The success of the Fortuna boys soccer program is being felt well beyond the field of play. This week, three more Huskies declared their intent to continue their playing careers after high school, joining a long list of former teammates who are now playing at the collegiate level.
“That’s the bottom line. You try to teach them about soccer and you try to teach them about life, and give them the opportunity to go on,” Fortuna head coach Daniel Holmes said.
The Huskies appear to be doing just that, with the perennial powerhouse program preparing their players for the next level and giving them the opportunity to continue their playing careers. This fall, there will be four former Huskies playing at Humboldt State, two more at Chico State, and at least four at College of the Redwoods. And Holmes expects the newest talented trio to fit right in at CR. “They’re humble, they want to work hard, they’re good kids and they’re gifted in the classroom as well,” the coach said. “They realize there’s a challenge ahead of them and they’re looking forward to it.”
All three played four years at Fortuna, and all three enjoyed plenty of success there, winning the league title all four seasons and claiming the North Coast Section championship in 2016. The Huskies, in fact, have won the league crown in each of the past five seasons, and six times in eight years, so it’s no surprise to see so many of their players move on. “They’re definitely gifted,” Holmes said of the trio.
Another former Fortuna player, Juan Patino, recently declared his intent to play at Humboldt State in 2018, joining a Lumberjacks roster that includes Francisco Calderon, Martin Calderon and Alejandro Cortes Garcia, each of whom played high school soccer for the Huskies.
While in December, CR sophomore and former Fortuna standout Miguel Ramirez announced he will be moving on to play at Chico State this fall. And the Fortuna connection doesn’t end there. Eric Olea’s older brother Jaime Olea also played for the Corsairs in 2017, along with Luiz Baltazare and Samuel Licona, while their head coach at CR, Pedro Cortes-Garcia, is another former Fortuna player who played for Holmes.