SANDIA PREP BOYS RETURN SEVERAL FROM CHAMPIONSHIP SQUAD
The 2020-2021 school year is in the rearview mirror. “It was a strange season because we didn’t know if we were going to play,” said junior goalie Alex Jeffries. “But in the end, when we found out we had a season, we stepped up and got it together last second and formed a good team.”
That good team is back for more in the fall of 2021. The Sandia Prep boys soccer team won the Class A-AAA State Championship beating rival Bosque in the title match 2-0. Sandia Prep only had two seniors on that state title squad. “We’ve got a lot of those guys coming back this year,” said head coach Tommy Smith. “I think once we get our group together, and we’ve been playing a few weeks in training, I think we could have a very successful season.”
This is the 24th season for head coach Tommy Smith. He’s won 12 state titles with the Sundevils. This year the veteran coach will rely on players like junior Finnegan Saunders who is looking forward to a full season. “I’m very happy for it, just to get back to normal this season playing 11 more games and playing 5A teams this year will be more fun this year,” Saunders said.
“He’s going to be a guy we look to do a lot of things,” said Smith. “He’s very talented, smart player. We have another kid that plays in the middle of the field, Tyler Volzer. Last year, he played kind of a mid-field playmaking mid-fielder. So we’re going to lean on him to do a little more for us offensively this year.”
Sandia Prep has won a state title in two of the last three years and played in the championship three of the last four seasons. “I told the guys that we have a target,” said Smith. “We have a target every year and it’s a bigger target this year, especially since we won last year. So the pressure is on us to be able to handle that and to rise to the occasion.”
“The expectations are no more than back-to-back state championships, that’s always our goal,” said Jeffries.
“The goal is to win every game,” said Smith. “Not many teams go undefeated. Albuquerque High did it two years ago, we did it in 2005. It’s not a common thing, but when we look at our schedule, we can win every single game and that’s the goal.”
Their season starts August 23rd against Los Lunas and then a match with Clovis the next day on the 24th.