MAYO, Fla. — First-year coach Pedro Resendiz will bring experience to the Lafayette boys soccer program with 28 years of playing time and three years of coaching.

According to Resendiz, that experience is of the utmost importance when teaching the game.

“It’s a little different because if you (have an unexperienced coach) tell them something to do, they don't get it,” Resendiz said. “You have to show them how to do it and it’s going to be better for the coach and the kids.

“You have to show them how to kick the ball, how to stop the ball, how to make the ball curve, how to make the ball go high, how to make the ball go low, or fast or level. So I can help them with that.”

Resendiz has been coaching club ball in Lake City for three years for multiple teams as a head coach and as an assistant coach.

Lafayette has been practicing for a few weeks and everyone who has tried out made the team but starters haven’t been determined.

“I don’t have that yet. I have to figure that out,” Resendiz said. “We decided recently to let everybody stay on the team because the kids have a good attitude about the learning process. I have 21 players and everyone is on the team.”

Right now Resendiz is stressing “ball control” to the team, which is a made up of a lot of young players and only one senior.

That young group of Hornets open the season Nov. 12 at Williston and host its first game at Dale Walker Field Nov. 14 against Newberry. Both games are at 7 p.m.

The goals for the team is to make the playoffs, “and hope we can go to state,” Resendiz said. “We have a good feeling that we can have a good team. We have two months to play (before playoffs) to get better.”

Last year’s team finished 8-8-1 and didn’t make the playoffs.

Resendiz is also trying to prepare seniors to help with the program’s future:

“I tell seniors that this is your last year, that you can give leadership and commitment for the kids that will be here next year. That is the process, as a senior they can help the next generation be a better team.

“This is something I love, I have passion, and I know how to play soccer. I tell the kids I’m trying to do my best to help you out.”

Jeff Shourds is a sports writer for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press.

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