This year, ‘it’s personal’ for Reynaga

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In the past two seasons of Jose Reynaga’s career at Spring Creek, the Gators soccer team either lost in the first round of the playoffs or didn’t make the playoffs at all. This year, Reynaga has seven goals through five games and has helped Spring Creek jump out to a 5-0 start. For the senior Reynaga, this year “it’s personal.”

The story has been told before. Spring Creek finished with an 8-12 record last year but this year with a deeper squad, it seems to be the most dangerous team in recent history. The last team to reach five wins in the first six games of a season was the 2016-17 team that finished 16-4-1 and lost in the third round of the playoffs.

Coach Jeremy Houser has made sure that his team does not get ahead of itself and he credits multiple players for the tremendous start, but one player in particular has stepped up to lead.

Jose Reynaga, or Lupe as the team calls him, is animated. He is emotional. But he is also calculated and poised. He leads the team with seven goals and is on track to surpass his 13 goals from last season.

Reynaga told the Tribune via Instagram that his “aggression comes from the previous 2 years, from losing in the first playoff game to not going to the playoffs and this year I’m not afraid to take a shot. My coaches and teammates believe in me and that gives me my confidence for every shot I take.”

In the first five games, with his seven goals, Reynaga has only taken 13 shots on goal which makes him incredibly efficient, which Houser has pointed out as being one of the biggest strengths about having Reynaga on the team. This season has been a big improvement for Reynaga as a whole. He wasn’t seen as a leader before when the Gators had trouble remaining disciplined. But as a senior, he is more controlled and doesn’t waste words. When he speaks on the field, his teammates listen, which has paved a path to success so far.

Reynaga feels that he is the heart of the team, a sentiment Houser echoed in an earlier season interview.

“Oftentimes, Lupe is the first to the game field and is often seen setting up corner flags for home games and he has that ‘I’m all about business’ attitude once we begin warming up. As a coach, you couldn’t ask more from a player than what he gives,” Houser said.

Going through the downfalls of the past two seasons, Reynaga says “this team is focused. We know we have a long season ahead of us but I honestly believe we can make the playoffs. We won’t stop working hard to get what we want.”

With 15 regular season matches to go, Reynaga and this Spring Creek team are focused on accomplishing their goals now more than ever after an impressive start.

“We don’t get too big headed or ahead of ourselves. We just work, but individually, I want my legacy to be remembered as being a member of the team that started another run of conference championships here at Spring Creek,” Reynaga said.

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