SOLEDAD — As the defending Cypress Division champs, the Soledad Aztecs are just six days from their football season opener against the Palma Chieftains, and this Soledad team is ready to prove that they are more than a one-hit wonder.
Last Friday the Aztecs hosted their Purple and Gold scrimmage in front of a few fans. As the fans went into the stands, one of the questions they wanted to see answered is how the Aztecs are going to replace some key seniors from last year’s team.
One of the things that stuck out about the scrimmage is the amount of depth Soledad will have coming into the season, and that shouldn’t be a shock if you have been following the Aztec program. Last year they had an undefeated JV season that was loaded with sophomores.
The good news for Soledad is they have a bunch of first team players returning for this upcoming year.
Soledad utility player Ivan Salcido will see most of his time at running back this season, and he is one of the best kickers in the area.
Next up is offensive lineman Anthony Trevino, who will be part of an offensive line that could be the best in the area.
Finally, Andy Valdez, the best defensive player in the Cypress Division, will be in charge of the defense that was a big part of the Aztecs winning the league last season.
But the position that will be asked about the most is: who is going to be behind center for the Aztecs this season? This year baseball phenom Daniel Valenzuela Jr. will be the starting quarterback this season.
During the scrimmage, Valenzuela was getting the ball out of his hand quickly and seemed to be in charge of the offense. This has the Soledad coaching staff excited.
“I think potentially people are going to see an arm they haven’t seen before,” said Head Coach Marc Villanueva. “One of the best arms to come through this area.”
Now part of the newly formed Mission South Division, Soledad will head to Salinas on Aug. 24 to play Palma. But first, they will be hosting the South County Jamboree this Friday, Aug. 18, at Soledad High School beginning at 7 p.m.