CHEYENNE — Every game is a learning experience for the Cheyenne South boys soccer team. And these guys are soaking it all in.
Four games into the season, the Bison have already learned valuable lessons. Some have come from coach Jeff Vega’s instructions. Others have come the hard way.
“We’ve got to have quicker touches, be stronger on defense. We need to go to the outside more instead of playing so vertically,” South forward Zachary West points out as some of the things the team has noticed.
It’s not hard to see the rapid improvement South has had early on. After being blasted by Sheridan from start to finish in the season opener, the Bison played Gillette to a 1-0 game at halftime before the Camels broke things open an 11-0 win.
Against Rawlins on Monday South was down 2-0 at the half before falling 3-1. And in Tuesday’s game with Douglas, the only first half goal came with under 30 seconds left resulting in a 1-0 deficit. The Bearcats went on to win 4-1.
The team starts strong but gets a little sluggish as time moves along. It’s a problem they’re aware of and looking to correct. But it’s also a reason for some renewed confidence.
“We’re learning to come out hard at the beginning of game whereas before it took us a while to get our engines roaring. I just chalk that up to experience and getting through it,” Vega said.
“And the difference (against Douglas) was we started to trust each other as a team as opposed to trying to do everyone else’s job which is another issue I’ve been trying to push with them in the locker room and in practice. You’ve got to trust your teammates because if you can’t trust yourself you can’t do it for them either.”
While the team continues to work on clicking in total sync, there is good news — the offense is starting to find a little rhythm.
After being held scoreless in the first two games, the Bison have put a goal on the scoreboard in each of the last two outings. Adrian Montes scored the first goal of the season late in the game against Rawlins. Devyn Nuanes followed him with a goal against Douglas.
Confidence? This team is starting to develop it. Slow but surely.
“We’ve just got to learn to trust one another. We’ve got to know that person’s got our back and it’s not always one-on-one, it’s trust your teammates,” Nuanes said.
If nothing else, South is long way from where it was. And that’s reason enough to be positive.
“We’re getting a lot better. We’ve improved a lot from last year,” West said.