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Southern Athletic League readies for soccer season
Delhi looks solid; Denair gets new head coach
Delhi 2
Ivan Udave of Delhi returns and looks to be one of the starters for the Hawks this season. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

Its August, and not only is it the start of American football but also association football, or more commonly known as soccer in the states, is right around the corner and the Southern Athletic League is eager to take the field.


Delhi and Denair High were on the opposite end of the standings in 2014, with Denair only winning two league games, earning a 6-14 posting.


Delhi, on the other hand, was 8-3-3 in the SAL and made the postseason before getting eliminated by Riverbank in the first round.


“It’s hard to tell how we will be because we lost key players and you kind of come back and we have been successful with what we have but our goal is to play as a team,” said Delhi head coach Armando Salazar.


This year, Delhi also welcomes what coach Salazar is calling a 'co-coach' in Antonio Vasquez.


“He comes with much experience coaching traveling teams,” said Salazar of Vasquez. “I am hoping that will give us a little kick that we needed because we have been making the playoffs, but there is always a little kink, so hopefully this year we will get over that bump.”


Junior Mario Moran is one of the returning playmakers on the Hawks squad along with Ivan Udave, Alejandro Contreras, Alex Picazo, and Roman Corona, all of which have proven to be difference makers.


“We need to keep on working and the coaches always make us work hard and we want to take a league championship this year and go deep, possibly a Section title, that's our goal,” said Moran.


The team is looking so deep and talented that coach Salazar is going to have to make cuts, something that has been very rare while as a coach at Delhi.


“With the first week we have seen a big turnout so we will make cuts and we will make a good team out of whatever we have and the players we have and that should give us some incentive,” he said. “If you are good it does not necessarily mean you will play because the starting position will be earned.”


Denair comes into the 2015 year with an entirely new perspective and outlook on the squad as first year coach Greg Gaudio joins the Coyotes with a ton of enthusiasm and experience.


“From here on out, people will know that there is a soccer team here at the high school,” said Gaudio, who has over 25-years of soccer coaching experience. “I have a lot of attachment to Denair through work so it has always been a special place for me.”


Known for having some rollercoaster years on the pitch, Gaudio is not concerned and has other priorities on his mind.