By Andrea Camarena

Varsity coach Eric Bernal is joining the Cardinal boys soccer team for his first season this winter.

He knows about last season's first round playoff loss and plans to put out a better showing this season with his 4-4-2 line-up.

"I have high expectations for the team as always," Bernal said.

The boys are starting out their training with a focus on Cardiovascular training. Trying to get the boys in shape is key for the competitive East Sequoia League play.

"We have to be in shape." Bernal said.

Bernal has his 23 boys out at after school practice for two or more hours a day in preparation for their first scrimmage game on Nov. 23 against Wasco.

Players to watch

Sophomore Jose Lemus is a "very promising player" and Bernal is trusting him to man one of the two front forward positions.

Bernal plans to plant junior Luis Hernandez in the second forward position for some extra speed in the front of the field.

Senior Daniel Ochoa caught Bernal's eye with his speed as well. "He's quick and strong. He's a physical player."

Ochoa is set to lead the midfield from one of the two center halfback slots.

Two keepers will battle it out for the starting position: freshman Jose Beltran and junior Adolfo Lemus.

The team showed up to practice playing very individual based soccer but Bernal is set to change that. "I don't want a one-man sport," said Bernal. He's breaking the boys into a strong passing team to prepare for this year's competition.

"It's a very tough league. Competition is high and we're expecting to do well," said Bernal. "We're going to be strong this year."

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