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Quincy boys soccer looks to build on 2023 success

Mar. 8—QUINCY — New Quincy head boys soccer coach Hector Vaca said the biggest challenge for the Jackrabbits heading into the 2024 season might be on their side of the field.

"I think our biggest challenge is ourselves," Vaca wrote in response to questions from the Columbia Basin Herald. "We need to go into every game with a positive mindset and ensure we take each game one at a time, as well as not overlook any opponent."

The Jacks come off a stellar 2023 season, finishing with a 15-3 record, 8-1 in the Caribou Trail League, and the top ranking in Class 1A for most of the season. Quincy's 3-2 loss to Connell brought the season to an end in the second round of the state playoffs.

Quincy returns a strong core from 2023, with 13 players with varsity experience.

"We are still a pretty young team as almost half of those returnees are sophomores," Vaca wrote.

Vaca said the ups and downs of the 2022 and 2023 seasons seem to have cemented the team together.

"I believe our strength this year is the unity amongst our team. I feel like the boys all have a strong bond with each other. I feel like another one of our strengths would be how hard-working the boys are. This year is different than other years — these boys seem hungry for success and are willing to go above and beyond what is asked of them," Vaca wrote.

With graduation, the Jacks are adapting to a new starting lineup, and that, Vaca said, is something the team needs to work on.

"We are running a new formation and a new playing style that I feel fits best with the team we have this year," he wrote.

The team has a lot of standout players, he said, naming Brayan Nunez, Erick Zepeda, Rafael Perez, Guillermo Gomez, Killian Roos and Alexander Murillo, among others.

It's Quincy's last year in the Caribou Trail League; the Jacks will return to 2A for the 2024-25 school year. Vaca said the CTL will be a tough league this spring.

"I feel like every team in the CTL is a challenge one way or another," he wrote.

It's Vaca's fourth year in the Quincy soccer program. He started as a volunteer coach in 2020, he said, moved to C team coach and was varsity assistant coach in 2023. He replaces Francisco Tafoya.

The goal for the coaches, and the team, is to learn from the last two seasons, he said.

"I think we apply the leadership and experience of those varsity returners from last year and take every opportunity to get better," Vaca wrote. "Like I mentioned before, a lot of it has to do with us. We have a great group of players that complement each other's playing styles; this will help the team a lot, but we are still working on the mental aspect. One of the biggest goals for the coaching staff is getting the boys mentally prepared for every game. This way they are mentally prepared for any moment, big or small, this season."

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

Quincy Boys Soccer Schedule

March 8 — vs Overlake — 5:30 p.m.

March 9 — at Tonasket — 11 a.m.

March 12 — at Wenatchee — 7 p.m.

March 14 — vs Ephrata — 5 p.m.

March 16 — vs Okanogan — 1 p.m.

March 19 — at Chelan — 4 p.m.

March 23 — vs Medical Lake — 1 p.m.

March 26 — at Omak — 6 p.m.

March 28 — at Cascade (Leavenworth) — 6 p.m.

March 29 — at The Bush School — 6 p.m.

April 9 — vs Cashmere — 6 p.m.

April 11 — vs Chelan — 6 p.m.

April 13 — at Royal — 1 p.m.

April 18 — vs Omak — 6 p.m.

April 23 — vs Cascade (Leavenworth) — 6 p.m.

April 25 — at Cashmere — 6 p.m.

April 30 — vs Warden — 6 p.m.