RHS boys soccer team ready for the challenges of upcoming season
Having seven juniors on the boys soccer roster last year didn’t translate into a big senior class this year for Roseburg High School.
With a former player injured, one joining the football team full time and another playing club lacrosse there will be only five returning varsity players on the roster this season.
But Jim Giraudo, RHS head boys soccer coach, remains optimistic about the team’s chances to get into the postseason.
“We’re expecting to make the playoffs,” the coach said. “We made the playoffs for the first time in eight years last year. So we expect to keep the momentum going.
“The varsity and JV programs have been well-coordinated the last two years. The JV players that are playing varsity this year are well in tune to the system and more than prepared for the jump to varsity.”
For the past two years Cam Lawler has been the assistant coach and Eddie Garza has been the junior varsity coach.
Coach Giraudo was named the All-Southwest Conference co-coach of the year, along with South Eugene’s Jurgen Ruckaberle last season.
Patrick Giraudo was an All-Southwest Conference honorable mention selection last year and is one of three team captains this year. Senior JT Dauterman and junior Gage Baylis-Hines are the other team captains.
“We’d like to make it back to the playoffs and then make it past the first round,” Patrick Giraudo said. “I want to end my high school career with a bang, like we did last year, and hopefully make a playoff run and if we advance to the second round that would be very good.”
Patrick Giraudo and sophomore Jonathan Colunga will be forwards expected to score a lot of goals this year. The team will also be strengthened by a foreign exchange student from Brazil, Fernando Bicelli, who is a very skilled playmaker, according to coach Giraudo.
Dauterman is a center midfielder who will be covering for the defense and the base of the offense. Returning player Archer Bergeron, a junior, will anchor the defense for Roseburg.
Baylis-Hines is a third year starter in goal for Roseburg and “keeps improving every year.” Giraudo said.
When asked what advise he had for the new varsity players, Baylis-Hines said, “slow (the game) down in your mind. The pace is much quicker, but try to slow it down in your mind.”
Dauterman added, “Remember to have fun. Don’t get on each other for the little things, just keep playing.”
Because there are just five returning varsity players the team will be largely unknown to their competitors.
“It is disappointing, but we’ll have some better players they don’t even know about,” Baylis-Hines said. “Some players have definitely stepped up when they needed to.”
Patrick Giraudo added, “It’s fun when new guys come on varsity. It’s nice seeing their hard work and effort pay off. We’re all really good friends.”
Roseburg’s junior varsity and varsity programs both run a 4-3-3 (four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards) and 4-3-1-2 formation.
“You have to adjust the system that you play to the roster players that you have,” Jim Giraudo said. “You have to play systems according to your strengths and weaknesses.”
The strength for RHS will be the offense. “In my system every player on the field is a part of the offense,” coach Giraudo said.
Last year the Roseburg boys scored 32 goals, second most in the Southwest Conference. South Eugene scored the most with 49.
Roseburg finished fourth in the conference and lost its first round playoff game 3-1 to Liberty.
South Eugene and North Medford are expected to be the top competitors in the conference this year.
“(We want to) be able to compete with South Eugene,” Baylis-Hines said.
Dauterman added, “(South Eugene) is the best team in our conference so if we can do decent against South Eugene we’ll do better against all the other teams.”
Roseburg will play its first two games at Fir Grove Park while the turf is being finished at Finlay Field.
“It’s not ideal, it’s a bummer the turf wasn’t ready, but we’re trying to make the best of it,” Patrick Giraudo said.