School administrators were running around under big umbrellas — some in an open and very wet golf cart — trying to ge]t a campus full of students safely from buses, vans and cars bringing soccer players.
Water-logged referees and drenched coaches had looks in their eyes of frozen defeat and there wasn’t a dry spot for any spectators.
The rain came down early, sometimes in sheets, before a cold wind bringing frigid temperatures rolled in.
The only people who didn’t seem to mind were the players — running, slipping and sliding through the mud.
So began Day 1 of the Central Coast Classic Boys Soccer Tournament Friday at Cabrillo High School.
“If you ask the kids, they will play in anything,” joked Cabrillo coach James Baca, “Until they start losing.”
Nine teams arrived early in the morning to participate in the day’s activities which included two games each in pool play.
“This morning, at times, it was brutal,” said Lompoc coach Pepe Marquez. “It was cold.”
After a full slate of games, Santa Maria, San Marcos and Nipomo face off for the Gold Pool and overall championship today.
The Saints started slowly, falling behind Morro Bay 1-0 before winning 2-1, then defeating Crean Lutheran 9-1. San Marcos tied Cabrillo 2-2 then beat Nordhoff 3-0, and Nipomo edged Lompoc 2-1 before tying Pioneer Valley 2-2.
Santa Maria and San Marcos face each other at 11:20 a.m., before the Saints take on Nipomo at 1 p.m. San Marcos will then finish the tournament against Nipomo at 3:20 p.m.
The team with the most points wins the overall championship. The scoring is six points for a win, three for a tie, one point per goal — up to three per game — and one point for a shutout. After day one Santa Maria had 17, San Marcos 15 and Nipomo 13.
The host Conquistadores started the morning off with a 2-2 tie against San Marcos. Later in the afternoon, they finished another tie — this one 1-1 with Nordhoff.
In game one, Sean Greathead and Jose Alcarez scored the goals for the Conquistadores. In just the sixth minute of game two, Miguel Gomez took a pass from Sean Greathead and put the Conqs up 1-0. But they were unable to get a second tally.
That has been a problem for the Conqs so far this season.
“We don’t have a problem with our creative people putting the ball on the net,” Baca said. “They just don’t do it enough and they don’t work together.
“It’s almost like we are one-on-four when we score, it’s never a buildup. Until we do that, the defense is going to get pushed around.”
Tony Salangsang played goalkeeper and kept Nordhoff at bay.
“J.J. (Jesus Barraza, Cabrillo’s regular goalie) landed on his hip and he’s a little sore,” Baca explained. “Tony played goalkeeper in AYSO a few years back, so we threw him in.
“He’s a baseball kid so he has good hands, he is big and he can punt the ball.”
Cabrillo plays Morro Bay at 10 a.m. before facing Lompoc at 3 p.m. in the Silver Pool. Morro Bay lost to Santa Maria 2-1 before shutting out Crean 3-0.
Lompoc fell in the morning to Nipomo on a last second goal, before defeating Pioneer Valley 1-0. Matthew Marquez took a long pass from Alejandro Jimenez, broke in alone and scored the only goal with just minutes remaining in the game.
The result was a bit of payback for the Braves.
“They actually beat us 4-1 on their field last week,” Marquez said. “They played very well on the artificial turf because they are very fast.”
But his team has shown gradual improvement since then.
“We are coming together now and our defense is working out,” Marquez explained. “We are missing a lot of shots, but it’s starting to gel.”
Before the Braves face the Conqs, they play Morro Bay at 12:40.
Pioneer Valley plays in the Bronze Pool and faces Nordhoff at 9:30 a.m. then Crean at 11:30 a.m.
Cabrillo 78, Golden West 60
Outscoring Golden West 25-9 in the first quarter, Cabrillo earned its first win of the tourney in a romp over Golden West at the annual Optimist Tournament in Arroyo Grande.
Senior David Terrones provided 28 points in a monster effort, while Brian Engler had 11. Terrones sank four 3-pointers.
Cabrillo takes on power Thousand Oaks today at 10:30 a.m.
Thousand Oaks defeated Atascadero 75-47 on Friday and has yet to be truly tested in the three-day event.