MOUNTAIN HOUSE — The first day of school is still a few days away at Mountain House High School.
There won’t be any delay in the start of the Mustang soccer program, though, as the new soccer coach, Francisco Soto, builds the school’s first team.
Lammersville Unified School District hired Soto in June as a Spanish teacher at the school, and less than three weeks ago, he took on the head coaching job for the Mustang soccer team.
He’s had the team working out for two weeks, including a week of just conditioning, and drills this week with the school’s brand-new blue-and-white soccer balls.
“Today is the first day that we’ve had a lot of players. Last week, we had eight,” Soto said on Monday, when 19 players — the freshmen and sophomores who will make up the junior varsity squad — came out to practice. There will be no varsity team until next year.
Soto, 25, is a 2007 graduate of Edison High, where he was a three-time most valuable player for the Viking team. He also played two years at California State University, Stanislaus, where he graduated in 2012 with a degree in Spanish and received his teaching credential in 2013.
Soto has been an assistant coach for the boys and girls teams at Sierra High in Manteca for the past three years and was looking for the professional challenge of coaching at a new school.
He has the team’s schedule lined up, including the first game — Aug. 29 against Bret Harte High to start the Stagg Tournament in Stockton — and the regular Trans Valley League schedule. The venue for afternoon home games could be either the stadium or the soccer field on the south side of the school.
“I’m working to get the home games in the stadium, just to get the community to come and cheer for us,” Soto said. “We’re trying to build a culture here for the school. Having the games at the stadium will be great for everyone to come and see.”
Contact Bob Brownne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-4227.