play and they have an attitude of, ‘We can do this,’ Morphy said. “We still have lots to improve on, though. Our defense is outstanding, but we're lacking in finishing… If we're going to compete in the league this year, we need to improve that.”

The team that hasn’t had much trouble offensively has been the boys. In their first six preseason games, they have 31 goals. It helps that they have nearly 10 returners from last year’s Section championship run.

Led by returning coach Antonio Padilla, there is little reason to believe that the Coyotes can’t repeat as Southern League champions and make another playoff run.

Southern League play for both teams kicks off next week when they each take on the Warriors of Orestimba High.