Uploaded: Thursday, January 17, 2013, 4:31 PM
Arredondo brothers now facing coaching rivalry -- each other
|By Keith Peters
Palo Alto Online Sports
It was perhaps fitting when Ramiro and Henry Arredondo took over the Priory girls' soccer program two years ago. The brothers both were Priory alums and Ramiro had an honored spot in the school's athletic Hall of Fame as a standout soccer player in 1997.
Ramiro, the older of the two, assumed the duties of head coach while Henry dutifully became the associate head coach when Sacred Heart Prep grad Armando Del Rio left Priory and returned to Atherton to take over the SHP boys' team.
The Arredondo brothers kept a winning tradition alive by posting a 25-10-6 record over their first two seasons, which included berths in the Central Coast Section Division III playoffs.
Year 3 of the Arredondo coaching regime is under way and the brothers were back on the Priory pitch Monday for an important West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division) match with Sacred Heart Prep.
One thing was different, however. While the brothers were on the same side of the field, they were not standing side by side. They were not talking to the Priory players together nor rooting them on in tandem.
For the first time in their high school coaching careers, the two were facing each other.
Ramiro is the new head coach at Sacred Heart Prep while Henry is the head man at Priory.
"It was indeed the first time Henry and I have faced each other in a high school soccer match," said Ramiro. "We've coached against each other in club soccer, but high school soccer has a bit more strategy and emotional shifts."
Added Henry: "Both Ramiro and I coach club soccer year around and have coached against each other in the past (on the club level). I always want his club teams to do well."
Monday, however, was a different story.
"Today will be fun," Henry said before the match, "because it's the first time our schools meet with us on opposite sides. Today is the first day that I will be rooting against him."
Perhaps fittingly, the teams battled to a 1-1 deadlock.
"The game was intense from the beginning and Priory got a good break early on," said Ramiro. "I still think we had control of possession on their half of the field and they were looking to counter-attack us with their fast break. They have two explosive players in Mariana Galvan and Caitlyn Teoman, so we had to play extra-cautious in the back."
Galvan set up Priory's goal with less than 28 minutes left in the first half, sending a cross to Sarah Zuckerman that she finished. Sacred Heart Prep equalized in the 72nd minute on a goal by senior Kendall Jager.
"I think being so early in the season, we were trying to figure out what each of us would do to counter the others' strategic move," explained Ramiro. "I think once we go back to SHP (Priory visits on January 31), there will be a bit more on the line. We can already see that Menlo, Priory, King's and us are starting to separate in the standings, so the second round in league is always important."
By that time, the brothers probably will be used to coaching apart. Right now, it's something they're still dealing with.
"Of course it was tough leaving Priory. That's my alma mater," Ramiro said. "I enjoyed coaching the girls at Priory and it will always hold a special place for me. Once the opportunity presented itself at Sacred Heart, I knew I could not pass it up. SHP has such a strong tradition in not only athletics but, more importantly, academics. I enjoy working with the SHP Athletic Department and fully respect the professionalism and support they show all their staff."
Henry agreed it was tough to see his brother leave.
"I would rather work together than against, but a little competition is always good between siblings," Henry acknowledged. "He's my older brother and I always want the best for him. SHP is a great school with a strong girls' soccer program and now they have one of the top club coaches in the area."
The brothers both coach for the Alpine Strikers. Ramiro has a U15 boys and a U12 girls team while Henry coaches older players in addition to the Redwood City Juventus Firebirds, a girls' U18 squad that includes both Priory and SHP players.
Thus, there were a lot of familiar faces at Priory on Monday.
"I know our girls were disappointed that we could not finish our shots in the second half," Ramiro said. "We are still getting into rhythm with our front line. Our timing is just a bit off, but I am sure once we get them comfortable together we will create more problems for opposing teams' defenses."
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