BY ANTHONY MENDOLIA
Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. The Roadrunners celebrate under the scoreboard after the final whistle was blown.
Nov. 9, 2018, was a night head coach Enrique Cardenas, assistant coaches and players will never forget for as long as they live. Playing under the lights at Robert F. Boone Field, the Roadrunners secured their first conference title since 1999, doing so by defeating the Palomar Comets 2-0.
There was no shortage of celebration once the game was over. As soon as the final whistle blew, the entire team rushed onto the field in absolute hysteria. There was a mosh pit at midfield, Coach Cardenas received a Gatorade shower and the team danced around the center circle chanting, “Campeones! Campeones! Ole Ole Ole Ole!”
It was truly a sight to behold and the head coach could not be more proud of his players. “All the hard work and the fruits of your labor are finally paying off,” Cardenas said. “All credit goes to the boys. Everything I demanded from them, they did. They worked so hard and wanted this so bad all year. They always kept their intensity up and I’m so proud of them.”
To make the evening even more special, it was also Sophomore Night for COD. During halftime, all of the sophomores were joined by their family members at midfield and were honored by the team for all of the hard work they dedicated to the program. To win a conference championship in their last home game for the Roadrunners was a very special feat indeed.
“When we scheduled this game three months, we scheduled it with the intent to win our first conference championship on this special day,” said Cardenas. “We’re so grateful man.”
Both goals were scored by freshman forward Alejandro Pimentel (DMHS). That left him with a tally of 18 goals on the season, as he finished the year as the Pacific coast Athletic Conference’s leading goal scorer. Coach Cardenas was in absolute awe of his star player.
“He’s special, he’s super special,” Cardenas said. “Coaches are calling me about him like crazy, this is just the beginning for him.”
The first goal came off an assist from freshman midfielder Cesar Garcia (CVHS) in the 39th minute, as he lobbed a pass into the box for Pimentel to finish at home. The second goal came in the 59th minute when Pimentel struck home a rebound after a flurry of consecutive shots were saved the Palomar keeper. That made the score 2-0 with 30 minutes to go, and the result was in the cards.
COD’s season is not over in the slightest though, as they start the state playoffs Nov. 17 against Rio Hondo. “We’re ready to go man. First and foremost we’re going to celebrate this weekend, and let the guys have the weekend off,” Cardenas said. “They need to enjoy it because they worked super hard for this. Then Monday, we’ll come back and know that we’re working for something greater now.”
It’ll be fun to watch this amazing group continue this unbelievable season Saturday, Nov. 17.