Bulldog kickers fall in state semifinalsBy Bruce Whetten
The Douglas Bulldogs came up short in their quest for a third state championship since 2006 falling 2-1 to the Scottsdale Coronado Dons in the Division III state semifinals Feb. 7 which was played at Arcadia High School in Scottsdale.
Coronado played Cortez for the state championship Feb. 10 and fell 1-0. Cortez beat Fountain Hills 1-0 in the other semifinal match Feb. 7.
The Bulldogs struck early and quickly scoring three minutes into the match when junior Mario Gastelum booted the ball past the Coronado goalie.
Coronado tied the match seven minutes later.
The match remained tied until eight minutes remained when Coronado scored what proved to be the game winning goal.
Douglas out shot Coronado 11-9; Bulldog goalie Rene Moran had five saves.
“It was a great effort by our boys, and after the disappointment of the loss fades and they realize what a successful season they had,” Douglas’ coach Ken Cormier said. “I think they will be pleased with the big picture. We ended up 17-7, had won 10 in a row, and we coaches were so pleased with their attitude and work ethic from the first day of the season. My only regret is that it’s over, what a great bunch of young men to have been able to coach.”
In a story that followed the game and appeared in the Arizona Daily Star Cormier talked about the future and what lays ahead for this bunch of kids that are returning.
“We have about four spots to fill, thanks to graduating seniors, but (the Bulldogs) will have a strong core group,” the coach said in the article.
Two of the main players next year will be junior captain Luis Teran and sweeper Javier Buelna.
The Bulldogs junior varsity and freshmen teams went unbeaten this past season showing the strength of the DHS program.