STHS soccer stars on the ride of their lives |

STHS soccer stars on the ride of their lives

Steve Yingling, Tribune Sports Editor

If South Tahoe High teachers receive a line from Tim Head and Alex Torres about leaving their homework in Steve Head’s car, believe them.

Up to four days out of the week the STHS sophomores are commuting to Sacramento to practice and play for the San Juan Predators, an under-16 boys soccer team.

“We usually get home at 10:30 or 11 at night, so sometimes we have to do our homework in the car to keep up,” Head said.

Or sleep, as Torres was doing Wednesday as the two were in transit to practice.

“It’s kind of rough on Steve because he does all the driving. Timmy and I sleep most of the way,” said Torres, a forward.

Their extra efforts to play a higher level of soccer will be rewarded Sunday at 11 a.m. when the Predators play the DeAnza Ruckus for the U.S. Youth Soccer Association Northern California championship in Livermore. The winner advances to regionals June 23 in Salt Lake City.

“Between those two guys and Leon (Abravanel), it’s pretty exciting to see that they’re getting to play against some pretty good competition,” said Joe Winters, the players’ high school coach.

That’s exactly what Head and Torres were seeking.

“We wanted to try other opportunities,” Head said. “The players, coaches and the intensity are all the best in the state, and we’ve even played some of the best in the nation.”

San Juan and DeAnza have met three times this season, with the Predators having won twice and tied once.

“Our whole team approach is to go at it one game at a time, and we’re going to do that again,” said Head, a defender. “We’ll go as hard as we can and keep our intensity up for the whole game.”

Added Torres, “It’s everyone’s first time going to the state finals and it would be nice to make regionals. But they’re pretty good, so we’re doing our best at practice so we can do better.”

An additional perk of playing in Sunday’s championship is the status of some of the spectators.

“I’m hoping to play soccer in college,” Torres said. “Our coach said there will be a whole bunch of college coaches watching us.”

Club soccer notes: Winter’s Tahoe United team won the Sagebrush tournament, beating Elko 2-0 in the final, in March … last weekend the United made the semifinals in the Comstock Tournament in Carson City … Randy Volkmar’s U-16 girls club has been on a roll, taking second place in the Sagebrush and Comstock tournaments … The Galaxy, which is now 4-0 in the Great Basin Youth Soccer League, went 2-1 in the Comstock Tournament to finish third in the top flight division. The team won the Sage Brush Start-Up Tournament on March 23-24 in Sparks by going undefeated in four games.

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