Monrovia High School Boys Varsity Soccer: Welcome
Monrovia H.S. Soccer
Message from Coach Williams, Wow, 4 years like that, now I’m about to begin my fifth season as the boys varsity coach. I can remember the day that Athletic Director Mr. Bell introduced me to the perspective player’s in his classroom and how excited I was to take over such a talented program. Yeah we had our rough spots that first season, I had to gain control, introduced them to new style of coaching and show them who was the boss (ha! ha!) But that first group did lay the foundation for the future and the success that would follow.
That next year after spending the summer training in Brazil and earning my Brazilian coaching license, I brought back a new system of coaching and a Brazilian coach… There was a lot of changes that year and some reluctance, however with time and a second place finish in league, the players came around to the new style. We had some great moments that I'll treasure forever. Mathias, then a freshman getting tossed in the air by a Blair player, his brother Emilliano racing down the field, beating one player after another against La Canada (oh, yeah in the Brazil shoe’s) or Damien’s header that tied that game in regulation or Juan’s outstanding goal against San Marino, the header off the free kick. Or all the incredible saves that Mario made, some in the air leaping saves.
Now comes season three, Juan Ulloa, it’s his team now, what would the third year and the new Team Captain bring and what would be his legacy. This was a team that I thought had all the players in the right spots, most of whom played for me for three years and I was sure we would be a contender for the title. We had a tough preseason, a loss in the last minute against Oaks Christian, but a great game. Then a few games later, Mathias turns his ankle against Mark Keppel, just moments into the game and placed him on the bench for the next 10 games. We lost the final of the Bosco Tech tournament against ugh, Duarte in PK’s yet. Then came league, 1-3-1 in the first round, all hope seemed to be lost and who could forget Mr. Don Sheppard, from La Canada in game one of the second round SCREAMING from the stands “keep Monrovia in last place where they belong” That was all the inspiration that we needed, ended the game beating La Canada 3-1 and had a remarkable turnaround, 4-1 in the second round which included another memorable moment in second round against San Marino, that still has the San Marino coach yelling from the side line “count the player’s, he cheats he cheats” (let’s not go there, don’t want to explain that one) down a player and a goal in the first half we came back with a 3-1 finish, knocking them out of play-offs. The player that we lost though was Juan, a red card in the first half, that kept him out of our first round match against Beaumont, which ended up a 1-0 loss.
Finally, to last season, the fourth year, Turner Ward, The New Team Captain, Junior Captain from the previous year. He now has the team, it’s his legacy, it’s his team. Let me tell you this group of players had defeat written all over their foreheads like a tattoo. Unlike any other team, had NO confidence and didn’t believe me when I told them they were going to dominate there opponents. But after our 3-1 win against Burbank, a team that they were sure would beat there ass, it had them looking at each other in amazement. Now comes our official first game, against Oaks Christian. This is a team that we lost to the year before and thoughts were to the players that we had graduated, how was this going to be possible, how are we going to compete. But, at the end of the match a 1-1 tie and we played the in my opinion the greatest game that I had ever seen. A few preseason games go by, more wins and then our first tournament. Bosco Tech, What, Tournament Champions. Then our second tournament, Ontario Christian, and another Championship, then came league and still this team doubted there abilities. Then came our opening match against La Canada 2-1 Win and more importantly was the front page article The Title said it all “Victory a thing of Beauty” I do believe that it was this article when the team began to believe that they could be League Champions… After a 1st place finish, Now the dreaded Post Season. Monrovia hasn’t been out of First round in recent history. So that first Win was very emotional for me, more so then any other game I have ever coached. That team had won more games, scored more goals, allowed fewer goals, and went further in post season play, Quarter Finals than any other Monrovia Boys team in History. Yet if you ask any one of them in September how they thought they would do, they would have told you they didn’t expect to win anything. Although the team and it’s dedication, determination and it’s desire, won that title and it’s many championship title’s. The credit has to fall with it’s leader, Turner ward, he was unequaled to any Captain that I have ever had as a coach. I can only hope as a coach that I will be blessed with a leader that would be as dedicated and one that the team would follow, like his team trusted and followed him...
2009-2010 Team Captain, Mathias Ibanez, former Junior Captain under Turner Ward, has the privilege of leading this group along with Senior Captain Omar Ramirez and Junior Captain Mario Gomez, together they need to lead this team to their place in Monrovia history. I have all the confidence in the world that this team can make a run at the Rio Hondo League title. Mathias has his challenges, no home games, a new defense and young supporting group. But I hope that he has learned from the mistakes of some and the successes of others and put’s his touch on this team. Only his full dedication, leadership, his Argentinean talent and sure determination, will push himself and this group to achieve greatness, which I know they can attain. The freshman group was smaller than last year, however they are a very talented group of players. I have now more players playing club than ever before and I believe more talented players then in any other program that I had ever coached at.