McNary Soccer

A generational game

A McNary player fights through defense from the McNary Alumni team on Aug. 17, 2023, at McNary High School. (JOSHUA MANES/Keizertimes)


Of the Keizertimes

Traditions don’t just happen. They take time and interest. But McNary boys soccer may have come up with a new one.

For the first time, the Celtics held an alumni boys soccer game that pitted 19 former Celts against the current squad, on Aug, 17.

“That’s special,” McNary head coach Miguel Camarena said. “Through the years, to see all the many faces. I’ve been working with these kids for 20 years. That’s an amazing experience and I’m hoping to have this every year.”

The alumni team featured 19 former Celts from 12 graduating classes spanning from 1983 through 2021. The class of 2019 had the largest showing with four players, while 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2021 each had a pair of participants.

The evening was split into three 30-minute games. The current Celtics came out quickly and aggressive, taking the first game. But their elders got the best of them in the next two.

And while it was all in fun, it was also a good measuring stick for Camarena and the Celts to see how things look heading into the season and their first game on Aug. 28 against Century High School.

“Our shape is not there yet the way I was expecting,” Camarena said. “But this group, we were well rounded. We need to have more penetrations so we can get more opportunities to score. So those are things we’re going to work on in the next two weeks.”

2023 Alumni Team

Eric Branch (2005)

Luis Estrada (2007)

Leonardo Duenas Jr (2012)

Bhavdeep Bains (2018)

Sebastian Lopez (2019)

Amner Arellano (2019)

Jose Bravo (2019)

Miguel Bravo (2019)

Diego Sanchez (2015)

Eloy Roldan (2015)

Fidel Gonzalez (2014)

Joel Duenas (2006)

Alex Salazar (2021)

Jorge Garcia (2016)

Daniel Caballero (2016)

Noah Gatchet (2020)

Jose Martinez (2021)

Luis Martinez (2018)

Randy Lathrop (1983)