Varsity-alumni soccer games raise $2,200 for Hallmann family

Ramona High School boys and girls varsity players pose with Ramona League soccer players at a clinic the varsity teams conducted on Saturday, Jan. 5. The Bulldogs taught soccer drills and skills and then invited the league players to watch their varsity-alumni soccer games that evening. Photo/Michael Jordan
Ramona High School boys and girls varsity players pose with Ramona League soccer players at a clinic the varsity teams conducted on Saturday, Jan. 5. The Bulldogs taught soccer drills and skills and then invited the league players to watch their varsity-alumni soccer games that evening. Photo/Michael Jordan

By Joe Naiman

Ramona High School’s soccer teams preceded their return to CIF play this week with a charity game triple-header Jan. 5.

The varsity-alumni matches, featuring both the boys’ program and the girls’ players, was a fundraiser for the family of the late Gabe Hallmann, a 1997 Ramona graduate who was part of the Bulldogs’ 1996 CIF championship team. The fundraiser included two youth teams playing in between the varsity-alumni games and raised approximately $2,200 for the Hallmann family, which includes 4-year-old Gabby Hallmann.

“It was a nice community service event and it was for a great cause, and a bunch of members of the community came to volunteer their time,” said coach Michael Jordan, who is the boys varsity coach but played for the alumni during the boys varsity-alumni contest.

The day began with a youth soccer clinic for players ages 4-14. The clinic attracted 32 children, and Ramona’s boys and girls varsity teams both participated. Each child was paired with a varsity player.

“It was nice,” Jordan said. “Kids had a lot of fun. We made a bit of money.  Really big success.”

The triple-header began with the 5 p.m. girls varsity-alumni game that ended in a 2-2 tie. Two Ramona FC teams, the boys under-11 and the girls under-12 squads, played between the varsity-alumni games with the U-11 boys taking a 3-0 victory.

Jordan is a 1989 Ramona High School graduate and plays with the alumni during varsity-alumni games. That allowed the boys varsity captains to take over coaching duties.

“They had a lot of fun doing that,” Jordan said.

The starting lineup didn’t differ much from what Jordan would have done.

“They’ve already earned, I think, the respect of their teammates,” Jordan said of his captains.

One notable change was utilizing backup goalkeeper Tony Alba in the nets for the first half, a suggestion made by starting goalie Jesse Bonilla.

“He’s at all the practices,” Jordan said of Alba.

The varsity had a 3-2 halftime lead. Bonilla shut out the alumni in the second half, and the varsity ended the game with a 6-2 victory. At one point the score was tied at two goals apiece.

“After that the varsity guys settled into their game,” Jordan said.

Alex Medina and Alex Nastre each scored twice for the varsity. Aedan Maruna and Ricky Rodriguez had one goal apiece.

The first alumni goal was scored by Mike Garcia, who was Jordan’s junior varsity coach when Jordan played. Sebastian Bueno, who graduated from Ramona High School in 2012, scored the other alumni goal.

Jerry and Cory Asbury officiated all three games and did not charge for their services.

“That was really generous of them to come out and do that,” Jordan said.

Ramona hosts Vista in a non-league match Friday, Jan. 11. Valley League play begins Jan. 15, when the Bulldogs host Mission Vista.

   
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