When the season starts in April, the San Quentin Soccer team will have a sponsor.
Andrew Crawford is taking the required training so he can be the soccer team’s sponsor.
“I’m very excited,” said Crawford in his English accent.
Crawford read about the sports program in the San Quentin News and contacted Coach Don DeNevi.
DeNevi referred Crawford to Don Smith of Christian Sports Ministry for guidance through the process of becoming a sponsor, according to Smith.
Having a sponsor will allow them to compete against outside teams and grow the soccer program.
In the meantime, San Quentin soccer players challenge each other. In November, the San Quentin Legionnaires (Legends) defeated and deflated the S.Q. Golden Eagles soccer team, 5-3.
In the first five minutes of play, middle fielder Tare “Cancun” Beltranchuc received a slicing pass from striker Jeff Williams for the 1-0 goal.
The Golden Eagles, which consist of men 39 and younger, had to adjust to the speed and experience of the Legends, the 40s and up team.
But not before Legends left-side striker Carlos Meza weaved in and out through defenders, kicking a precision pass to Beltranchuc, who found the net for his second goal and the 2-0 lead.
“This is truly a team sport. It’s about the positioning and passing. I think that our experience overcame the energy of the youngsters,” said Beltranchuc.
The Golden Eagles answered by working the middle of the field. Striker Jose Vieyra passed the ball to mid-fielder Tury Avalos, who shot a rocket past the goalie, closing the gap 2-1.
Williams took advantage of the Eagles’ celebration and sped down the field. Drawing the defense to him and leaving Legend mid-fielder Romey “Eagle” Kerr open. Williams kicked a drop pass to Kerr, who found the corner side of the goal for the 3-1 lead.
After a series of running back and forth, Juan Espinosa stole the ball from an Eagle player and kicked it to the wing to Meza. Meza kicked a drop pass to Kerr, who did an amazing flip kick past the goalie for a commanding 4-1 lead.
“This is my sport. I’m 62 years old. I’m just happy to still be doing this,” said Kerr.
Golden Eagles Coach Arturo Huerta got his team to settle down. They found Avalos on the right side of the field. He blew past two defenders for the goal, being down 4-2.
Sixty minutes in, the Golden Eagles worked the middle of field, until Vieyra shot a pass to mid-fielder Peru Ruiz, who put it through the net for the goal, pulling within one down 4-3.
“The Golden Eagles are full of youngsters. The principle is to have fun and enjoy the game. So it’s about discipline and controlling your emotions and everything else will gel,” said Vieyra.
The Golden Eagles defense still could not stop Williams, who weaved in and out of defenders up the middle and kicked the ball right between the goalie hands, sealing the win, 5-3.
“It was brutal running up and down with those youngsters. I think they couldn’t stop us from scoring; it took the air out of them,” said Williams after the Nov. 14 game.
Legionnaires Coach Gavin “Jo Jo” Robinson added, “I like what I saw from both teams. The passing was good. Everybody is still shaping their skills, and we are trying people out at different positions. We are hoping to play some outside teams soon.”