GONZALES — Winning back-to-back league championship titles helped the Gonzales High Spartans reach a dozen championships in the Mission Trail Athletic League.
Gonzales wrapped up the league crown with a 2-0 win over King City last Monday at Dick Force Stadium and a 1-0 nail biter on the road against the Greenfield Bruins on Valentine’s Day.
Gonzales High won its first MTAL championship in 1978, and followed that with a consecutive title in 1979. The Spartans won titles in: 1982, 1984, 1988, 1994, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2016 and 2017.
Gonzales won the Region IV title in 1979 and won the Central Coast Section Division IV Championship in 2006.
Against the Mustangs of King City the Spartans used goals by Erik Mata and Edwin Arias and a great defensive effort to win their ninth league game and improve to 9-1-1. Two nights later in Greenfield the Spartans took the 1-0 lead early in the first half on a goal by Erik Mata and then fought off attempts at goal by the Bruins to win the championship.
The Spartans won the title with a 10-1-1 record for 31 points just ahead of Soledad High’s 9-0-3 record for 30 points. Three ties in their last six games kept the Aztecs from claiming their seventh league championship.
“After starting the league season with a loss at Soledad we knew we had to win all our games and try to get a win at home against them at our place,” said Gonzales head coach Juan Flores. “When we ended up with a 3-3 tie with Soledad I told the boys that is was crucial to keep playing hard and try to finish on top by winning more games. Things worked out for us but the pressure was on as we had to complete this week with two wins. I felt we played well in the King City game and that we should have scored another couple of goals against Greenfield. We knew that a loss in those games would have kept us from winning league. Now we have made a good memory with the championship and look forward to trying to make more good memories with our play in CCS.”
The Spartans will host Sacred Heart Cathedral today at 5:30 p.m. in the first round of the Division II Central Coast Section Soccer Playoffs.
Gonzales was seeded #6 in the playoffs and Sacred Heart Cathedral was seeded #11.