Odessa High boys soccer coach Eliseo Ortiz would characterize this year’s team as the most familiar one he has had.
In his fourth year as Bronchos head coach, the current seniors were freshman when he took the helm of the program. Ortiz now turns to his stable of seniors to guide his team on the field to a level of success they’ve yet to see under his leadership.
One of them is senior Chris Ramos, who’s entering his third season with Odessa High’s varsity squad.
Ramos finished with six goals a season ago as the team’s starting striker. In 2018 however, Ortiz wants Ramos to be more integral to the team’s play in the midfield.
“I know he can do very well,” Ortiz said about Ramos. “He’s definitely a leader. He’s not very outspoken, he’s a person of few words, but he leads by example. Hopefully he steps up and motivates the team vocally, but somehow or another, we always see the best of him in the goals or the effort.
“I don’t think that will be a problem or change. He’s just a person that works hard and gets it done. He’s gotten it done the past two years and this year will be the same, I’m certain.”
As one of six seniors on the team, all of which bring previous varsity experience to this year’s Odessa High team, Ramos wants to display all he’s learned with the Bronchos.
He hopes to especially show this year how much he has improved moving with the ball at his feet and not going forward to score without teammates.
“This year I’m going to play a lot with us,” Ramos said. “Last year I played a lot by myself. I’m not really worried about the goals; it’s more about team goals.”
Ortiz echoes that sentiment, as he wants the seniors to be responsible for keeping the team organized with its structure and let the younger players have more of an eye toward goal-scoring opportunities.
“We should be able to help more since we have more experience throughout the team,” Ramos said about the Bronchos’ senior class. “We have more confidence knowing we have a lot more experience.”
Ramos believes that the younger players on the team have a lot of talent and can continue his trend of scoring goals in big situations.