In Sparks’ first contest, the Railroaders dropped Elko High School 5-0 before defeating Spring Creek 7-0 to cap off the day.
Ruben Pacheco accounted for four of Sparks’ five goals against the Indians, with Vicente Cervantes tallying the other mark on an assist from Jose Ruiz. While the Railroaders were constantly testing the Elko defense, Sparks saw little pressure as it controlled possession and the field. The Indians managed just five shots on goal, all in the second half.
The second game featured the subs for the Railroaders, but even with their reserves in the Railroaders still had a dominating performance against Spring Creek en route to the 7-0 drubbing of the Spartans.
“The boys played very well the first game, but they played even better in the second game,” Sparks coach Frank Avilla said. “They had much better touch and we got all our subs in, so that was good.”
Through the Railroaders first nine games of the season, Avilla has seen signs of improvement from his squad, even upon the success it has already had.
“The biggest thing that I’ve watched them improve upon is their touch, their control and their communication and willingness to play as a team,” Avilla said. “From the seniors all the way down to our three freshmen, they’re one unit out there. Everyone helps each other out and that’s nice to see. It’s encouraging and that’s what it’s about. They’re working very hard as a team. They’ve come together.
“We have a very good group of seniors and they’re taking the torch and they’re running with it with pride. They;re keeping their humility in check and they’re keeping their egos in check. They communicate well and they play well together. We’re winning, but it’s not all about winning as far as I’m concerned. We’re winning in a lot of aspects on the field, not just in the scorebook.”
While the Maroon and Gold have won most of their games with plenty of room for comfort, Avilla said his team is remaining humble.
“There’s no secret about what goes on in our little corner of the world. We create first: discipline, respect for the game and honor for the game,” Avilla said. “The boys buy into that and have pride in that. That pride has been established now 11years.
“There are no egos out there. In our last nine games, they’ve spread the ball around very, very well and when they see someone is hot, they feed them. Fortunately for their team, when someone else gets on that person that is hot, we have three or four other attackers that can go. They recognize that and find that real quick in the game. It’s early on and we preach that. As great as their success has been, we can snap our fingers and blink and that success can go away if we take anything for granted.”
On the girls side, the Railroaders were not as fortunate as they failed to find the net, dropping both of their games with a 6-0 loss to Elko and a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Spring Creek.
“Against Elko we just weren’t ready to play,” Sparks coach Jerry Miller said. “It was a 9:30 game in the morning and we were pretty dead. We didn’t have a lot of energy to that game. In the later game against Spring Creek we picked it up some, but it still wasn’t enough.”
Part of the reason Sparks’ efforts did not produce a win were the lack of chances it had on offense, putting less than 13 shots on goal in both games combined.
“We weren’t shooting the ball and we weren’t penetrating well,” Miller said. “Communication is a big issue for us as well. We don’t communicate well on the field so we need to work on that. On offense, we tend to let the other team run through us and it’s mental break downs mostly. Hopefully, we can get that straightened out and gel as a team. We have a lot of promise. It’s just a matter of finding that chemistry.”