South Tahoe High boys’ soccer team looks to make the grade this season |

South Tahoe High boys’ soccer team looks to make the grade this season

First-year head coach Leon Abravanel is hoping his South Tahoe boys’ soccer team makes the grade this season.

Or makes good grades.

After having the lowest cumulative grade point average of any athletic program at the high school a year ago, his primary focus is on his student-athletes becoming better in the classroom.

“That’s our No. 1 priority this year, getting better grades,” Abravanel said Wednesday before the Vikings hit the practice field at Tahoe Middle School. “I don’t have expectations soccer-wise, that’ll come. But I am expecting our grades to go up. We’ll see what happens this weekend and that will give me some expectations. It’s hard to tell at practice how good we are, we need to see some competition. This weekend will be a good test for us.”

The Vikings return 17 seniors and have a total roster of 27, and that’s after Abravanel gave them strict rules to follow if they want to be on the team.

He wanted everybody to show up during summer conditioning to be able to participate in this fall’s training camp.

And they’re listening to their coach.

“I told the kids that I wanted them to show up for summer conditioning and those that show up can come to training camp,” said Abravanel, a South Lake Tahoe native who played for the Vikings. “And they all showed up. And then at camp, if you keep showing up and putting your best foot forward, you’re not going to get cut. They just kept showing up and nobody got cut, which surprised me.”

South Tahoe finished last season with a 4-10-4 overall record and 4-9-3 which was good for seventh out of nine teams in the 3A Northern League standings.

The Vikings start their season Friday, Aug. 25, at their own South Tahoe Invitational against Reed. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. at the middle school.

They play two times Saturday in the Round-Robin-style tournament. They’ll battle Damonte at 11:40 a.m. and Spanish Springs at 7 p.m. Both games will be played on the turf at Lake Tahoe Community College.

Abravanel is hoping that the community comes out in full force to support his boys and the tournament. Admission is free.

“We have three games this weekend here that people can come out and watch us play,” Abravanel said. ““I couldn’t be more proud of these guys for continuing to show up and work hard. They’ve put in all the effort so far that I’ve asked. They’re motivated and believe in what we’re telling them.”

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