It’s safe to assume that at the start of any sporting season that many players will get a pretty good helping of their coach’s expectations.
Some coaches will post motivating images of past champions while others might utter that same but sometimes truthful phrase, “This is our year.”
What exactly is meant by “our year?” Only the coach knows.
For Gilmar Guerra, Jayettes head soccer coach, it means just staying within kicking distance of any competitor they face.
“Our goal is to not only keep pace with teams that are on our level but to also match them in wins in order to stay competitive and in the postseason hunt,” he said.
Last season the Jayettes finished overall with a 10-6 record that included a 1-1 postseason finish.
They were bounced out of the postseason in the second round of regional action by Raccoon River conference foe the ADM Tigers, in a 2-1 contest.
This season the 14-year veteran head coach hopes and feels this squad can finish just one game better.
“We would like to get all the way into the regional final,” Guerra said. “Our expectations are that if we have the ball we will win most of our games.”
A good reason for some of that warranted optimism is the fact that the head coach welcomes back the team’s top scorer in senior Natalie Martinez. She finished second overall in the RRC in goals.
In 16 games last season, 14 in which she started, Martinez was a scoring machine. Her 1.81 goals per game led the team as well as her 29 total goals.
“I hope Natalie Martinez can step up and bring the team forward since she is our leader,” Guerra said.
The experienced senior won’t have to do it alone. Back in the fold are juniors Jaqueline Guardado and Molly Lutmer, who combined for nine goals.
“I had a good team from midfield to forward, the defense is questionable because I lost three last year,” the head coach said.
The squad has already been busy playing two games on April 2, April 4 and April 5. They will be back in action on Tuesday, April 9 when they travel to Des Moines North High School.