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Bonita Vista roller hockey team makes exciting though delays season debut Phillip Brents | Fri, Dec 16 2011 11:37 AM

The Bonita Vista High School roller hockey team may have delayed its start to the season but the Barons more than made up for their lack of rink time in Monday’s exciting come-from-behind 10-8 non-league victory against the Castle Park Trojans at Skate San Diego in National City.

“My gosh!” BVHS coach Keith Quigley simply exclaimed after the game.

Because of an unforeseen delay in clearing players, Bonita Vista had to postpone its opening four games of the 2011-12 CIF-Metro Conference season. But the Barons were finally ready to roll on Monday after being idle for two weeks.

By contrast, Castle Park was playing in its fourth game. And that extra bit of game experience showed as the Trojans, regrouping under new coach Patrick Johnson, took leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the opening minutes of the game.

Juan Luna got the game’s jump goal off a pass from teammate David Anderson. After Jon O’Brien scored the Barons’ first goal of the season midway through the period, Horacio Mireles put Castle Park back on top 2-1.

The game went back and forth from there, with Bonita Vista holding a 4-3 lead, then the Trojans going up 5-4. But a run of three goals put the Barons ahead for good at 7-5.

O’Brien led all players in the game with seven goals while fellow returner Joey Vera netted a hat trick.

Mireles (four goals) and Anderson (three goals, one assist) paced Castle Park with four points each.

“The team was definitely excited to win its first game of the season,” Quigley said. “With not that many practices under our belt as a team, I was very happy to see that my Barons never gave up. We battled till the end and found a way to win.” 
The reason the Barons had to postpone their opening four games was an unfortunate one: Quigley didn't have enough players to fill out a team.

“This season was really the first time in all my seasons that I've been coaching Bonita that I had a lot of trouble recruiting enough players to form a team,” he said. “I had held three team meetings on campus before the season had started and there was lots of interest at those meetings. But when it came to getting the season started and actually coming out to play for the team, most of those that had attended my meetings pretty much disappeared.”

The Montgomery Aztecs return to conference play was put off when a suitable coach could not be found. But would the conference lose the Barons -- a coach with a team but not enough players?

It proved to be a close call, and one with a happy ending (or, should it be, beginning?).

“I contacted the school's athletic director to ask if I could attend the freshmen and sophomore P.E. classes to do a roller hockey presentation to recruit more players and it worked,” Quigley said. “I now have a team of 15 players, though a few of them are currently ineligible.”

Quigley’s outlook remains positive for the remainder of the season. “I want these players to have fun, improve in the sport of hockey and give 100 percent at every practice and every game,” he said. “Just play to the best of their ability.” 

Top returners include O'Brien, Vera and Cindy Flores along with senior goaltender Nicole Tran, perhaps the most vocal player on the floor.

"She is definitely one of our team leaders," Quigley said. 

 Tran is one of eight female players on the BVHS squad – the most the Barons have had in their long history.
 
Among the newcomers with potential is sophomore Miranda Peters.

Said Quigley: "She seems to be really enjoying the sport.  As the coach, what I like about her is her focus and intensity.  She plays defense and she's not afraid to mix it up."

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