New coach eyes improvement for Buffs’ boys soccer season

BOYS SOCCER: Sept. 2, 2020

SEASON PREVIEW

Head Coach: Jose Vital (1st season)

GARDEN CITY BUFFALOES

Head Coach: Jose Vital (1st season)

The sideline will have a new look for the Garden City Buffaloes soccer programs in 2020-21 as Jose Vital takes over the head coaching reins of one of the most solid programs in the Western Athletic Conference.

The 2019 season, though, seemed like an aberration for the Buffaloes, as they finished 3-4-1 in the WAC for a third-place finish but went just 7-9-1 and a first-round exit from the Class 6A state playoffs. One of their top moments came when they snared a tie with Liberal during the regular season that kept the Redskins from tying for first with Dodge City in the WAC race.

From last year’s squad, the Buffs lost only one of their top players in Christian Hernandez, but Vital will be emboldened with the return of Rodrigo Oropeza, a senior center-midfielder attacker and senior defensive center-back Moses Lares, a first-team all-WAC performer.

“We had a good team, but it was very young,” Vital said of the 2019 Buffaloes. “This year, I expect to see more leadership among the many seniors we now have. Leadership must always be a team effort, it can’t be a two-man job. I’m excited to have Rodrigo and Moses back.”

Vital said the WAC will be tough once again, but looks for steady improvement from his first team as head coach.

“We have been working hard to make ourselves better,” Vital said. “We are seeking success in our conference and we are hungry to win.”

2020 Schedule: Sept. 1—at Hays; Sept. 7-10-12—Goddard Tournament; Sept. 15—HAYS-TMP; Sept. 17—at Liberal; Sept. 22—at Dodge City; Sept. 24-HAYS; Sept. 29—GREAT BEND; Oct. 1—DODGE CITY; Oct. 6—LIBERAL; Oct. 13—at Wichita Trinity; Oct. 15—at Wichita Kapaun.

The 2019 season, though, seemed like an aberration for the Buffaloes, as they finished 3-4-1 in the WAC for a third-place finish but went just 7-9-1 and a first-round exit from the Class 6A state playoffs. One of their top moments came when they snared a tie with Liberal during the regular season that kept the Redskins from tying for first with Dodge City in the WAC race.

From last year’s squad, the Buffs lost only one of their top players in Christian Hernandez, but Vital will be emboldened with the return of Rodrigo Oropeza, a senior center-midfielder attacker and senior defensive center-back Moses Lares, a first-team all-WAC performer.

image_7642280c-b840-49da-a82d-90b5c4de6f1a.fullsizerender
New GCHS Soccer coach Jose Vital.

“We had a good team, but it was very young,” Vital said of the 2019 Buffaloes. “This year, I expect to see more leadership among the many seniors we now have. Leadership must always be a team effort, it can’t be a two-man job. I’m excited to have Rodrigo and Moses back.”

Vital said the WAC will be tough once again, but looks for steady improvement from his first team as head coach.

“We have been working hard to make ourselves better,” Vital said. “We are seeking success in our conference and we are hungry to win.”

2020 Schedule: Sept. 1—at Hays; Sept. 7-10-12—Goddard Tournament; Sept. 15—HAYS-TMP; Sept. 17—at Liberal; Sept. 22—at Dodge City; Sept. 24-HAYS; Sept. 29—GREAT BEND; Oct. 1—DODGE CITY; Oct. 6—LIBERAL; Oct. 13—at Wichita Trinity; Oct. 15—at Wichita Kapaun.

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