Ramos excited to be head soccer coach at DHS

Douglas' new boys soccer coach Victor Ramos (in gray), and his new assistant  Luis Rivera watch as team captain Sergio Soto leads the Bulldogs in a ball handling drill Thursday.

DOUGLAS — For close to 20 years Victor Ramos has worked alongside the late Ken Cormier and Alfonso Romero coaching the Douglas High School soccer team.

Cormier passed away in 2017 following a brief illness. Romero, his predecessor, resigned as Douglas’ head coach several weeks ago, just prior to the start of the current season.

Ramos was inserted as Douglas’ interim head coach and is being asked to not only coach a team that didn’t play a single match last year due to COVID-19, but also try and extend Douglas’ streak of three consecutive Gila Region championships.

Together Cormier, Ramos and Romero coached Douglas to a state championship in 2009 and a share of the boys state crown in 2006 when Douglas tied Cave Creek Cactus Shadows and penalty kicks were not used to determine a winner, not to mention countless regional titles and numerous state playoff appearances.

Ramos first joined the DHS coaching staff in 2004.

“I played in Mexico, represented Sonora four times in national tournaments, one year we finished third at nationals; played with a semi-professional team in Jalisco. I was the top scorer three times in state tournaments and I still play in Sierra Vista and Agua Prieta leagues,” Ramos said. “Alfonso informed me a while back something might be happening with him at work that would force him to resign, so when it happened, I wasn’t really surprised. We’re definitely going to miss him. I’m very excited for this opportunity.”

Ramos has brought up Alfredo Romero from the freshmen squad to the junior varsity and added Luis Rivera who has experience playing soccer, as his third assistant coach.

“He’s played in Agua Prieta and he’s also an Olympian from Mexico,” Ramos said. “He’s a really good athlete and an excellent person.

“This year is going to be a challenge,” the new coach said. “We’re going to have a very inexperienced team this year. We only have one or two players with any kind of varsity experience.”

The Bulldog soccer team kicks off its season this week competing in the Amphi Panther Soccer Tournament. Douglas opens up play Monday at 2:30 p.m. against the host team and then will play Empire on Tuesday and Nogales on Wednesday, both matches starting at 4 p.m.

Regular season play for Douglas begins Dec. 7 when the Bulldogs head to Sierra Vista for a match with Buena. Two days after the match with the Colts Douglas will host Nogales.

Sunnyside, Cienega, Canyon Del Oro, Rio Rico, and Catalina Foothills are some of the other quality opponents on the Bulldogs regular season schedule this season.

“We want to use this tournament as a way to develop our players and get them ready for the regular season,” Ramos said. “For many of these kids this will be their first year of playing varsity soccer. Playing varsity is a whole different level than playing JV. Our goal is to keep the program going strong.”

Ramos estimates he had about 60 kids out for soccer the first day which is about what he expected.

The coach is looking to his senior core of Sergio Soto, Dominic Velasquez, Juan Chacon, Eduardo Cisneros and Armando Guillen to help lead his team this season.

“I have a freshman, Alejandro Orellan, who is showing some real promise in practice,” Ramos stated. “There is some potential out here, we just need to develop it. It’s going to be a very interesting season. I expect us to be competitive. For us to win a fourth consecutive regional title is going to be tough but we’re definitely going to fight for it.”

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