Girls soccer tryouts Sept. 3 draw interested players — including nearly a handful of freshmen


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Then-freshman Brianna Figueroa (center) tries to dribble the ball away from two Long Beach Poly High School defenders during the Feb. 16, 2019, California Interscholastic Federation semifinal playoff game at Wilson High School in Long Beach. The junior forward will be among the players returning from that title-winning squad for the 2020-2021 season, which will also include open tryouts for new additions to the team.

Accolade Staff

This is the first of a series of reports the Sports section will cover regarding team tryouts in the 2020-2021 school year. Accolade staff writer Henry Lee contributed to this report.

With girls soccer starting its first practice session last week, head coach Jeff Gordon also held his first tryout for the 2020-2021 school year on Sunny Hills’ main field, drawing seven newcomers — four of whom were freshmen.

“Tryouts were not ideal due to not being able to use soccer balls,” Gordon said. “But we had some interested girls come out that we will add to the program, and our tryouts will remain open for those wishing to play.”

The coach was referring to a Fullerton Joint Union High School District [FJUHSD] notice informing coaches that even though they are allowed to hold practices beginning Aug. 17, they cannot have players holding or kicking balls from one player to another because of health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Until then we will do conditioning as permitted by the district,” Gordon said. “Our season is six-seven months away, so there is no rush.”

Normally, the coach would hold tryouts during the summer as part of his soccer camp, but the July 7-11 one that Gordon had scheduled got canceled after the district had shut down all sports practices/camps July 6 because the number of coronavirus cases in Orange County had spiked around that time period.

That’s why he resorted to the Sept. 3, 3:30-4 p.m. open tryout on the Sunny Hills field, held on the second day of the return of girls soccer practice on campus Sept. 1, Gordon said.

Besides having the newcomers stretch and run on the field, the coach said he interviewed the girls, asking them about their soccer background and informing them about the commitment level that he would expect of them whether they would be part of the frosh/soph, junior varsity or varsity level.

“We have openings, which is a good thing,” Gordon said. “It’s one of those years in which we’re looking for players.”

Those who tried out last week could not be reached for comment.

Gordon said if girls want to come out in the next coming weeks to try out, they need to make sure that they have cleared their physicals with the district and that they send him an email ahead of time at [email protected].