Boys Soccer: Battle-Tested Clovis North Broncos Surging Ahead

“We can win it all. We can win league, Valley and State.”


Clovis North’s boys soccer team is moving forward with poise after overcoming several tough tests early in the season. Traveling to various parts of California in the first part of the season, the Broncos found themselves in some grueling matches. But the team stepped up to the challenge each time and entered the new year with an unbeaten record.

“We have played a lot of very good opponents this year so far, and that is our coaches intent to make us prepared for the actual season,” Clovis North senior Brandon Lopez said.

The Broncos faced one of their toughest battles on Dec. 17 when they traveled north to matchup against the Jesuit Marauders in Carmichael, California. The gritty Broncos came away with a 1-1 tie against Jesuit, which had only lost one of its first six games of the season going into the match.

“We have faced some quality teams this season and all credit to them for giving us tough games,” Clovis North’s Bryan Lopez said. “What makes a difference in winning these games is the way the team fights for each other. I believe that the team feels like a huge family and we are all willing to fight for each other all game even during harsh moments, which is what I believe boosts us to come out with wins during some tough games.”

Bryan had an unforgettable night on Dec. 12 when he scored five goals and recorded two assists in a 7-4 win against Bullard High.

When the Broncos found themselves in another tough battle against Reedley on Dec. 29, Bryan scored a brace to help his team secure a 2-1 win.

“It felt amazing to get a brace that game, especially that free kick I scored. Having moments such as these in big games all comes down to the preparation,” Bryan said. “I remember staying after practice for around an hour just taking free kick after free kick at almost the same exact spot as the one where I scored the goal against Reedley. My coaches and teammates also give me the confidence to be able to perform well and get in these clutch moments, and it honestly helps me out so much mentally.”

The Broncos were missing several players going into the game against Reedley. Still, they found a way to perceiver.

“We were missing 3 or 4 starters from our team, but the squad depth we have allows us to play at our best even with important players out,” Brandon said. “Personally, I believe that we have the deepest squad out of any other high school. We show a character where we will do anything in order to try to win, and how we won’t back down from a challenge no matter how good our opponents are.”

“It was definitely difficult to go into the game against Reedley with a lot of missing players, but as mentioned earlier, the team managed to fight for each other to find a result,” Bryan added. “This also shows how much squad depth Clovis North has and again, I give credit to our coaching staff. They make sure that every single player is developing for moments such as last week against Reedley.”

It was another big test when Sunnyside High visited Clovis North on Dec. 21 with an undefeated record. But Sunnyside’s perfect mark perished after a 2-1 loss against the Broncos. Brandon scored a late goal in that match to seal the victory for Clovis North.

The battle-tested Broncos, who recently celebrated the 100th career win for Head Coach Cameron Shahrokhi, now look forward to the road ahead.

“I really do believe that we can win it all. We can win league, Valley and State,” Brandon said. “The most important thing we will need to win is hard work and dedication, and I feel like we have it. We just have to stay motivated and not wait until we get a loss make us want to play at our best again. A key part to winning will be our coaches, and all of our players including those who don’t get as much minutes.”

“We can achieve great things this year such as winning TRAC, to even possible winning the Valley Championships and maybe even state,” Bryan added. “The key to reaching these achievements would be to never be satisfied with what we have achieved and staying hungry and committed for every single win. We will need to put 100 percent effort every game even during controversial times where things aren’t going our way.”

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