McLoughlin soccer rejoins GOL after transient stint as unbiased – Excessive College Sports activities Information, Scores, Rankings
Over the next several weeks, SBLive Oregon will be skipping all 6A, 5A, and 4A soccer teams in the state in anticipation of a six-week season in March and April. Even if the season is postponed or canceled, we will continue to highlight more than a hundred teams and more than a thousand players in Oregon. Here’s our look at the McLoughlin Pioneers of the Greater Oregon League Class 4A / 3A.
McLOUGHLIN TEAM PAGE
Jorge Estrada, first season
2019 AT A GLANCE
Overall balance: 1-7
League record: Independently
Playoffs: N / A
PLAYERS TO SEE
OT / DL Gilberto Badillo6-1, 290, Jr.
Badillo, known to everyone in the program as Shaq, moves from the center to the left to improve pass protection. “I think he could protect the quarterback on the back with his fast feet,” said Estrada.
WR / K Nick Doherty6-0, 200, Sr.
Doherty is one of several pioneers to play soccer for the first time in high school after playing the sport in junior ball and middle school. Estrada likes its speed and its ability to pedal with a range of up to 40 meters. “I’m excited to see what he can do,” said Estrada.
QB / S Nick Herndon5-10, 150, Jr.
Herndon started safe last season before he was injured. This season he will fight for the quarterback position with junior Zach Setzer (6-0, 185), who is fighting for high school football for the first time.
TE / LB Mikey Doherty6-0, 210, Jr.
Doherty is another player touring under Estrada, moving from the inner offensive line and defensive end to positions where his athleticism will be more useful. “He’s gotten stronger and has great hands,” said Estrada. “He’s just a great kid to train – eager and a quick learner.”
OL / DL Andy Ceja5-9, 270, Sr.
When Estrada saw the program last season, he saw maturation in Ceja as the season progressed. “Something clicked in the last two games when he realized what blocking at the next level is,” said Estrada. “I think he should be able to pick up where he left off.”
McLoughlin returns to the Greater Oregon League after a year of diversion into the independent ranks that followed nearly a quarter of a century of fighting.
The Pioneers’ last winning season came in 1996 when they reached the 3A quarter-finals. Since week 6 of the 2012 season, they have had no win in 22 consecutive GOL games – and this win over La Grande sparked a streak of 25 league games.
Estrada led the Milton-Freewater youth program for five years and coached the Central Middle School team in 2019. So he knows firsthand what to expect when trying to rebuild the program. He understands why McLoughlin became independent, but he wants the team to push goals like playoff berths and GOL titles.
“It’s a double-edged sword, I know because they were trying to build their confidence,” said Estrada. “But at the end of the day you need the numbers and they’re going to want to play for something like a championship.”
He has about 25 children, including nearly a dozen juniors and eight freshmen, ready to qualify for the six-week season. His greatest challenge will be to find a quarterback who will carry out his offense, which includes the principles of the spread and run-pass option. Setzer played quarterback in middle school, but didn’t play football in either of his first two school years. Herndon has experience in the program but was wide receiver last season.
“They’re both athletic, but we haven’t been able to reach the field yet,” said Estrada. “They have never committed my offense and do not yet know how to read. We just have to go to the field and see what happens. “
“We have a young team. If we play a few games, let a few things go, we can see which direction we need to go in order to move forward with what we have before us. I look forward to the field to see what we have for the next few years. “- Jorge Estrada
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