Horace Langford Jr. / Pahrump Valley Times - Adrian Maldonado, a Trojans midfielder, goes up against a Mojave player for the ball.
Adrian Maldonado is one of two team captains for the Pahrump Valley Trojans soccer team. He is excited to start the season, which will be his last year.
He made varsity as a freshman and has been playing organized soccer since eighth grade. He said he couldn’t play soccer growing up because his parents at the time couldn’t afford him to play.
Maldonado enjoys the game because it is a game where size doesn’t matter. “Soccer is a game of skill and experience. We have played smaller guys on other teams and they have just swooshed right through us because they are so quick,” he explained.
The young player believes he has grown a lot since he was a freshman. “I am more of a leader. When I was a freshman I remember how the seniors would teach us. Now I know how things are with the other schools, and which ones are good,” he remarked.
The Trojans boys team has come a long way in the last three years with so much adversity to overcome. In the past three years, the team has had three head coaches.
Trojans Coach Don Boulden starts his second year as head coach. He finished his first year in fifth place at 6-8 in league with just one place shy of a playoff berth. He believes Maldonado to be one of the top players of the team. Boulden said Maldonado is a student of high academic achievement, and mature leadership capabilities beyond his years; as demonstrated as a member of PVHS student council. “Maldonado is an outstanding midfielder and a player of acute field awareness and technical ball control abilities. Adrian is a forceful defender, play maker and game changer. He is also a role-model for his team members to follow as he selflessly serves at the pleasure of his teammates rather than for the personal benefit and self-recognition for his own behalf,” Boulden said.
Boulden chose Maldonado as one of the candidates for PVHS Trojans boys soccer team captain because of the respect he has earned among his peers for his dedication and commitment to his personal achievement, “for his respect of his team, and for the love of the game of Soccer.”
Maldonado expects his team to benefit from last year’s experience and benefit from growing on what Boulden brought to the team last year. An immediate advantage for the team will be not learning a new system. Maldonado feels the coach has been a good asset to the team. “We hope to do better this year because we have so many seniors out this year. We have an older team than some of the other teams and have a better chance of beating some of the teams,” Maldonado said.
Maldonado added, “We have been playing for so long together that we know how we all think and play. This should help us out this year. We should be able to keep possession and have some good plays come from that and score. We really don’t have to talk too much because we know where we are going with the ball. We have been together so long that we no longer fight as much among each other. We do a good job of listening to teammates and so yelling has gone away.”
Maldonado said the new coach brought discipline and knowledge to the team. He said Boulden made every team member brush up on their knowledge of the game and he even quizzed them on the rules. Maldonado said just knowing the rules can get your team a win. “You have to know the rules as a player because in game situations it can hurt you if you don’t know the rules. Last year knowing the rules benefited us when during a game Raul was going to take a free kick, it was a direct kick and so you don’t need to wait for the ref to restart the match. Raul set up the ball. While he was walking back, the goal keep left the goal. While he was doing that Raul kicked it in. The referee signaled goal,” Maldonado explained.
Maldonado hopes to play soccer in college next year and is looking for a college that will accept him.